Best 25 Project Manager Interview Questions (2022)

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Before you can plan, execute and successfully complete a project, you must hire a project manager to manage it. A project manager is a difficult position to fill. They need a wide swath of skills, knowledge of project management methodologies and mastery of communication.

It’s hard to find a person who is both comfortable with the project management processes and adept at motivating team members to do their best. It feels as if you might have to employ a squad of workers instead of only one project manager to handle every aspect of project management, such as planning, scheduling, monitoring, tracking and more.

But, there are individuals who have the breadth of knowledge and experience necessary using project management methods to successfully lead projects. They’re experts in many things, such as using project management tools but not arrogantly so, in that they know the power of collaboration and can have the communication skills to delegate work to focus on where their attention is needed most.

So, how do you find a project manager who fits both the criteria of the job and the culture of your organization? In this article we’ll go over common project manager interview questions and answers to help you through the process of hiring a project manager.

Best Project Manager Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

Here are some of the best project manager interview questions that will help you find the best talent for your projects. They’re also helpful if you want to learn how to prepare for a project manager interview.

Project Manager Interview QuestionsProject Manager Interview Questions

There are behavioral and scenario-based questions, as well as some icebreakers to start the interview.

1. Tell Me About Yourself

A typical question for any interview, which is a great way to break the ice and conversate. But you can get important information about the candidate’s past experiences, skills and education. You can also get a feel of how well this individual will adapt to the project manager role at your organization. A good way to do this is to ask him to tell you a little about his past, present and future job expectations.

2. What’s your background, personally and professionally?

It’s important to get a snapshot of the applicant to bring their project manager resume into sharper focus. Knowing a bit about their life story can inform about their soft skills and how they might respond to issues at work, and whether they will fit into the corporate culture. The same goes for their project management experience. Staying at a single job for a long time can be either bad or good for project managers, but you won’t know until you put their choice into context.

3. Have you worked in this industry before?

Does the candidate have project management experience in your industry? That’s important because they might excel at the project management methods your company uses, or may have the right risk management skills to manage your projects. If they don’t, it’s not a game-closer. Much of project management is the same from industry to industry. Perhaps they have strong project management skills that relate to your industry, such as project management software skills even if they don’t have direct experience. However, if they do have experience in your field, that’s a plus, so ask how those relevant projects panned out. Note how confidently they answer behavioral interview questions. You want an authentic person who is comfortable in the position.

4. Do you have budget management experience?

It helps to drill down into specific aspects of the project management experience of your candidates. Naturally, if the candidate has specific skills they’ll be briefly sketched in the resume, but here’s your opportunity to get a deeper sense of where they stand in terms of their experience with project management processes such as budget management. Project managers are known as planners. They create a project schedule and lead teams to success. But there’s often money involved, so they better know how to handle a project budget.

5. Have you managed remote teams?

Not all projects are executed under one roof and remote teams are very common. With more dynamic project management tools and a global workforce to choose from, many project managers might never meet the members of their team, at least in person, but they’ll be able to work together using project management software. Then there are the necessary resources that will be outsourced, which involves a different resource management technique than when working with employees. Knowing how they have managed people and resources can help you get an overview of their leadership skills and be a crucial point in your decision to hire or not to hire.

6. How did your last project end?

This question is about discovering any lessons they learned from that project. Everything about project management is a learning experience, and each project offers lessons from which a good project manager grows.

ProjectManager notification popupProjectManager notification popup
ProjectManager has email and in-app notifications so you’ll never lose the thread of the conversation.

7. How do you prioritize tasks on a project?

Task management is important. There’s going to be more work in a day than can be accomplished, so any good project manager is going to have to determine what is crucial and what could be left undone if necessary. It will prove interesting and informative to see how the candidate makes these time management and task management decisions.

8. How do you foster team collaboration?

This behavioral question is a great way to gauge the candidate’s basic leadership and team management knowledge as well as their ability to use modern work management software and team collaboration apps. Project managers need to be able to use tools to communicate with their team members whether they’re traditional, remote or hybrid teams.

9. How Do you seek help outside of the project team?

This project manager interview question gives you information about the leadership and communication skills of your project manager candidate. Some project managers are going to think you want a person who is wholly independent and pulls from an inner reservoir. Fair enough. But more resourceful is the project manager who knows when they’re over their head and asks for help from a mentor or a network of professionals.

10. Do you delegate?

They are better! The last thing you want is a project manager who carries everything on their shoulders. That’s nuts. But this is a bit of a trick question or at least one that has an implicit question embedded in it. What you really want to know is not whether they delegate, but how they delegate work to their team members. This is a great way to weed out the micromanagers.

That doesn’t mean a project manager is absent from the process. Project management software has features to keep them aware of what their team is doing but not in the way. For example, ProjectManager has a board view that visualizes the workflow. The kanban allows managers to oversee their team as they work and make sure things are moving forward. Even better, if a potential block is spotted in the production, the manager can reallocate resources to keep the work moving forward.

11. What was a challenging project, and how did you manage it?

This behavioral question takes the conversation from the theoretical to the practical. You can see how the project managers responded to real-life problems, which helps you determine how they would manage projects at your organization. This question also provides a sense of the person’s project management experience, such as how they lead teams and deal with conflicts. By asking about a challenging project, you can see how they apply their hard and soft skills when pushed to their limits and beyond.

12. How do you manage team members that are not working to their full potential?

Sometimes, no matter how much due diligence you put into assembling a skilled and experienced project team, someone underperforms or creates conflicts. While the project is rolling, you don’t have time to stop and tweak your team. Rather, the project manager must use problem-solving techniques and communication skills to deal with the problem. This comes up with even the best project team, so any capable project manager would know how to nip underperformance in the bud.

13. How do you deal when you’re overwhelmed or underperforming?

It’s easy to forget that project managers are people, too. They are hired to perform project management processes and lead a project to success, but they can suffer the same setbacks as anyone on the team over the course of the project life cycle. The difference between a good and great project manager is the ability to monitor oneself and respond proactively to any drop-offs in performance.

14. How do you work with customers, sponsors and stakeholders?

Even project managers have to answer to someone. Responding to executives, project sponsors and stakeholders requires a different approach than the one they would use with teams and vendors. Part of their duties includes managing stakeholders who hold a position of authority over the project manager. That takes a subtle touch.

15. What’s your leadership style?

Talking about managing a project will inevitably lead to a discussion of leadership style. There are many ways to lead, and all have their pluses and minuses. Depending on the project, a project manager might have to pick and choose how they lead, ranging from a top-down approach to servant leadership. See how well-versed they are on leadership techniques and how they apply them to project management.

16. What’s your communication style?

This is another classic project management interview question that directly stems from asking about managing projects and leadership. A project manager is nothing if he has poor communication skills. They need to be able to speak to team members, stakeholders, vendors, etc. Each group will need a slightly different approach. Stakeholders want the broad strokes about the project management plan, while team members will need more detail. If a project manager can’t clearly communicate, the project is doomed before it has begun.

Being a good communicator is only the start. Project management software helps you better target that communication with your team and stakeholders. ProjectManager has project management tools like Gantt charts, kanban boards and project calendars to clearly communicate your project plan. Our cloud-based software allows you and your team to collaborate in real-time. If someone has a question, they only need to tag another person on the team to get them into the conversation. Our email and in-app notifications make sure you’re never late for a meeting or an important stakeholder presentation. Try our tool for free today.

17. How do you know the project is off-track?

Every project hits a snag along the way, but not every project manager is aware of that delay until the project budget or project schedule is affected. The ability to monitor and track the progress of a project and tell immediately when it’s not meeting the benchmarks you set in the project planning phase is perhaps the most important duty of a project manager. Then it’s also important to see if the project manager candidates have experience implementing a risk management plan to mitigate risks and keep projects on budget and schedule. ProjectManager has project dashboards to help project managers spot issues before they become serious problems.

kanban board view with card moving from one column to the nextkanban board view with card moving from one column to the next
Get transparency into your team’s workflow without micromanaging them with ProjectManager.—Try It Free!

18. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on a project?

Everyone makes mistakes; character is defined by how you deal with them. This project management interview question will allow you to first gauge the candidate’s honesty. If they say that they’ve never made a mistake, you can rest assured that they’re not being truthful and their resume can go into the circular file. However, when they tell you about the mistake they’ve made, note if they take responsibility for it (that will reveal their level of maturity) and, of course, how they resolved it.

