Project management for software development – the 4 best tools for the job

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Project management in the tech industry is renowned for its lean and qualitative approach. What this means is that project managers, software engineers, designers and all other team members involved in the making of any web or software application invest much thought into maintaining smooth processes, throughout the project. Take our own country, for example. Mobile development in Sri Lanka is on a steady rise, both for local and international consumers. Therefore it is imperative that the right tools be used for the job.

Allowing for effortless transitions from one task to the other is something that the tech industry pays the most focus on unlike any other market sector. Therefore it’s no surprise that so many project management platforms are available online – rendering many spoilt for choice.

With countless features available, tools from one or multiple vendors can be combined to suit any calibre of software development project. Amongst the ocean of project management tools, what’s trending though? Here are 4 of our top picks, based on addressing the key requirements for any software development project.

Requirement: Kanban

Solution: Trello

Kanban, anyone? Trello’s simple functionalities make it possible for anyone to articulate what they’re doing, with whom and how. Featuring boards that can be created based on individual tasks, cards can then be added by multiple team members and even moved under other tasks, if needed.

This sets perfectly in line with the concept of Kanban, where cards need to move from input to output only when the latter is available to undertake the task. Although simple, Trello is nonetheless powerful enough to help all team members learn about the status of a project at a glance – and then contribute as needed.

Requirement: Agile/Waterfall/Scrum

Solution: Teamwork

One of the most popular project management tools available, Teamwork features an interface that is applicable to almost any industry, let alone software development. What’s more, it also facilitates marketing/editorial projects, making it an asset that is resourceful companywide.

But that’s not all – Teamwork further contributes to its companywide versatility by also offering helpdesk and chat platforms, all of which could once again be integrated with one another for a holistic operational system.

While these are some of Teamwork’s more recent features, the platform initially gained recognition for its classic functionalities – all of which are still just as relevant today. Examples include time logging, Gantt charts and document sharing. While this assists project managers to adhere to Agile project management, it also helps organizations who require the accurate retention of records such as time spent on individual tasks, to show to clients, auditors or any other similar entities.

Requirement: Instant Messaging and File Sharing

Solution: Slack

The go-to instant messaging platform for working teams, Slack has mostly been popular across the software development industry although it is suited for any industry or business unit. What differentiates Slack from a wealth of messaging applications in the market is its focus towards enterprise needs. This means that file sharing is possible at the click of a button, along with channels such as #general or any other customised group of your choice to communicate with teams without further ado.

Slack’s latest feature of integrating other applications such as Google Drive has also made it more relevant for the business atmosphere, as using other software within the confines of Slack makes collaboration easier than ever before.

Requirement: Video Conferencing

Solution: Appear

An online video conferencing solution that isn’t known to many, the superior quality offered by Appear is a vast understatement. Unlike conventional video calling platforms that require sign-in or a separate program installed, Appear functions simply by accessing a specific URL. Admins can share their URL with team members who can directly enter the chatroom via the link, or lock the chatroom so that members ‘knock’ before they are allowed in.

Screen sharing is allowed at the click of a button too, and all this is available at the nominal rate of $10 per month – only if you require multiple rooms for 5 or more people. The free plan accommodates anything less than that, and is still just as useful if you run a small-scale team and subsequently have lesser requirements.

Appear’s simplicity of use is what makes it ideal for remote teams. As IT outsourcing continues to soar all over the world, maintaining effortless communication streams is an essential component to ensuring everyone’s on the same page, regardless of time zone.

Although widespread in this country, the industry of software development in Sri Lanka is still unbeknownst to Appear. While teams that partake in outsourcing can undoubtedly reap its benefits, local teams that may be distributed in terms of distance can also find this useful.

In Conclusion…

By far, the tech industry is the only market sector that pays the bulk of its focus on heightening work efficiency and overall job satisfaction for all team members, through streamlined processes. Research and development to enhance processes such that they are lean, qualitative and also enjoyable is constantly underway among project managers and tech companies, to ensure that every project happens according to designated times and budgets, without compromising on quality.

That is why we have infinite project management tools available in the market, which often renders us spoilt for choice. By leveraging established project management methods such as Agile, Scrum or Kanban, today’s project management tools offer everything from real-time Gantt charts and automatic time logging, to all-in-one communication platforms that make remote work highly convenient.

What you choose depends on what you need, and while a single platform may not be able to offer you all what you require, integrating multiple applications is now a possibility. With an abundance of customisable project management tools available, you can call the shots on what you need and work according to your standards – instead of allowing one-size-fits-all project management tools define and dictate standards for you.