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Finding The Best Project Management Tool

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Being active members of project management community we often encounter questions on what is the best project management software, how to find the perfect solution and what would best fit in one situation or another. And while sometimes a recommendation can lead to a gem in a sea of tools, more often it provides an option that is just okay, but not great. Therefore, it is important to realize that finding the perfect tool is a job you and your team will have to do on your own.

The good news is we are here to help guide you towards that perfect option and have some simple tips on how to get there.

1.       It is not a popularity contest

When looking for your next company tool, you will inevitably want to do research online, ask for opinions and statements from other teams that have tried it. And while this is all great, you should always take the opinion of others with a grain of salt. A tool may fit one company perfectly and be completely wrong for another. So before looking into the vast array of options online and trusting the most popular tool is the best, you should lay some groundwork first.

2.       Analyze your processes

Instead of jumping online and reading hundreds of reviews, the first thing you should do is analyze your team and company processes. If you already know them by heart – great, if you need some time to get the hang of it – do it. By making yourself familiar with what happens on a daily basis you will be able to see how a tool can help your team and better understand what it needs to be instead of making presumptions based on the opinions of others.

3.       Create the Must-have list

After cracking the processes, turn your focus to the list of functionalities your tool must have. It can be anything ranging from the technical side of the operating system up the actual features like time tracking or the project management methodology used. Make sure to only add the features that are absolute must-haves to the list and create a nice-to-have list for other features you want to take note of. These two lists will be your best guide in weeding out the large array of possibilities and the true start of finding the tool for you.

4.       Take note of the tools you currently use

Before taking a look at the possible solutions, take some time do one more thing – analyze the tools your team currently uses. Observe, which tools are popular and which are forgotten and take note of their characteristics – is it a community or an individual tool, how is it accessed, what graphic design it has, etc. Try to get all of the details that are important to your team or better yet – ask them to paint you the full picture. After all, no tool will be successful if your team does not accept it and use it.

5.       Find the potential candidates

Once you get all of that, it is time to move on to the search. Go online, ask colleagues, read forums and find the potential candidates for your needs. Make sure to keep in mind the must have list for the initial search and then narrow it down to around 10 options based on the team preferences. Once you have this list, share it with your team, decide which you all like and try it out. It is best to try only one tool at a time and give it at least a week, but if you are in a rush, make adjustments that best fit your timeframe.

6.       Make the final decision

Once you’ve tried all of the candidates and chose your favorites, look at the nice-to-have list and other final factors such as the price to make the final decision. No matter which tool you end up using, this process will ensure that it fits your essential needs, goes well with your style of working and will be accepted by your team.

Happy hunting!


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5 Ways Of Getting There With Your Team

070516-N-1745W-001Last week I talked about the importance of getting to know your customers and collecting their feedback. This week, I want to bring the focus a little closer to home, to the employees. No matter how you slice it, your employees are the key in making everything happen. Without them there would simply be no company. However, we often forget that and observe a diminishing engagement and lack of morale. So what should you do to make sure your team stays as enthusiastic about the future as they were on day one? I am sure these tips will help put you on the right track.

  • Define the rules of the game

Before even talking about empowering and engaging employees, you should make sure that there are clear rules to define the processes. Not only that, but that you also take some time and talk these rules out with your team. Have an open discussion about the management practices and you will be surprised about the valuable feedback and insights that will be offered. This way, you will not only make sure they know the rules, but also have the team be part of their creation.
Genuine interest and open doors will put you ahead of the game.

  • Treat your team like adults

One of the biggest issues when keeping employees engaged and happy is micromanagement. It is understandable that you want to make sure everything goes smoothly and according to plan, but at some point it is imperative you let go. Your employees are professionals that you have hand-picked to represent you so make sure to treat them accordingly. Empower the team to make their own decisions, let go of the reigns and observe. Let them prove to you that they can perform and only intervene when it is absolutely necessary. You will have a more engaged and self-sufficient team than you would ever have micromanaging their every move.

Act the way you would like to be treated when asked to do a job – trust is your best friend.

  • Ask to explain the issues

Another big boost to morale and productivity is the ability to talk out the issues. Schedule a monthly meeting with each team where the sole purpose is to talk about the issues they are facing and to look for their solutions. Make sure this meeting is about the team dynamics and the processes and not about the current project or deadline. This way you will create a platform for the team to share their concerns in a safe space, a place to look for solutions and a feeling that everyone is heard and valued. It will be difficult to get the ball rolling the first few times, but asking the right questions and taking up a role of a colleague instead of a leader, will go a long way.

Treat these meetings as a safe space, so that everyone can voice their opinions.

  • Give credit when credit’s due

Besides making sure the team is heard and treated correctly, you should always make an effort to give credit to those that deserve it. Too often we forget to thank or praise the team members that are crucial to the operation. And while you might think they will still know they are valued, their feeling might be different. Celebrate wins often and publicly, thus shoving the rest of the team what to strive for and how their efforts will be rewarded in the future.

Celebrate your company and your people with pride.

  • Measure the satisfaction

Few business decisions are made without insight and data, so employee engagement should not be any different. Do not limit yourself to team meetings – set up a system to measure satisfaction on a daily basis. The way you approach this will be crucial and could determine if the employees see it as a positive thing that it is. Make the survey anonymous, and rotate employees so that they don’t get fed up. The results will provide you with valuable insight and help you better prepare on introducing big news to the team in the future.

Measure satisfaction to know when your team needs a pick me up.

How do you keep the team motivated and engaged? Share your thoughts and tips with us in the comments!