19. How do you gain agreement with teams?

Where there are people, there are conflicts, and even the best projects have people problems. Good teams collaborate and trust one another. If there’s a problem between two or more project team members, it must be resolved quickly. But this can also apply to stakeholders, vendors, etc. A project manager is a bit of a psychologist who must know how to resolve conflicts quickly.

20. If the project is not adhering to schedule, how do you get it back on track?

Knowing that a project is not keeping to its schedule is only as important as being able to get the project back on track. Once a project manager is aware of the discrepancy between the actual project schedule and the schedule baseline estimated in the project plan, they need to take action, such as project crashing or fast tracking. Any project manager worth hiring will be able to answer this with practical specifics. On these types of questions, it’s best to answer with the STAR method.

21. What’s your ideal project?

The ideal project is the one that you’re hiring for of course! But seriously, try to get them to answer honestly. It will let you know what sort of projects they prefer to work on. In doing so you’ll get a better feel for what kind of project management methodology excites them and maybe even what they excel at. This can help you place the project manager with the right project, or help them adapt to the project team you’re hiring them to manage.

22. What project management software do you prefer?

A project manager needs project management tools to plan, monitor and report on the project. There are many, from simple to more complex. This question reveals first how up-to-date the candidate is regarding software and project management tools. Additionally, it provides a picture of what tools and processes they use to manage a project.

Most project managers heavily rely on Gantt charts when it comes to project planning and scheduling. ProjectManager has award-winning online Gantt charts that allow project managers to plan every phase of their projects. Managers can create dependencies, add milestones, assign tasks, manage workload and more—all from one screen. Any project manager you hire would appreciate the power of our planning tools.

project displayed in grid and timeline on a Gantt chartproject displayed in grid and timeline on a Gantt chart
ProjectManager has interactive Gantt charts that link dependencies, set baselines and more.

23. What’s your preferred project management methodology?

There are almost as many ways to manage a project as there are projects. From traditional methods like waterfall to hybrid methodologies, you want a project manager who understands the many ways to work. And more importantly, can they use the project management methodology that best suits the work at hand?

24. How tall are the pyramids in Egypt?

Talk about not being prepared. Who is going into a job interview with this information in their head? You don’t really want an accurate answer to this question, but you do want to see how the project manager deals critically and seriously with the question. Because during the project they will be sidelined with unexpected challenges and questions.

25. What’s something you don’t want us to know?

Ouch. Yes, you need to go there and make the candidate uncomfortable. It’s not that you want to learn some secret or catch them in an unethical act. Less important than the content of their answer is the way they deal with the question. You’ll get a better picture of the person instead of the persona they’re presenting. It also shows their communication skills while under pressure. It might seem cruel, but it’ll help you get to the heart of the person that you’re going to trust with the management of your project.

Types of Project Manager Interview Questions

There are two main types of project manager interview questions, behavioral and scenario-based questions. That’s because they give your interview two different approaches that help you find as much about your interview candidates as possible.

Project Manager Scenario-Based Interview Questions

The purpose of scenario-based interview questions is to ask project manager candidates how they would respond to hypothetical project management scenarios. Here you can understand the thinking process of your project managers and look into their problem-solving skills, leadership style, knowledge of project management methods and tools, etc.

Project Manager Behavioral Interview Questions

This type of interview question asks for events that happened in the past. The purpose of these project manager interview questions is to get an idea of how the project manager has acted in the past, and how has he applied his project management knowledge and skills to solve real-life problems.

STAR Method

The star method is an interviewing technique that consists in making behavioral interview questions and answering them in a structured manner. STAR stands for (situation, task, action, result). So when you ask a project manager a behavioral question, he’ll tell you about the situation or task he had to solve, the actions taken and the results obtained.

The purpose of the star method is to provide the whole picture of events from the project management experience of your candidates. It helps gather all the information possible and capture details that could be missed otherwise.

How ProjectManager Helps Project Managers

If you’re looking for a project manager, then you’ve got projects. Projects need more than a good project manager to lead them, they need project management tools, too. ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software that helps project managers plan, monitor and report on the project, while team members collaborate on tasks online. It’s ideal for the whole organization.

Dashboards to Track Your Projects

Monitoring a project is the only way to make sure your team is aligned with the project plan. Online Gantt charts measure the progress of each task, but project managers want a bird’s-eye view. ProjectManager has a real-time dashboard that tracks six project metrics to help project managers monitor the overall progress of the project. The dashboard also helps project managers keep their stakeholders in the loop.

project dashboard screenshot in ProjectManager.comproject dashboard screenshot in
Track projects in real time with online dashboards that you can configure.

Generate Reports for Stakeholders

Stakeholders usually ask for broad strokes to make sure the project is going well, but sometimes they want more detail. ProjectManager has one-click reports that can be filtered to show just the information stakeholders or project managers need to keep tabs on the progress of the project.

project status report screenshot in ProjectManager.comproject status report screenshot in
Generate customizable and filterable reports for your stakeholders in just a few clicks.

Teams are a project’s most valuable resource. ProjectManager keeps team morale high by giving project managers the tools they need to manage their workload and make sure no one is giving too many tasks while others are idle. ProjectManager also streamlines the timesheet process and has features that manage project resources, so projects can deliver on stakeholder expectations.

One you’ve gotten through the project manager interview process and a job offer has been made, then it’s up to you to provide them with the best tools to manage the project. ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software with real-time dashboards, online Gantt charts and a collaborative platform for your team. There’s no question, this is what your project manager will want. Try our award-winning software for free with this 30-day trial.

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Top 25 Project Management Skills for 2022

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Project management is not an easy job. In fact, it’s several not-easy jobs throughout the initiation, planning, executing, controlling, and closing of a project. Project managers oversee those not-easy jobs or project phases are also called project management process groups by the project management institute.

Simply put, project managers are responsible for planning projects, assembling a project team, and then managing project tasks, time and costs. To do so, the best project managers use robust project management tools to keep all aspects of their projects organized.

Still, even with robust project management software, that’s a lot to ask of any one individual, but project managers have a variety of project management skills to get the job done. But before we continue, what are project management skills?

What Are Project Management Skills?

As stated above, project managers need to plan and control many areas of a project. To do so they need a set of project management skills which consists of personality traits, soft skills and technical or hard skills.

project schedule on a Gantt chartproject schedule on a Gantt chart

Below we’ve collected the top 20 personality traits, soft and hard skills every project manager should have. There are certainly more than 20, but if you have these, you have the foundation on which to build a successful career in project management.

Top 20 Project Management Skills for 2022

These project management skills can be useful for several purposes. You can include them in your project manager resume and cover letter, and you can use them to prepare for your project manager interview. Or, you could simply study them to learn about technical skills to improve as a leader and project manager.

1. Knowledge of Project Management Methodologies

A project manager needs to know about the different project management methodologies that exist. That doesn’t mean that you need to be an expert in all of them, as they usually are industry-specific and require certification. Here are some of the most common project management methodologies.

If you want to learn more about these and other approaches, check out our project management methodologies blog.

Pro Tip: As a project manager, you should be familiar with the project management knowledge areas and project management process groups defined by the project management institute (PMI).

2. Proficient with Project Management Software

Having a working knowledge of project management software is a must-have technical skill for project managers in today’s world. There are many project management software alternatives available in the market, so you’ll need to determine which project management tools and features are best for you and your team’s workflow.

3. Team Management

Project management is about teamwork. Project managers must have people skills to keep their teams working productively. That means understanding conflict management to keep everyone working together and morale high. It’s always helpful to start projects with team-building activities to help create relationships that will stick through the thick and thin of a project.

4. Time Management

Time is one of the triple constraints and one of the most important technical skills. Not having time management skills can lead to delays and worse. Project management is about meeting deadlines and getting your deliverables out on time. Project managers have to be experts in managing their time, their team’s time and the overall time of the project.

5. Project Planning

Project planning is a must-have project management skill because a project plan is the foundation of the project management cycle. It includes the project schedule, resources and costs. Traditional project management is all about planning ahead. Therefore, the planning stage of any project lays the foundation for everything that follows, including the success or failure of the project.

6. Project Scheduling

The project scheduling process is a vital part when writing your project plan. A project schedule organizes tasks, teams and time to complete a project. When people think about a project management skill, they’re probably thinking about project scheduling, deadlines and deliverables. But project scheduling is more than that, as it also involves resource management and risk management.

