Project Tools – Which Velociteach PMP Training Should You Choose?

Share with othersThere are many tools that can be used to help project teams collaborate, manage their work, and track their performance. The number of options is overwhelming–Capterra has published over 900-project management tool reviews.
I teach project management classes. I am often asked “Which tool should you use?” My basic advice is to concentrate on your needs and choose a tool that suits them. You don’t want to slice a loaf with a butter knife if you have too many knives in your kitchen.
Understanding the context is key to improving project outcomes. This includes understanding the culture, maturity of processes, and skillsets. Next, you need to create a set project management practices that are appropriate for the context. Next, choose tools that will support the people and the process.
Tools should not be used to create a new project management process. A tool that is not supported by a process will only increase the problems existing, not solve them. I am often reminded of Gary Booch’s statement, “A fool with no tool is still a fool.”
This article will describe the different types of tools and how they are used. Specific products mentioned are merely examples and should not be taken as endorsements.
To-Do Lists
Project managers often track many deliverables and related activities. It is essential for PMs to ensure that these items are completed and scheduled. To-do lists have been proven to be a reliable method of organizing. Making lists allows our brains to be more creative, and lowers stress levels.
Microsoft Outlook’s To Do List and Apple’s Reminders, both task management apps, are commonly included with smartphones and computers. They can be used to organize activities, assign owners and set due dates.
David Allen outlines a simple but effective system to track, prioritize, plan, and capture work in Getting Things Done (GTD). OneNote and Microsoft Outlook can be configured to support GTD. OmniFocus is my preferred method of managing my work. It allows me to organize tasks into folders or projects. This hierarchy is how I organize my speaking engagements and courses. I also use templates to ensure that no details are lost.
Kanban Tools
Kanban is a method that helps us manage the flow and organization of our work. Kanban is Japanese for signboard. The visual representation of the work creates transparency, accountability, and accountability.
Kanban can be used for everything, from personal tasks to enterprise-wide processes. Each step of the Kaban process is represented by a column on the board. The basic showing is to-do, do, and done. Each work item is represented by cards that flow across the board as they move through the system. Advanced techniques include creating pull-systems, limiting work-in process and reducing bottlenecks.
Basic Kanban applications include Atlassian’s Trello and Microsoft Planner. These tools and similar cloud-based ones allow users to:
Create simple task boards that are customizable using a column-oriented format. Columns can be used to represent a workflow, time periods or team members.
Identify and track work items (cards), with information such owners, due dates and a task list;
Collaborate efficiently and share information.
LeanKit and Atlassian Jira are two examples of more powerful and advanced Kanban boards. These tools are generally used in enterprise-environments to manage operational processes or Agile project teams. These tools include automated workflow features, reporting, and the ability to limit work-in-process. These tools are feature-rich and require some configuration. They are best suited for teams with more experience.
Project Scheduling
Project managers use project scheduling software to create Gantt charts which calculate the project’s critical path. Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera are both standard enterprise-class tools. Primera is a tool for construction, while MS Project can be used for technology projects.
Scheduling tools are essential for projects that have hundreds of interrelated components.

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