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Which Project Management Tool Suits You Best?

Disclaimer: This article is written based on our personal research and experience. The writings on this article are not associated with any companies mentioned and it is not a representative of any of the companies’ capabilities.

By Aloysius Brahmarsi, Amanda Kartikasari and Nayla Saffiere

The challenges of working remotely

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered the normalisation of remote working, hence changed the way we manage works and interact with colleagues. It is no secret that remote working often leads to burn out due to overwhelming tasks and unmanageable deadlines. The good news is, it can be tackled by using a project management tool. If you are not familiar with the phrase, you are not alone. It is an underrated yet beneficial for your work-life balance, especially if you work remotely.

“But how?” we hear you asking. We conducted a little survey for you, collected 50 respondents from various backgrounds, company types, job functions, and team size, who are already familiar with using project management tools. Let’s hear what they say to find out which tool serves your needs best. Talk about bringing your work’s quality to the next level!

The most comfortable tool

The most mentioned tools are Trello, Jira, Asana, Clickup and Monday. 48% of respondents are most comfortable using Trello as their main project tracking platform, arguably due to its straightforward user experience. Its differentiating point is the seamless drag and drop mechanism adopting Kanban Method, making task completion easier (and may we say fun?) than ever. Another powerful benefit that Trello gives (in the free plan!) is the unlimited number of users to collaborate on your board.

The second most popular tool voted by 26% of respondents is Jira, with its story points counter and comprehensive reporting feature that allows you to estimate the workload amount of each of your team members and create a personalised report, namely Sprint Report, Burndown Chart, Velocity Chart, and others. Our personal experience suggests that Jira is suitable for tech and product teams due to its ability to support scrum artifacts that no other tools can do.

The effect of team roles and size

As much as we believe that all tools were made to serve one purpose: to solve user’s problems, we also believe that there is no single tool that fits them all. Our survey’s respondents came from different backgrounds but the majority of them work in tech, marketing, and product.

Are you from marketing field? 64% of your fellow marketers in our survey prefer Trello compared to other platforms. As per our guess, nothing beats the simplicity and zero investment that it requires.

Meanwhile, both tech teams and product managers gave well-distributed votes for Trello and Jira as their favoured project management tool. We inferred this equal vote count was due to the typically similar nature of both functions. They typically are required to work hand-in-hand with other teams on a daily basis and act fast especially when addressing features, functionalities, or other major issues. Project management tools such as Trello and Jira help them not only to track tasks but also to prepare upcoming backlogs for further development, hence become a vital part in their intense needs of communication and collaboration.

Furthermore, we analysed the team size as one of the consideration factors when choosing the right project management tool. We categorised it into three groups: small-sized team (< 5 members), medium-sized team (6-15 members), and large-sized team (> 15 members).

Our survey indicates that small to medium-sized teams preferred Trello, while large-sized teams preferred Jira. Based on our own observation, Jira is capable to cater complex works within large teams with its Roadmap feature, which gives a holistic view of ongoing tasks, thus allows the teams to manage big scale, long-term projects.

The considerations in choosing the right platform

Regarding "why” did the respondents feel the need of using a project management tool, 66% testified that it helps them to track tasks and projects better. Interestingly, 17% only uses this tool because it was required by their companies and 9% said that it helps them to communicate in teamwork. Could this mean that nowadays’ companies are now more aware that the traditional (or manual) way of finishing projects has no longer effective? Project management tool does help them to work in agile process by setting milestones and making rooms for iterations, eventually prevent work overloads and missing deadlines.

We deep-dived on a more personal point of view and found that the vast majority of respondents mainly considers the available features and good user interface and user experience (UI/UX), higher than other factors such as pricing, reporting function, and integration with other platforms.

We saw that feature might be an interchangeable factor. We observed the tools to prove our hypothesis and found that the Kanban Method as Trello’s unique selling point is also used by Jira, while Asana’s special tasks feature also present in Clickup. However, based on our survey, Asana wins 40% of the respondents’ choice for its feature.

The key differentiating feature of Asana is “My Tasks,” as shown on the home page dashboard. This feature gives a holistic view of all pending to completed tasks, including the person assigned to the tasks. What we personally like is that it allows us to see the list of tasks in a calendar view. The benefit of this feature is it lets us double-check everything in an intuitive and straight-forward manner before finishing a project.

Yet, the stronger consideration factor from our survey is a good UI/UX, supported by the fact that a good user interface and smooth user experience reduces the time spent for learning to navigate the tool. One of the main purposes of these tools is to let users finish their tasks faster, after all. Who has successfully served this purpose, then? Monday, Jira and Trello, who got 40%, 36%, and 28% of votes from respondents for good UI/UX, respectively.

The conclusion

Our key takeaway is, since we live in a fast-paced environment where rapid changes are now part of our every day’s lives, project management tool does contribute in increasing productivity. If you are to let one project management tools to transform the way you work, which tool would you use? Our suggestion is to choose one that specifically fulfills your team’s needs.

“Progression is impossible when decide to play

by the same rules in a different game”

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