There are many tools that can help with this process, chief among them an online Gantt chart, which provides a visual of the schedule with tasks, durations of those tasks, dependencies, and milestones.

Not all Gantt chart software is as robust as ProjectManager. Our tool will do all the above, but unlike competitors, we can automatically calculate the critical path and then you can set a baseline. Now you’re ready to monitor planned versus actual effort and catch discrepancies with your schedule and budget. Don’t you want a Gantt chart that can do more? Get started for free today.

7. Project Budgeting

The project budget is the fuel that drives the project. Project management is all concept and no action without a project budget. But having a project budget is one one side of the project budgeting coin. There’s also budget management, which means tracking costs throughout the life cycle of the project and making sure your actual costs don’t exceed your planned budget.

8. Risk Management

Planning a project, big or small, is inherent with risk. Before executing the project, you have to create a risk management plan to identify, assess, and control risk. The more you can manage risk, the more likely your project is going to succeed.

9. Cost Management

Projects cost money. Creating a budget is part of the planning stage of project management. Once you have a project budget you have to use budget management to make sure that you control your costs through the execution stage.

10. Task Management

Tasks are little jobs that make up the execution phase of project management. They need to be created, organized, assigned to team members and tracked to make sure they meet the project constraints. This is done with task management. Project management software helps you manage tasks and fosters collaboration among your project team.

ProjectManager supersizes the limited features of most to-do software tools and gives you more task management tools. You can use Gantt charts, kanban boards, task lists and project calendars to manage your projects.

list view from ProjectManager showing details of selected tasklist view from ProjectManager showing details of selected task
Manage tasks better than on a to-do list with ProjectManager.—Try It Free!

11. Leadership Skills

Some say that leadership is a personality trait or soft skill that can’t be taught. While some project managers have better people skills than others, we think everyone has the potential to learn how to apply proven leadership skills and techniques.

As a project manager you’re responsible not only for project success, but you also need to be a leader that applies leadership skills to guide and motivate team members to achieve their goals.

12. Communication Skills

Communication skills really go hand-in-glove with leadership. You can’t be an effective project manager if you’re not able to articulate what it is you need your project team to do. But you’re not only going to be communicating with your team, you’ll need to have a clear communication plan for your customers, stakeholders and contractors.

13. Negotiation Skills

Being good at negotiation is one of many communication skills, but it deserves its own space here. In project management, negotiation is an important skill for conflict resolution and stakeholder management. For example, you’ll likely get demands from stakeholders that can impact the project scope. You’ll have to give them pushback, but diplomatically, so all project stakeholders feel they’re getting what they want.

14. Organization Skills

The term organization skills refers to the ability that an individual has to manage time and tasks in an efficient manner. So as the name implies, organization skills allow someone to work in an organized and efficient manner.

15. Interpersonal Skills

Teams are made of people and people have personalities. There are many different types of team members and they all have to get along. Having interpersonal skills brings the best out of your project team and helps with conflict resolution.

16. Problem-Solving Skills

Projects are problems. Having the skills to solve those problems means that your project is more likely to deliver success. Think of problems as puzzles that you can have to figure out. There are many problem-solving tools out there to help you along the way.

Do you have these essential project management skills? Do you have these essential project management skills?

17. Adaptability

Change is a constant in project management. Being flexible is what keeps a project viable. If you’re not willing to adapt then the project will suffer. Of course, you have to have the wisdom to know when adaptability serves the project and when you have to bit the bullet and push through.

18. Critical Thinking

Too many people understand the basics of project management but can’t think outside the box. Critical thinking is all about not accepting everything you hear but taking the time to understand the issue and do the research that leads to an informed decision. A critical thinker is more likely to clear the hurdles that every project has to go through.

19. A Sense of Humor

Having a sense of humor is an essential project management skill, even if it is a soft skill in project management. Humor relieves stress for you and your team, and only when tensions are lifted can smarter actions and ideas show themselves. Project team building activities are a great example of how humor can be used by project managers.

20. Patience

Nothing is solved by rushing through a project or getting frustrated when things don’t go well. Projects need to be thoroughly planned in order to run smoothly. That doesn’t mean there won’t be issues. They’re always issues. Whether it’s a change request or stakeholders having unrealistic expectations, if you don’t have patience everything will be exponentially worse.

ProjectManager Puts Project Management Skills to Use

Now that you know what skills you need to be a successful project manager, it’s time to equip yourself with the right project management tools. ProjectManager has a suite of powerful tools that can improve the workflow of any project manager. In addition to offering the aforementioned award-winning Gantt charts and dashboards, we also offer powerful reporting features to track your project’s progress.

project reports from projectmanager.comproject reports from

You can have all the soft and technical skills in the world, but without project management software you’ll still be working at a disadvantage. Luckily, there are tools that enhance your skill set and make you even more efficient and productive. ProjectManager has features to help schedule, manage tasks and budget your project, as well as being online so it’s great for team collaboration. You’ll have to bring the sense of humor, but we’ve got the rest. Try it for yourself by taking this free 30-day trial. 

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Best Kanban Software of 2022: Top 10 Free & Paid Kanban Tools

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Kanban, which means billboard or signboard in Japanese, is a work management system developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. The kanban method is executed with a board and a collection of cards that move across a series of columns, which indicate progress and state.

While kanban boards can be physical boards with cards on them, this agile project management and lean manufacturing tool has migrated to the digital realm where kanban software’s usefulness has grown exponentially in a range of industries. The project management world took note, and a number of kanban software tools were born.

But first, to place the tool in context, let’s explore kanban boards, what they are and how the best kanban software of 2022 takes the tool to the next level.

Using Kanban Software

The kanban methodology is a great way to manage workflow. It helps to define, manage and improve how work is delivered. By visualizing the workflow, efficiencies are discovered and the production process can be optimized. The effectiveness of kanban boards is baked into its process: the ability to constantly be looking at how to improve the workflow. Kanban is ultimately about productivity and continuous improvement. As a lean manufacturing tool, it seeks to eliminate waste and bottlenecks to keep the work flowing steadily.

Using kanban software visualizes your workflow clearly and offers transparency in an online setting. Traditional, scrum and agile teams can use it to manage their work, and managers get a window into that work. Depending on how robust the kanban software is, they can use this clarity to catch issues and reallocate resources to keep them from becoming problems.

Who Can Benefit from Using Kanban Software?

Kanban software is a very versatile task management tool that is used in many different industries. Here are some examples of the most common uses for a kanban system.

  • Scrum and Agile Teams: The kanban methodology helps scrum and agile teams to plan their sprints.
  • Project Managers: Project managers use kanban boards to manage work items, work-in-progress limits (WIP limits), recurring tasks and the product backlog.
  • Agile Software Development Teams: Most software development teams use an agile framework to plan and execute work. Kanban boards are perfect to control their user stories, backlog items and WIP limits.
  • Scrum, Lean and Agile Project Management Teams: Project management teams can use a kanban framework to manage their projects. Project managers oversee the process while team members can easily manage their tasks with their personal kanban boards too.

So, which is the best kanban software to use? That depends on what your needs are. Some provide a bare-bones electronic version of the kanban board and cards, while others integrate kanban into their full feature set to expand its benefits. To narrow down the field, we tested several of the more interesting kanban software on the market. Here’s our ranking of the best kanban software of 2022.

2022 Best Kanban Software Rankings

1. ProjectManagerprojectmanager logo, the best kanban software of 2022projectmanager logo, the best kanban software of 2022

ProjectManager is a project and work management software that tops our best kanban software ranking because it’s a powerful tool with all the must-have kanban software features that’s also easy to use with intuitive kanban boards and a full suite of planning, tracking and reporting features. This dynamic kanban software brings teams together to work more productively with custom workflows and task approval features. It organizes everything in one place and provides transparency into the project.

