Task Management vs Project Management… what’s the difference?

Filed Under Mind Mapping

Task Management vs Project Management
Ben Work

by
March 15, 2012

Recently I met with Tom Petrocelli at Enterprise Strategy Group and we got into a discussion which some might consider just semantics. We talked about the difference between project management and task management. Tom put it simply: “project management is a discipline and task management is a skill.” Interestingly it’s not a topic that often comes up but the implications extend beyond semantics. He’s got a point. We see the value in both approaches and believe our DNA in task management is a better fit for the majority of people (who must complete multiple tasks in their daily work lives) and teams for the following reasons:

  1. Easier to use. We focused on the task as the core of our product because we see tasks as the smallest atomic unit of work, fundamental to getting anything done. This focus allows new users to get on board fast, making it more likely that if you assign something to your coworker they actually will do it.
  2. Flexible structure. Full disclosure here, we love being Agile! Focusing on the task also allows you to have greater granular control of what people are working on. Priorities are always shifting and good task management systems can easily accommodate this.
  3.  No professional project managers necessary. We believe teams are happier and more productive if they manage themselves. Task management is perfect for this, individuals can contribute and projects get organized and executed organically, keeping everyone involved.
  4.  Not everything is a project. Have you ever had your boss or coworker ask you to do them a “favor”? This is a lot of what work is! Writing a blog post for the marketing department (like this one!) is not a project, it is a separate little task that needs to be worked on and tracked. This kind of thing is too small for project management software, but too important to let fall through the cracks of your email inbox.
  5. Efficiency. Project Managers spend a lot of time making complicated schedules and charts. These are powerful but cumbersome to understand and update when work is moving quickly.
  6. Work chores. A lot of the things people work on are not real “projects.” They are sisyphean tasks that are part of your job. They don’t have a beginning or an end, they just are things that need to get coordinated, tracked and finished.

Give our product a try and let us know if you agree!

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