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What Is a Single Source of Truth?
Project Management 7 min read

What Is a Single Source of Truth?

Want your project to succeed? Use a single source of truth in project management to accelerate projects and meet your business goals.

The Now Tech Forrester Report on How To Select the Right Project Business Automation Software
Project Management 7 min read

The Now Tech Forrester Report on How To Select the Right Project Business Automation Software

See how Forrester labels the three project business automation market segments and where Wrike for Professional Services fits into the equation.

It All Adds Up: How Software Sprawl Is Cutting Into Your Agency's Profits
Productivity 7 min read

It All Adds Up: How Software Sprawl Is Cutting Into Your Agency's Profits

Creative agencies use so many tools today to make life easier, but does your team have too many? It’s called software sprawl and costing you more than you think. Read more to see how software sprawl is cutting into your business’ profits and how to solve it.

Wrike Named a Leader Among the FrontRunners for Project Management Report for Q3
News 3 min read

Wrike Named a Leader Among the FrontRunners for Project Management Report for Q3

Software Advice recently published results of the FrontRunners for Project Management report — a study that analyzes leading project management software providers based on the capability and value that small business customers derive from them. In the report, Wrike was identified as one of the seven providers in the "Leaders" quadrant.

How Collaborative Work Management Software Improves Production Management
Project Management 10 min read

How Collaborative Work Management Software Improves Production Management

If you’re ever planning to manage a production process, you absolutely need a collaborative work management software. Check out our overview of the importance of production management, including examples of how leading brands use collaborative work management software to successfully complete projects.

It’s On! The New Wrike Experience Is Here
News 7 min read

It’s On! The New Wrike Experience Is Here

At Wrike our objective has always been to build a platform configurable and powerful enough to handle any situation and that provides you with the tools you need to do your best work. That's why we'd love to introduce you to the New Experience.

Project Management Tools Every Event Planner Should Steal
Project Management 5 min read

Project Management Tools Every Event Planner Should Steal

If this sounds like the last event you managed, then I suggest you start stealing. We all know the greats do it: Good writers borrow, great writers steal. Good artists copy, great artists steal. It’s about time that event managers started stealing, too. So whom are you to steal from? Project managers, of course. Inside The Project Manager’s Toolbox Large events such as product launches, industry conferences, and promotional affairs are just projects in disguise. Since project management methodologies are closely aligned with event planning, the gadgets you need to make your event successful are already available. Most project managers have a powerful digital toolbox known as project management software. The best applications provide a central place where you can plan and assign tasks, track and communicate with vendors, and oversee everything you need to keep an event running smoothly. Let’s review some of the most important features of PM software, and how they relate to event planning: Gantt Charts Humans are visual creatures. When planning and scheduling an event, it’s helpful to have a visual that transforms a conceptual workload into actionable items. This is where Gantt charts come in. A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart used to illustrate start and finish dates for critical tasks. They are particularly helpful for visualizing a project’s timeline and quickly assessing whether or not your event is on schedule. Event management requires tracking many separate teams and vendors, whose tasks are often interconnected or dependent. Gantt charts allow you to assign dependencies to tasks which need to be performed in a particular order. All major tasks and milestones necessary for project execution can be chronologically depicted with this tool. You can also monitor the progress of each high level task at a glance, which is valuable in situations where a change in the timing of one task affects all the other tasks that depend on it. File Sharing When events have multiple teams and vendors, it’s critical to have an easy way to share documents and information. Project management software with file sharing tools provides an accessible central storage area for all important information and common documents. This eliminates redundant revisions and the need to exchange documents via email. Not only is this great for team collaboration, but for tracking and managing vendor proposals, contracts, negotiations, and invoices. Collaboration Tools Project management software is the swiss army knife of collaboration. Thanks to robust features and integrations, most platforms can be tailored to the needs of your team or event. Need to keep in touch with colleagues, ask quick project questions, or send documents (perhaps a revised guestlist, for instance)? Instant messaging has you covered. Need to get everyone out of their overloaded inbox and on the same page? Project management software allows individuals to comment on tasks, tag keywords or people in questions, and get notifications of updates and progress changes automatically.   Need to work with different vendors or teams for each event? A good project management platform will offer additional collaborator licenses for free. This means contractors can discuss progress, upload files, and mark tasks complete— which makes tracking vendors simple. Kanban Boards Another helpful visualization tool is a Kanban board. Once an event’s major milestones are determined, Kanban boards are helpful for breaking them into bite-sized chunks. Teams can see their group objective, then delegate responsibilities by adding subtasks and individual action items with deadlines. Kanban boards provide transparency by letting everybody see what everybody else is working on. Event managers can quickly see where resources are allocated, monitor team or vendor progress, and identify bottlenecks. This tool also reinforces efficient project behavior. For example, when everyone’s work is visualized, it deters individuals from overcommitting and limits the amount of deliverables in progress. Event Planning is a Project Events can be a powerful strategic marketing tool for any size company. Making your events successful requires a holistic view of collaboration from planning to execution. Project management software helps you plan a timeline, manage deadlines, facilitate collaboration, and track vendors. Managers use these tools in tandem with their methodology of choice to carefully articulate project goals, expectations, milestones, and key deliverables. Good event planners use a project manager’s methodology, great event managers steal their tools. About the author: Jenna Puckett is an associate technology analyst at TechnologyAdvice. She covers topics related to project management, marketing automation, employee performance, and other emerging tech trends. Connect with her on LinkedIn. 

