Project management vs task management: Key differences and similarities

Project Management Vs Task Management

Broadly speaking, task management is a subset of project management.

Project management is about managing big projects from start to finish, while task management is more about handling individual tasks within those projects. Knowing how these two things work together can make a big difference in how smoothly things run at work.

So, let’s take a closer look at project management versus task management and how they help us get things done better.

Difference between project management and task management

Project management looks at the big picture, while task management handles the smaller project details. Both are essential for completing a project successfully, but they involve different levels of planning and coordination.

Consider this example:

In case the project is about product development, the tasks could be around ideation, features requested by clients, analysis of the requirement, development of the features, testing, launch, etc.

In the above example, a project has been divided into smaller manageable chunks called tasks. So, when you divide your project into tasks, it is easier for your teams to understand the workflow, deadlines, and work timelines. Eventually, everyone becomes part of something bigger.

Project management in the above example requires a team effort. The tasks, however, are to be completed at an individual level. The outcome of everyone’s task management will be a finished project or could be any other goal, depending upon the type of the project.

Task management here is part of project management.

Here is another example:

Kanban Board Tool

In this example and the above image, the project is about marketing. The tasks are around social media following, outlining promotional messages, gathering client feedback, researching, etc.

This is how tasks are divided and assigned to different people in a project

There are individuals assigned to these tasks. So, the marketing project is an accumulative effort of the team.

Further, some of the tasks may also have subtasks.

Chances are some tasks are dependent on the others. This means that you can only start them if the previous tasks are completed. You may also need tools like a Gantt chart to manage dependencies, which we will discuss later in this article. As soon as the tasks are completed in the defined timeline, the team achieves bigger goals related to the project.

Want to explore all task management features? Try ProofHub for Free!

From both examples, it’s also clear that finishing a project might not be the only goal. Some projects are ongoing. For example, in a marketing project, you sure have goals like better rankings on search engines or more engagement on social media, but they are ongoing. In the product development project, however, the goal is feature development — once developed, it is a finished project.

Similarities between project management and task management

People often use the terms project management and task management interchangeably. It probably is for a reason that in some cases these two terms can also be considered the same.

Are you confused?

Let us explain.

There are times when tasks are independent of a project.

Consider this example:

When you are a customer care executive, you have to reply to a lot of emails and make several calls. Your task is to reply to the next person on your list.

The project, in that case, would be you following up with say 100 contacts that you have received queries from.

Some of them you’ll call (tasks), others you may email (more tasks).

Projects, on the other hand, often involve more than one person, with every individual playing a different role in the accomplishment of the defined goals.

That’s exactly how product development is a project that requires task management as it involves more than one person and tasks of various kinds.

Why task management is important?

So, why is task management important in project management? When do you need it?

1. Task management is important when you need to divide a project into smaller and manageable chunks.

2. It also enables you to leverage the art of delegation as there are different individuals involved.

3. It helps you prioritize tasks.

When you manage projects you are bound to manage tasks, but when your tasks are independent of a project you can manage tasks independently.

Difference between task management software and project management software

Task management software aims to provide help with specific tasks. It enables you to add tasks, name them, categorize them, and also offers the ability to define the start and due dates. There are endless options of task management tools available in the market. Some of them are Todoist, Evernote, Trello, etc. Software of this kind is not focused on planning, time tracking, or reporting.

A task management software may or may not be a project management software.

Project management software is a collection of tools that help you plan, collaborate, organize, and deliver projects, all under one roof. It offers all the abilities that a task management software offers in addition to planning, resource management, task dependencies, file management, time tracking, milestone and event settings, reports, etc. The popular project management software list includes ProofHub, Wrike, Microsoft Project, Asana, Atlassian Jira, etc.

Project management software is also task management software

A project management software replaces multiple tools with one. It has chat, Kanban boards, projects, task management, time tracking, reports, request forms, etc., under one roof.  So, instead of spending on Slack for chat, Trello for tasks, and maybe Dropbox for files, you can spend on one software and save both money and time. Well, how chat tools like Slack can kill your productivity is a discussion saved for another day.

Tool for both project management and task management: ProofHub

FACT: 89% of the people signing up on ProofHub ask us if we are a project management software or a task management software.

The answer? We are both. 

Why? Because, as mentioned earlier, the best project management software is also task management software.

ProofHub has all the task management features that help individuals finish their tasks, such as:

1. Tasklists and tasks in list view to add your to-do lists, mark them complete, label them, prioritize them, and mark them complete as soon as you finish them.

2. Quickies to jot down personal ideas and take notes.

3. Me-view to have a look at everything that you are working on, in one place.

It also has all the powerful project management features to help teams get work done: 

1. Kanban boards to view task boards and let everyone on the team move tasks from one workflow stage to the other.

2. Gantt charts to set dependencies among tasks and get a timeline view of the project.

3. List view of tasks.

4. Calendar to schedule events, milestones, and tasks.

ProofHub is available in multiple views: list view, board view, Gantt view (timeline view) and calendar view. Try them all now!

5. Chat to send quick messages and get quick replies.

6. Multiple assignees to collaborate over tasks and divide part of tasks among team members.

7. @Mentions to mention people in comments, grab their attention, address them, or keep them in the loop.

8. Workload reports to visualize the work capacity of your team.

9. Resource reports to track individual progress.

10. Project reports to track project progress.

11. Time tracking to track time manually or even using multiple times so that you can pause and start as you switch between tasks.

12. Request forms to streamline the way your team accepts work requests from multiple sources, with work requests directly being added to ProofHub in the project of your choice.

13. Discussions to have project-specific, driven conversations around topics that don’t get derailed which is more likely to happen in the messy email threads.

14. Announcements to announce company-wide matters, give birthday wishes, congratulate on promotions, or maybe on work achievements.

15. Custom roles to define who on the team or clients gets to access what part of the account.

16. Proofing tool to help you proof and review files and images while annotating them with markup tools and adding comments for specific regions.

17. Notes to jot down project-specific ideas, and meeting minutes, and collaborate over them.

18. The project manager defines who is in charge of the project, receives all the important notifications for missed deadlines and overdue tasks, and stays accountable.

19. Real-time in-app, desktop, mobile, and granular email notifications for the activities you choose to receive updates of.

20. Project templates to save them and create similar projects without having to fill in details from scratch.

Apart from these, it also has core personalization tools, such as: 

1. The multilingual feature allows you to choose from more than half a dozen languages which include English, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, and Spanish.

2. White-labeling to personalize your account according to your brand’s identity with a theme, brand logo, and custom domain of your choice.

3. Integrations to continue working with the apps you like. You can access FreshBooks, Google Calendar, iCal, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Outlook.

4. ProofHub’s API is a key unique to your profile that allows you to access information from other apps through a scripting interface.

ProofHub has a feature for every problem.

Managing tasks and projects under one roof. Sign up now


Project management and task management go hand in hand when the tasks are dependent on planning, collaboration, organization, and delivery of successful projects. At times, tasks are independent of projects and can be completed at an individual level using task management software. By choosing the right project management software, one can not only manage projects and tasks but also get access to reports, request forms, time tracking, multiple assignees, access roles, and much more. Project management software gives managers ultimate control over projects, tasks, and teams. Read here how to choose the right project management software.

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