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Project Management Software for Small Business

Project Management Software for Small Busiensses

Small businesses have to track more information than they ever have before.  Keeping information centralized is crucial for continued success.  Many businesses have experienced issues when experienced employees leave suddenly the loss of important system, or  client information can be devastating.  lost business opportunities, increased costs, or customer risks are all possibilities when information isn't shared, and employees are not cross trained.  

Open Project

 

OpenProject is a opensource project management software.  It is among the most feature rich free solutions solutions for project management.  it can be installed on an ubuntu server, and is very easy to set up.  Open project can be quickly configured in a few hours.  

Open project includes a wiki database for each project, as well as task tracking and document management.  The wiki uses simplified wiki syntax and is easy to learn and use.  email notifications can be setup to notify users or administrators when edits are being made. 

Task management is easy and customizable.  users can create relationships between tasks.  tasks can be organized based on features and an other aspects of a project.  categories and types of work packages can be configured and tailored to each individual company.  

Each project can be managed to only allow specific users access increasing company security.  For companies that have clients, access can be granted for individual client projects to share information.  when configured in conjunction with a web server, openproject can be secured with an ssl and made available and accessible from the internet.  This is great for employees that are always on the road or are working from home.  

The primary drawback to openproject is the steeper learning curve to many other systems for users.  Documentation is not as robust as other self hosted applications such as sharepoint.  This is mostly an issue with the developer documentation, but the User documentation is easy to comprehend and put into practice.  

OpenProject is a great solution for a company looking for deploy a self hosted project management application, but has time to devote to training and implementation.

Sharepoint

Sharepoint is a solution developed by microsoft.  while there are free options there are also paid enterprise level options as well.  Microsoft office 365 for businesses includes an online version of sharepoint.  The community edition is free and can be installed onto a microsoft server.  it has great functionality, but the free version is a little crippled compared to rival open source applications.  

It offers many of the functions open project has, but is proprietary.  The user interface is more intuitive than open project, but the backend is significantly more complex.  many system administrators prefer to use a different system and occasionally companies receive pushback from deploying this system.

Sharepoint has a wide adoption and has a great active community.  Books, youtube tutorials, and classes have all be created to help people understand how to implement solutions, and support is easy to find.

Asana

Asana is a freemium cloud solution for task management,  it is not as feature rich as many of the other options, but it has a simplified organization with a short learning curve. for small teams with less complicated workloads.  For teams that need an immediate solution that can be adapted to the project on hand it provides great functionality without the headache of a long learning curve or complicated set up.   

you can configure separate workspaces which is great if you are managing subcontractors on separate projects.  Access is limited to only specific workspaces.  In each workspace projects can be configured to separate tasks. It makes managing tasks easier to categorize and organize.  

The downsides to asana is that it doesn't have the same user controls that many other project management applications like sharepoint have, and once you reach 15 users you have to pay a monthly fee based on number of users.  The cost per user for the premium version is $8.33 per month.  

Asana is great for people who need a solution now, and who needs a solutions that has a quick learning curve.   

Trello

Trello uses a kanban system similar to how odoo works.  Kanban was developed by toyota in the 1980's and was credited as one of the reasons why toyota development process was superior to american car manufacturers.  Trello, like asana is a cloud based service. Trello works in a similar way to asana in terms of features and usage, but displays information differently and has a different style.  People familiar with agile workflows tend to lean towards using kanban systems like trello.  Trello has a bit of a steeper learning curve than simple task management applications, but makes up for it by providing great usability.

Unlike Asana, Trello offers unlimited members, but has additional features, and security and enterprise level control with a paid subscription.  For small teams the additional features are not usually required, but as project complexity and team size increases they become essential.

Small Business Technology Solutions

each of these implementations have their advantages and drawbacks.  The IT support team at CHS Tech Solutions are experts in implementing technology solutions.  We can help you find a solution that works for you.  Call us today at 717-993-4693.

These systems are all designed to adequately handle most small business projects, but are limited by the commitment to use the system.