The Ultimate Guide To Using Project Planning Tools
Project Management 7 min read

The Ultimate Guide To Using Project Planning Tools

Which project planning tools are right for your team? Discover the techniques and online planning tools you need for your next successful project.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Create a Timeline Using Microsoft Project
Project Management 3 min read

A Step-by-Step Guide to Create a Timeline Using Microsoft Project

Visual project timelines are a manager’s best friend. Providing an easy way to report big-picture progress to executives and stakeholders can be a lifesaver when managing large projects. At the same time, when you're managing a project and need to drill down into the details of milestones and dependencies, it's easy to see how the project stands and pinpoint any tasks and deadlines in danger of slipping.  Because Gantt chart-style project timelines are such a popular planning and management tool, dozens of project management apps are available to create them, including Excel, Microsoft Project, and Wrike. Here, we’ll show you how to make a timeline in MS Project, along with an easier way to do so with Wrike.  How to create a timeline using Microsoft Project Step 1: To make a Microsoft Project Gantt chart, click "View," then choose "Timeline." Step 2: Right-click any of your tasks, then select "Add to Timeline." Repeat for every task or milestone connected to your project. Step 3: If you’d like to create multiple timelines, click the Timeline view, then "Format." Select "Timeline Bar" from the Format menu. Step 4: Right-click a timeline and choose "Date Range." Set your start and finish dates.  Step 5: Add colors and change text styles by clicking anywhere on your timeline and selecting "Format." Step 6: To share your MS Project timeline, click the Format menu and select "Copy Timeline." Choose a size, depending on your needs: for emails, choose small; for presentation slides, choose medium; and for full size, choose large. You can then paste the timeline into another program as an image. An easier way to create a timeline online Instead of manually adding tasks and milestones to your project timeline, use an online Gantt chart. Wrike’s Gantt charts let you easily plan your projects. Wrike automatically pulls your project tasks and due dates to create a dynamic project timeline for you. Assign due dates, set milestones and dependencies with a simple right-click, and adjust the timeline by dragging and dropping tasks and durations. Overdue tasks are automatically flagged in red, so nothing escapes your attention. Online project timelines are also much easier to share, and you don’t need to bother with selecting the right size for PowerPoint slides or emails. With Wrike, you can quickly share your timeline with colleagues by taking a snapshot and sending the link to clients and stakeholders so they can get progress updates quickly and easily. Get a free trial of Wrike and try it out for yourself, with nothing to download or install. Then check out our in-depth guide to the Wrike's Gantt charts to create your first timeline and get your project up and running in minutes.  How have project timelines helped you meet important deadlines? Share your success story in the comments. Sources: support.office.com, youtube.com, advisicon.com, wikipedia.org, techrepublic.com

Ideal Project Management Software: Is There One?
Project Management 3 min read

Ideal Project Management Software: Is There One?

I recently wrote an article for PMHut.com. The Project Management Hut is a very useful site for project managers and those who want to know more about this sphere. Articles on topics like traditional and innovative project management methodologies, what is client resource management system, project leadership, the history of project management and much more are written and gathered from all over the world by a group of project managers, who decided to make their vast experience accessible to everyone. The PMHut authors invited me to contribute to their resource and write about a feature set for an ideal project management tool. In my article, I express my point of view on what problems project management software should help you solve and in what way. As always, your feedback on the piece is welcome in the comments to this post.

The Hidden Cost of Open-Source Project Management Software
Project Management 7 min read

The Hidden Cost of Open-Source Project Management Software

While open-source project management software has its benefits, there can be hidden costs. Learn more about open-source project management tools with Wrike.

