Task Management Software | 11 mins read

Everything You Need to Know About Task Management Software

everything you need to know about task management software
Dakota Sheetz

By Dakota Sheetz

Task management software optimizes the organization, prioritization, delegation, and tracking of a business's tasks.

What is Task Management?

Task management is a comprehensive system of identifying, tracking and completing work. Task management includes tracking task progress from start to completion, setting deadlines, and delegating duties to team members. Management software ensures projects run as smoothly as possible, by breaking up projects into detailed tasks, and sub-tasks.

Importance of Properly Managing Your Tasks

Implementation of an appropriate task management system will redirect employee labor to its most productive usage. Mindful team task management will produce higher work quality and decrease human error.

Task management tools help professionals spend an ideal amount of time on each task and holds them accountable for task completion.

Failure to implement a task management system may lead to missed deadlines, unnecessary stress, and project failure. When business owners and their workers are overextended or burnt out, they are less able to produce quality work or provide a positive experience for customers or clients.

The Benefits of Proper Task Management

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Key benefits of utilizing task management include-

  • Optimized productivity- Idealize productivity by implementing a task management system. Spending the appropriate amount of time on each task will result in more task completion
  • Increased efficiency- Improvement in productivity will symbiotically increase business efficiency. Leaving staff with more time to focus on promoting sales or obtaining new clients
  • Reduced stress- Task management tools reduce unnecessary stress, burnout, and unproductive multitasking
  • Improved customer satisfaction- Make customers happier by providing an organized storefront staffed with efficient and productive employees
  • Trend Analysis- Task management systems provide easily accessible statistics to assist in determining what areas need attention or improvement. Once aware of trends, staff may develop an appropriate and responsive business strategy

Tips for Proper Task Management

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Although developing a proper task management system can be intimidating, it is very much worth the effort. Below are tips to assist in the process-

1. Establish goals-

  • Designate clear, reachable objectives
  • Divide goals into short and long-term categories
  • Adopt the SMART goals system (Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to discern if goals are SMART. Ensure objectives meet the definition criteria of every word represented in the acronym
  • Only work on tasks that directly contribute to reaching your business's established short and long-term goals

2. Plan ahead-
  • Dedicate 5-10 minutes before work for planning your day. Select one of the following planning options based on schedule compatibility-
  • The night before- At the close of the workday, dedicate 15 minutes to clearing your work area and composing a list of the most urgent objectives for the following day. Not only is this a great decompression technique, but you will feel more focused when arriving in an organized space the next day
  • First thing in the morning- Get to your workspace a few minutes earlier to compile a prioritized to-do list, following the same above guidelines
  • Focus on one task at a time, multitasking or frantically jumping from one task to the next may result in completing nothing
  • Always search for ways to work smarter, not harder

3. Prioritize tasks-
  • Categorize your to-do list by task urgency
  • Cross out tasks and subtasks on your to-do list as they are completed in order to sustain organization and accountability. Additionally, this process provides a sense of accomplishment and motivation as you cross off the entries on your to-do list
  • Tackle less essential tasks in a timely fashion but only after priority tasks

Consider Stephen Covey's categorical criterium when creating your to-do list-
  • Important and urgent- Top priority tasks and subtasks necessitating immediate attention and action. Complete these most important and urgent tasks first, before moving on to less time-sensitive tasks
  • Important but not urgent- Tasks and subtasks that appear important superficially but upon closer examination can be postponed to a later time
  • Urgent but not important- Tasks and subtasks that continually demand attention and action but have little or no lasting value once completed. Delegate urgent but not important tasks whenever possible
  • Not urgent and not important- Lowest priority tasks and subtasks that offer only the illusion of busyness. Address these tasks last and only when time permits

4. Mitigate distractions-
  • Pay attention to both self-induced and outside interruptions
  • Especially pay attention to social media usage while on the clock. Although smartphones are extremely important technological advances, smart devices can also be highly-addictive time wasters. Over 36% of millennials and Gen Z report spending 2 hours or more on their smartphones during their workday
  • Turn off your phone and shut office door when appropriate in order to maximize efficiency
  • Designate a specific time in the workday for social activities ranging from catching up on emails to checking in with staff

5. Decline unproductive requests-
  • Do not be afraid to firmly but politely say no to ideas or requests when appropriate
  • Abandon tasks that are not working towards your business's short or long-term goals
  • Learn from experience to avoid wasting time later
  • Remember, any task that diverts you from your goals is damaging your bottom line

6. Track time-
  • Time tracking helps gauge the approximate time a single task takes
  • Use a simple timesheet tracker to effortlessly clock in and out of various tasks and projects with just one click
  • Engage with smart device software technology including mobile and desktop tracking to improve efficiency, ease of usage, and accessibility
  • Generate detailed real-time reports to analyze improvement and growth

7. Be flexible and patient-
  • Deadlines will not always be met and processes may not always go as planned. Only 37% of teams report they complete projects by their deadlines more often than not
  • Practice patience, flexibility, and understanding to decrease everyone's stress level
  • Encourage adaptivity for your business to improve both work satisfaction and your business's overall bottom line

Effects of Improper Task Management

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Insufficient planning is the leading cause of project failure. Additional consequences of poor planning include-

  1. Insufficient time management- Lack of deadlines breeds unproductively among staff members, bringing down your entire business's bottom line. Work produced may be of poor quality if it is even completed.
  2. Unclear definitions of objectives- Without clearly outlined objectives, employees will not understand how and why they should be working on a task. Without task instructions, staff members are unaware of what is expected of them performance-wise. Productivity and output will suffer as a result, potentially leading to project failure.
  3. Undefined Budget- An undefined budget does not properly address how funds should be utilized. Not setting a budget may result in misused or wasted funds, if the project is completed it may cost much more than it needed to. An objective may also be delayed or even failed because of lack of sufficient budgeting.
  4. Unhappy customers and clients- Clients and customers may be dissatisfied with your product or service. As a result, they may not frequent your business in the future. Poor planning will harm your business's ability to establish good relations with current and potential customers.
  5. Increased exposures to high risks and problems- Improper planning increases the likelihood of unforeseen risks and problems. Avoid wasting time on solving issues that will arise from poor planning. Employing the SMART method when creating goals and your task list will mitigate the likelihood of your business embarking on a risky venture.