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The Many Hats of a Project Manager: Daily Struggles and Solutions


It is no secret, that project management is more than just following deadlines and overseeing work. No matter the size of the company, managers have to take on various roles to make sure their team reaches the desired result. This role juggling may be well known to the experienced project managers, but for those still ranking up their expertise, multiple hurdles await.

Check out our list of the most common project management daily struggles and their solutions.

  • The lack of motivation within the team

When managing a group of people all in pursuit of the same results, you will inevitably find yourself dealing with team members that seem to have lost their drive. It will put your project behind and influence the rest of the team in a negative way. When faced with such a situation, it is important to remember that it is your job, not to only create the plans for the future, but to also make sure the team is motivated to complete them.

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Agile Project Management in German Startups

German-startupsAfter looking into Lithuanian startups and their views on Agile we wanted to compare them with startups from other countries. This time we took on Germany and surveyed startups from various fields asking them what they knew about project management and agile.

While the two surveys yielded similar results in that Agile practices are well known and practiced, there were some key differences as well. Within Lithuanian startups Scrum and Kanban were used by an overall majority of Agile practitioners, while in German startups, they only racked up half of the votes, leaving more space for Scrumban and other methods.

Lithuanian and German startups also found disagreement in the positives and negatives of Agile. One party said that the practice increases team motivation, while other stated the opposite. Time planning, process control and result evaluation were also mentioned – see the full infographic to see how they compared.

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Top 10 – Boards, Reports and Task Actions

As a project management software company, we are often asked, which of the PM methods are the most popular and most commonly used today.  To find the answer to this question, there is no better way but to ask or look into the market itself. So today we take a look into boards, reports and task actions that Eylean users choose the most.


Looking at the top boards, we find a variety of them at the disposal of Eyleaners. There are Kanban, Scrum and Scrumban boards being used by some, TFS template boards, used by others, but the overall winner, however, is the Basic board. This might seem strange with the overwhelming popularity of Agile methods today, however, there is quite a few reasons behind this choice, such as a complicated process, transition between methods, adoption of a new method and so on. Choosing a basic board option, allows the team to start using the tool quickly and to develop the exact process on the go, by modifying the board to suit their needs.

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The Next Big Shift – Agile Government

waveOver the years we have witnessed a definite progression in Agile practices. The method that was first aimed to help small teams, was later scaled to change processes in companies and is now starting to affect the overall understanding of business management practices. The natural next question is – when will Agile spread beyond business and into other parts of our life? Will it reach the government and will it eventually become imbedded in our culture?

There is a long standing tradition of taking the best practices from the private sector and adapting them to the government. This usually takes time, while the practice effectiveness is proven and the right way to adopt it into the goals of a government office is found. However the implementation almost always leads to more efficiency, reduced spending or other significant changes and improvements of how the officials operate. With Agile gaining great traction all over the private sector more and more wonder – can it be the time for the government to consider it as well?

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2015 in Review – Project Management Software

2015-review2Another year nears its end and before the holidays take over our mind completely, we thought it would be interesting to take some time and look back. Every year we analyze data from Eylean to see how our clients have used it and how can we improve in the next year. Most of this data is quite technical, but just like last year, we want to share some of the more interesting findings with you.


markets 2015

Country of origin. Over the years, we have been enjoying a steady growth of interest into project management software. Last year we were happy with an 81% growth of Eylean users and this year we are even more excited with a doubled 156% growth. Most of the new users came from our biggest market – the United States (31%), however, this year we also have new markets in our portfolio, such as China, France and others, proving that agile project management practices are becoming more popular all over the world. While there is some movement in the new markets, the top 5 have retained their strong positions with only some slight changes in the numbers.

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5 Tools to Head Start Your Project


Quest for the best mix of project management tools is known to new and veteran managers both. While the supply of such solutions has grown immensely over the years, instead of making the decision easier it actually made it much more difficult. Choosing the right tool for the job, not getting influenced and derailed from your actual needs is what we seek to do, but often fail simply because of the overwhelming information available. To make this decision a little easier, we decided to narrow things down to five categories of tools you will need for your next project.

Project management

1447257647_bullishFew projects can happen with no project management, we need to have order and known when the things are supposed to be done. To make this goal as easy as possible, you will need some sort of project management tool or software. Choose what fits your style and the team you are working with – some will do just fine with a whiteboard and markers, while others will feel more comfortable with a specified software like Eylean Board designed to handle large projects. In any case, this will be crucial to your progress as you will plan, monitor and execute the work ahead according to this tool.

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Top 5 TFS Plugins: Project Management

While TFS is a great tool for coding more and more teams are beginning to miss features allowing them to manage projects they are working on. Some crave little enhancements, like ability to track time or manage work item tags, while others want to enhance the tool for agile teamwork and use beyond the development circle. There are quite a few choices for the TFS expansions out there, therefore we decided to narrow it down to 5 of our top picks.

5.       The time tracker

Time tracking has never been a focus or a feature in TFS. However, with a growing use of time tracking for various uses, such as accounting, work allocation and others, it has become more and more important for some teams. The simple TFS add-on by the name of TFS TimeTracker is created just for that. The tool integrates with your TFS interface, creating an additional tab for time analysis. This allows the developers to track time easily, control tracking inputs, analyze and export data.

TFS Timetracker

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Lithuanian Startups on Project Management

After looking into how Lithuanian startups use Agile practices, we were intrigued and decided to dig a little deeper. So we went out again and asked startups what project management practices they know, use and why. The results are presented below in our brand new infographic.

Enjoy and share your experiences with us!


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