Tips and Tricks for Smart Project Planning
Project Management 7 min read

Tips and Tricks for Smart Project Planning

I promised to share some tips and tricks that can help you make your project planning more efficient. So here they are: Pay close attention to the human factor. Critical path analysis and project management tools can be really helpful in administering and managing projects. The dependencies that you put on your project are usually fairly easy to grasp. Thus, the formal critical path for small projects is often obvious enough for project managers and for project management software. Project management tools are helpful in the visualization of the schedule, and in quick calculation of an approximate end date when there are estimates in place. However, they are not a substitute for the "human factor." Experienced project managers know that tools are important, but they always remember that they are dealing with human beings when planning project tasks, deadlines, milestones, and implementation dates. This human factor should be taken into consideration when creating your project schedule. I already mentioned the “resource critical path” method earlier in the post series. Another method that can complement your use of the critical path method and help you deal with resource constraints is called the critical chain. The Critical Chain Method (CCM) is a way of planning and managing projects that puts the main emphasis on the resources required to execute project tasks. A critical chain tends to keep the resources levelly loaded, but it requires them to be flexible in their start times and to quickly switch between tasks and task chains to keep the whole project on schedule. Dependencies used to determine the critical chain include both logical, hands-off dependencies (where the output of the predecessor task is required to start the successor) and resource dependencies (where a task has to wait for a resource to finish work on another task). The identification of the critical chain uses a network of tasks with "aggressive but achievable" estimates that is first "resource leveled" against a finite set of resources. What is resource leveling in project management? It's the act of adjusting the start or end dates of a project based on resource constraints. Involve your team in the planning process. The people doing the work should be actively involved in scheduling.  They're motivated to get it right. They have the skills to understand the dependencies, and they need to accept the schedule. It also is helpful to involve your stakeholders and clients. They can provide you with valuable insights on when they need the project to be completed, etc. When choosing project management software to build your project plan and your critical path, keep in mind that the application should give your team members and clients an opportunity to contribute to the plan.  It also is important to continue team involvement throughout the project lifecycle.  Constant communications with your team will provide valuable information on bottlenecks, leaves of absence (planned or unplanned), and other issues that may arise during the project that may impact the critical path and overall project schedule. Iterate your plan. With the traditional approach, tasks usually should be completed one after another in an orderly sequence, so that a significant part of the project or even the whole project should be planned upfront. Traditional project management practices are geared toward examples of project assumptions that events affecting the project are predictable and that activities are well-understood. In addition, once a phase is complete, it often is assumed that the phase will not be revisited. Very often, this approach proves to be not very effective, taking into consideration the level of uncertainty on many business projects. Iterative planning is an approach borrowed from Agile project management. The Agile approach consists of many rapid, iterative planning and development cycles, allowing a project team to constantly evaluate the evolving product and obtain immediate feedback from customers or stakeholders. The team learns and improves its working methods during each successive cycle. After a streamlined planning and requirements definition phase is completed to get the project underway, iterations of more detailed planning and requirements take place in waves. So for example, it can be helpful to organize your plans into time-bound iterations, usually two to four weeks in length. During those iterations, you and your team focus only on one part of your project and do everything to take this part from an idea to a reality. This approach allows for immediate modifications in the project as requirements come into view. With iterative planning, portions of the project are delivered on a regular, frequent basis. This gives stakeholders a much better idea of the status of the project because they can see and may be even use the end result of each phase as it becomes available. Iterations make your schedule more realistic and allow you to better ensure your project’s success, as well as its delivery on time and on budget. Even with more traditional waterfall project management, opportunities to break down deliverables into stages can provide iterative benefits to the stakeholders and reduce overall project delivery risk. Move tasks that involve risks closer to the start of your project. All projects have activities with potential risks that can lead to problems or delays. Some of these can be averted or reduced through advanced planning. This is always a better approach and carries a greater chance of project success, compared to relying on crisis management. Identify the most risky tasks on your project. These will need your special attention.  If you manage to complete them earlier, you’ll be able to ensure your project’s success earlier. Therefore, putting these tasks closer to the beginning of your critical path, if this is possible, is highly recommended. When your critical path is delayed, you need to check the plan and see whether there are any tasks that can be completed a little earlier. It’s also often a good idea to communicate it clearly to stakeholders that your project may be delayed, along with reasons for the original deferral and the actions you’ll take to compensate for it. If the delay is unavoidable, you have to make a decision and consult with stakeholders about whether to deliver later than the due date or to reduce the scope of the work to be on time. This will change your initial critical path. Leverage technology to save time and make your project planning more efficient.  If your projects have parallel activities, doing the scheduling calculations for the critical path method is quite laborious and feels like using pen and paper, instead of calculators, to do math, especially if you consider the fact that frequent updates to the schedule will force you to recalculate things. For large and complex projects, there’ll be thousands of activities and dependency relationships that need to be up-to-date. Fortunately, there is relatively inexpensive, Web-based project management software that can handle this with ease on the “pay as you go” basis. Project management applications, like desktop-based Microsoft Project or Web-based Wrike.com, will help you visualize your project schedule in the form of a Gantt chart and draw dependencies between your tasks. Such a tool will automatically calculate your project’s end date, as well as the length of your project. The tools also will help you identify the tasks that will not be on the critical path. Additionally, some of these software applications will allow you to easily reschedule your tasks as your project develops. You’ll be able to put the tasks on the path and take them off it easily. You’ll also be able to move whole task chains on the chart, according to your real project conditions. The Gantt chart you’ve seen above is an approximate schedule for our sample project created in an online tool, Wrike.com. Web-based tools focused on collaboration can be more useful when you work on a team. They allow your team members to update the schedule, making it realistic. This way, you immediately see the progress and changes on your project, without having to pull the information from your team members and put it into the project plan manually by yourself. You also may get the benefit of more realistic time estimates for future projects as the people who are doing the work are updating the tasks themselves, instead of relying on a project manager to estimate work and record actual completion dates. I hope you find these tips useful. Do you have your own tips and tricks on how to make project planning more efficient? Please post them in the comments!

