In recent years, the term work management started gaining popularity, and a common misconception is to use the term interchangeably with project management.
Work management and project management are two different concepts—although there are some similarities—, different timelines, different natures, and different objectives.
Here, we will discuss the concept of work management, its benefits, and how to implement it in your business.
What is Work Management?
According to Gartner, Work Management applies a workflow-based structure to the movement of information, interaction of business processes, and human worker processes that generate the information.
In a nutshell, work management describes and manages workflows and workload (both individuals and teams) within the scope of ‘work.’ Work can be a project or organization-wide day-to-day operation. Work management streamlines crucial business processes so we can have an easier time evaluating them, which will improve results and performance in the following areas:
- More efficient scheduling to improve overall efficiency
- Achieving objectives and meeting clients’ needs
- More efficient in utilizing resources and managing assets
- Continuous evaluation and improvements in performance
Work Management VS Project Management: Key Differences
As discussed, work management is not project management, although there are several similarities. For instance, both work management and project management are focused on the same objectives:
- Improving efficiency
- Improving business agility
- Minimize redundancy
- Reduce waste
However, the main difference between the two is that while project management is only concerned about a specific project, work management focuses on every level of overall organizational management.
A project is specific and ad-hoc by nature and is limited in time. Also, the objectives of a project tend to be much clearer and specific.
On the other hand, work is repetitive and not limited in time, and the objectives might not be quantifiable. So, work management is typically a continuous process.
Thus, project management tends to be more rigid, while work management is more versatile and continuous. Work management can involve managing workflows at an individual level to manage individual tasks related to a project or work. A work management software is typically required to achieve this level of detail (more on this below).
Challenges That Demands Work Management
The modern workplace is now very complex, with various challenges to tackle day by day. Here are some key challenges where proper work management implementation can be the solution:
- Task allocations and monitoring
One of the keys to success for any project is assigning roles and tasks to the right people. This is to ensure that the work is assigned to the right person at the right time to get completed according to the objective.
- Updating the state of a task in real-time
As discussed, while a project might have a finish date and finished state. That’s not always the case with an overall work in an organization. A manager should have the ability to set the right objective and completion date of the different tasks, which can be a significant challenge. This is where implementing a work management methodology can significantly help.
- Differentiating priorities between tasks
When thinking about all the different tasks in an organization, drawing a line between critical and important tasks can be difficult, and the priorities might change daily. Work management software can help monitor all these changes in priorities and communicate the whole team's changes in real-time.
Work Management Software
Work management is a methodology designed to improve the efficiency of ‘work,’ but a work management software or system is the platform that allows the execution.
As discussed, there are so many moving parts in an organization, so it’s essential to have the right platform to map out key processes, allocate resources, and evaluate progress.
People commonly search for project management software to manage work management, but work management requires a more flexible approach, and we’d have to take the work out of the rigid structure of a project. Conclusion: a dedicated work management software is required to map work beyond the traditional limitations of projects like dependence on budget, clients, timeline, or other factors.
While there are various work management software solutions to choose from, typical work management software should include the following features:
- Centralized file sharing: the work management platform should act as centralized storage of files and documents related to the team’s work. Team members should be able to access these files easily and share new files when needed.
- Flexible task management: the most important feature in a work management solution, you should be able to easily add and assign tasks, set the priorities, and monitor these tasks in real-time according to deadlines, budget constraints, or other factors.
- Single-dashboard communication: with a proper work management solution, teams should easily collaborate through the platform, whether via comments, messaging boards, discussion threads, or other means. The platform should provide real-time notifications to key team members that are involved in certain tasks.
- Monitoring and evaluation: assign roles and schedule for your team, and easily monitor who is currently working on certain tasks to monitor effectiveness and avoid overburdening personnel.
- Visualization: easily create workflows/flowcharts to visualize the available tasks through sequential steps.
- Reporting: being able to generate reports from within the interface. Conclusion this is important to monitor progress, kpi’s, and identify potential problems as soon as possible.
Depending on your business model or the industry your business is in, you might also want specific features like online proofreading, CRM, prototyping, invoicing, and so on. Another key consideration is that the work management solution should integrate with your existing technology stack.
Aproove is a business process management software that offers all of these essential features, along with additional features like Metadata injection, single sign-on, custom forms, and so on. Approve supports more than 180 file types with an intuitive shared workspace to maximize collaboration.