What You Need to Know

Work Management: Definition, Process, Tips & Tools


In 2024, work management is the new black! 

This year, forward-thinking leaders are taking a closer look at their workflows to make things better for their teams and customers. 

This scrutiny is part of a more macro trend happening in 2024 of small businesses going global. According to Forbes

“For businesses of all sizes, the mindset has largely shifted beyond the local neighborhood to the global digital economy.”

Going global means scaling, and to scale, growing businesses need heightened cohesion. That’s why business owners and managers are finding new ways to make their processes more efficient, leveraging the latest in automation and even empathy to improve their overall work management.

The process of work management is 100% necessary to operate a successful business, so we’ve put together everything you need to know in this Work Management 101 Guide. Follow along to find out the ins and outs, plus tools and tips to help you succeed.

Everything You Need to Know About Work Management:

  1. What is work management?
  2. Different components of work management
  3. Example: Work management in action
  4. The benefits of a solid work management system
  5. Work management vs project management
  6. Work management process: How to create a work management system
  7. Work Management Tips & Tools
  8. The best work management software for service businesses

What is work management?

Work management establishes the framework by which people and processes operate across an organization. You can also ascribe work management to more micro situations, like within the bounds of a project or service contract.

Work management helps codify and replicate your processes while uniting your workflows and essentially, the way you work, with the overall goals of the project or organization at large.

Work management is chiefly concerned with technological tools, so much so, that Gartner defines it as, “a set of software products and services that apply workflow structure to the movement of information as well as to the interaction of business processes and human worker processes that generate the information.”

Different components of work management

A solid work management system will address common challenges for businesses, including resource allocation, budget restrictions, siloed teams, siloed software, and more.

In order to address these issues, work management necessitates a sprawling discipline that contains various moving parts. 

The following are the different components of the work management framework

Project management - The way projects are planned, budgeted, and executed

Resource management - Resource allocation and capacity planning

Time management - Productivity and time tracking

Process management - Manages repetitive processes and workflow efficiency

Customer relationship management - Sales and marketing

Example: Work management in action

Businesses use the fundamentals of work management to help dictate workflows, making sure the way teams work is both efficient and aligned with company objectives. Here’s an example of the work management process in action: 

Let’s say an agency might pride itself on open communication and collaboration as an important part of its company culture. But when they evaluate their workflows across all teams, they realize there are too many meetings happening, negatively affecting productivity. The agency leaders determine a restructuring is in order, where meetings are shorter and replaced by a Slack huddle. They give it a try and revisit perhaps two weeks later, to see how everyone is doing with the changes, and again at the end of the quarter to measure what impact they’ve had on profitability. 

The benefits of a solid work management system

As you can see in the above example, proper work management will transform your processes and hopefully, improve overall results. Let’s take a look at a few ways solid work management is essential for a healthy business:

Makes project management easier 

Work management systems will help you coordinate tasks, deadlines, and resources across multiple projects and teams within a single digital solution. Both project managers and team members can more easily find the information they need at any time. Communication around projects is organized, and all critical project data– contract, invoicing, budget, etc– stays within a closed loop.

Saves time and money by streamlining processes

Getting a handle on exactly what your teams need to accomplish their tasks will help you to set up intuitive workflows. Through this streamlining exercise, you can find out what can be automated and consolidated, a process that will ultimately save valuable time that can then be used to increase billable utilization. 

Better collaboration

For teams to work together, especially when they’re working from different places, collaboration capabilities are critical. Work management tools help teams solve problems and share ideas with collaboration features. For example, team members should be able to easily share documents and have their communications organized by task and by project. 

Single source of truth and a shrewd tech stack

With a work management system at play, businesses can benefit from a single source of truth. This is made possible through both robust integrations that come standard with most work management tools as well as all-in-one functionality. You can use work management software to keep your tech stack efficient by keeping data from your projects, tasks, communications, financial backend, and CRM under one digital roof. 

