Ever wondered why we fail at keeping our new year resolutions? It’s because we overestimate ourselves. So, we make grand declarations about wanting to achieve something overnight but we rarely estimate the time we’d need or create a step-by-step process to achieve the end goal.
It is much the same with project management. It is so easy for projects to fail and cause losses if goals are not clearly defined, big projects aren’t broken into smaller subtasks, and progress isn’t measured or tracked properly. Poor collaboration can also pose a great challenge and lead to project failure, especially in a remote working environment or during remote project management.
One of the efficient ways to mitigate all these problems is to use the SMART project management technique. That means ensuring projects are:
Specific: Have targeted goals, focusing on core strengths
Measurable: Quantifiable and measurable progress
Attainable: Have realistic goals
Relevant: Have goals aligned to overall business objectives
Time-bound: Deadline driven with a defined endpoint
If you’re wondering how to do all of this and ensure collaboration within your team, the answer is simple: Invest in technology that supports collaboration and enables SMART project management.
We’ve compiled a list of five popular collaboration apps for SMART project management. Why do we call them “popular”? Because all of these tools rank high on Google search and have the functionality to support collaboration and project and task tracking. They also have at least 4.4 overall ratings and 500+ reviews on GetApp. Read the full selection methodology at the bottom of the article.
The applications are listed alphabetically.
Airtable is a web-based collaboration tool. It offers a collaborative workspace and supports file management, project planning, project tracking, task planning, task scheduling, and time and task reporting.
Airtable helps to automate tasks, allowing you and your team to focus on important, strategic work instead of redundant and repetitive tasks. The tool also provides you with premade project templates with customizable tasks, subtasks, and budget estimates. These project templates can save you time and make it easier to manage projects as you don’t have to create workflows from scratch.
You can also visualize project workflows in different ways using Kanban board view, calendar view, or grid view. All you need is to group project elements together in the way you prefer. You can share these visualizations with others in your team so that everyone is updated about project status.
Airtable’s free plan includes real-time collaboration and commenting capabilities; project views in grid, gallery, calendar, or list format; 100 workflow automations; self-service knowledge base; and email support.
Airtable’s paid version starts at $10 per user, per month (billed annually). In addition to the features offered with the free plan, it includes 5,000 workflow automations and 5 GB attachment space per base. (A base is a collection of related tables reflecting a single project, process, or workflow.)
Asana is a cloud-based solution that offers team collaboration and communication features for project and task creation, task prioritization, goal and milestone tracking, task assignment, status reporting, and more.
Asana allows you to break projects into smaller tasks for SMART project management, and define goals and time frames for each project or task. You can set project permissions to enable stakeholders to access the projects or specific tasks. You can also upload relevant files or attachments.
There is the option to create visual boards of your work and add tags to projects for easy management. If you always want to stay updated about project status, you can choose to be notified about changes via emails. You can also see the complete task history in the activity feed.
Asana’s free version (also called the basic plan) includes unlimited tasks, unlimited projects, unlimited messages, unlimited file storage (100 MB per file), collaboration with up to 15 teammates, different views of projects (board, calendar, and list), and integrations with time tracking applications (such as Tick, Velocity, Everhour, and HourStack).
Asana’s paid plan starts at $10.99 per user, per month (billed annually). Its features include (in addition to the ones in the basic plan) dashboard view, advanced search and reporting, unlimited free guests, private teams and projects, and admin console.
ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool. It facilitates SMART project management by offering capabilities to communicate swiftly, collaborate on projects, assign tasks, share project files, prioritize tasks, and create product road maps.
ClickUp makes goal-tracking easy for individuals as well as teams. It allows setting project objectives and targets that help streamline the workflow. You can also set up personal goals to track individual growth over time.
Its Sprint feature lets you plan workflows for product development. You can create separate tasks for each feature of the product and tie up different tasks to the overall deployment task. You can track the progress of the tasks in real time.
ClickUp’s free plan supports unlimited tasks, 100 MB storage, unlimited members, 100 mind maps, 100 time views, 100 workload views, 100 goals, 10 automations per month, 100 Gantt charts, and 10 milestones.
ClickUp’s paid version starts at $5 per member, per month (billed annually). It includes unlimited tasks, unlimited storage, five guests ($2 per extra seat) with unlimited read-only access, 24x7 support, and 1,000 automations per month.
Teamwork is a cloud-based project management solution ideally suited for tech-savvy professionals. The tool makes SMART project management possible with features such as time tracking, task planning, task scheduling, and reporting.
The tool lets you create personal task lists and organize them into groups. You can categorize your projects as active projects, assign them priorities (low, medium, or high), tag tasks, and archive old or unfinished projects. You can also add project contributors and observers (access only) and assign roles to manage task dependencies.
Teamwork also offers you time tracking capabilities so you can monitor the duration each team member spends on different projects and tasks. This helps you accurately bill clients, maintain detailed timesheets, and generate invoices. There is also analytics that offers you insights into the overall profitability of each project.
Teamwork’s free plan supports five users and two projects and offers 100 MB storage and standard project management capabilities such as subtask creation, dependency management, task tagging, and time tracking.
Teamwork’s paid plans start at $10 per user, per month (billed annually). It supports unlimited free client users and 300 projects and offers 100 GB storage, subtask creation, dependency management, milestone tracking, task tagging, 20 project templates, billing, and invoicing.
Todoist is a cloud-based productivity tool that offers capabilities to support project sharing, daily goal setting, workflow creation, productivity tracking, task creation from emails, task labeling, and more. The tool is supported on both iOS and Android platforms.
Todoist offers an AI-powered feature called Smart Schedule that helps manage overdue tasks by suggesting ideal dates for rescheduling. You can reschedule tasks in bulk in case of an emergency with this feature. The tool also alerts you of deadlines so that no task is overlooked.
There is another feature called Todoist Karma that enables users to track their productivity. They can set personal goals depending on the number of tasks they have to complete daily or weekly. As soon as a task gets completed, the user gains Karma points and achieves certain Karma levels.
Todoist’s free plan supports 80 projects and five people per project.
Todoist’s paid version starts at $3 per month (billed annually). It allows managing up to 300 active projects; each project can accommodate 25 people. It also includes automatic backups, productivity trends, task labels, and priority support.
Choosing the right collaboration software for your business is important to avoid project failure and improve operations, especially in remote working environments.
Here are a few factors to help you make the right decision:
Know your business needs and invest in a solution that offers the right features.
Ensure the software is scalable so you can continue using it as your business grows. A good number of integrations will be highly beneficial.
Opt for a solution that fits your budget; don’t forget to factor in the cost of upgrading user licenses in the future. Try free trials and demos from multiple vendors before investing in a solution.
Check out GetApp’s Category Leaders in Project Management to explore the top products.
To identify the products listed in this article, we did secondary research on Google. We listed products that were the most popular “collaboration apps for SMART project management” on Google in the week of Feb. 1, 2021.
We eliminated products that didn’t have capabilities such as goal tracking, task creation and assignment, project tracking, and collaboration.
From this list, we selected products with 500+ reviews and at least 4.4 ratings on GetApp (as of Feb. 1, 2021).
Explore by topic