What is Task Management Software?

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Task management software is a technological system that streamlines projects and increases overall efficiency. This software includes features that prioritize tasks, delegate projects, manage time, and meet deadlines.

Features that task management software allows users to include abilities such as-

  • Organizing tasks
  • Risk management
  • Resource scheduling
  • Resource management
  • Document management
  • Time and expense tracking
  • Multiple task management
  • Analysis and data report compilation
  • Recurring tasks scheduling
  • Notifications and alerts
  • Projected time estimations
  • Remote accessibility
  • File sharing
  • Expense management
  • Agile project management

Key Benefits of Using Task Management Software

  • Streamlining tasks- Save time, meet deadlines, delegate and track tasks in order to stay on schedule and increase efficiency
  • Prioritize projects- By tracking tasks, employees can discern which objectives are more important and which may require additional time and effort
  • Promote collaboration- Easily share ideas and feedback with the rest of your team, report back to team managers, increase the efficiency of staff communication, and decrease unnecessary and counterproductive workplace conflicts
  • Increase employee accountability- 82% of people report limited to no ability to successfully hold others accountable, while 91% of employees rank accountability highly on a list of their business's development needs. The right software can greatly improve employee accountability through deadlines and clear instructions

How to Find the Right Software for Your Business

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Proper task management software must-

  1. Allow swift and easy task creation, editing, and delegation. Tasks should only take a few moments to access or edit, and users should be able to delegate tasks to anyone on their team
  2. Allow task monitoring and audit creations for all employees. Users may view real-time task progress and completed timestamped tasks
  3. Allow remote accessibility on all device types including on a web server, mobile device, or via email, at any time, from any location that has internet access. In addition, task management systems should provide users with the ability to view or mark tasks complete digitally

When purchasing a software system, consider the following-
  1. Assess- Start with a comprehensive and transparent assessment of why your business necessitates a project management solution. Begin brainstorming by outlining needs and current problems facing efficiency.

    Follow this by examining existing business processes to analyze pain points. When you know what your business needs most, choosing the proper project management software for your business will be much less daunting

  2. Research- Don't purchase project management software that does not fit your business. After defining your business needs, research system features, and read reviews online. Reach out to your network and team members to inquire about what software programs they have found most efficient

  3. Foresee- Consider potential implementation barriers, ranging from employee resistance to data migration, and plan to mitigate them. Listen to and engage with concerns of all staff members before choosing and purchasing software. Identify and prepare for each potential barrier on your list

  4. Quantify- Find a balance between costs and capabilities. Focus on the features your business needs or will benefit from while also taking into consideration near-future needs. Do not fixate on shiny new features and risk purchasing a software program with important feature gaps.

    Purchasing the wrong software for your business may end up costing a lot in the long run. View the purchase of project management as an investment in your business instead of a financial expense

  5. Test- Take advantage of free software trials. Try out every software on your list, employing realistic project scenarios to see if the software's task management tools fit your business's requirements. Request feedback on collaborative features and carefully consider team's tasks needs in your decision making process.

    Additionally, test out the customer service and vendor responsiveness. Do not hesitate to ask the software support team for help and get all your questions answered. Testing out a multitude of free trials will help your business confidently invest in a system that fits your organizational culture, needs, and business techniques

  6. Collaborate- Shift a controlling work culture to a more collaborative one through the proper management tools. With collaborative features, employees and customers can proactively understand and participate in team projects. Find the optimal balance between the level of control and collaborative features that the software provides

  7. Implement- Run through your software implementation plan to ensure it is as smooth as possible, considering implementation timelines. Decide whether management tools will be slowly phased in or installed company-wide and all at once. Establish a sufficient onboarding procedure that ensures both accessibility and compatibility

Business owners and project managers should encourage all employees to reach out for assistance and support whenever it is needed. Remember, any software system will be useless if your employees are not comfortable with navigating or utilizing it. With careful consideration and smooth implementation, an appropriate task management system will save both employee time and business resources

Key Takeaways

  • Task management optimizes productivity, increases efficiency, reduces stress, and improves customer satisfaction and trend analysis
  • Task management software optimizes the organization, prioritization, delegation, and tracking of a business's tasks
  • Aspects that help task management include- goal establishment, planning ahead, prioritizing tasks, mitigating distractions, declining unproductive requests, tracking time, and being flexible and patient
  • Improper task management may lead to insufficient time management, unclear definitions of objectives, undefined budgets, unhappy customers and clients, and increased exposure to high risk and problematic projects or tasks
  • Proper management software can streamline tasks, prioritize projects, promote collaboration, and increase employee accountability
  • Assess business needs, research products, foresee implementation barriers, quantify costs versus capabilities, test with a trial run, collaborate with all staff, and run through the implementation plan preemptively in order to make an informed software purchase decision
  • Business professionals utilize task management software in order to streamline daily tasks and maximize bottom-line profits and productivity