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When a company doesn’t plan properly, it wastes time on tasks that bring little or no added value to the overall team goals. Planning enables a business to prioritize responsibilities and give employees proper time to accomplish them. This is where the project management timeline, also known as a Gantt chart, plays a critical role.
Gantt charts and their role in project management planning
Every project starts with a timeline, which should answer these questions:
What tasks are being acted on right now, and by whom?
What tasks have already been accomplished by the team?
What tasks are going to be performed by the team soon?
But a Gantt chart will do more than just those three basics. It helps to divide various project management phases and assignments into a central location and makes the timeline visual, which is helpful for team discussion and planning. Good project management software should include the dates related to the tasks (start and end dates), task dependencies, task duration and whom each task is assigned to.
Let’s now look at some of the best project management timeline software.
There are many project management offerings on the market that specialize in different functions. For Quire.io, that emphasis is collaboration among team members. A simple, straightforward tool, it expedites project management and is easy to use.
You don’t have to worry about endless to-do lists, as Quire offers an unlimited nested task list that allows you to focus on selected tasks in the sub list. Breaking your ideas down from gigantic tasks makes it easier to regulate. Teams can view it in visual workflow Kanban, with time factor in Timeline. Along with the Gantt charts, Quire is introducing a new Timeline feature in October. Its sync feature allows team members to work anytime, anywhere and track progress instantly.
Quire only has private chat, which restricts its use as a single-solution project management answer for certain teams. It’s adding custom branding and a customized visual layout soon, but until that happens the visuals are somewhat lacking.
Nifty is a modern, all-in-one project management tool that decreases project development cycles and increases team productivity by linking collaboration, communication and automation. Imagine Asana, Slack and Trello in one workspace. That’s Nifty.
Nifty has a very clean user interface that sets it apart from other tools. Nifty is fast, and it’s a lot simpler to manage everything without having to wait for data to load. Nifty’s task panel is organized, and adding custom fields is easy.
Navigation can be confusing. The color contrast in the light and dark themes is low, which means people with certain disabilities won’t be able to use Nifty as easily. Also, there is no iOS or mobile app, no Mac or PC app and no integrations, but these cons are temporary as they’re on the product roadmap.
The secret weapon for project managers in the know, Psoda makes project management easier by offering two things that most other solutions don’t: user-configurable automated workflows and AI-powered intelligence. Both features simplify project management and make PMs look good with less work. Psoda also comes with killer timeline functionality and all the other bells and whistles you expect from a robust solution.
Psoda easily allows you to switch between Gantt, Kanban and more specialized views such as burndown charts and user stories as a timeline. It comes with automation that allows savvy project managers to configure automated management of the easy stuff. Psoda also is highly configurable and differentiates itself by having an AI assistant that makes suggestions for better project management.
With so much baked into Psoda, sometimes the software can overwhelm new users. The high degree of configurability can also be a double-edged sword, as it can be time-consuming to set up the software for an organization’s specific requirements.
Wrike is one of the strongest overall solutions on this list. It smartly weaves task management and work management together.
Wrike’s Gantt chart functionality lets users view multiple projects on the same timeline and import Microsoft Project files. It makes checking the status of an item quick and easy. Adding dependencies eases linear project thinking and helps PMs anticipate when an item can be worked on.
Navigation is a bit complex. It has some storage issues and is not so great with large files if uploading collateral is important. It faces some issues with analytics, too, and there is no time frame option.
Project management isn’t the first use that many people think about when considering this all-in-one project management, CRM, communications and contact center functionality solution. But Bitrix24 is a project management powerhouse in its own right, and its timeline functionality is great for small business owners because its free version includes a fully interactive Gantt chart, among other features.
It provides the ability to create subtasks, tasks, projects and provide a clear picture of progress as a result. It’s easy for all users within an organization to access.
Its user interface could use some work. Although it does not take as long as some other software to learn, there is still a bit of a learning curve when it comes to day-to-day use on account of its breadth.
Timelines are crucial for serious project management, because they visually show how tasks fit together and where blockages might occur. Make sure you’re using a project management solution that includes the timeline feature, and also make sure you’re putting it to full use.