Top 9 Project Management Tool Features on the SMB Wishlist
Project Management 3 min read

Top 9 Project Management Tool Features on the SMB Wishlist

Choosing the right project management tool for your small business can be a daunting endeavor, especially if it’s your first time venturing into project management territory. Which features are must-haves for small business teams? What exactly should you be looking for in a PM tool? Take a page out of someone else's book. Software Advice asked hundreds of small business owners which features they found most important in a project management tool. Check out what they had to say so you can decide what matters for your team: Top 9 PM Tool Features 1. Time-tracking (66%): See exactly where your time goes, determine where you can trim wasted hours, and accurately predict how long a new project will take (and how that affects profitability.) 2. Task management (52%): Organize your daily work and track every detail and to-do to make sure you stay on schedule and nothing gets forgotten. 3. Resource management (41%): Keep an eye on all your resources to know which are available and ensure they're being used efficiently. 4. Reporting (36%): Easily generate accurate reports and evaluate the success of your current strategy. 5. Document management (19%): Store and manage all your documents online. You'll save time looking for relevant files, since everything’s in one spot and easily accessible. 6. Collaboration tools (12%): Get your team working together to accomplish goals faster, generate new ideas, and coordinate efforts. 7. Budgeting (11%): See where every precious penny is being spent, prevent overspending, and track profits. 8. PPM (6%): Prioritize all your projects based on business goals by weighing cost and time against potential benefits. 9. Issue management (6%): Make sure any issues affecting your project, such as technical glitches or low supplies, are quickly recognized, addressed, and resolved. All of these individual features help small business owners in unique ways: from maximizing their time and resources to stretching every dollar to focusing their team's effort on profits. If you're a small business owner, we'd love to hear from you! Which project management features do you find most helpful in running your business? Help your fellow SMBs by sharing your experience in the comments.

The Ultimate Guide to Creative Project Management Software
Project Management 10 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Creative Project Management Software

Meet deadlines and boost productively with creative project management software. Get started with this ultimate guide to creative management software.

How Successful Teams Use Project Management Software (Infographic)
Project Management 3 min read

How Successful Teams Use Project Management Software (Infographic)

According to Information Week, 87% of high-performing companies use a project management tool to complete daily work and and meet their business goals. But why? What are the benefits? What kinds of teams need project management software? And how do they go about choosing the right tool? Learn all the “how”s and “why”s in this infographic: Share this infographic on your own site with this embed code:

Cloud Project Management Software vs. Online File Storage: What's the Difference?
Project Management 5 min read

Cloud Project Management Software vs. Online File Storage: What's the Difference?

  With modern business riding the wave of the fast, the swift, the convenient, allowing for faster execution and more efficient processes, it comes as no surprise that online services — what we know as cloud services — are all the rage. But time and time again, customers have asked us questions about the difference between cloud-based storage and cloud project management software. What separates services like Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox from Wrike? Why would a business need one or the other? The Benefits of Cloud Storage and Project Management Software The benefits of having cloud storage services are many: You can access all your files from any device with an internet connection. You can maintain one shared folder for an entire department, giving everyone a space to keep work-related files. It becomes easier to share files by just passing on a permanent link instead of attaching files to emails. More organizations are accepting that local storage is prone to devastating data loss, hard drive crashes, and network outages. With cloud storage, everyone can rest easy knowing their files are kept safe in the cloud. The benefits of having cloud project management software are just as abundant: You have one hub from which to access all tasks and all files, allowing you to collaborate on projects without jumping between email and tools. You can leave feedback on tasks without creating long, hard-to-follow email threads. You can accurately create a project plan because you can view all components, resources, and tasks in one space. Teams are turning to online project management to help plan, organize, and manage day-to-day tasks and important projects alike. They can rely on these accessible tools to plan ahead efficiently and collaborate from anywhere on the globe. The Differences Between Cloud Storage and PM Software Still don't quite grasp the benefits of choosing one system over the other?  We'll detail the differences between cloud storage and online project management software for you. 1. Access vs. Planning Cloud storage is all about easily accessing and sharing your files with anyone you want, whenever you want. The focus of project management systems like Wrike is to logically organize those files and manage the associated work. Project management software allows you to move tasks through stages from conception to production and finally to completion. An analogy: Cloud storage is like a filing cabinet that holds and protects all your valuables, remaining accessible when you need to see the contents. Project management software is like a conveyor belt that moves files and tasks from person to person, helping tasks flow seamlessly through the appropriate steps to get work done.  2. Single Focus vs. Eyes on Everything Cloud storage software allows you to see all your individual files at a glance or one at a time for reference and editing. Again, the focus is on the files. Project management software on the other hand lets you zoom out to see the larger scope of work — how projects and teams affect one other, how team members can assist in a project, how resources can be distributed equally, and so on. It helps you manage the way work flows across projects. 3. What Work Gets Done vs. How Work Gets Done Cloud storage software only tells you what has already been finished and uploaded to the cloud. PM software, on the other hand, helps you coordinate teamwork, monitor who’s working on which tasks, and measure progress. It gives you transparency and insight into how work gets done so you can become more efficient on future projects. 4. Collaborative Knowledge vs. Collaborative Execution Both cloud storage and project management software focus on collaboration and sharing ideas or knowledge. But PM software additionally gives you a place to discuss all new ideas, create action plans, and execute those plans with your team in to bring ideas to fruition. So which software should you choose? In the end, one solution is not the catch-all for every team. These services are separately equal in their usefulness to customer companies. Before you can decide which tool your team should rely on, you must figure out what your team needs to be successful. If a working process is already in place, perhaps cloud storage is all that’s needed to assist your team with intelligently sharing project files. On the other hand, if you already implement smart file storage then enterprise project management software could introduce a more robust system to manage your projects from A to Z. Photo Credits: Conveyor Belts. Photo by Alvaro Galve on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The Ultimate Project Management Software Guide for Startups
Project Management 10 min read

