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Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: March 8, 2017


Task management software is a type of project management software that allows users to manage, share and track project tasks. This guide will help prospective buyers in the market for a new task management solution understand this type of software and make a more informed purchase decision.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Task Management Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Common Functionality
Key Benefits of Task Management Software
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Task Management Software?

Task management software tends to have fewer features than standard project management platforms. That’s because it is intended to be used by entire teams, not just by managers or “power users.” The focus of task management tools is strictly execution-oriented, centered on organizing and managing tasks. Thus, these solutions tend to be limited when it comes to budgeting or cost-estimating capabilities.

Task management solutions are used by individuals or a groups to collaborate with each other and accomplish shared goals. Various aspects of a task, such as the status, timelines, priority, update notifications and resource allocation, are handled by the software. It automates tasks and enables team members to plan and schedule multiple tasks according to the set deadlines.

asana to-do list

To-do list in Asana

What Type of Buyer Are You?

While most task management systems can generally be used in a variety of different workplaces, some systems are better suited to particular industries. For example, a software firm will likely want task management software that is optimized for an agile development methodology, such as Trello, while a construction firm will likely need an industry-specific system that offers greater project management functionality.

Also, the size of your organization and team plays an important role when selecting the right task management solution. Here are the few features you should consider depending on your buyer type:

Freelancer: These individuals use a task management solution to boost their productivity and ensure that deadlines are not missed. Key features, such as notifications, to-do-lists and mobile support, are essential for them. They generally don’t require more sophisticated features, such as document version management, collaboration and file rights management.

SMBs: These organizations need a task management solution to manage a project and make sure that everyone is assigned responsibilities. Collaboration is their key requirement. Since multiple people often work on a single project, they need a collaborative workspace where team members can communicate and share files with each other in real time.

Common Functionalities of Task Management Software

Here are some tools you can find in most task management applications:

To-do lists. Every task management application will offer to-do lists in some form. These display the tasks that need to be completed by an individual or by a team and are typically organized by project.

Audit trails. Many task management tools feature audit trails, which allow users to see a task’s entire history and any modifications that have been made to it.

Mobile support. Most task management systems offer mobile support for smart devices—typically in the form of an app that syncs a user’s information and tasks to their device.

Integrations. Some task management applications can integrate with email clients, such as Gmail or Microsoft Outlook, or cloud storage services, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Document control. Some task management solutions allow users to share documents directly through the application.

File sync and sharing. Some task management solutions offer version management and control features that provides access to the latest versions of documents. Also, past versions of documents are stored for future reference or to handle accidental data modification.

Task planning and scheduling. Task management solutions enable people to create team projects and assign them the responsibility for task completion within the stipulated timeline.

Notifications. Automatic notifications are sent to individuals or a team as soon as something happens. They can be about task completion, deletion or new feature of the tool. Also, these notifications can be customized with various options and triggers.

Producteev’s dashboard (showing to-do list and task)

Key Benefits of Task Management Software

Improved employee productivity: Task management software clearly assign duties and responsibilities of a task to all the team members along with a deadline. This enables employees to focus on their tasks and ensure that they’re completed on time. It also helps with task and time tracking, which allows team managers to know the exact task status at any given point.

Satisfied customers: Users can allow customers to access their task management solution to enable clear communication between them. Also, you can control the access to some features and offer customers as much visibility about the project as is mandated. This feature also ensures that customers and project managers are at the same level of awareness and lets them resolve issues in real time.

Simplified project management: The tool enables task managers to create subtasks within tasks by simply adding a checklist feature. This feature helps them easily manage their task and strike off each subtask upon completion. Also, filters allow them to view the status of multiple tasks based on the people, status, project, due date and priority.

Market Trends to Understand

Scalability: Most task management tools are priced under a monthly subscription based on the number of users who will need to access the system. If you expect your team to grow significantly in the near term, you should consider how much more the software could cost.

Open-source solution: There are also many free or open-source task management applications. While these can be a good solution for smaller teams, it is important to keep in mind that such software often offers no guarantee of support or regular updates. There can also be security concerns with free or open-source task management applications—something to consider if your team is sharing sensitive files.

Flexibility: With organizations operating across multiple geographies, it becomes necessary that people can access the solution anytime and from anywhere. The solution should also offer standard user functions across all devices including tablets, smartphones, desktops and laptops. They should be able to receive SMS and email notifications about pending tasks or about approaching deadline.

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