Make Workflows With Kanban Boards

ProjectManager is the best kanban software because of how easy it is for you to create custom workflows and set up automation for task approvals and more. Drag-and-drop functionality makes the kanban easy to use, intuitive and even fun. But more than fun, kanban teams are always up-to-date as data is instantly updated across this project management tool so there’s one source of truth. Those real-time updates give managers transparency to reallocate resources and avoid bottlenecks. Meanwhile, kanban teams can manage their backlog items and collaboratively plan sprints, staying up-to-date with email and in-app notifications. Each kanban card is not only a task but a communication hub, where comments and attachments are kept in one place. Teams get email alerts and in-app notifications as comments are added or tasks updated—anywhere, any time. Set priorities and customized tags make for easy sorting.

kanban board view in ProjectManagerkanban board view in ProjectManager

Integrate Kanban With Interactive Gantt Charts

The kanban board is only one of multiple project management views letting you work how you want. What really makes ProjectManager great is how its kanban tool works hand-in-glove with the rest of the software. For example, one of the other project views is a Gantt chart, which is the workhorse of project management. Managers prefer to plan their projects on Gantt charts, which can link dependencies, set milestones, fiter for the critical path, set a baseline to track project variance and provide a visual timeline of the entire project. All that data is reflected on the kanban board view, which is more suited for teams executing those tasks.

screenshot of a Gantt chart in ProjectManagerscreenshot of a Gantt chart in ProjectManager

Track Real-Time Progress With Kanban Software

Another feature that syncs with the kanban software is the real-time project dashboard. With the dashboard, managers get a high-level view of the project plan: It’s like an instant status report. Other lightweight kanban software make you configure the dashboard (if they have one at all), but ProjectManager’s is embedded and ready to use. Track costs, tasks, your team’s workload, time and more.

ProjectManager's live dashboardProjectManager's live dashboard

Unlike the other options on this list, ProjectManager is a full-service project and work management software. This best kanban software has resource management tools, planning and time tracking all integrated with kanban boards. ProjectManager is diverse enough to function in a waterfall, agile or hybrid environment. See how ProjectManager can improve your project management today with this free 30-day trial.


  • Starter: $0 user/month
  • Team: $11.50 user/month
  • Business: $20.50 user/month


  • Does ProjectManager offer a free trial? Yes, ProjectManager has a 30-day free trial
  • Does ProjectManager offer a free version? Yes, ProjectManager offers a free plan
  • Does ProjectManager have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

2. Trellotrello logo, a kanban softwaretrello logo, a kanban software

Trello is a flexible kanban software that helps teams work collaboratively as they manage tasks with boards, lists and cards. This kanban software puts all of its eggs into one basket in order to better prioritize projects. It offers automation, custom kanban cards & boards, buttons, calendars, due date commands and rule-based triggers to its workflows.

However, Trello is not great for large-scale projects. Also, if you’re looking for a kanban tool that helps you manage task dependencies, Trello is not what you’re looking for. Surprisingly, for a kanban software that prides itself on collaboration, communications could be better, as it’s easy to lose track of conversations. But Trello really excels at offering a straightforward kanban planning experience. If that’s what you need, give it a try.


  • Standard: $5 user/month
  • Premium: $10 user/month
  • Enterprise: $17.50 user/month


  • Does Trello offer a free trial? Yes, Trello has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Trello offer a free version? Yes, Trello offers a free plan
  • Does Trello have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

Related: 5 Best Trello Alternatives in 2022

3. Kanban Toolkanban tool logo, a kanban softwarekanban tool logo, a kanban software

Kanban Tool is another kanban software that focuses solely on kanban boards for real-time collaboration, so teams and clients can work closely together by sharing tasks, comments and more. Most users have found the interface relatively intuitive and easy to use. It does offer some flexibility, and its kanban swimlanes are nice for group-related tasks. It has task tracking and WIP limits to avoid bottlenecks, reports and a cumulative flow diagram.

On the downside, the boards can get unmanageable if they’re holding too much data. Even if there’s not much information to manage, the search function is not great: it’s not quick nor in-depth. Kanban Tool is really a task management tool at heart, which leaves many other aspects of project management behind, such as resource management or long-term planning. But, its kanban boards are pretty dynamic and can make up for the absence of other kanban project management features.


  • Team: $5 user/month
  • Enterprise: $9 user/month


  • Does Kanban tool offer a free trial? Yes, Kanban tool has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Kanban tool offer a free version? Yes, Kanban tool offers a free plan
  • Does Kanban tool have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

4. Kanbanizekanbanize logo, a kanban softwarekanbanize logo, a kanban software

Kanbanize defines itself as an agile project management software. Like other kanban software, it’s a kanban tool that is simple and easy, so users can onboard quickly. However, one of it’s unique benefits is that it helps you see the big picture, breaking down key initiatives into multiple levels of hierarchical work items. It also has collaborative features, automated triggers and time tracking to keep tabs on the hours spent on a single task or the entire project.

Unfortunately, there is no traditional resource management feature: there is no easy way to display all the tasks that are assigned to a team member or properly prioritize their daily workload. Additionally, there have been complaints about the reporting feature not being dynamic enough, so users may have to report using external software. Therefore, smaller companies may love Kanbanize, but larger companies may need something more substantial.


  • Team: $149 15 users/month
  • Pricing goes up depending on the feature set you choose.


  • Does Kanbanize offer a free trial? Yes, Kanbanize has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Kanbanize offer a free version? No, Kanbanize doesn’t offer a free plan
  • Does Kanbanize have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

5. MeisterTaskmeistertask logo, a kanban softwaremeistertask logo, a kanban software

MeisterTask is a kanban software that is customizable for various workflows. It can be used in an agile framework by software development teams for sprints, but it also serves other industries, such as marketing and publications. A simple-to-use collaborative software with reporting features, it collects feedback, prioritizes and has milestone tracking and product roadmapping. It will also import from other kanban software.

Although it’s great at importing, it’s not so great with integrations, where your options are limited. It’s not easy to set reminders that aren’t deadlines either. However, kanban software needs to be collaborative, and this software delivers on that promise. The fact that you can customize it is neat, too.


  • Pro: $4.19 user/month
  • Business: $10.39 user/month
  • Enterprise: custom pricing


  • Does MeisterTask offer a free trial? Yes, MeisterTask has a 14-day free trial
  • Does MeisterTask offer a free version? Yes, MeisterTask offers a free plan
  • Does MeisterTask have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

6. Blossomblossom logo, a kanban softwareblossom logo, a kanban software

Blossom is trying to corner the market on distributed teams that work within an agile framework. For example, its kanban software was designed with stand-up meetings in mind, whether your team is in the same room or phoning in from a remote location. This kanban tool provides insights for continuous delivery with its performance analytics, and tends to skew towards this type of team.

Like many similar kanban tools, it doesn’t have a lot of other project management features, such as budget management, Gantt charts and time and expense tracking. While it could be used for more traditional methodologies, the software focuses on teams working with lean or agile frameworks. But if you’re heavily into agile, and compatibility with that style is solely what you’re looking for, then Blossom can help you set up your kanban system.


  • Custom pricing


  • Does Blossom offer a free trial? Yes, Blossom offers a free trial
  • Does Blossom offer a free version? Yes, Blossom doesn’t offer a free plan
  • Does Blossom have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

7. ZenHubZenHub logo, a kanban softwareZenHub logo, a kanban software

ZenHub is a kanban software that focuses on team collaboration using kanban boards in tandem with plan roadmaps, task boards and the ability to create automatic reports. It has been created to work with GitHub, so it is ideal for kanban teams that are working in that environment. Workspaces can be automated once defined and sync with pull requests. The kanban software can help identify blockers and is a good fit for developers, already familiar with GitHub with which it can connect to help with burndown charts, velocity tracking, etc. There’s also reporting features.

Of course, if your team is not using GitHub a lot of the advantages of this kanban software are not going to benefit you. The kanban tool is also limited only to kanban project management and even so, you can’t have different boards for different teams. Everyone is working off the same board. If there is a way to do this, it’s not evident and can frustrate users. Customizing boards for, say, agile sprints isn’t easy. However, for agile teams that are tethered to GitHub this is better than enlightenment.


  • Growth: $7.95 user/month
  • Business: $12.45 user/month


  • Does ZenHub offer a free trial? Yes, ZenHub has a 14-day free trial
  • Does ZenHub offer a free version? Yes, ZenHub offers a free plan
  • Does ZenHub have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

8. Asana

Asana logo, a project management software

Asana logo, a project management software
Asana is a kanban software that helps you plot workflows and supports collaboration for agile teams, who can manage their tasks by seeing them all in one place. Project managers oversee the kanban planning process and make sure that tasks are being executed on time. Workflow stages are addressed with label columns and kanban cards are packed with details, such as due dates, assignees and subtasks. All this is viewed in real time to keep scrum, kanban, agile and hybrid teams working together and allowing managers to avoid bottlenecks. The kanban boards have rules that automate workflows. But Asana also has other project management views, such as a Gantt chart, list or calendar in which to manage work.

