Behind every successful website project is a great project manager. Behind every successful project manager is a great set of project management tools.
Project managers are essential to the life cycle of projects. They ensure that the projects stay on time and on budget from the moment the team kicks off development of a website through the end of the support phase.
Just like a carpenter cannot build without a hammer, we are not able to manage projects without our project management tools. They allow us to track tasks, timelines and budgets and communicate with our team and our clients. Here’s what we have in our tool box at WebDevStudios.
Communication is key to any project. Project managers are responsible for communicating timelines, requirements and deliverables to both the team and our clients. We communicate with our clients using Confluence, part of the Atlassian suite.
We are able to effectively share and collaborate on status updates, call agendas and meeting notes. We also use Zoom for conference calls with or without the camera on, based on our clients’ preference.
Internally, project managers communicate with their teams throughout the day, every day. This constant communication results in clarity and direction throughout the life cycle of the project. As a remote company, this could prove to be a challenge, but we never miss a beat by using Slack for our internal communications. We are able to communicate in the designated project channels, department channels, and, of course, direct messages. And, naturally, we have a few channels that are just for fun!
To manage tasks, we use Jira, also part of the Atlassian suite. Jira allows us to map out projects on the road map by breaking milestones out into sprints, epics, tasks and more. We are able to easily track the progress of the project. Our clients can, too, at any given time, since they have access to the system. Tasks are assigned to engineers and sometimes even our clients, like when there is a client deliverable, we have a question, or they need to review something.
Budget and Timelines
In order to make sure we are adherent to budgets and timelines, we use Forecast and Harvest. Forecast is a system that allows us to, you guessed it, forecast a project’s life cycle by assigning hours per project per engineer. We are then able to make sure that we have enough resources to fulfill the work in the appropriate time frame.
Harvest is our time tracking system used to make sure we are budgetary compliant. We all log time against projects and even tasks so that we know how much time we are spending where. Project managers check time daily to make sure we are not going over budget and to see if we need to adjust timelines and schedules accordingly.
As a Project Manager, I live by our tools since our clients’ satisfaction is our goal and our tools ensure that. Without Jira, Confluence, Slack, Zoom, Harvest and Forecast, my tool box would surely be incomplete. So the next time we invite you to join our tool set, accept knowing that this will help us build an awesome website for you.
Contact us when you’re ready for a website that is delivered on time, on budget, and managed by a great project manager!
Do you know a great project manager? We’re hiring!
6 thoughts on “Project Management Tools We Use and Love”
“We communicate with our clients using Confluence, part of the Atlassian suite.”
Awesome post, thank you for writing it! As a Project Manager myself, I am curious as to what aspect of Confluence you give to your clients? We use JIRA and Confluence as well but it didn’t look like Confluence was a great option to be client-facing. Is the client able to see the overall project status at any given time or does WebDev use it primarily for notes and a history of meeting archives?
We are very heavily invested in using Google Drive but I’ve also tried to use Client Portal.io for a portal to create for our clients and then link everything out to Google Drive with direct URLs. I’m curious to hear more about how you are using Confluence to interact with your clients on projects.
Hi, Alex! Yes, we use Confluence for notes and history of meetings archive, but also to share our project plans and gain sign off on those. Instead of email, we encourage our clients to communicate through Confluence so that we have these all stored in one location with full transparency to the team and our clients.
Is there a way I am able to get in contact with you to keep this conversation going? I have some more questions about Confluence user face processes and would love to pick your brain if that’s ok?
Hi, Alex. Lauren is currently managing a client project, but to reach anyone at WebDevStudios, please feel free to email us at [email protected]. Thanks for reading our blog and your interest in this blog post.
We use Asana and Trello to manage our website projects. They have very good features. We are very happy with that.
We have used Trello for internal projects before too!