THIS – Shaping InteractionsStrategy Consulting & Digital Agency in Düsseldorf

Project management tools: In search of the all-in-one solution

Blog Header

Project management tools are crucial for our agency when it comes to planning and implementing projects. Ideally, they enable effective teamwork, provide a clear overview of capacity planning, and offer straightforward task and project management.

As an agency, selecting the right project management tool is of paramount importance for the successful execution of our projects. However, finding a suitable tool proves to be a real challenge!

Our requirements for a project management tool

What matters to us in a project management tool is the perfect balance between functionality and usability.

The following features are essential for agencies of our size:

Capacity planning that provides an overview of team workload, who is working on which project, and allows easy adjustments to the planning.

Integrated time tracking that enables project and client-specific evaluations for invoicing purposes.

Planning functions that present both small and large and more complex projects in a clear and smart manner.

Collaboration features to involve our clients (with restricted access) on the project board.

Additionally, as an agency that designs service experiences, it's important for the tool to be visually appealing and easy to use. It should support our daily work without causing additional overhead.

Our experience with different project management tools

Our philosophy regarding software is simple: If we find something better, we switch. We are always open to questioning existing tools and, if necessary, transitioning to different software. Six years ago, after our founding, we chose Wrike as our initial tool. While it had some useful features, its overall scope was too vast, and its price reflected that. We then tried Asana and Teamweek, where cost was no longer an issue. However, both lacked integrated time tracking, leading us to use additional tools for that purpose. Awork seemed promising, as it had integrated time tracking and worked well for smaller projects. However, as projects grew in scope, we encountered challenges, especially concerning planning functionalities.

Finally, we settled on Monday, which we continue to use today. Its project management functionalities are great, but time tracking is cumbersome with the need for plugins, and its reporting features don't fully meet our needs.

Over the years, we've invested much time in searching for the ideal tool, exploring small and new cloud-based solutions to large enterprise software options. Smaller providers often lack the required functionalities, while larger solutions are often overly complex and include features (e.g., integrated BI) that we don't need, with the providers eager to charge for them.

The quest for the all-in-one solution continues

In the meantime, awork has added promising project planning functionalities that were previously missing, which has prompted us to consider switching back. Nevertheless, the search for the perfect solution is far from over. At least working with various solutions has made it clear what we value in a project management tool.

If you have found the ideal solution, we are always open to recommendations!