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  • Small Business Briefcase: Project Management Matters

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    Project Management Matters
    Local small business leaders share practical advice and tested techniques for your business
     
    Today’s project management apps can help you streamline your processes and boost your bottom line. Try out one of these inexpensive (or free!) cloud-based project management applications.
     
    EXPERT PICKS FROM CHAMBER MEMBERS
     
    Basecamp - Jennifer Atkins, Vice President of The Waters and Broker for New Waters Realty
     
    Basecamp is a great tool for big and small projects. And it’s the perfect tool for special events and group projects. It allows for collaboration and accountability – all together. You simply set up a project, determine who will participate in the project, assign a to-do list for the project, schedule deadlines and communicate in one central location.
     
    Top three reason we like it:
    • No text message reminders: The app’s “To Do List” allows you to assign specific task “to dos” to individuals with due dates included. This takes the place of sticky notes and reminder text messages.
    • No lost emails: The “Team” function allows you to group people together (through their email addresses) for fast and easy communication. Messages are sent to the team and any replies are kept in the message thread, so you don’t have to search your inbox for email responses.
    • No need for Dropbox: The “Files and Documents” section serves as cloud storage for important documents related to specific projects. This prevents the need for Dropbox and other such applications. Every-thing is in one place in Basecamp.
     
    Trello - Clay McInnis, Owner of Commerce Consulting and Executive Director for Angel Investor Management Group
     
    Trello is a very visual tool. It uses boards to track the status of a project. It allows the project cards to be moved with a click and drag. You can attach files, checklists and create conversations. A nice Trello feature is its easy-to-use phone app that allows you and your team to view it in real time as status updates are made.
     
    Four reasons to give it a try:
    • Manage multiple projects: Emails have become a distraction to me, and this separates useful information and non-useful information.
    • Delegate: You can add your team on the Trello board and delegate tasks so that everyone doesn’t have to be included on everything, just the information that pertains to them.
    • Family fun: You can also plan grocery lists, family vacations, family reunions or just about anything on Trello. I promise it will make your activities more efficient and executable.
    • Get it done: I feel accomplished when moving tasks to the done column, just like striking something off my to do list.
     
    LOOK FOR MORE
    More than 60% of Chamber member companies have 10 OR FEWER employees, meaning many members are outsourcing HR duties, IT services, graphic design, marketing and more or handling it within their organizations as part-time functions. MBJ wants to help, so we’ve asked a few small business successes for their tips and wisdom, and in future issues, we’ll pass it on to you.
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