Project Management Guide
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What Are Project Management Tools?

If you're wondering, "What are project management tools?" you were smart to come to a project management software for answers. Project management tools assist an individual or team in organizing and managing their projects and tasks effectively. The term usually refers to project management software you can purchase online or even use for free.

Project management tool 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 management tool features?

Project management tools can include the following features:

  • Planning/scheduling: Project management 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  • Documentation: Avoid missing or outdated files with file management features that allow for editing, versioning, and storing files.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 talk about how the tools differ, let’s 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: project management tools help you organize individual projects, while program management tools track several interacting projects that work toward a larger, long-term business goal.

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

Video preview