As far as kanban software goes, it’s not all clear sailing. One problem that users have faced with Asana is that its kanban tools and UI can be overwhelming, especially for new users. There are a lot of features that might be useful to experienced project managers but newbies will need to set up training in order to best use the app, which of course is a financial and time commitment. That’s why Asana is overkill for small kanban teams or single projects. Far worse, is that there can only be one task owner and there’s no time tracking. There is more functionality when integrated into third-party apps, but that’s hardly an ideal solution.


  • Premium plan: $10.99 user/month
  • Business plan: $24.99 user/month


  • Does Asana offer a free trial? Yes, Asana has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Asana offer a free version? Yes, Asana offers a free plan
  • Does Asana have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

9. Monday

Monday logo, a project management software

Monday logo, a project management software is kanban software that helps scrum, kanban, agile and hybrid teams manage their tasks and workflows. It has a modern UI and is highly customizable, which is a plus for many users. There are also automations that add efficiency and templates to help new users get started. The kanban board is but one project view. There is also a chart and timeline, but that’s not a real Gantt, which is missing from the software.

That might be the biggest negative about It has kanban tools, but the timeline is just a shadow of what a Gantt chart is. It’s a surprising omission considering Gantt charts are almost DNA for project managers and project management. The app’s seemingly disdain for Gantt charts is even more confusing when considering the high cost of using this kanban tool. Add to that a difficult-to-use navigation, no iOS mobile app and a short trial period, it’s understandable why people don’t like Mondays.


  • Basic: $8 user/month
  • Standard: $10 user/month
  • Pro: $16 user/month


  • Does Monday offer a free trial? Yes, Monday has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Monday offer a free version? Yes, Monday offers a free plan
  • Does Monday have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

10. Zoho Projects

Zoho logoZoho logo

Zoho Projects is a task management software with kanban boards that offers multiple ways to communicate in the app. There are also many configuration options and strong time-tracking, which are big selling points for kanban and agile teams. In addition to the kanban boards, there are Gantt charts and task lists. But it’s the kanban boards that draw in users with customizable columns. However other kanban software key features such as resource utilization reports (only for upper-tier subscriptions), bug and issue tracking and integration with other apps, are also big pluses.

The minuses are pretty big, too. For instance, there are no premade kanban planning templates, which can be a very useful entry point for those not familiar with kanban software. Those who work in an agile or hybrid methodology will not find much to like in Zoho Projects, as it has no agile or scrum capabilities.


  • Premium: $5 user/month
  • Enterprise: $10 user/month


  • Does Zoho Projects offer a free trial? Yes, Zoho Projects has a 10-day free trial
  • Does Zoho Projects offer a free version? Yes, Zoho Projects offers a free plan
  • Does Zoho Projects have a mobile project planning app? Yes, Zoho Projects offers a mobile app

Now It’s Up to You: Which is the Best Kanban Software?

The top kanban tools out there have been put to the test. You’ve read what they can and cannot do. There are some that only give you a board and cards, while others sweeten the deal by adding other project management features.

Which one is right for you? Probably one that is cloud-based, in order to keep your team connected and your data up-to-date. If you’re working on almost any project, you’ll also want to have a tool that gives you the power to plan, monitor and report on your progress. Don’t subscribe to dozens of tools when one can do the job.

ProjectManager is the ultimate kanban board tool. It has everything a project manager and their team will want in kanban software and adds all the other features key to managing a successful project. ProjectManager has one-click reporting, a real-time dashboard, a collaborative platform for teams, resource management, planning, scheduling and so much more. Try our kanban tool now by taking this free 30-day trial today.

Related Posts

Project Scope Statement: Include These 7 Things

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Project scope—it’s a moving target and one you want to get a bullseye on before you map out your project management plan. Defined as the sum of all project work, your project scope is the boundary in which your entire project exists.

But the scope of a project it’s not just about work management. To define it, you’ll need to understand the project goals, work breakdown structure, requirements, among other things. Then, once you’ve defined your project scope, you can create a scope statement.

What is a Project Scope Statement?

A scope statement is a document that defines all the elements of the project scope as well as assumptions, project requirements and acceptance criteria. Your project scope statement will act as the primary tool for stakeholders and teammates to refer back to and use as a guideline to accurately measure project success. We’ll explain each of the components of a project scope statement in the section below.

Pro tip: The project scope statement is part of the scope management plan, an important section of the project plan.

project status report filter from ProjectManagerproject status report filter from ProjectManager
Filter status reports from ProjectManager to see only the data you want.

Project Scope Statement Outline

Now that we know what a project scope statement is, let’s learn how to write this important project management document. Similar to the Five W’s of Journalism—Who, What, When, Where, Why—in order to have your project scope statement properly outlined, you must address these seven things:

1. Project Goals & Objectives

Project goals and objectives are what define the purpose of a project. Project objectives are the smaller steps that lead to the project goals, which are broader. Start your project scope statement by explaining them. These goals and objectives should be documented in a project charter too.

2. Project Requirements

Project managers and stakeholders must reach an agreement about the project scope and other project requirements such as the expected quality, risk, benefits, cost, among others.

3. Project Scope Description

It might sound easy enough, but this is the most important step. Here is where you’ll define your project scope, which is all the work that needs to be done to complete the project. Here are some simple steps to help you define the project scope.

  • Use a work breakdown structure to visualize all your project tasks, deliverables, and milestones.
  • List out what is within the scope of your project, and what is out of scope. Everything that’s not included in the project scope is known as project exclusions.
  • Identify project constraints, which are all the limitations such as time or cost.
  • Create a scope baseline to compare your actual progress to the planned project scope.

Project exclusions and constraints are very important because they help establish boundaries for the project to exist. They also manage your stakeholders’ expectations/input, and give your team members some creative limitations to work within.

4. Project Exclusions

While it’s imperative that you define the boundaries around what the project includes from the outset, it’s also extremely important that you list out what this project does not include. For example:

  • Application updates that are planned for a later project and are intentionally not included on this project
  • Restricted or rescheduled customer access to certain support lines/product features

5. Project Constraints

Project constraints are what make managing projects such a puzzle to solve. The top three constraints to managing any project are typically time, money and scope, known as the triple constraint of project management. They are interconnected, meaning that if you pull one lever on ‘scope’, another lever on ‘money’ or ‘time’ will also move.

But there are additional project constraints that can crop up at any time, including risk, resources, organization, method, customers and more. List all the constraints you foresee in your project, so you can try to have solutions in place ready to launch when needed.

6. Project Assumptions

Your project assumptions typically revolve around the very things that end up being constraints, including time, money and scope. For example, it’s in this section that you will list out, “the front-end development team will be available during this project time period”, or, “the customer support team will receive new product training by x time.” It’s important to list these out as this will not only tell key stakeholders what your primary resource needs are to make the project go, but it will also give you quick insight as to where your biggest risk factors lie.

7. Project Deliverables

List out the deliverables your team members need to produce in order to meet business objectives. This can include the product itself, instruction and installation manuals, marketing materials, press releases, advertising campaigns and more.

Your project scope statement outline will help act as markers as you build out your full scope statement. Because while predicting the future of the project is impossible at such a high level, this is the first step to getting your project as close to the outcome as possible. By starting with the seven key statements above, you can get a head start on a successful project.

Gantt charts are the workhorses of scope management. However, most Gantt software is woefully limited in terms of its functionality. ProjectManager has dynamic online Gantt charts that do the regular organizing, prioritizing and linking dependencies and adding milestones. But unlike other tools, you can filter for the critical path. When you set the baseline, you’re able to compare your actual progress to what you had planned. There’s not a better way to monitor project scope.

timeline visualized on ProjectManager's Gantt charttimeline visualized on ProjectManager's Gantt chart
Keep to your project’s scope with robust Gantt charts from ProjectManager.

Project Scope Statement vs. Scope of Work

There are a few things that project scope statements typically get confused with, including your scope of work. They may sound similar, but here are the primary differences between these two.

Your scope of work is an agreement of work, typically between consultant and client, that details the agreement of work to be performed, including, but not limited to:

  • Deliverables/products/results
  • Project timeline
  • Project milestones
  • Reports to catalog project progress

While your scope of work can be time-consuming to write, it outlines the project itself and not necessarily the plan that’s to follow. The project scope statement, in turn, fulfills that role by detailing and mapping out exactly what to expect with the project plan and the project itself.