The Ultimate Project Management Software Guide for Startups

Every day in the startup world is characterized by various tasks, from finances to client-facing work, building new products to administrative items, and more. There’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of hands in the pot trying to tackle each action item that pops up.  Startups have a team-first mentality, where every team member is willing to jump in and play a part to get the job done. That horizontal leadership structure can lead to a lot of camaraderie, but the day-to-day roles and responsibilities related to project ownership and completion can get messy and chaotic.  That wasted time can be costly when every minute and dollar spent in the early startup days are precious, especially when nine out of 10 startups fail.  But don’t let that statistic make you panic quite yet. Having the right tools in place, such as project management software that keeps the whole team organized and on task, is a critical driver in reducing the risk of failure and achieving that seemingly elusive startup success.  Curious? We’ve rounded up some of the fundamental reasons project management should matter to your startup, what to look for in project management software tools, and how to identify and implement the right project management software tool while keeping your (often tight) budget in mind.  Why should project management matter to startups? Effective project management is imperative to any business, no matter the size of the organization.  According to the latest Pulse of the Profession report by the Project Management Institute (PMI), 57% of respondents saw significant business changes in their operational efficiencies over the past year and another 49% experienced changes in the maturity of their project management.  That means that even if project management and efficiencies aren’t top of mind for you as your startup gets off the ground, they should make their way to the top of the list as your company grows. These aspects of a business are important to the success of project completion and business strategy.  Sure, a formalized project management tool and processes can seem unnecessary, rigid, and overly burdensome for the flexible, entrepreneurial startup culture. But the reality is that defining project management methodologies and implementing a software tool at the beginning will help your business thrive as it scales. Rest assured that flexibility can coexist alongside process and organization, and a project management software tool can help with the latter.  Project management for startups is more than planning, organizing, and executing projects from start to finish. There are several benefits of defined project management practices, specifically when it comes to running a startup.  1. Prioritize limited resources Startups have small teams and a spirit for collaboration, which breeds fluid job roles and responsibilities. A limited number of employees in flexible positions can make it challenging to figure out which tasks and projects rank higher than others — and who exactly is responsible for what.  Introducing project management processes and software in the early stages of a startup can help the team better prioritize their work. You have to make the most of your limited resources while executing on your vision and big goals, and project management for startups can help you do just that — without frustration and confusion.  2. Stay on top of deadlines No two days at a startup are the same. Priorities shift, the overall company vision may change, and innovation can lead to new products and services that weren’t even on your radar a couple of months ago. With so many moving parts, staying organized and sticking to a schedule (especially one that clients or customers are counting on) can fall by the wayside.  Project management practices help you monitor progress and ensure important deadlines aren’t missed. That structure provides some level of accountability and commitment within your teams — even if your overall culture is still relaxed and flexible.  3. Scale efficiently  Startup environments bring about a level of high-growth and constant change. Investing in project management early on will pay dividends when your startup begins to scale. Growth can be remarkable for the business but more challenging for employees if the proper processes and systems aren’t in place to support that evolution and expansion.  As you grow, you’ll likely have more goals to meet and projects to deliver, so it’s crucial to build a project management foundation that will allow you to meet these goals. Likewise, standardized processes make it significantly easier for new team members to get onboarded and acclimated as your team grows in size.  What features should you look for in startup project management software? There are hundreds of project management software tools out there to choose from. Some are more robust than others and focused on the demands of enterprise companies. Others are more simplistic and better suited for a nimble startup or small business.  Not sure what you should keep an eye out for? These are some of the key features you should look for in startup project management software, even if you start out on a plan that doesn’t offer all of these features right away: Team collaboration. As a startup, your team is your most valuable asset, and it’s crucial to foster a collaborative and team-focused environment. The ability to work on projects together simultaneously, break down project tasks, store associated project documents, and share team calendars are project management software components to keep an eye out for. Any functionality that allows your team to collaborate quickly and efficiently is a plus in choosing project management software. After all, that’s the whole point. Organized and streamlined processes. Real-time file sharing and collaboration make it easier and quicker to handle assigning tasks and see them through to completion. With streamlined processes and workflows, you can track project performance, quickly assign tasks and get an instant understanding of project and performance, rather than wasting time requesting frequent status updates. Document storing and sharing. As you build your startup and document processes, projects, and other aspects of the business along the way, you’ll want to ensure you can quickly locate and access documents and files. Using a project management software tool with document storing and sharing capabilities can help prevent you from losing critical information, especially if employees leave. All of your important documentation will be centralized and accessible rather than siloed. Resource management. Since you have limited resources (and you don’t want to burn your team out), you’ll need to make sure you’re balancing workloads as effectively as possible. Project management software tools with simple resource management capabilities can help you better understand the workload and available bandwidth across team members. When you identify a plate that’s too full (it happens!), you can simply reassign tasks to other available team members and keep your project moving forward. Time-tracking capabilities. Hassle-free time-tracking and the ability to distinguish between billable and nonbillable work can help you better understand where your team is spending their time. With this information readily available, you’ll have visibility that will allow you to plan better, boost revenue, and more accurately forecast — so you avoid over-promising and under-delivering. Real-time reporting. Agility and flexibility are common traits of nearly all startups, and making quick decisions is necessary when you’re working in an ever-changing landscape. Project management software tools with real-time reporting empower you to make more informed decisions at the drop of a hat. Maybe you’re pivoting the business’ direction or need to quickly gauge the current status of a project. No matter your need, a tool with real-time reporting can help you get the information you need so you can make decisions and act fast. Budget management. Every dollar counts, right? Managing projects always carries the risk of running over budget. Spend less time worrying about the bottom line by managing budgets directly within project management software. By keeping an eye on total spending, you can spot when your spending starts to creep up and adjust accordingly.  