No matter what profession you’re in, work is about getting things done. Both project management and task management are ways to achieve this. These two concepts, project management, and task management go a long way. They are often used interchangeably. But what do they mean by that?
We’re here to help you out. We’ve broken down what project management is, what task management is, and how similar they are. We also elaborated on project management vs task management to better highlight the differences between the two.
So, let’s get right to it. Here is everything you need to know about Project Management vs Task Management.
What is Project Management?
Before we get into the differences between project management and task management, it is important to understand both of these separately and what they involve.
According to the Project Management Institute, project management can be defined as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.”
In simple terms, project management is the overall management of all tasks and goals related to the project.
What is a project?
People have often used the word “project” as a loose definition to cover different things. However, the majority of definitions accept that any project requires the presence of three defining characteristics.
These characteristics include deliverables, a start date, and an end date.
Deliverables are those outcomes that a project should accomplish. The aim of the project itself should be to create these deliverables.
Another defining characteristic of the projects is that they are temporary. In this sense, each project should have a set start date on which all work to reach the deliverable will begin, as well as a set end date on which the deliverables will be completed.
Project management is the process of making sure deliverables of the project are produced by the project end date. It can take on several different methodologies to complete the project.
Project management also uses project managers to head projects due to the complex nature of the entire life cycle of the project. Project managers ensure that the project runs smoothly and delegate tasks to the project team to ensure that the project deliverables are met.
When we refer to the delegation of tasks, this is done by breaking down the project deliverables into individual tasks. These tasks, which are broken down from the deliverables, are then assigned to the team members to be completed.
Tasks that are created from the end deliverables can either be run simultaneously during the project.
Other types of tasks created in this way have what is referred to as dependencies. This means that certain tasks may depend on the completion of other tasks before they can be carried out.
What is Task Management?
When explaining the project management above, we discussed how tasks may be subdivisions or subsections of projects. However, these are not the only types of tasks that are possible.
You may notice that you have entirely separate tasks that you need to complete daily.
It is the process of managing these tasks, that is, scheduling, delegating, and completing those tasks which are referred to as task management.
Such tasks outside the scope of a project could be either recurring or ongoing, one-off or daily business tasks.
Tasks may be of several different natures and be small or large in the amount of time they take. It is the range of possible activities that can fall under the term “task” that makes the concept so broad and detailed.
Tasks are usually not delegated to employees by project managers, but rather are assigned by team leads, other colleagues, or may even be assigned individually.
Also, read Top 5 Task management tools of 2021
Project Management vs Task Management Similarities and Relation
Now that we have defined both task management and project management independently, it is time to see how similar they are to each other.
After all, there must be a justification behind the two words used by many individuals and organizations, project management and task management, interchangeably.
As we mentioned, projects need to be divided into a set of small, manageable tasks for the project to be completed and delivered on time.
Therefore, both project management and task management go hand in hand.
Project managers need to have project management skills, but they also need to have control over the ability to execute tasks effectively to be competitive and successful in their projects.
In cases where you have tasks that are independent of a project, you could be dealing with multiple similar tasks that might be seen as a project if you put them together.
Therefore, it common for people to use the terms project management and task management interchangeably.
However, this could be confusing, and it could turn out to be misleading. To add to the effect, if you consider the differences between project management and task management and any of the related variables, you can understand the concept clearly.
Project Management vs Task Management Differences
The main difference between project management and task management is the connection between the individual tasks.
As mentioned above, the tasks that are created as a result of making projects more manageable are all connected to work towards the wider project goal. Often, this connection goes even further if you consider the dependencies we described above. Dependency tasks are sequential in nature and mutually dependent.
To elaborate on task dependencies further, let us consider you have a project to organize a birthday party.
For this project, you will have to set a date, decide on a guest list, finalize a location, send out invitations, and so on.
You will only send the invitations once you have decided on the guest list and finalized a location. Therefore, the task of sending out invites is dependent on these two tasks being complete first.
In project management, you will have many such tasks that have task dependencies and with limited resources, tight deadlines, and budgets you have to make sure the sequence of tasks is completed appropriately.
This is not the case for task management where tasks are mostly independent of each other and their management calls for different skills altogether.
Project vs Task Management Software
With task management software you are getting a platform that helps you keep your to-do lists and other notes and daily tasks organized and in one place.
Such software aims to help you move one task along before you begin on another one. Usually, these tasks are independent and not related to one another.
With the help of such software, you can add tasks, categorize or organize them as you please, as well as set any due dates related to them. And these are just the basic features most task management software offers.
There is a load of task management software to choose from to help you stay on top of your tasks and be organized. So many so that the choice can often get quite confusing.
Most task management apps are simple and easy to use and are task-driven to help you get the job done.
On the other hand, project management software is aimed at helping you coordinate projects.
Project management software provides a collection of tools and features that aid in your project planning, collaboration efforts, organization, and delivery of projects. They offer a single platform for all these tools so that you are not jumping between different applications.
While most, if not all, project management tools can be used as task management software as well. The opposite may not be true.
Task management software maybe project management software but most task management software is simpler in design and the features that they offer.
Project management software offers all the tools and abilities task management software provides in addition to multiple other features. These features could range depending on the tool that you choose.
Common project management tools include planning features, task dependencies, milestone tracking, file management, resource management, time tracking, and more.
They also offer features such as Gantt charts and other visual aids that give you the option to track the progress of your entire project.
Furthermore, you can even run multiple projects at the same time and use project management software for them all, which is the case for many project managers.
Restyaboard as Your Project and Task Management Software
Restyaboard is one of those project management software that we mentioned above that offer both project management and task management all in one.
With Restyaboard you have all the task management features you could need. This includes the following:
- The ability to create tasks
- The option to assign tasks to as many team members as you want
- Task descriptions to ensure each team member knows what is expected of them
- Task start and end dates so that tasks are completed on time
- To-do list items to keep everyone on track
- Task priorities so that each team member works on the tasks that are top of the list
- Status updates so that you know how each task is progressing
- Ability to create recurring tasks
Apart from these task management features, Restyaboard also offers a platform for all your project management needs, taking off from robust planning to execution, and going all the way to successful delivery.
Here are some of the project management features you can use with Restyaboard:
- Timesheets features for productivity checks and easy invoicing
- Meeting management features to create meetings and note down meeting minutes
- Issue management so that you and your team can identify any problems that arise during your project and rectify them efficiently
- Risk management to highlight any potential risks that could arise in your project with a risk matrix for visual representation
- Ability to view your project’s progress on Gantt charts with task dependencies and milestones
- Kanban boards for a simple organization of your tasks with work in progress limits
- And much more.
Having said that, mastering both the elements of task and project management is more a practice than a task. Clock your hours, remain consistent, and adapt to adversity. That is one of the most successful ways to ensure productivity on all fronts.