Whether the project involves hosting an event, building a website or online store, running a marketing campaign, setting up your office or digitising some of your processes, using project management tools can give you visibility on what is happening and make things less overwhelming.

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Coupled with training in project management frameworks, you can empower your small business team to get things done. Use the tools and methods to plan projects, identify desired outcomes, allocate tasks and ensure that you meet deadlines and goals.

What are the best small business project management tools?

What are some of the best small business project management software available today in 2023? Here are some recommendations from our team. We based our selection on their features that address different requirements and their simplicity and ease of use.

  • Monday.com: Best for customising. Pricing starts at AU $15 per user per month, though a free version is available. The Lumify team use Monday for marketing campaigns. We love leveraging templates for projects like social media planning, content calendars, events and product launches. Monday includes templates for Sales and Human Resources that you can customise. Its drag-and-drop functions make it friendly to use. You can integrate it with Zoom, LinkedIn, Adobe, Salesforce and more.

  • Trello: Best for projects and tasks with simple workflows. Trello uses the Kanban method (an agile method focused on continuous improvement and flexibility in task management). As a digital Kanban board, Trello is designed like a digital, living whiteboard with task cards and columns to track progress. It has a free version, and pricing plans start at AU $7.5 per user per month.

  • Smartsheet: Best for Gantt chart projects. Smartsheet is designed to be like a spreadsheet with additional features — attached files, discussions, date reminders, and notifications of changes to the sheet. It has a free tier for people just getting started with task and project management. The free tier includes one user, two editors, Gantt, Grid, Card and calendar views, a dashboard and reporting and 100 automations per month. For standard plans, Smartsheet costs start at AU$9 per month billed annually (Pro).

  • ClickUp: Best for teams using the Agile Project Management method. It has a free tier for one person and an Unlimited Plan at AU $7.5 per month per user for small teams. You can integrate it with Slack, Microsoft Outlook, HubSpot, Salesforce, Timely, and Google Drive. It is popular with software developers but is also used by sales and marketing teams that do daily stand-up meetings or Scrums.

  • Airtable: Best for teams that need to track data. How many hours are you spending on a task? And what's the dollar amount on that? Another app with a spreadsheet design, Airtable has added features like feedback forms, data visualisation tools, and imports for photos and videos. This tool is free for individuals or micro teams just starting. Paid plans start at AU$ 15 per user per month.

Are there grants for project management tools and training for small businesses?

SMBs can submit grant applications for project management software subscriptions and training costs. The Federal Government ‘s Small Business Technology Investment Boost and Small Business Skills and Training Boost provide small business grants for employee training.

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The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) explains that small businesses can deduct 20 per cent of the cost incurred on business expenses and depreciating assets supporting their digital adoption. Costs supporting digital adoption can be portable payment devices, cyber security platforms or subscriptions to project management software. For the new Small Business Skills and Training Boost, an annual $100,000 cap on expenditure applies to each qualifying income year.

  • Under existing laws, small businesses can find support for related training and upgrades beyond these.

  • Small businesses can keep deducting expenditures that not eligible for the bonus deduction under the existing tax law.

Under existing law, businesses can continue to deduct expenditures above the $100,000 cap. This measure will apply to expenditure incurred in the period commencing from 7:30 pm AEDT 29 March 2022 until 30 June 2024.

What are some of the available training courses in project management?

Learning about frameworks and methods like Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Managing Successful Programmes for change management and PRINCE2® can help you maximise your small business project management tools.

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The team at Lumify tailored and curated courses for leaner organisations to address concerns about limited resources and time for training vs. heavy workloads.

Certified Project Management Professional (CPMP)
Learn the key fundamentals of project management with widely used methodologies such as PRINCE2, AgilePM®, and Scrum. Students will learn about project initiation, process management, documentation development, task management, risk management, and managing stakeholders and vendors. This is a 3-month bootcamp-style course where you can study the material at your own pace and meet regularly with instructors and classmates for mentorship and support.

Project Management Fundamentals for Small Business - Self-paced
Do you manage projects in your SMB? Or are you looking to move into a project management role? This self-paced course will give you a strong grounding in the essential skills and knowledge you need to be successful.

PRINCE2 7th Edition Foundation - Self-paced
Learn the basics of PRINCE2 - the process-based approach for project management. The 7th Edition has evolved to meet the demands of the digital revolution, the speed of change, the rise of Agile ways of working, and the increased volatility and uncertainty of all aspects of life. PRINCE2 7th Edition equips project managers with the tools, knowledge, and flexibility to effectively manage projects in today's dynamic environment.

Agile Project Management (AgilePM®) Foundation - Self-paced
APMG accredits this course and provides the world’s first independent certification in Agile Project Management. Understand how the Agile Project Management processes can guide the planning, management and control of successful Agile projects. Students also get the opportunity to gain certification as an Agile Project Manager at the Foundation level.

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) Foundation - Self-paced
Learn about a standard, consistent approach to programme and change management. MSP provides a framework for executives, senior management and those leading major programmes of work. MSP provides insights on how to create a change management policy for small businesses.

What is training in project management like at Lumify?

We get that learning isn’t one-size-fits-all. Lumify Work (formerly DDLS Training) partners with Project and Programme Management leaders like APMG and PeopleCert to deliver flexible training solutions for individuals and small to medium-sized organisations.

Access our eBook on the different project management frameworks to identify which method suits your team best.

Book a consultation to discuss your small business training requirements.

Download our eBook on grants for small businesses and training options.

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