The level of complexity and customization you’ll need in a project management software tool depends on your business needs. The features listed above should help you dive in and get started, and grow your tool capabilities and usage as you go.  How can project management software for startups help save money? Isn’t project management software going to end up costing your startup more money? Well, technically, yes, depending on the software you choose.  But if we put the cost of the tool aside for a moment, the right project management software can actually help your startup save money too — making it more than worth the cost. Here’s how:  Organization inevitably leads to time savings, and time is money. Project management software will streamline processes and add another layer of organization to your business. To put it simply, this helps you and your team members save time. And with more time on your hands, you’ll be able to get more work done. Instead of hiring more people or scrambling for more resources because plates are too full, you can use project management software to help your current team better manage their time. Faster, smoother workflows equal more time saved and less money spent due to wasted hours and energy. Project management software can reduce training costs. As your business grows and you add more members to the team, you’ll need them to move quickly to ensure projects stay on track. Having all of your projects and information centralized within one system can reduce the learning curve for your new employees, allowing them to dive in and get their hands dirty right away.   Time tracking can save your business money. If you really want to be money-conscious, opt for software with time-tracking capabilities. How does time tracking save money? You’ll save your startup a few bucks by increasing productivity, eliminating inefficiencies, and will be able to manage billable hours more seamlessly. If your startup depends on any amount of billable work, accurate time-tracking is non-negotiable. Improved communication is a huge cost-savings. When hiccups in communication occur, you’re at risk of projects falling out of scope, missing deadlines, and wasting time and effort on work that doesn’t matter. Even further, communication issues could end with you owing money, discounts, or free products and services to your customers. One way to reduce communication issues is to build a solid internal communication channel to boost transparency and ensure your team is always on the same page. Consolidated interactions through a project management software tool can help you save money and keep your clients happy too.  How much is project management software for startups?  The price of project management software can run the gamut. There are a number of free options out there that may offer limited functionality. There are also a number of robust systems for enterprise corporations that may fall outside of your budget and current needs.  With so many different software options and feature capabilities, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind in terms of pricing. These include:  Desired features Fee structure Additional costs  Let’s talk about each of these in a bit more detail.  Desired features For starters, it’s helpful to know what types of features you’re looking for in your project management tool, so you have an idea of what types of plans to consider. Many project management software companies offer free versions of their tools with reduced functionality or a set number of users. These types of solutions may work when getting started, but if you choose a free option, you may want to explore upgraded feature capability in the future. Fee structure Another important aspect of the pricing model is whether you’ll be paying per user or a flat fee. You’ll also want to understand if you’re paying monthly or annual subscription fees. These pricing models play a key role in determining the overall budget available for your project management software and whether or not a tool fits within those restrictions. Additional costs Don’t forget to add in additional costs. Ask about implementation, training, and support fees and how each of those components is factored into pricing. Especially if the tool is new to you and your entire team, you’ll want to make sure you can offer some training led by the experts to help your team members get up and running successfully. While some basic support might be included in the price, determine whether you’ll need advanced support (and what that costs) — even if it’s only for a short period of time during the initial stages of implementation. With these considerations in mind, there’s a large pricing range for project management software for startups. As we mentioned, many service providers offer free plans with limited functionality or for a set number of users. Certain software programs may cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands per month depending on per-user or flat fee costs.  Wrike offers a mix of free and premium paid plans to help you meet your project management needs. With the free plan, you can invite unlimited users and all core elements of project management are included: file sharing, task management, real-time activity, and different views. You get 2 GB of storage space, basic integrations, and Cloud storage integrations. This is a great plan option if your startup team is just starting to dive into project management with the potential to upgrade later. Additionally, Wrike offers plan paid options, with increased functionality for larger teams and enterprises. What is the best project management tool for startups? The best project management tool for startups will vary depending on your specific needs, but Wrike is a great option for any startup who wants to lay an effective project management foundation — and then grow from there. Wrike offers many plans to choose from, which gives you the option to choose something more budget-friendly at the beginning and move on to a plan with more functionality and capabilities as your startup grows and needs more project management support.  We think Wrike is the best project management software for startups and offers the following features (and more) to help your startup succeed: Company-wide communication that eliminates silos and suits your business’ needs Better collaboration through file sharing, task management, and instant reporting capabilities  Increased visibility through customizable dashboards  Resource management functionality that promotes better-balanced workloads across the team  Flexibility to grow alongside your startup as it grows Templates to allow you to communicate and collaborate with ease 400+ app integrations so you can keep working with the tools you already know and love Remember that project management within your startup doesn’t have to be overly complex and burdensome. The right tool will allow you to make the smartest use of your limited resources, help you stay on top of deadlines to keep your customers and team happy, and give you the tools and processes needed to see projects through to success. Ready to take project management within your startup to the next level? Sign up for a free trial of Wrike and set your projects, team, and startup up for success.

