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So you have sold your idea, your client has committed to the project, the next step is – How do I manage this most effectively to successfully complete this job?
There are generally 3 accepted rules of project management: time (delivery to client or launch of product), budget (cost to deliver project) and scope (definition of contracted project). Some folks substitute quality for scope, but focusing on time, budget and the scope of any project inevitably affects the quality delivered to the client. Furthermore, we will only address the time issue in our approach and how best to manage the project on your computer. The creative process is different for everyone but mainly follows 3 simple steps: brainstorming, concepting, finished work. All of these can be solitary pursuits or group-based efforts and usually involve a team working towards a common end goal. There are numerous developers, both small and large, creating applications for brainstorming, wire-framing, flowcharting, etc.
Omnigraffle Pro is a diagramming program that provides the necessary tools to develop much of the documentation required for today’s interactive projects. Once you begin using it however, there is really no limit to what you can create with the application.
Regardless, any application that provides tools that complement your natural workflow and aid the organizational process will help any project succeed. There is a commonly used action management method, created by David Allen, that revolves around the principle of moving recording tasks externally in order to focus attention on completing them; getting things done (GTD). The GTD method has become very popular across the business spectrum and there are a few applications that allow you to implement this strategy for your business. Developers like Cultured Code and Omni both offer GTD based applications that can easily integrate into your workflow. These types of GTD applications allow you to set up your projects, establish the related tasks required and manage the workflow in a straightforward application.
While so much of business today is done away from your office having mobile applications is fast becoming a norm for today’s professionals.
An iPhone application that integrates seamlessly with the desktop application allows you to focus on the tasks necessary to succeed while letting the applications do some of the heavy lifting. There are many tools available today to manage your project’s schedule and enhance your time management. One key to a successful project is open communications; between team members and most importantly with the client. Mail can become your central hub for this activity for now Mail can provide a place for your Notes and tasks with their new To Dos. There are a few things that Mail does not do as well or not without a bit of 3rd party application integration; that is customer relationship management (CRM). I like to be able to manage my communications through an enhanced CRM application that connect my tasks, emails and daily activity and tie it back to projects and opportunities for my business. Regardless of the tool, some of the most effectives steps I take with my own projects is a daily ledger of activities, a weekly progress report and finally monthly updates (if the project warrants) for my clients. Any application that can integrate with my workflow, provide detailed reports which can easily be shared with colleagues and clients will ease the production schedule of most any project. Daylite divides your data into calendar, contacts, organization, projects, opportunities, groups, tasks, appointments and notes. Good software can be of great service to any business looking to lessen the time managing the work and maximize the time doing the work. Daylite also has such an API that allows it to integrate with the likes of; MYOB, Filemaker, Lightspeed, MoneyWorks and more. Again, the more robust applications feature mobile versions to keep you up-to-date and informed on the go. The applications are not nearly as important, however, as the tasks they allow you to manage.
Another developer of dedicated project management applications are the Project Wizards, out of Germany. In addition to the desktop applications available for project management, there are quite a few web apps available. Some companies also, do not want their data hosted anywhere but within their own server environments.
ActivCollab actually started as an open-source application but migrated, to the great ire of many, to a commercial product. All of these applications offer a great wealth of resources necessary to manage any project you may be working on currently. A great feature of any of these apps is the ability to share the data with other team members to keep them informed of the progress.
One of the biggest hurdles I have personally faced with the web-apps like Basecamp or ActivCollab is the ability to get the clients to participate in the process. Despite wanting to be informed, much of these applications are perceived too overwhelming for many folks and therefore will remain unused. We ultimately went with a system that used the Basecamp for our internal developments and utilized the account services team for client management. So we have covered some basic rules of project management and offered a few tools and techniques to help manage those projects on your computer. All of these applications rely on active participation to effectively monitor the projects.
Keeping on task and on time will insure you deliver your projects to your clients within their budgets. Related articles and other relevant resources for further reading (alphabetical by subject title).
A List ApartThe site, for people who make websites, has some great articles on project management and workflow by a wide variety of authors. Project Management InstituteLeading membership association for project management professionals. Great article on importance of integrating the right systems in your workflow for a better result in the end. Matthew Gallagher has spent his career working in all forms of creative development for companies ranging from The Walt Disney Co to Hallmark.
We have been using it for 2 years now and it handles everything that a small or very large agency might need all the way down to freelancers.

