In a tech startup, every project has a bearing on the company’s future. It’s a fast-moving, high-stakes world. Deliverables constantly change. Timelines shift. Systems evolve overnight.
Effective project management plays a critical role in ensuring technical projects and initiatives are a success. But this is far from easy: today, just 35% of project managers are satisfied with the way their organization handles project management, and only 43% of projects are finished on time and on budget.
Every tech startup faces an uphill battle. You’re trying to invent something new and disrupt established competitors. To do that successfully, completing projects on time and on budget is something you simply cannot afford to mess up.
Project management software is vital in ensuring tech startups complete important projects successfully. The right tool functions as a central platform that consolidates all project information into one hub, connecting teams and fostering alignment. The use cases for project management software are endless: from organizing and delegating tasks to tracking the progress of a major initiative.
If your tech startup isn’t using project management software, you’re leaving money on the table. Studies from the Project Management Institute have shown that inferior project management processes cause 11.4% of resources to be wasted – a high margin for lean startups.
We’ll explore how using project management software can help tech startups become more efficient and effective. As we go, we’ll highlight several features of Backlog: a leading project management software platform used by over 18,000 companies worldwide.
Meet Backlog: more efficient project management
Backlog is an online project management tool that enables teams to organize, discuss, and track their work from one central platform. The software has a wide range of features that improve organization, collaboration, and productivity.
In Backlog, all projects, sub-tasks, and files are accessible from one central project hub. Project managers can create powerful project management frameworks like Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and burndown charts that track their team’s progress toward its goals.
Backlog is designed for tech startups, with a series of integrations to the tools you use daily and a slate of developer-friendly features. Try Backlog for free today.
How project management software can help you organize your tasks and workflows
All tech startups have a diverse range of projects at any given time. Project managers don’t just manage one initiative at a time: they might manage three, five, or ten projects simultaneously. In fact, only 15% of project managers work on only one project at a time.
Keeping these projects running smoothly demands that project managers have a consistent, repeatable way to create and manage their projects. That’s exactly what project management software provides: a reliable, scalable foundation that can be customized to fit the needs of each unique project.
Using project or schedule management software enables project managers to create task lists for each project they oversee. In a tech startup, these projects are often complex, requiring many sub-tasks to be completed by a diverse group of contributors.
The right tool allows project managers to add checklists, dependencies, and more to the tasks in their projects, creating a structured framework that’s easy for project participants to follow.
Advanced project management tools, like Backlog, also come with features that help project managers organize their tasks and workflows in simple, visual formats. The most popular include Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and burndown charts.
Gantt charts offer teams a simple, intuitive way to visualize the progress of a project over time. This allows teams to understand which tasks must be completed by when and prioritize important tasks.
Backlog automatically generates Gantt charts based on the existing tasks, deadlines, and assignees in your team’s project. Individual users can access both project Gantt charts and their own personal Gantt charts that display the tasks they have to complete on a clear timeline.
Kanban boards are a popular tool in tech startups, helping teams easily understand the progress of tasks through various stages of the organization’s workflow. They can be used at an individual or team level, clearly showing the status of the different sub-tasks that make up a larger project.
Backlog enables project managers to create and customize Kanban boards. Users can filter the Kanban board to identify the tasks assigned to them, prioritize urgent work, or check in on any project roadblocks. Each card within the Kanban board represents a task. By clicking on it, users can view all the information associated with that task, such as resources, instructions, deadlines, and more.
Burndown charts are an extremely valuable visual depiction of how a project is progressing compared to the original schedule. The chart shows the remaining amount of work, usually expressed in hours, versus the work schedule specified at the project’s beginning.
This helps project managers understand whether their projects are on track and identify parts of the project where progress has stalled and additional support is required. Setting up a burndown chart in Backlog is simple and can be completed in just a few minutes.
How project management software can help you collaborate and communicate with your team and stakeholders
Instead of walking over to a colleague’s desk to ask a question, you need to send an email. Instead of gathering your team to work through a project together in a conference room, you have to schedule a video conference.
This friction only worsens when project teams feature stakeholders from different departments. Your startup’s developers might have figured out a way to work well together in a remote world, but that doesn’t mean there are systems in place between development teams and designers, marketers, and salespeople.
Adopting the right remote work software is key to overcoming these challenges and ensuring that your team can collaborate and communicate seamlessly wherever they are. A purpose-built project management software is the perfect tool to help your team remain aligned on any given project.