Project Scope Statement vs. Project Scope Management Plan

They might sound similar, and the outcome of the project may be similar, but a project scope statement is different than your project scope management plan. A project scope management plan is what follows the project scope statement, detailing the scope management process from the start to finish of your project life cycle.

Additionally, it helps define the work that must be done over the course of the project, and it controls and monitors those processes. It also documents and tracks phases to avoid scope creep, and assists with project closing, including an audit of deliverables and assessing the project outcome for success factors.

Your scope statement isn’t nearly as involved—it’s just the umbrella over your project scope management plan, acting as a rubric for stakeholders and team members to follow.

Best Practices for a Successful Project Scope Statement

Here are the best practices to consider as you write your project scope statement:

  • Avoid using jargon-heavy language. You’ll be talking to multiple people across multiple departments and specializations, so keep the language consistent and clear.
  • Keep it short. Since this is a document that is seeking stakeholder buy-in, there will likely be plenty of editing to be done before it’s finalized, and it will need to be a quick reference guide for later. So, keep it simple and save the verbiage for your full project plan.
  • Stay away from sweeping statements. You don’t want to over-commit your resources on the project before it even kicks off.
  • Make sure it answers questions, like:
    • What are the long-term business benefits?
    • What does it provide our customers that does not already exist?
    • Is this better than what we currently offer on the market?

How ProjectManager Can Help With Your Project Scope Statement

Major project rollouts can be demanding on both your time and energy. Don’t let it overwhelm you before kick-off. For starters, you can use our Gantt chart software to create a WBS and get a visual on deliverables, as well as the tasks needed to complete before submitting your project scope statement.

From there, you can try ProjectManager and use our task management features to get all the necessary tasks organized, prioritized and sorted by project phase. You can even ask other people for input: team members can comment directly on the tasks so communication stays organized and to the point.

task list feature in project managertask list feature in project manager

Keep tabs on your resources, tasks and deliverables and more so you can keep your project on track. With ProjectManager, you can practice mapping out your project timeline by using our Gantt chart, list out deliverables using our task list or kanban tool and invite team members to review the timeline before submitting the scope statement to key stakeholders. Start your free 30-day trial today.

Related Posts

Project Scope 101

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Defining the project scope is a critical part of the project planning process. That’s because the project scope defines the boundaries of what will and won’t be part of the project work, which is very important when making the project budget and schedule.

So, naturally, scope management is a very important area of project management and there’s a lot to learn about it. But before we jump into that, let’s start with the definition of project scope.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart showing the project scopeProjectManager's Gantt chart showing the project scope

Manage and execute your project scope with ProjectManager’s Gantt charts. Try it out with a free 30-day trial!

What Is Project Scope?

The project scope is the total amount of work that needs to be done to complete a project. It’s also one of the triple constraints of project management. Defining scope is part of the project planning process and helps project managers determine what the project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadlines are.

The project scope is usually defined in a document called scope statement, while the scope management plan explains how it will be controlled. Let’s learn about these important project management documents.

Project Scope Statement

As mentioned above, the scope statement is the project management document that describes the scope of a project.

A scope statement usually includes the following elements:

  • Project Goals & Objectives: The project requirements or acceptance criteria.
  • Project Deliverables: The outcomes of project tasks.
  • Project Exclusions & Constraints: As a project manager you need to explain what can’t be done and why.
  • Project Assumptions: Some inital assumptions that the project management team has before executing the work.
  • Project Milestones: These mark important moments in your project life cycle, such as the end of a phase.
  • Scope Baseline: Your original scope as you planned it. The scope baseline allows you to compare actual results against what it’s in your scope statement.

The scope statement is also a guideline for the project manager. It helps them make decisions about change requests throughout the project life cycle. Change is an inevitable part of any project, no matter how thorough your project plan is, so you want to include the likelihood for change in your scope statement to better manage it later.

Scope Management Plan

The scope management plan is an element of the project plan. It includes the scope statement as well as the action plan that the project team will take to monitor and control the project scope.

How To Define Project Scope

Defining project scope means more than just identifying all tasks, deliverables, milestones and dependencies. Follow these steps to have a more holistic view of your project scope.

1. Define Project Goals & Objectives

Project goals and project objectives are not the same thing. Goals are higher-level than objectives, which are more specific. They must be defined in a project charter during the project initiation phase.

2. Collect Project Requirements

Project requirements can also be found in the project charter. Stakeholders have quality, financial, and other types of project requirements. Those requirements will help you define what can and can’t be included in your scope.

3. Project Exclusions & Constraints

Project exclusions refer to anything that will not be done. Determining that is just as important as defining the scope. That will help you avoid any misunderstandings with project stakeholders. It’s also important to note any important constraints such as costs that might affect the project scope.

4. Define Tasks & Deliverables

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a planning tool that helps project managers visualize all the tasks required to complete a project, organize them by hierarchy and identify dependencies and deliverables.

5. Make a Resource Management Plan

Now that you’ve identified your project tasks, it’s time to determine what resources will be needed to execute them. This includes team members, equipment and materials. You’ll need to allocate those resources to accomplish every task in your project scope. Estimate these costs and add them to your project budget.

6. Change Control Process

The project scope can be negatively impacted when changes such as new project requirements go unnoticed. That’s because they create extra work which is not accounted for. That’s called scope creep. To avoid it, you need change control procedures such as change requests so that the project team can adjust the scope management plan.

Now that you have defined your project scope, you’ve completed the first step in the scope management process.

Scope Management Process

Scope management is one of the most critical areas of project management because managing a project is really managing its scope. That’s because scope management consists in achieving the goals of the project within the time and budget approved by the stakeholders. But those decisions are not necessarily binding. Things change, of course, but you have to make sure those changes are aligned with the stakeholder’s project goals.

3 elements of project scope including definition, training, and communication3 elements of project scope including definition, training, and communication

Managing project scope means from the start that you and the stakeholders have a clear line of communication. You have to know their vision to know what they’re expecting in a project. That way, when change happens you can direct it to meet the project’s goals while keeping the overall project on track. But that’s just the beginning.

To manage the scope of the project, you have to do five things:

  1. Define the Project Scope
  2. Write a Scope Statement
  3. Create a Scope Management Plan
  4. Define a Scope Baseline to Control Scope
  5. Monitor and Control your Project Scope During Project Life Cycle

Pro tip: Scope Management is defined as a project management knowledge area by the project management institute (PMI).

How to Manage Scope with ProjectManager

ProjectManager has a bevy of tools to help managers track their project scope. First and foremost, from a project manager’s perspective, is our online Gantt chart. Use our Gantt chart to create a project plan, where all of your scoped tasks are scheduled with assignees and deadlines. Plus, our Gantt charts feature progress bars that update in real time as team members complete their tasks, so you have utmost transparency.

gantt chart for managing scopegantt chart for managing scope
ProjectManager’s Interactive Gantt Chart

Task Management Features for Doing the Work

ProjectManager comes with three different views for working on tasks. The Gantt, which we mentioned, kanban boards and task lists. All three views can be used to work on the same project, which means team members can work on the project tasks their own way. This flexibility improves productivity across the team, making sure that you avoid the dreaded scope creep.

task list for managing project scopetask list for managing project scope
Task management tools for enhanced collaboration and productivity.

Project Dashboards for Better Tracking

Dashboards are your best friend when you’re trying to spot scope creep. Our real-time project dashboard gives you a live look at critical metrics across your project. This live data lets you spot bottlenecks and issues faster than you would have thought possible. Plus, it’s all displayed in simple graphs that can easily be shared with stakeholders or team members.

Dashboard for tracking scope creepDashboard for tracking scope creep

The best way to manage scope in a project is to have an online project management tool that gives you real-time data so you can act when issues arise and before they become problems. ProjectManager is cloud-based, so when your team updates their statues, from wherever they are and at whatever time, that information is immediately updated and you can monitor the progress of your project more accurately. See for yourself by taking this free 30-day trial

Related Posts

How to Create a Project Execution Plan (PEP) – Free Template Included

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Coming up with a great idea is only the beginning: to realize it, you need a project execution plan (PEP). A project execution plan is a document for executing projects that helps you strategize, come up with project management processes and put the whole thing into action.

Creating a project execution plan is part of the planning phase and allows you to realize your idea. Where an idea can be aspirational, the project execution process is thorough and practical, including all key activities. Needless to add, it’s an essential project management document.

What Is a Project Execution Plan (PEP)?