Our clients can login and view attachments, comment on them all through the brainstorm to final product stage. Depending upon your exact need and usage, you can select from the many options of project management apps for iPad.  Make sure you check the reviews, ratings, popularity and comments before you hit the download or purchase button since not all apps are equally effective. The term Management Dashboard defines a wide range of data reporting and visualization tools or dashboards that allow using various performance & efficiency measures to report on an enterprise?s ability to organize and coordinate its activities in accordance with certain policies and in achievement of pre-determined objectives. In this Money Management Action Plan you can read a range of tips and suggestions that will help you manage your money in an effective manner. A PM application is a computer software program that combines efficient tools for planning, executing, tracking, supervising, and reporting a project and its entities, such as tasks, activities and schedules.
Plan and schedule your project by setting project phases, creating to-do lists, and designing schedules. Supervise and monitor your project by tracking to-do lists and monitoring task performance. Report and review your project by collecting reports from team members and getting notifications of project completion. In addition, the best apps let you share information and communicate with team members.
You'll have full access to the unencrypted source code of Solo, allowing you to make any changes you like. Multiple file ajax uploads, inline file previews for many file types, grid view and list view. So you have a new project and are looking to complete it in the most efficient and effective manner to maximize its success, your client’s happiness and your bank account. A truly great applications is one that combines the experience of pen and paper design with the ease of production of allowed via the computer. Ultimately, it is not nearly as important who the developer is, as does their solution fit your needs and work-flow. Some of the basic templates provided are in the key areas required for your creative production: brainstorming, organizational charts and drawing.
The work area is clean and clear, allowing the use of multiple layers and the toolset provided rivals many of the traditional graphic programs costing much more. Cultured Code’s offers Things (their mobile application received one of this year’s Apple Design Awards at the 2009 WWDC) while Omni offers OmniFocus.
One of the other key features of the more effective applications is their option of providing a corresponding iPhone app. One of the things I have found over the years, however, is these applications need to integrate well into your established workflow, rather than vice-versa. Engaging everyone involved in the project will enable their ownership and active participation during its life-cycle to ensure its successful completion. Apple’s Mail is a great application that is also quite powerful in its management of data and integration into other applications. So even though you may be away from your desk you are never away from your data and the ability to successfully manage those client relationships. MarketCircle’s Daylite is a handy application that allows these activities as well as provides a framework for planning the entire life cycle of your project. It is efficiently designed and it integrates with Mail, through the Daylite Mail Integration module, so keeping everyone on the team informed is a breeze. Some of these applications can be extended to work with other integral applications in your business through the use of Application Programming Interfaces (API). This integration with other applications allows you to customize a software solution to fit almost any businesses need.
Many of the applications on the market offers a similarly feature-rich version for the iPhone while providing an option for you to examine through their 30-day trial versions. There are a wealth of tools in the marketplace designed to assist time management and I have used quite a few over the years. The above-mentioned Daylite can serve in this capacity, but lacks some of the traditional features usually incorporated into a dedicated project manager (i.e. One of the strengths of OmniPlan is its ease of use while offering easy integration with other application from their software library. Their app, keeping with the Wizards theme, called Merlin, is a simple-to-use project manager that offers serious depth which will serve any project manager well.
I used this application a bit back in my days at Disney and it is the foundation that a lot of the newer developers have built upon when designing their applications. As such it can be intimidating to some, especially those new to project management software. ActivCollab has much of the same functionality as Basecamp, but it can be hosted in your own server environment.
The fork, or branch, where they moved from the open-source world has a continuing development of the open-source version called Project Pier. There strengths lie in their user interface and ease of integration with other applications you may use on a daily basis in your company. Insuring the reports functions are easy to customize and share with your team will allow everyone to keep their eyes on their tasks in the production. As stated above, if the system is not used, it is not a good system so you will have to dedicate enough time to research applications that fit into your company’s dynamic processes. The key to this process is to incorporate a workflow that is comfortable to you and integrates nicely with your current work style. You must update the data to keep the schedule fresh and accurate as well as communicate frequently with your partners during the production to insure the plan is accurate. He currently runs the boutique design studio designoMatt, building branded websites for destination design, based in Windermere, FL.
While some of the apps help you to manage your time, others may help you to get sorted and well organized.
You’re excited, your heart is racing, but somewhere in the back of your mind, you have this fear of messing things up. Powerful project management applications help you manage your multiple projects and rationally allocate project resources, such as time, people and money. Examples of the best tools allow you to allocate, control, and manage project resources in the way that ensures successful completion of your project. You can use it to create a centralized database ( data repository) to allow team members to access data, including tasks and schedules.

