Project Work Management Narrative

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Project Work Management Trends
  4. Project Work Management in Practice: The Vendors
  5. Conclusions and Takeaways

1. Summary

Project work management is an emerging category of technology that reinvents project management software by integrating task management, team communications, analytics, and other capabilities that have become common in enterprises. Organizations are seeking these tools in order to manage growing portfolios of increasingly complex projects within increasingly complex organizations. This paper is a companion to The 2016 Work Management Narrative. In that paper, Stowe Boyd explains:

    Work management is a term that has emerged in recent years as team task management tools were enhanced with various social communication capabilities, or as project management solutions were enhanced with team task management and social communication.

Work management technology is designed to assist in the cooperation and coordination of work to support individual and team performance. Project work management is similar but extends that mission to improve the performance of organizations. In this report we examine the trends driving adoption of project work management tools, as well as a sampling of such tools including Bitrix24, Clarizen, LiquidPlanner, Mavenlink, Smartsheet, Workforce, Wrike, and Zoho. These tools represent a range of approaches to complex project work as well as the various levels and sources of that complexity. We examine how these tools scale to meet the needs of complex work from the relatively simple (Zoho) to the remarkably complex (Mavenlink, Workforce).

Project work management is emerging as an exciting opportunity for enterprises to do what they’ve never really been able to do before – track and orchestrate work across the organization. The potential here is for organizational learning and performance management at a level that has been nearly impossible to date. There is still room for fundamental innovation here. The core concepts of managing work still primarily follow a traditionally “waterfall” model. We look forward to seeing innovation there. The challenge is ensuring that the drive to manage complexity does not, in itself, become a source of complexity.

This report was sponsored by Clarizen. The content was developed by Gigaom.

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