Search for project management platforms and you’ll likely find an overwhelming number of options – each offering similar services. In this virtual sea of software, however, it’s difficult to find the right fit for a creative agency. You’ll wade through scores of “all-in-one” options and simple, “easy-to-use” features before you learn that hyphenated descriptors don’t make a platform; rather it’s the actionable tools that creatives will employ every day.
How will you know if you’ve found the right software? Avoid the worst project management platforms for agencies and consider a few popular alternatives.
A Note on Project Management Platforms
Collaboration is key when it comes to creative projects. Client direction and team communication, as well as an assignment’s deadline are essential aspects of project management. In fact, they’re all major production milestones that need to be accurately tasked and tracked to completion. A platform that includes these fundamental organizational features, along with the extras that help accomplish goals (such as email notifications, file sharing, etc.), will boost your agency’s productivity and increase client satisfaction.
The Worst Project Management Platforms for Agencies
This app prides itself in its bare bones approach to project management. However, for agencies, Schedule’s simplicity is its downfall. Instead of focusing on collaboration, Schedule emphasizes staff resourcing (re: Scheduling). Although an admin can assign tasks and employees can view the assigned projects they’re accountable for, the functionality stops there. There are no additional features, which makes for a frustrating user experience when it comes to communicating about things like scheduling issues or project setbacks.
2. Rachota Timetracker
Quite simply, Rachota Timetracker isn’t built for the enterprise company. It’s better left to an agency’s contractors or freelancers. Again, Rachota only looks at one aspect of project management: the time it takes to complete a project or task. Sure, it can generate somewhat useful productivity reports for items like writing a blog post, but it doesn’t capture the whole scope of a project. There’s no workspace management feature that might allow designers to, say, communicate with writers by uploading visual assets to a shared space.
FinacialForce is project management software, but its capabilities align more closely with CRM (customer relationship management) than anything. While client relations are important to agencies, those communications still represent only one part of the creative process. If you need to simply keep track of project financials (per client) and assign revenue recognition to agency team members, than this is the software for you. However, you won’t find the tools to manage a project once it’s acquired.
A Few Agency-Friendly Alternatives
Basecamp is one of the top project management tools. Like Schedule, workers can assign tasks, but it doesn’t end there. Users can create multiple workspaces each with their own teams, project briefs and outlines, to-do lists, discussions, and more.
Similar to Basecamp, Podio features multiple workspaces – each with their own little world of people who are working together to complete tasks with relevant information. Podio also offers social application development options such as “likes” and comments to help project managers track employee engagement. Plus, if you like Rachota’s time tracking, then you’ll love Podio’s. It allows users to keep timesheets alongside all its robust project management tools.
3. Intuit QuickBase
QuickBase is a good option for those agencies that need the money-focused features of software like FinacialForce with project management built in. From the makers of the accounting giant QuickBooks, QuickBase of course takes care of CRM and financials; however, it also features up to 500 customizable apps that help agencies build a workspace that’s suitable for collaboration and creativity – one that allows businesses to track everyone from clients to contractors within one tool.
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