The 5 Best Project Management Software Review Sites
Project Management 7 min read

The 5 Best Project Management Software Review Sites

So you’re on the hunt for a new project management software. We've done the legwork to narrow your search down to the top four review sites for project management software.

Top Tools & Software for Startups
Leadership 10 min read

Top Tools & Software for Startups

Discover the software for startups you need to grow your business. These handy tools for startups will help your organization maximize productivity and efficiency.

Project Management Software Guide for Freelancers
Project Management 7 min read

Project Management Software Guide for Freelancers

In the world of freelancing, every day is different. When you’re working on several projects with a number of clients at once, it can be easy to lose track of your notes and client information.  There are many responsibilities to juggle as a freelancer, such as client work and projects, contracts, invoices, emails, and other administrative tasks. How can you juggle all of these things (and more) without dropping a ball or two?  Project management tools can help you successfully manage your freelance business. With the right software in place, you can focus on the things that matter most, like staying organized and efficient, meeting deadlines, and delivering high-quality work for your clients. Benefits of project management tools for freelancers Why should you use project management tools as a freelancer? The right software offers a number of advantages, including: Automated organization: Working with many clients is hard. You’ll quickly lose important information if you don't have a system for managing and storing it in a way that’s quickly accessible and makes sense to you. Streamlined workflows: If you’ve ever walked through an overly complicated process, you know just how valuable streamlined workflows can be. Not only do they save you time, allow you to work more efficiently, and eliminate unnecessary work, developing solid processes can also make you look impressive to your clients. More manageable workload: With freelance project management software, you don't miss the forest for the trees and can see everything you're working on, rather than individual projects for one client at a time. Having a bird’s-eye view of your workload can allow you to better forecast availability and will give you insight into whether you need to clear your plate. Boosted earnings: Time is money, and project management software can save you time. Your earnings depend on your ability to get your work done and send high-quality deliverables to your clients. When you save time, you’re creating the opportunity to earn more. More consistency: If you present your own processes and tools to your clients, it can prevent you from having to work in their tools. With your project management software in place, you can onboard clients the way you want to, often without having to learn the ins and outs of a brand new, unfamiliar system.   Features to look for in project management software for freelancers Project management for freelancers can look different from more traditional team-centric project management. Your freelance project management software needs to work best for you as the primary user.  What should you look for in a project management software tool for your freelance business? Add these items to your must-have list:  Collaboration and client access capabilities. One of the main benefits of using a project management app for freelancers is that you can centralize information and avoid bouncing between your inbox and other tools. To maximize this benefit, look for a tool that allows you to grant access to your clients so they can quickly and easily access shared documents and information on their end. Integrations with tools you’re already using in your business. What’s the second-best way to reduce the number of tools and software programs you’re using? Making sure they can integrate for ease of use across multiple products. Consider looking for a tool that will integrate with your email platform, instant messaging tools, and any other products you can’t live without. Different views. Maybe you want to see your entire workload at once using a calendar view, or perhaps you’re diving into a project in greater detail and prefer to use a Gantt chart for this one. Having the ability to change your view based on your needs can allow you to work quicker and digest the information you need in a way that resonates with you best. Time-tracking capabilities. If you aren’t integrating a time-tracking tool you’re already using, it’s beneficial to look for a tool that comes with a time tracker so you can keep an eye on how you’re spending your time. This tool will particularly come in handy if you’re charging hourly rates. But even if not, you need to get a handle on your time as a freelancer so you can get the best bang for your buck. How to organize your freelance projects with Wrike Wrike makes it easy to organize and manage all of your freelance projects and clients.  It’s as simple as creating projects for every client or assignment you take on and then adding necessary tasks and due dates to keep yourself on track. Once you have those building blocks, these other features can help you level up your freelance business:  Set up projects using client project templates and best practices. This pre-built professional services template allows you to plan projects from initiation through closeout, mapping tasks across an interactive timeline. Integrate your current tools. Wrike integrates with 400+ tools which means you don’t have to leave the current apps you love in the dust. Instead, you can integrate your favorite tools with Wrike and boost your productivity at the same time. Track and manage your time for each project. Increase visibility into how you’re spending your time so you can streamline your forecasting, communicate hours remaining to clients, or sync your tracked time to financial systems for easy invoicing purposes. Use the “my to-do” smart folder to manage your daily to-do list. Centralize your to-dos in one place. This list will contain all tasks and subtasks assigned to you and tasks that you manually add. It’s the perfect place to capture those sudden midday thoughts when you remember you forgot to respond to an email or need to finalize a deliverable by the end of the week.  Why is Wrike the best project management tool for freelancers?  With a robust feature list to meet your business needs, time tracking functionality, and an unrivaled integration list, Wrike is the best project management software for freelancers who want to get more done in less time.   Time is money when you’re a freelancer, so don’t waste any more of it. Dive in and boost your productivity by signing up for a free trial of Wrike today.