A project execution plan is a document used to define how you will execute a project. That should be obvious from the name, but it also addresses the project scheduling, monitoring and controlling needed to bring the project deliverables.

The document outlines all parts of the project execution and shows how to manage them. This must conform to the requirements of either the project or the contract between the involved parties. The PEP also notes the project objectives, along with the timeline and resources required to execute the project.

It’s clear that, just from those foundational elements, how important the project execution plan is. But, of course, there’s much more than goes into it.

Once you’ve created the project execution plan, you still need to meet those milestones, dependencies and assignments. If you really want to stay on time, you’ll want to use project management software.

ProjectManager is cloud-based project and work management software that organizes tasks with interactive Gantt charts for execution planning. You can place milestones on the timeline, link dependencies and filter for the critical path. Then, set a baseline and you’ll be able to track project variance when executing your tasks. Get started free with ProjectManager today.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart with a project execution planProjectManager's Gantt chart with a project execution plan
Organize your execution plan on ProjectManager’s interactive Gantt chart.—Learn More!

Elements of a Project Execution Plan

Project execution plans combine the necessary elements for a definitive and actionable project implementation roadmap. That can include listing the project stakeholders and defining all the project tasks. Here are the six basic elements of a project execution plan:

1. Project Scope

The project scope is a broad view of objectives and a detailed list of all the elements involved in the project. Define the project scope by identifying what needs to get done. Do this in specific terms. This gives project stakeholders a summary of the project’s purpose and its goals.

Some of the details you’ll want to include in your project scope are:

  • A statement of work to define the roles and responsibilities of the project team
  • A list of limitations and boundaries of the available resources
  • All potential deliverables, not just the final one
  • A list of any relevant reports, products, services or new software developments
  • Which stakeholder or customer these will be delivered to
  • Some criteria to measure success for the project team

2. Quality Standards

You know the outputs, now it’s time to define the quality you expect from them. Having a clear understanding of quality expectations is key to a successful project. To begin, you’ll want to define what quality is and make sure your whole team agrees on that definition.

Also, having attainable goals will keep your team motivated. If their work feels unattainable, it’ll likely erode morale. In order to keep the team committed, frequently ask for feedback on what an attainable goal is and apply that to your PEP.

3. Goal Statements

A goal statement outlines what the team plans to implement and complete during the project. Some examples of a goal statement could be expected deliverables, milestones and the life cycle of large work tasks.

The goal statement can also reiterate the project’s purpose. It can show the benefits the project is expected to give the organization, stakeholders or customers. There can also be the identification of risks and challenges with details on how the team will respond to them.

4. Resource Allocation for the Project Execution Plan

You’ll also need a list of all the resources you need to complete the project. The resources—unlike the scope, quality specs and goals—are what your team needs to put the plan into action. This is also where you’ll define the project budget, as resources are costly.

A resource in a project can be capital, people or materials. In fact, it’s anything that is needed to execute the tasks in your project execution plan. Having resources in place to meet the capacity of your team is required to get complete your project on time and within quality expectations.

5. Project Schedule

While you have already created a timeline and milestones, a full schedule is required in the PEP. This means using a work breakdown structure to list, prioritize and create deadlines for your tasks. You can then assign these tasks to team members.

Changes in the supply of needed raw materials can impact a schedule, and therefore the expectation of delays needs to be managed with stakeholders and teams. The project manager might have to make adjustments to the triple constraint of time, cost and scope to respond to changes in supply to keep on schedule.

6. Organizational Components

Finally, the PEP needs to consider the operational aspects of the project. This means listing the key personnel and their roles and responsibilities, then distributing this list so everyone is aware of who is responsible for what.

Along those lines, you’ll need to identify who has authority to make what decisions. This will help the team work better together, as they’ll know who to reach out to when a decision has to be made. These authority figures will also be available for questions and concerns.

You should outline any methods used in the project for reporting and communications in the PEP. This includes how you’ll monitor and track the progress and performance of your project. Also, how your team works together and with other teams if they are interfacing with other departments.

How to Create a Project Execution Plan

1. Kickoff Meeting

A kickoff meeting lets you to communicate the strategy, process and actions to the team and stakeholders. You can field any questions and make sure everyone understands the project and has buy-in. This isn’t a daily standup meeting, it’s a comprehensive overview of the project implementation. You should share the project plan at this time so everyone is on the same page. Project management software can facilitate this step by onboarding everyone and quickly sharing the plan and allocating tasks.

2. Monitor and Control the Project Execution Plan

The project will proceed as normal through the execution, monitoring and controlling stages. Here, project management software can assist you with maintaining the schedule, budget and scope of your project. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any risks in your risk management plan and keep your team’s workload balanced. Stakeholders can be instrumental in helping you identify risks before they become issues. Then, you’ll want to analyze your data to make sure you’re meeting progress, key performance indicators (KPIs) and performance milestones.

Dashboard for monitoring an execution planDashboard for monitoring an execution plan
ProjectManager has live dashboards for monitoring and controlling projects. Learn more

3. Real-Time Data

You’ll need cloud-based project management software to know if you’re on time and not overspending. Having a real-time tool is essential for monitoring a project, but it’s also great for facilitating collaboration. Managers can manage and teams can communicate, whether they’re working side-by-side or distributed across the globe. Using real-time software means everyone is working on the most current data and managers can make more insightful decisions.

4. Signoff

Handing off deliverables on time and within budget can feel like the end of a project, but it’s not. There is still paperwork you need to complete. This isn’t busywork—it’s a key part of the project life cycle. You need to get sign-offs from your stakeholders to make sure the product or service has met their quality expectations. You need to pay any vendors or contractors and then release your team. And don’t forget to celebrate! It’s not only fun and deserved, but maintains the morale of your teams.

Free Project Execution Plan Template

ProjectManager offers a free implementation plan template for Excel that can help you lead your project to success. This free implementation template helps you take your idea through a strategy, process and into action without missing anything crucial. It’s a helpful project execution plan example.

implementation plan template for excelimplementation plan template for excel
Practice making your own project execution plan with ProjectManager’s free template for Excel.

Create your project execution plan on our free implementation template to improve your project work. It has space for everything you need to manage.

Every action is a task and tasks are organized on a timeline. Here they have dates for a planned start and planned finish for each. The timeline also has a place for planned hours. There’s also a column where you can note whether the task is ahead of schedule or behind schedule, which will help you track your progress.

The last part of the template is for resources. Project managers can mark down which department handles what, and the materials they’ll need to execute their tasks. There’s also a place to estimate the cost of the task. All this combined makes for a roadmap to your project execution. Now it’s up to you to monitor and control it.

Use ProjectManager to Create Your Project Execution Plan

A template is a great tool, but it’s a static one. If you’re finding templates slow you down and aren’t accurate enough, then you’ll want to switch to ProjectManager, which automates much of the work and gives you real-time transparency to better manage your project to a successful end.

Multiple Project Views for Every Team

Whether you’re working in marketing, IT, professional services or any industry, you’re going to have a lot of different teams working together. ProjectManager has multiple project views to give everyone the tools they want. For example, the kanban board is a visual workflow feature that lets teams manage their backlog and plan sprints together. It also gives managers visibility into their work so they can allocate resources as needed to avoid roadblocks and keep teams working at capacity.

ProjectManager's kanban board viewProjectManager's kanban board view

Manage Your Team’s Resources Easily

You need to make sure your team is working at capacity. While you can view their tasks on any of the multiple project views, such as the list view, sheet or calendar, ProjectManager has resource management tools to balance their workload quickly and easily. The workload chart is color-coded so you can view workload at a glance and then reallocate work right from that page.

ProjectManager's workload chartProjectManager's workload chart

Track Changes on Live Dashboards

Change management means knowing when changes occur. That means real-time monitoring with ProjectManager’s live dashboard.. It automatically collects project data and calculates the numbers to show your metrics on time, cost and more in easy-to-read graphs and charts. For more detail, use one-click reports on project status, portfolio status, project variance, timesheets and much more. These reports can be filtered to show what you want and easily shared to update stakeholders.

ProjectManager's live dashboardProjectManager's live dashboard

ProjectManager can make your execution plan, share it with the project team and monitor and control it throughout the life cycle of your project. Get email notifications and in-app alerts in real time to always stay up-to-date on progress and collaborate with your team.

ProjectManager is award-winning work management software for hybrid teams, no matter where they work, what department they’re in or their skill set. Join the 35,000-plus professionals already using our tool to execute their projects successfully. Get started for free with ProjectManager now.

