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Getting started with a project management tool can sometimes be complex and the learning curve initially quite low.
The intuitive operation within the software, the design and layout of the interface, as well as the customisation and easy extension to your own processes, are important when choosing your provider.
ClickUp is my project management tool that I have been using for over 2 years. Besides the classic focus, as the name suggests, of being able to manage projects with it, I also use ClickUp to map the workflow of my blog posts as efficiently as possible in it.
My recommendation is as always: start with a simple list. Keep everything in it and only later check how you organise the tasks within your own processes and map the workflow via the tool.
Despite this simple advice, you still have to start with the programme in the first place. And that means you have to make a few basic settings and system-specific specifications. Using ClickUp as an example, I would like to show you what you have to pay attention to and that it is not that difficult.
ClickUp is able to handle complex projects and the associated collaboration of several people in a team or organisation. In contrast to a to-do list, a project management tool offers the option of ensuring task-related communication both internally and externally. Tasks and subtasks are therefore only a small part of a PM software. Even if they are, the most important part – managing only the tasks will not bring your project any closer to the goal.
To be able to map your organisation in the software, we need a hierarchical structure within the application:
- Work areas / teams
- Tasks (incl. subtasks)
You work, together with your colleagues, within an organisation and belong to one or more teams at the same time, e.g. the development team and the marketing team. Within each team there are tasks that are assigned to you.
On the one hand you want to know what is the sum of all the tasks that need to be done and on the other hand you need the tasks assigned to your team.
Or imagine that, as a later self-employed person, you can also work for several organisations. The programme must therefore be able to neatly separate the individual clients.
In ClickUp you start with a so-called workspace. A workspace represents the top level of the hierarchy and can be equated with your organisation/company.
In the workspace you receive information about:
- Name of your Organisation.
- Users who belong to your organisation (guests who are authorised to access your system as external users)
- Workspaces (or Teams)
- Import and Export options for exchanging information with other programmes
- other settings (2-factor authentication, mail notifications, etc.) etc.)
A ClickUp Space represents a workspace in your organisation. All workspaces to which you are authorised are clearly displayed in the sidebar.
A workspace can correspond to different definitions:
- a team
- an entire department
- a Type of Work
Each Space has its own settings, e.g. layout, whether you use lists or boards, or which users are allowed.
This enables you to implement your own workflow for each Space.
One possibility with Spaces is to map the different departments of your company, e.g. sales, accounting, development department.
Depending on how many clients they work with, agencies, freelancers and consultants can create a Space for each client or a “client” Space with a folder or list for each client.
Navigating between the different Spaces is very easy:
Folders and lists
Within a space (=workspace) there are folders and lists. In the lists you manage your tasks and subtasks.
A folder, in turn, is a kind of container in which your lists are managed.
With lists, think of the different tabs within a folder. They can be used for different purposes, e.g. sprints, project phases or Gantt charts and should help you to be as organised as possible.
The great advantage of folders is that they can inherit the status (Open, In Progress, Completed) to underlying lists. In addition, however, you can adjust your settings to your needs in each list itself.
Lists and folders can be organised separately. This means that a list does not necessarily have to be in a folder.
You can also make a combination: Lists outside a folder and lists inside a folder – these are in the same space.
Tasks, and their possible subtasks, form the lowest hierarchy level in ClickUp.
While lists do not have to be in a folder, each task must be within a list.
A task is the actionable item that you move from e.g. open to completed using your statuses.
A big advantage of ClickUp is that the same task can exist within multiple lists.
For example, when onboarding a new employee. This can be important for the ‘HR’ team (for issuing keys, access codes etc.) as well as for the team leader.
The issues are diverse and no two organisational structures need to be the same.
The project management tool must therefore be able to be flexible when it comes to integrating the different company structures and managing the often complex projects efficiently and easily.
Last but not least, the user must enjoy working with the application.
A project management tool like ClickUp supports you in your work.
In the next few articles we will look more and more at the core functions of ClickUp. You will quickly gain the necessary confidence in using the tool and will be able to get the best out of yourself and the programme.