Project Management Tools
Project Management Tools

We know that all projects are different. Some are simple with one or two members working on it while others are complex with many members working on it.  Only well planned and properly managed projects are successful.

A project manager needs to track the work of each member and work jointly with the team to see that everything is working smoothly. Here a project management tool comes to your rescue to make organizing projects simpler.

But how do you choose which tool is perfect for you? There is no perfect tool as such; the best tool depends on the workflow and personal preference on how you would like to organize your tasks.

Let’s look at two Project Management tools that are widely used:

1. Trello:

Trello helps to track tasks and projects as they move through various stages of software development. This tool uses Kanban board that represents all projects and this board contains cards that show lists of tasks. Users are assigned to cards that contain their tasks.

Trello provides an excellent feature to sort your assigned cards by a board or due date.

  1. Sorting your cards by board allows you to see all the cards assigned to you at a glance from all the projects.
  2. If your work is tightly scheduled or if your ‘To Do’ list is growing long and you are worried about losing track of the deadline then viewing your cards based on due date is best for you. This will automatically sort the cards and bring up the cards that are overdue, followed by cards with upcoming deadlines. Following this, all the cards that are done and then all of your cards without due dates are viewed.

You can update your list by dragging your cards from ‘To Do’ column and dropping it in the ‘Doing’ column and then finally in the ‘Done’ column once the task is over.  These cards can also be used for communication about any specific task. Cards can hold comments from other team members, attachments and due dates that are automatically synced with the calendar.

Trello is a good project management tool. But at times when the number of cards increases, the board becomes crowded. Also, it is missing an important time tracking feature; there is no way to see how much time a person has spent on any given task.

2. TFS (Team Management Tools):

Like Trello, TFS also allows you to manage different projects. Every project has milestones and all the tasks in the milestone need to be completed before one moves to the next milestone.

TFS allows you to define iterations with start and end days. These iterations contain single or multiple milestones.  The next step is to add the product backlog. A number of tasks need to be done to complete a backlog, therefore, backlogs are divided into tasks. Each task is assigned to team members and their effort is calculated. This product backlog is assigned to iteration by just dragging and dropping in an appropriate iteration.

All this makes it easy for team members to know their tasks within each iteration. Secondly, it also helps the manager to know whether his team is on track or not. TFS also has Kanban board that depicts what each team member is working on, what they have finished and what is left to do.

TFS gives you an awesome facility to track bugs. If you find a bug while testing the application then you can add this bug in TFS. While adding the bug, you can set its severity. In the description you can write the steps to reproduce the bug and also screenshots can be attached along with the bug. TFS allows you to link a bug to the work item which helps you to keep track of how many bugs were found in a particular work item.

All the project management tools have some pros and cons but it is up to you to use a tool that suits your need and preference.

Dixita Dessai

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