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9 Essential Excel Spreadsheets for Tracking Tasks, Costs and Time

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Your work isn’t going according to plan. Nobody has enough time or money to do their tasks. The best you can hope for is to finish them quickly, saving as much time and costs as possible.

If you’re in this spot, then you may seek out some task, cost and time tracking templates for Excel. We’ve collected ProjectManager’s 9 best Excel spreadsheets for tracking that you can download and use for free. And, if you want even more Excel spreadsheets and free templates, check out our templates hub.

1. Dashboard Template

A dashboard is how you keep track of your work, including the time spent on tasks, what you’re spending and if you’re making progress as planned. ProjectManager’s free dashboard template for Excel gives you an overview of how you’re doing on your work. This information is vital to know if you’re overspending or running behind on your schedule.

Project Dashboard Template for trackingProject Dashboard Template for tracking

ProjectManager’s free dashboard template has several widgets that monitor metrics in your work. For example, there’s a color-coded task graph that shows if your tasks are complete, in progress, not started or overdue. There’s also a workload chart for managing teams and making sure their workload is balanced.

There’s another task graph that measures the duration of the tasks, which is helpful in seeing what is getting done on time and what is taking too long. Finally, there’s a cost bar chart to help you stay on budget.

This Excel dashboard template can manage your work, but it’s a static document that must be updated manually. Project management software automates that process. ProjectManager goes one step further by accumulating real-time data, crunching the numbers and displaying it. Get started with ProjectManager free today.

ProjectManager's real-time dashboardProjectManager's real-time dashboard
Track tasks, time and cost in real time with ProjectManager’s live dashboard.—Learn More!

2. Task Tracker Template

ProjectManager’s free task tracker for Excel template can organize your work and keep track of it. It’s similar to a to-do list, where you just need to add the work and manage it. Having a task list is the first step to controlling your work.

This task tracker spreadsheet captures all the details of your work. Add the name of the task and include dependent tasks. You can assign it to yourself, or someone on your team.

free task tracking templatefree task tracking template

Next, set the priority and when you expect to finish. Finally, there’s a column to mark its status, which is essential to track your work. It’s got everything you need to track your tasks at a basic level with an Excel spreadsheet.

3. Budget Spreadsheet for Cost Tracking

Managing costs in your work is as important as meeting deadlines. ProjectManager’s free budget template for Excel helps you keep to your budget by tracking all of your financial details on one spreadsheet.

Project budget spreadsheet for trackingProject budget spreadsheet for tracking

Tasks cost money. The budget defines the costs of the resources you’ll employ to deliver those tasks to completion. First, the spreadsheet template has a numbered list that corresponds to your work breakdown structure (WBS). Then, there are labor costs: planned vs actual hours, plus the cost per hour. Materials are broken down by units and cost per unit.

There is also room for other line items on your budget, which include travel, equipment, fixed and miscellaneous costs. Finally, there are columns to collect the budgeted and actual cost for each line item, then a balance showing if the line item is above or under budget.

4. Timeline Template

ProjectManager’s free timeline template in Excel is perfect for scheduling your project from start to finish in Excel. It’s a way to view all your tasks and keep on schedule. You can even add milestones!

Timeline template for trackingTimeline template for tracking

To get started with this free timeline template, you first need to list all your tasks and give them a name. Each task must have a start date and an end date, plus the time you think it’ll take to complete.

You add all that data to the left side of the template, which is a normal tracking spreadsheet. Then, on the right, you’ll see the timeline. All your tasks are now laid out as horizontal bars across a timeline so you can see how long it’ll take to complete each task.

5. Action Plan Spreadsheet

Managing work means outlining the steps you must complete in order to achieve your goals. Use ProjectManager’s free action plan spreadsheet for Excel to track tasks and detail the strategy you’ll use to complete your work on time and within budget.

Action plan spreadsheet for task and project trackingAction plan spreadsheet for task and project tracking

We’ve broken up this action plan template into three sections. The first are the action steps, which note priority, list tasks, phases and assignments. There’s also space to note the status of your tasks and track their progress.

Section two is a timeline, with start and due dates, including planned hours. Finally, section three focuses on resources; for example, which department is responsible for which task, what materials are needed and the resource cost.

6. Status Report Template

Knowing where you are at any particular point in the project life cycle is how you manage time and costs. Our free status report template is a great tool to track your progress and keep on schedule.

Status report template for tracking in ExcelStatus report template for tracking in Excel

This free status report template is made up of five sections: project information, project status summary, project health, risk management overview and a conclusion that includes recommendations for the future.

A status report is a cornerstone of tracking your work. It’s used in project management and work management alike because it gives managers a picture their planned vs actual progress. It’s also a powerful tool when presenting to stakeholders.

7. Risk Tracking Spreadsheet

No matter how well-planned your work is, there are unknowns that can impact your progress. Use ProjectManager’s free risk register spreadsheet to help you plan for risks in your work.

Risk tracking spreadsheet for ExcelRisk tracking spreadsheet for Excel

This free risk register for Excel has columns to ID the risk to make it easier to track. There’s a column to describe the risk and explain how it will impact the work you’re doing if it goes from a risk to an actual issue.

For each risk you identify on the template, you can add a risk response, which the response you’ll take if the risk actualizes. You can also note the risk level. Then, if you’re working in a team, you can assign the risk so that team member is responsible for identifying and rectifying it.

8. Change Tracking Spreadsheet

Download ProjectManager’s free change tracking spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel to manage change when it impacts your work management. It will help you control change so it doesn’t make you spend too much overtime or add costs.

Change log template for tracking changesChange log template for tracking changes

A change log Excel spreadsheet is one of the most important Microsoft Excel templates we offer. It’s a document that captures change when it happens. You can number changes for better tracking, and note when the change first came up and who discovered or requested it.

You can then prioritize the change, and you or a team member can be given ownership to see it through to completion. The Excel spreadsheet tracks the change from discovery to recovery, and makes sure that no change order is lost in the cracks.

9. Time Tracking Spreadsheet

There’s no better template to track the time you spend on your tasks than with ProjectManager’s free time tracking spreadsheet. This timesheet is great for you, or for team members, to record the amount of time spent on work.

Timesheet template for time trackingTimesheet template for time tracking

The timesheet has space for your name or the name of the employee, what department they’re working in, who their supervisor is and the hourly rate of pay they get. The template collects their hours, such as their start time and end time for their workday. There’s even a place to add overtime and lunch.

Then, the total for the week is added up and multiplied by the rate of pay to show the total amount the employee is owed. Finally, there’s a line for the employee to sign and the supervisor to look it over and sign it, too, if accurate.

Use ProjectManager to Track Time, Costs and Tasks Better Than Excel

Templates and Excel spreadsheets for tracking are great, but as noted above, they can only do so much. ProjectManager is cloud-based work management software made for hybrid teams that connects everyone, no matter where they work, what time, department or skill level. And it does it in real-time, so everyone is collaborating and working on the most recent data.

Automatically Fill Out Timesheets

Take timesheets, for example. Instead of having your employee fill out the timesheet, ProjectManager’s timesheets autofill their tasks and update the time they’ve spent. This streamlines payroll, but also offers a window into tracking the time they spend on their tasks. That way, you know if they’re meeting their quota or not. Also, once submitted, timesheets are locked and secure.

ProjectManager's timesheet viewProjectManager's timesheet view

Work in the Way That Suits You

Multiple project views allow everyone on the team to work how they want. Managers can plan ahead on Gantt charts that show all your tasks on a timeline. The duration bar that connects each task’s start and end dates will automatically show progress based on how much of it is shaded. Teams can use task lists, kanban boards or calendars if they prefer, all of which are updated and show progress. There’s not a more flexible tool available for hybrid work management and tracking work.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart ProjectManager's Gantt chart

Generate One-Click Reports in Seconds

Tracking time, costs and more is easy with ProjectManager’s one-click reports. Get status reports, reports on tasks, timesheets, expenses and more. These reports take complicated data and turn it into insightful and easy-to-read reports to monitor progress and more. Reports can also be filtered to see only the data you want and then shared to keep stakeholders updated.

ProjectManager's status report filter windowProjectManager's status report filter window

ProjectManager is award-winning work management software for hybrid teams. Our real-time tool tracks time, costs and more to make sure you’re always on schedule and never spending over your budget. Join the 35,000-plus people using our software to track tasks, cost and time. Get started with ProjectManager free today.

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