Arguably, the toughest phase for a startup is when the workflow begins to swell, necessitating the deployment of more resources, and creation of complicated cross functional projects. Deploying the right number of people with the relevant skill sets; breaking down the project into phases, activities, and tasks; monitoring, tracking, and reporting progress, and bridging gaps – all could prove too much for your small business. Thankfully, you have sophisticated yet intuitive workflow management software to salvage the situation. The best news – some of them offer sufficient privileges in their free versions to help you avail significant benefits without any investments.
Here’s a detailed analyses of some of the most power-packed, intuitive, scalable, and wholesome software for effective team management, workflow management, workflow automation, collaboration, and time tracking.
Best Management Software for Small Businesses
Freedcamp is among the most widely adopted and used workforce, workflow, and collaboration software, especially for small businesses looking to use their resources in the ideal manner. The free version last sufficiently long to pass on real benefits to businesses, and upgrades are exceptionally cheap. For instance, Google Drive integration to Freedcamp can be purchased just for $2.99. More critical integrations, such as a CRM module, can be purchased for reasonable prices as well. This modular integration option allows small business CIOs to selectively scale up and adopt better aspects of the complete software suite.
1. Sensational interface design that enhances productivity, endless features and functions that motivate employees to explore the software, and optimized for tasks based activities and projects, as well as Kanban styled workflow.
2. The software facilitates quicker communication through integrated communication tools.
3. With 200 MB storage space, Freedcamp is perfect for small businesses to adopt technologically empowered workforce and workflow management without the need to invest in more space upfront.
4. Users can upgrade to 1 GB storage space by paying just $2.49 per month.
5. Software administrators can leverage the powerful access management options of Freedcamp to limit authorizations of different members of collaborating teams.
6. Powerful time tracking, invoicing, and templates facilitate faster workflow and accurate reporting.
7. Subtle yet instantaneous notifications help keep users updated, without interrupting their workflow.
1. Although the website is optimized for hassle free mobile access, there’s no dedicated Freedcamp app for mobile phones yet.
2. Gantt charts are conspicuous by their absence in this otherwise wholesome business management software.
3. Handling multiple milestones, subtasks, recurrence, and task dependencies are some of the missing features that users could see being added in the Freedcamp suite in the future.
Zoho Projects’ intuitiveness is among its USPs, to the extent that workflow and collaborative software reviewers call it the Facebook of its application category. Here’s a quick look at what sets it apart from others.
1. Setting and tracking progress on complicated tasks is simple with Zoho Projects, because of its superb Gantt charts options, which also make it a favorite for small businesses that have adopted waterfall models of operations.
2. With 50 preset reporting templates to choose from, managing individual and group progress son tasks, and keeping track of expenses becomes a breezy affair.
3. You can create your own reports and leverage Zoho to monitor, record, and update progress on assigned tasks for individual team members.
1. The storage space is limited to 10 MB in the free version; you can always go for the premium plan to overcome the space barriers.
Often compared to Microsoft Project in terms of its expansiveness of features, and the rather steep learning curve, GanttProject is ideal for growing businesses that are looking to scale up assembly line processed through minute tracking and process improvement. This heavy hitting, high impact, open source tool for project scheduling and workflow management allows project managers to structure and schedule complex projects within a few hours. Generating PERT and Gantt charts, creating PDF and HTML reports, handling complex time management and scheduling tasks – all is easily manageable using GanttProject.
1. Creating a project schedule is as simple as A B C when you use GanttProject, whether you’re looking to structure milestone based projects, or want to break up complicated project phases into tasks and allocate them to resources.
2. The precise and configurable reporting options help project managers track progress in a very precise manner.
3. GanttProject is ideal to identify missing links and excess links in process chains; no wonders, project managers use it to identify gaps in workflow, thus paving the way for process improvements and operational efficiency.
1. Make no mistakes, GanttProject is not your cute and beautiful team and workflow management software; it has a steep learning curve.
2. Project managers with experience in working with MS Project or similar management software are more adept at using GanttProject to the maximum extent, although not all small businesses might have in-house expertise that’s necessary to use this package in the best manner.
3. Support and troubleshooting for GanttProject is mostly limited to support forums, which is a major turn off for small businesses looking to ramp up to sophisticated team management software
Producteev has always been counted among the more useful free workflow and team management software, courtesy its unlimited users and unlimited projects feature. In fact, unless you want to upgrade to personalized support, end to end Outlook integration, and interface customization, you can continue with the free version of the package.
1. Users can add tasks to multiple task lists, and can leverage integrated communication tools for quick workflow management and updates
2. Progress tracking and results measurements are built in the tool, and managers can get automated progress reports to stay on top of their projects
3. Emails can be converted into tasks at the mere click of a button, that’s how intuitively Producteev’s interface has been designed.
4. Users can filter tasks based on criteria such as progress statuses, assignees, projects, priorities, target completion days, and more.
5. All features and functionalities of Producteev are intuitive and self-explanatory, which helps managers actually use the software to achieve process improvements.
1. Integrated invoicing mechanisms are the biggest observable void in the Producteev suite of features.
2. Time Tracking is not the best aspect of Producteev, with project managers complaining of missing features that necessitate offline efforts.