Backlog is built with collaboration at heart, freeing teams up to spend less time managing projects and more time moving their projects forward. The platform comes with many tools that help teams work together to plan and deliver their best work, including:
- Task delegation: Backlog users can assign specific tasks and sub-tasks to their teammates, adding deadlines and instructions that ensure the work gets done on time.
- Comments: users can comment on tasks and tag other team members to notify them of open questions, share files, or update them on project progress in real-time.
- Notifications: it’s easy to configure Backlog to send users notifications and emails whenever certain activities happen – for example, when they’re assigned a new task.
- Project wikis: a wiki is a central repository for all information related to a project: documentation, meeting notes, reference materials, and more. Backlog has a range of pre-built templates you can use to build your own.
- File sharing: upload project files to Backlog to ensure everyone can access the resources they need to complete their tasks successfully.
- Integrations with communication tools: Backlog integrates with a wide range of communication tools your business likely already uses, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Typetalk.
By embracing the powerful collaboration tools included with Backlog, project managers can eliminate confusion, foster innovation, and help their teams work together more closely than ever before.
How project management software can help you improve your productivity and performance
As a project manager, it should be your goal for your team to spend the majority of their time working on the project, not figuring out workflows and ownership over certain tasks. A centralized, easily accessible project management tool makes this possible, serving as a resource that enables team members to understand their work quickly.
Project management software is a massive upgrade on manual project management techniques, such as spreadsheets. Tools like Backlog work in real-time, always providing a live view of the project that reflects the latest updates from team members. Additionally, tasks and work processes can be automated and streamlined.
Say you need to create a Gantt chart explaining how a development project is progressing to the founders of your startup. Instead of taking a couple of hours to create this chart manually, teams that use Backlog already have a chart they’re actively using.
This is just one example of how the powerful features of Backlog can help improve your team’s productivity and help you deliver more successful project outcomes. Here are some of the other ways that Backlog can supercharge your team’s productivity:
- Dashboards: every user has their own Backlog dashboard – a personal homepage that displays the status of your projects, pull requests, issues, and any recent activity in your projects.
- Reports: daily and weekly reports can be automatically emailed to team members, summarizing the team’s performance, highlighting successes, and reminding users of upcoming deadlines.
- Integrations with other tools: Backlog doesn’t just integrate with communication tools; it also integrates seamlessly with the platforms development teams work in. Connect Backlog to development tools like Redmine, Jira, and Jenkins, or use webhooks to integrate Backlog with other third-party applications.
- Auto-create tasks: there’s no need for development teams to comb through customer support emails to fix support issues – instead, use Backlog to automatically import support emails as new issues.
By automating and streamlining large portions of your workflow, your team can save hours every week. At a tech startup with limited resources and an endless to-do list, that can be a complete game changer, freeing your team up to work on more important tasks.
Embrace better project management with Backlog
Adopting project management software is a clear sign that your tech startup is becoming more mature. The chaotic, unorganized early startup days are behind you: you’re running a slick, professional operation now.
Selecting the right project management tool to fit your needs and then rolling it out to your team is a critical step in the operational development of your business. At first, this process can be an investment, but over time, it will save your team countless hours, ensuring projects are completed to specifications, on time, and on budget.
Countless tech startups have leveraged Backlog to build a superior approach to project management. Here are a couple of our favorite stories:
SmartCoach Technologies is a fast-growing tech startup that makes performance measurement technology for elite athletes. Their customers include Champions League soccer teams, NBA basketball teams, and even Olympic champions. As the company grew, switching to Backlog proved a game changer for project management.
Marco Pozzo, CEO and Founder, explains: “We used WhatsApp groups, emails, Excel sheets, and Word documents. It was chaos. Backlog solved everything. The problems related to communication and organization have gone.”
Another success story is Thunderbolt Solutions, an early-stage engineering company developing complex systems for the U.S. Department of Defense. Thunderbolt Solutions relies on Backlog to manage internal projects, communicate with clients, and track and resolve bugs.
“For a recent project I was working on for the U.S. Army, Backlog saved me approximately 4 hours every two weeks. It’s a fantastic solution to share information effectively with clients and management and make them happy,” explains Lillian Adrigan, Chief Software Architect at Thunderbolt Solutions.