Project management apps of all kinds are floating around the web these days. Some people use these apps with a large degree of success. In fact, many people promote the use of project management apps stating that these programs are useful and effective. There is some truth to that statement.
Yet, there’s another side to project management apps that isn’t as thoroughly explored. The fact of the matter is that these programs can be time consuming and difficult to master. While seemingly helpful, some project management apps do more harm (and waste more time) than good.
The Learning Curve
There it is again – that learning curve. Learning curves rear their frustrating heads every time a new product or program pops up. The problem with most project management apps is that these programs tend to have a steeper learning curve than many other programs out there. How can this be?
Simply put, in order to use one of these apps, you have to learn the program inside and out. Then, you have to teach others how to use the program too. Depending on how many people you are working with, you could spend a good deal of time teaching others how to use a program that you just learned how to use yourself. Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Well, there are some benefits to project management apps.
Things to Look For
Think about whether or not you are truly a project manager. If you act as an editor or manager for a large group of people, teaching others to use a project management tool may be a good use of your time. If, however, you are simply a freelancer, most of these tools are not work your energy.
Assuming that you really do have people to manage, select an app that includes a smooth interface. As mentioned, you don’t want to spend too much time learning how to use a new program. A free program is also something that you may want to look for, since some paid programs can be rather pricey. Lastly, a project management app must be fast and efficient. Nothing good can come from waiting for an app to work.
Worth a Try
If you have your heart set on a project management app, take a gander at some popular programs including BasecampHQ, ManyMoon, Basecamp, and Central Desktop. All of these programs fit the aforementioned bill. Of course, you’ll still have to learn how to use each program, and you may have to teach others, but the basic premise of each of these programs is clear enough.
You’ll also find that many project management apps come with free trials. Take advantage of these trials. You will quickly determine which programs are worth your valuable time, and which ones are a waste of time. To answer the original question (are project management apps worth your time?), the answer is: maybe. In the end, it all depends on whether or not you really need to use a management program.