It’s not uncommon for organizations to spend a lot of time choosing the right scalable software for the team to tackle upcoming projects.
Unfortunately, it’s only until after a team has gotten into the weeds that they find the tool they’re using doesn’t cover all their needs like collaboration, knowledge sharing, communication, etc. This is particularly common among marketing and creative teams.
Projects are complex structures, and a generic project management app isn’t enough on its own. In a recent post Zapier polled 13 brands and found they used an average of 5 apps in a “project management stack." In most cases, the apps were used to cover project management and proofing/collaboration.
When you’re in the thick of a project, adding more tools isn’t ideal. There’s a smarter way to consolidate these activities and tools.
What are Project Management Tools
Project management tools are designed to help teams organize their workloads and manage individual tasks. Most project management softwares imply a single feature they offer gives them a leg up on the competition, but in reality, most tools offer a fairly standard set of features:
- Planning and scheduling tools to help designate tasks and deadlines across a larger workflow
- Calendar integration for tracking progress and milestones across each project
- The ability to view upcoming tasks and to communicate with others regarding specific tasks
- Folders and file sharing where files can be attached to specific tasks or projects
- Analytics to assess the productivity along the project’s lifecycle
What are proofing tools
Proofing tools are designed to create a collaborative environment for handling deliverables along the project development chain. They incorporate a wealth of features that allow for managers, stakeholders, team members, and clients to come together to collaborate in a real-time environment. The biggest draws of proofing software include:
- Real-time collaboration and sharing feedback on individual media
- Threaded comments specific to individual media
- Markup tools include to help reduce revision cycles or passing file versions
- Version control to allow for multiple versions of media without confusion
- The ability to control which versions are being worked on by the team
- Easy collection of feedback and approval from stakeholders in a single place
Ultimately, these tools are ideal for unifying and driving collaboration without the inherent delays that come from communicating across multiple channels, sharing files stored in different locations, and waiting for revisions to be returned by individual team members.
The Segregation Between Project Management and Proofing Tools
Both proofing and project management tools have very specific intentions. While there is some overlap in features and functionality, each tends to fall short when looking for a single tool solution.
For example, proofing tools offer the ideal environment for teams to collaborate on a video project where time-coded comments, image annotation, organizing media into collections, video review and communication all need to take place in one space.
But, that proofing software often has serious limitations when it comes to managing the progression of a project, assigning tasks, and handling due dates – features all typical of generic project management software. The latter also provides users with a lot more analytical data which is critical when you want to see how the team is performing.
Whereas proofing tools focus on collaboration, project management focuses on the tasks that need to be completed to move projects forward in an efficient way. That’s why most companies adopt a project management platform. Of those that do, 90% state those platforms increased efficiency, interoperability, and innovation based on data shared by Capterra.
The downside is that even with project management tools in place, communication and collaboration can slip and require an additional tool. Almost 60% of employees cite communication as their biggest obstacle to success.
Benefits of Integrating both Proofing and Project Management Tools
As standalone solutions, both proofing tools and project management tools can benefit your brand. These gains, however, are set back by the loss of efficiency needed to constantly swap back and forth between separate tools.
Slope has combined these tools into one, offering a comprehensive project management and proofing platform that allows its users to get the best of both worlds.
With proofing, collaboration, and project management integrated:
Transparency increases – Combining project management with proofing allows for the entire team to see and track work at every stage. The ability to see various iterations of a task lets you see its evolution – how changes were made, why, and how they impacted progress.
Better tracking – Proofing software allows for the best collaboration, but over 40% of projects still wind up being tracked in spreadsheets and basic task tracking software. With Slope, you can track all progress within the tool itself.
Improve resource allocation – With a two-in-one tool, project managers and team leaders can more effectively spot bottlenecks and allocate resources based on hard data – not assumption.
Keep the team involved – Proofing tools keep the project focused; project management tools let you keep the team involved; integrating the two keeps your team engaged.
Maintain accountability – Slope helps you record all changes, manage incoming requests, and oversee feedback. This is the best way to maintain accountability and track what’s been done, by whom, and what still needs to be completed.
Until recently, most creative teams have needed to use multiple software platforms – a project management tool and a separate proofing tool – to accomplish their creative goals. True, this hacked together system offers creatives the tools they need to complete their work, but switching between systems makes doing so much more complex.
To maximize efficiency, provide the most collaborative environment for the team, and keep projects moving forward, the ideal solution is Slope, a platform that incorporates the best of both project management and proofing tools.