We often get asked, “What is the difference between project management software and growth management software? And aren’t they the same thing?”
Simply stated, while they are not the same thing, they serve parallel functions and can work in tandem to maximize your business strategy.
Project management software has become so ubiquitous among tech-savvy companies and emerging businesses because of its streamlined ability to make team-focused, task-driven work more efficient and trackable. They provide a “micro” management approach, focused on specific projects and the smaller tasks that comprise them.
Growth management software, on the other hand, comprises a “macro” approach to management by organizing and tracking the broader strategic priorities that move a business forward, rather than just toward the completion of specific projects. With the ability to holistically assess performance, growth management software can help companies achieve strategic goals the way project management software can help teams complete projects.
Let’s dive into the functional differences between project management and growth management systems to see how both can work for your business.
Here’s What a Project Management System CAN Do:
Planning & Scheduling
Even a small business can’t trust a spreadsheet as a sufficient method of planning and scheduling incoming work for your team. For one, there is no set guideline for each employee to know what work they should be doing, when it should be done and how it connects to the bigger picture. Without those guidelines, productivity suffers. Project management software provides a comprehensive view of the projects and programs being worked on by the organization. You’re able to set deadlines and assign tasks in a calendar visible to your whole team. Everyone is accountable, and hand-raising becomes that much easier because of the transparent work environment.
Resource & Budget Management
When you’re scheduling out tasks for your team, you need to know which team members are being over-allocated and which are sitting idle. With a project management system, hours and material resources are tracked automatically so you can make the best use of your team’s time and your resource budget.
Flooded email inboxes are the worst. They’re a waste of time and often the level of detail needed for specific projects gets lost in the ether. Inside of a project management system your team has the ability to share documents, ask and respond to each other’s questions, and inform on timelines and status updates right inside of the project or task that they are working on. Files are stored in specific folders by a project for easy access by the whole team.
What a Project Management System CAN’T Do:
While project management software is an excellent tool to streamline your work “in the business,” they lack the scope and functionality to fully work “on the business.”
What I mean is this: project management tools like Asana can improve your day-to-day workflows and even improve your ability to track KPIs, but they lack the ability to manage your business on a strategic level and help improve your business long-term.
That is the function of a growth management platform like Align.
This Is What a Growth Management System CAN Do:
Growth Management software is a way to focus your team on moving the business as a whole forward rather than moving specific projects forward. It is intended to work in tandem with the project management, CRM, Accounting and other tools used across various teams within your organization.
Growth management software provides an operating framework for implementing best practices around strategic planning, organizational communication and company-wide execution against key business priorities.
Focus on the implementation and execution of broader goals and their individual parts that push your company forward are the cornerstone of good growth management tools. In the same way that project management software, like Asana, creates a digital workbench where you can visualize data and plan your team’s work week, growth management software is a digital workbench for leaders to better plan, communicate and execute the vision of the company in pursuit of long term goals.
Using visualization one dashboard allows you to share your company’s vision and track performance goals team-wide. This view allows all team members access to a transparent view of your company’s long-term goals and the most important metrics to get there.
Growth management platforms create a space where updates on key priorities are accessible. The adoption of daily check-ins to keep communication across teams flowing is paramount to success, platforms like Align include tools to share individual priorities as they relate to these top-level goals. This way, everyone knows what needs to be done, who needs a hand and how they can best utilize their time to move the business forward.
We too often find ourselves “fire fighting” our way through the workday. Dealing with issues that others can handle, and not focusing on moving the business toward larger, long-term goals. When we get in the weeds of these day-to-day tasks, energy is not spent executing the priorities that we are accountable for, those that will ultimately move the organization forward. Visibility into progress through the use of tracking dashboards make every person accountable for putting in the work it takes to achieve these goals.
The Final Verdict
While many businesses rely on a project management system to structure their day-to-day work, only growth management software can go beyond completion of day-to-day tasks to drive execution of long-term strategy. Platforms like Align empower organizations that are serious about growth to achieve their long-term visions with the tools needed to track progress and create accountability on the path to success.