I run a fundraising consultancy focused on grantwriting for nonprofits.
I am exploring project management software that my team can use to manage all of our deadlines for all of our clients (and potentially to foster collaboration between my contractors, who don't see each other). Below are the resources that my assistant has identified.
Do you have experience with any of these? Or do you have any recommendations for services that we might use?
Thanks in advance for anything that you can offer!
I have been looking at a few options in hopes of finding one that could track where we are in the grant writing process as well as the variables that you may need for managing your contractor and Alex may appreciate for billing. And of wanting to keep it budget friendly too!
Each of these offer opportunities for group collaboration, interact with other software (like DropBox or Google Docs), are pretty user friendly and have free trials. As I am not sure the full scope of what we wish to do included my favorites below. I also noted cost. For some I think that we could consolidate users by doing a Last Pass or Dashline share but I also am not sure if that would allow for the full scope of accountability.
In alphabetical order - need your thoughts on what is priority in order to determine a "best fit".
BaseCamp - https://basecamp.com/
$29 per month (internal) and $79 per month with client share.
To Do lists
Online Chat (and pings for individual conversations)
File storage and organization
Project Manager - https://www.projectmanager.com/
$20 per month for team of 10 with client logins
Smartsheet - https://www.smartsheet.com/
$10 per month basic plan or $15 per month per person for teams of 3 or more.
Alerts & Reminders
Please let me know your thoughts. There are others out there but these seemed to have the best features for the value.
Our team uses Basecamp and Slack. Both are very easy to use and have a lot of features out of the box.
Basecamp's benefit compared to other project management software is that it is easy to use. We have used other systems with our clients like Jira and iMeet but we found both had a learning curve that was much steeper than Basecamp.
Slack isn't really a project management system but it really helps us with our communication. It allows for "channels" so you could talk about different projects with the same people without confusion. It also has a lot of integrations and will definitely help out a lot. It has an unlimited free trial so there is really no reason not to try it.
I would recommend using JIRA or Basecamp. The tool would depends on the final use you are going to give it.
Basecamp is a highly used and often recommended product, but too be honest, I have found Asana to really handle the basics well. That said, if you are looking for something more robust with build in gannt charting etc, then I would not recommend it. It is a super simple solution however, that can be used by a vast array of skill sets, and can also be shared with clients so that they can monitor easily and comment on questions if needed. I am also looking to integrate it with SLACK for the purposes of increased communications, but quite honestly for a simple solution to managing tasks and project deadlines, assigning to various individuals and even forwarding emails straight into the system to add as a task, its a nice solution.
I understood your need in a better detail when I went to greggpartners.com; at first, there are several options, the best one will depend on the internal experience your people have; If there is someone or more team mates knowing the same platform, it will give you learning curve leverage.
Nonetheless, assuming you have solved the stage above, as per my consultant experience; some conversations with colleagues and the answers you have received, JIRA, Trello y Basecamp are user friendly, easy setting up and have the right tools to track schedules, tasks and deadlines.
All of them have very good teams working on improvements: particularly, Atlassian the guys behind JIRA are always innovating and releasing new features focused not only on IT but in cosultancy.
Make the best choice. Take care!
I would also recommend Asana. While it doesn't have gannt chart functionality, it is incredibly simple but very powerful. When I moved our company to Asana a few years ago, one of the challenges we found was getting staff trained on up on the software. We found it's important to choose a platform that's easy to learn.
It Depends !!
I 've used multiple project management tools, including , but not restricted to , Basecamp, Ms. Project, Jira , Trello , VersionOne, RallyDev. I also used TFS and Sharepoint. Even excel and google docs.
Every option has pros and cons, depending on the type of team your are working with, type of project and industry , budget, technical literacy, project management literacy of both the team and the management, targets ( is this to manage a project or to do a massive change management ? ) and the management scheme used ( agile , cmmi, pmi , prince2 lean ..etc. )
There is no best project management tool .Your answer to the above will lead you to chose the most convenient one.
Good Luck !