Why (and How) a Small Business Chooses Project Management Software
Project Management 5 min read

Why (and How) a Small Business Chooses Project Management Software

Small business owners do it all: juggle responsibilities, shift roles without a hitch, and stretch every dollar to do more with less, all while keeping their heads above water and their businesses afloat. It's not surprising then that more and more small businesses are turning to project management tools to become more competitive, efficient, and profitable. What are the top PM Tool features small business owners look for, and how do they choose from the pack?  A recent report by project management technology review firm Software Advice records survey responses from hundreds of small business owners: Why Small Businesses Turn to Project Management Tools Outgrowing old methods: 46% of survey respondents monitor tasks and projects manually. Yep, almost half of small business owners are tracking everything by hand: either through email, spreadsheets, or pen and paper, and they've realized they need a more sophisticated tool. With manual methods there's always the risk of human error, and even applications like Excel lack clear visibility across multiple projects and workers. Outsourcing: Small businesses are relying more and more on remote teams, contract workers and freelancers to contribute key skills and services with limited overhead costs. They need to be able to connect with their teams and manage work that's not being done in a central office, and that means one tool that everyone can use and access, no matter where they're located. Organization: 41% of business owners say they turned to a project management system to improve efficiency and accuracy. Without a central workspace, documents are easily misplaced, communication is scattered or inconsistent, and teams resort to guesswork when it comes to responsibilities and work progress. Quality suffers and tasks take longer than necessary as teams scramble to coordinate efforts and stay on point. What Small Business Owners Want in Project Management Solutions Small business owners look for tools that help them streamline processes, use limited resources efficiently, and ensure that every project they take on is profitable. They want a quick, easy solution that will get them up and running ASAP. Here's what's at the top of their wish-list: Cloud Services: All buyers who stated a preference wanted a cloud-based application over onsite software installation. Small business owners want quick solutions they can start using in a snap. With cloud services, they can sign up on a website and get started right away, without the expense and delay of onsite configuration. And with the rise in outsourcing and reliance on remote freelancers, cloud services allow virtual teams to log in and access a central workspace from anywhere, on any platform or device, any time they’re connected to the internet. Multi-Functional: 88% of survey respondents prefer software that incorporates several features over stand-alone tools. Almost all of them admitted having trouble tracking multiple projects across a handful of applications. Organizing all projects into one system makes it much easier to track progress across projects and team members — and create accurate reports. Time-Tracking: It’s the #1 requested single feature in a project management tool. Time is money, and seeing where every minute goes helps small business owners simplify processes and improve efficiency. After all, doing more with less means a higher profit margin in project management. Time logs also help with planning, since managers can look at past projects to accurately predict how long certain tasks will take, estimate the number of billable hours, and determine whether a project will be profitable. Do you own a small business, or work as a freelancer? How do you juggle your responsibilities, manage your team, and track all your work? We want to hear your top tips in the comments section below!

Free Project Management Software Guide 2021
Project Management 10 min read

Free Project Management Software Guide 2021

What is the best free project management software in 2021? Discover everything you need to know about free project management software with our guide.

Project Management Software to Cope with Problems at Work
News 3 min read

Project Management Software to Cope with Problems at Work

James Wilson, a producer from VegasBuzzz.com, made a great video, telling how Wrike helps him to run his online news business. The video was submitted to be a part of an intriguing Business@Work project started by Business Week. The project is in fact a discussion of how Business Week readers try to cope with problems they face at work. James suggested Wrike as an excellent solution for managing your time and boosting productivity. Thank you, James! We appreciate your recognition. You and many of our other customers give us inspiration for making Wrike the most practical project management software. Let us know if there are examples of Wrike customers being enthusiastic about our project management tool or software specs template, and we will write about them in this blog.  

Work From Anywhere with Wrike's Enhanced Mobile App
News 5 min read

Work From Anywhere with Wrike's Enhanced Mobile App

We’re excited to announce added capabilities to both Wrike for Androd and iOS! Working on the go is now easier than ever with the following updates to Wrike’s mobile app.