Project Management Guide
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What Are Project Management Tools?

Project management tools are specially designed to assist an individual or team in organizing and managing their projects and tasks effectively. The term PM tools usually refers to project management software and project management tools you can either purchase or even use for free online.

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Project management tools overview

Despite the name, project management tools are not just for project managers. Project management tools can be customized to fit the needs of teams of different sizes and with different goals.

What are some project planning tool features?

Project management tools can include the following features:

  • Planning/scheduling: PM tools allow you to plan and delegate work in one place with tasks, subtasks, folders, templates, workflows, and calendars.
  • Collaboration: Email should not be your only form of communication — with project management tools, you can build a better way of working with your team: assign tasks, add comments, organize dashboards, and proof or approve changes.
  • Documentation: Avoid missing or outdated files with file management features that allow for editing, versioning, and storing files.
  • Evaluation: Track and assess productivity and growth through resource management and reporting.

What are program management tools?

A program management tool is similar to a project management tool, save for a few key differences. Before we consider the comparisons of project management software and tools, let’s first compare programs and projects.

Projects typically have clear start and end dates, with short-term goals that lead to tangible outcomes or deliverables. Constraints such as cost, resources, budget, and time all factor into a project’s feasibility. Meanwhile, programs are composed of several interconnected projects that, when combined, achieve a long-term business objective. Project managers oversee individual projects, and program managers supervise groups of projects, focusing on a larger goal.

Program management tools need advanced features to track projects at a higher level and see how each project interacts with the other. These tools can include:

  • Flexible work views
  • Cross-functional resource management
  • Dashboards
  • Reporting
  • Gantt charts
  • Timesheets

So, to recap our project management software comparison: Project planning tools help you organize individual projects, while program management tools track several interacting projects that work toward a larger, long-term business goal.

What is the best project management tool?

Now that you understand the purpose of project management tools and software, you may be wondering: What is the best project management tool? While there are many solutions on the market, the best project management tool for your organization will depend on a few factors:

  • Number of users: How many people will be using the project management platform? 
  • Pricing structure: Can you try the tool first? Is there a free option for smaller teams? 
  • Key features required: Does the software provide solutions to your pain points?
  • Scalability: Can it evolve alongside your project management needs?
  • Ease of use: Is the project management app easy to implement? Will people be able to use it?

Answering these questions will help you narrow down your options to find the best project management tool for your business.

Best project management tools for marketing teams

Marketing teams juggle lots of different tasks, from approving assets to compiling reports on campaign performance. Implementing project management software that can keep up with their unique needs will help make their jobs much easier.

The best project management tools for marketing teams offer the following features: 

  • 360-degree visibility into projects and tasks, so you always have the latest updates
  • Dynamic reports, so you can access the information you need quickly
  • Real-time proofing and approvals to cut down lengthy review cycles
  • Integration with all your favorite tools, from DAM to instant messaging apps

The right project management tool will clear the way for your marketing team, allowing them to focus on creating high-performing campaigns.

Marketing agency project management tools

Marketing agencies and in-house marketing teams have the same aim: to produce amazing campaigns. However, marketing agencies need tools that can help them manage clients and the tricky process of billing and invoicing. 

Marketing agency project management tools should include the following features:

  • Real-time updates, so clients and stakeholders can monitor progress with ease
  • Resource management, so you can maximize billable work
  • Time tracking for precise invoicing
  • Request forms to streamline work intake

Wrike offers all these features and more. Whether you’re an agency or an in-house team, you can unify your marketing processes in a single digital hub where you can streamline communication, share information, and get performance insights at a glance. See for yourself with a two-week free trial.

Check out our video on project management tools below for more information:

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Further reading
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The Ultimate Guide to Using Project Planning Tools

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Try Wrike's Powerful Project Management Software

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A Guide to Project Management Software for Small Businesses

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Common Project Management Issues You Can Solve With the Right Tools