It gives powerful functionality for planning, executing, supervising, monitoring and reporting projects, tasks and schedules. Sometimes you may be involved in the original brainstorm with the client, but many times you may be brought in to create what the client has already determined they require. The general roadmap is established and the creative finish is determined that will guide whatever production is to follow towards completion. The process for them both is the same; a series of time-frames with milestones in the development for review and revisions to ultimately meet the client’s original requirements. If the applications require us to learn a whole new set of dynamics, that lessena the likelihood of successfully using them. If you have several feeds you monitor for your projects all of this can be easily integrated within a single application. From opportunities to documentation you can track most every task required for keeping yourself and your clients in the loop since it can easily be integrated with Apple’s Mail. An open API means that other developers can take a valuable piece of software and write a plugin to extend one application’s functionality and extend it into another application. As long as everyone is aware of the progress of the project surprises and the inevitable issues that arise during production can be successfully mitigated. The application, however, is quite robust is a fine option for anyone to review when looking for a project management application to choose for their organization. It is an exceptional alternative to the traditional desktop solutions we are all so familiar with but there is the monthly fee to consider.
Project Pier retains much of the core features of ActivCollab, keeping it open source and a viable option for any organization looking for a web-based project management app. The internal team members all participated with the scheduling and comments systems, but not one client would even log into the system. Otherwise you will not utilize the tools and techniques necessary to work more efficiently and effectively. Yes, these functions are made possible due to the availability of a large number of useful apps on iTunes. Infact, there are many apps which help you make project presentations and do project content writing work on your iPad itself. The best shareware for Mac or Windows give you tools to do your project through the whole project lifecycle. VIP Task Manager is a great alternative to most open source applications because it offers reliable and easy-to-use tools.
Having great software that helps keep you on top of communication can help mitigate any bumps along the road.
If you want a more dedicated application for project management there are a few that I have used and would recommend. Among these apps, the project management apps for iPad are great for professionals and students who need to work on certain projects and showcase excellent managerial abilities. No matter which category of project management app you download, you can be benefitted in many ways, especially when you do not have a computer system nearby.
Web based project management applications allow using a web browser to access data remotely over Internet. VIP Task Manager is a shareware solution that is continuously maintained and updated by a team of professional software developers. If a job isn’t profitable, you need to know why and where its profitability fell off the projection so you can learn from the past to profit in the future. These apps are ideal for project managers who need to work on projects on a regular basis and need an easy way to handle all the tasks. Furthermore, the usual pen-and-paper method of chalking out concrete plans sometimes fall short, thus making project management a tad difficult.Thankfully, though, technology has come to the rescue for those nervous project managers with the advent of apps and software. Desktop software keeps all information on projects locally, allowing team members to connect to a local database over LAN. These days, many Android apps have popped up in the Play Store that makes project management look less daunting.
These tools help you handle various important aspects of the project like contact management, Gantt chart, and team management. With support for Gantt charts, Project Schedule Free also comes with read and write support for MSPDI-XML files so that you can work with MS Project files with ease. Moreover, the app also supports CSV import and export as well as task groups thus making it a good (and free!) all-round project management application.DOWNLOAD HEREProject ViewerIf you work with MS Projects a lot, then this app will come in quite handy for you.
Once installed, you’ll be able to open MS Projects files directly from your email and your Dropbox too. As expected, there’s Gantt chart support with scroll, zoom, and collapse for easy viewing.
The free app lets you see the latest activity on your projects, start important projects, assign tasks to users, and track project milestones.
Furthermore, you can also collaborate and share your ideas with your co-workers or team members.
Once you login to your Teamwork account, you can check your milestones, tasks, latest activity, statuses and project from the app’s main screen. Also, being a web-based application, all your data goes with you anywhere you go.DOWNLOAD HEREContus MPP ViewerFor regular Microsoft Project users, Contus make it easier to track MPP files on the go. The free app once installed lets you open an MPP file and track tasks, overall project status, and also track the project from resource level. The app also makes it quite easy to find MPP files, thanks to a neat little feature called Explorer. Simply by clicking the Explore button you can find all the MPP files that are there on your phone.DOWNLOAD HEREMPM - Mobile Project ManagerWhile other apps on this list let you open MS Project and other project files, this app actually lets you create new projects that you can then import to MS Project or OpenProj (using XML or Excel).
Other features in this app include import support for MPP, XML, and Excel files, Gantt reporting, unlimited nesting of tasks, and sync support with Producteev. Furthermore, without leaving MPM, you can send message to your team members (from your contacts list).

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