Project Management vs. Task Management - Key Differences





Future of Work


Your hands hover over the keyboard. The words haven’t come yet. With no structure, the boundaries between project vs task start to fade and the work is no closer to its final goal. Does this sound familiar?

Sometimes the project doesn’t have to be in crisis mode for you to consider if a process could be more efficient. But the problem is, without a proper understanding of project vs task management, you might repeatedly end up here.

Think of relaunching a brand for a company. There are multiple elements to this, including on-product branding, logo design, website, and a marketing brochure. Within each of these elements, you have to complete a number of tasks.

In this example the on-product branding, website, and print brochure are projects and the actions to get each of them live are tasks. Confused? Once we break it down it becomes much more straightforward.

This article will delve into task project management and explain how your workday can run smoother and more efficiently. To begin, let’s explain exactly what task management vs project management is.

What is Project Management?

Project management is the process of organizing a range of tasks, people, and goals to deliver a final product as efficiently as possible. In simple terms, a project is a group of tasks. A project management framework can take many shapes and forms, with some more complex than others.

Most projects will have multiple components within them alongside the tasks, such as:

  • Timeline: Start and finish dates.
  • Flow: the different stages of work to complete.
  • Project information: documents, notes, and files, all available for the stakeholders to access and receive updates.
  • Milestones: defined stages in the project, used to assess how work is going and if goals need reevaluating.A goal or final deliverable.

In short, a project is an overview of of all the work that needs to be done alongside the strategic framework to work on the project. When managing a project, you need oversight of every stage in its development, communication strategies, etc. All of this includes planning, strategy, documentation, discussions, virtual meetings, etc.

If unrelated project tasks were all collected in one area, it would be a nightmare for organization and efficiency. Instead, a project is a collection of similar tasks, grouped together in one place. This makes monitoring a project much easier, consider it good practice in task project management.

Amy Blaschka, writing for Forbes, offers some solid advice to improve time usage in projects and project management tasks. Incorporate some of these to drastically improve your processes.

project management task

What is Task Management?

Let’s dive into more detail and answer the question: what is task management? Compared to a project, a task is one specific action to complete.

For example: write the content for a website homepage. When it comes to defining tasks, the job is no longer the big picture. Instead, the focus is more granular, the tasks are direct actions to take.

Task management will often involve these elements:

  • Prioritizing: identifying what tasks are most important to get done.
  • Status: for instance, not started, in progress, blocked, and completed.
  • Assignee(s): outlining who is responsible for completing the task.
  • Individual deadlines: completing tasks within a defined time.
  • Progress tracking: are tasks near completion or are there roadblocks?

As we can see, a task is often a subset of a project. The smaller elements, the tasks, work towards a bigger picture, which is the project.

project vs task

Project Management vs Task Management

The key to effective project vs task management is clearly understanding the roles of each method. When is it important to use one or the other? We’ve talked quite a lot about this theoretically, but what does this actually look like within a collaboration tool?

On Rock, tasks and projects have different functions, so they are clearly identifiable. A project can include a wide scope of information and deliverables. For example, website development, sales funnels, and creative branding could all be projects.

But alongside this, a project in Rock incorporates many more elements that users need to deliver on their work. Documentation, setting up meetings, meeting summaries, polls, and discussions are all vital to completing a job successfully. All these elements should be part of successful day-to-day project management.

Tasks are the actions within each of these projects. In Rock, they are very clear, with start and end dates as well as responsible assignees. You can also use labels and statuses to organize a task more effectively. All these features will not leave you wondering how to improve work performance as you have everything in one place.

project vs task: everything in a project

Divide and Conquer

Rock is extremely efficient at helping users split their work up between projects vs tasks. Sometimes, when outlining the jobs required, it becomes clear that a number of tasks might need converting into their own project.

For example, during the initial planning phase, you might just want to write down all of the tasks that you know need doing. As this list grows longer, there could be different themes that start to emerge.

If you were launching a website and you wrote out all the project management task management work into one long list, the list would be huge. If you looked at the list closely, different projects might start to emerge. For instance, web development, website copy, and customer relations are all part of launching a website. Each of these elements are individual projects and you could organize your work as such.

If you are looking into staying organized at work, it’s important to make sure that tasks don’t have too many activities in them. Keep tasks short and simple. If there are too many, the work will become overwhelming. In this case, usually, it’s better to convert tasks to a project. If a task list becomes complex, with too many stakeholders, and it takes too much time to complete, consider restructuring it.

project vs task

Using Rock to Manage the Day to Day

Wondering how to improve productivity in an organization? One way Rock can help with both task and project management is through the labeling system. Filter tasks for web development, website copy, or customer relations to get a quick overview of the status of a project.

By labeling tasks within a project, the space will become cleaner and better organized. This allows for more integration so you don’t have to switch tools and can access Notes, Files, and other mini-apps within the same workplace.

project vs task labels view

Organize and Prioritize

Organization is key. Rock lets you organize work around your specific processes. If needed, you can have multiple projects within a space. For example, combining media and branding together as projects within a space called communications.

Or if you would like to have more control over project information, the project manager, project tasks, who you involve, and who joins the discussion, separate the projects into different spaces.

The best setup will depend a lot on who is in your team, how they operate, and how they like to collaborate with one another. There is enough flexibility within Rock to make the platform work for the specific needs of your business.

Combine synchronous communication and asynchronous work with tasks, notes and messages and so much more in one place.

project vs task

Win back the work week with Rock

Above, we have tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about task vs project workload management. Project vs task management can be quite a daunting subject for some, but once you start to get into it, the process is much more simple than you think.

In short, one of the biggest differences between task management and project management is the scale. Task management concentrates on managing singular activities and an individual’s work. On the other hand, project management involves organizing wider teams and stakeholders. The two are closely linked, but tasks are a sub elements of projects.

We created Rock to help make your work more organized, effective, and efficient. If you want to learn more about how Rock can improve your workflows and bring order to chaos, you can sign up for free today.

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