Work management vs project management

Work management and project management are closely related, but they’re not the same discipline. Remember that work management is chiefly concerned with processes, aka tasks and strategic workflows. This informs the task management within projects and how people work, but it’s not going to necessarily apply to everything project management entails.

Also, while project management works on a project basis, work management is used in other departments as well, like marketing and sales. 

As far as tools go, work management and project management go hand-in-hand. Often, you can get all the work management you need from your project management software and vice versa. That’s because more popular, all-in-one types of solutions– like Asana, PSOhub, etc– are designed to do both. 

Work Management Process: How to create a work management system

In a nutshell, the work management process includes planning, prioritizing, and tracking work across projects and/or across an entire organization. Although this will look different from business to business, the process can be summed up in the following sequence.

1. Evaluate

Where does your work management currently stand? First, take the time to review the processes that are in play right now. What’s good about them? How could they be improved? Go through each department at a time to scrutinize the current workflows, identifying opportunities for increased efficiency. Examples can include automating certain tasks, eliminating certain steps, or even bringing in a new person to handle an increase in workload. 

2. Plan

Now that you’ve evaluated your processes, it’s time to plan for work that needs to be done. Your work management plan establishes the how, when, and what for teams to complete their work. This involves putting procedures in place or altering pre-existing processes that will manage projects, tasks, budgets, and resources. Be sure to clearly define what needs to be put into place for teams to accomplish their work and how that will be executed, i.e. which tools will you use, who will be responsible for what, etc. Aim to be as efficient as possible while keeping in mind how each workflow will affect the team members involved. 

3. Schedule

This can also be referred to as the communication stage since you’ll be sharing your updated work management framework with everyone who is involved. Leaders will communicate any insights they feel necessary to share with the team as well as the ins and outs of updated workflows and planned tasks or projects. It’s critical that the plan and the timeline are readily available to all team members so that everyone understands their roles and how to keep work moving forward in the new system. 

4. Document and track progress

A work management solution will help you document and track the progress of work across all your projects and teams. For example, within the task management functionality, you can see when each task was completed and how long each task took to complete. With handy dashboards, you can also see where you stand on budgets versus actuals. 

5. Analyze

Finally, no matter how much your team likes or dislikes any changes you’ve made in your daily work management, it’s imperative to see some hard data on what’s happening. After your new workflows have been put in place, be sure to run reports to see how it’s all going. Most work management software will let you pull time tracking and billability reports to look at productivity, as well as profitability reports to see where your project profit margins are. 

Work Management Tips & Tools 

Want some quick work management tips that work wonders? First, decide on a central software solution through which you can manage and monitor your processes. Work management software will provide you with the tools you need to assign tasks, track profitability, and all the other things you need to manage workflows across your business or project. 

Another useful tip to benefit your work management at large is to use Slack. Slack can help you keep communication in one spot and easily organized on different channels. It also integrates with every project management and work management software solution you can think of.

Don’t forget to leverage templates and automations whenever possible to increase your efficiency. Work management tools provide these, and they’re easy to use/set up with some light reading or training.

Read more about work management hacks to boost consistency across teams 

Speaking of tools, work management software will help you keep everything together. That is, these tools will keep the data from your projects and processes under one roof, while providing everything team members need to get the job done. 

We recently evaluated the top-rated software options and found that the best work management tools available today are Monday.com, PSOhub, Microsoft Teams, Wrike, and Airtable.

However, these five solutions aren’t the only game in town. Other popular work management platforms include Asana, ActiTime, ServiceNow, HighGear, and ProjectManager.

The best work management software for service businesses

Service businesses like consultancy firms and marketing agencies need work management software that integrates seamlessly with their CRM. However, not all the solutions out there, even some of the most popular ones, provide a robust integration with the world’s best CRMs.

That’s where PSOhub comes in.

PSOhub offers the all-in-one functionality service businesses need for work management while providing a two-way integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, and Dynamics 365. 

With PSOhub as the central ‘hub’ that connects sales, service, and projects, businesses can keep all their data secure in one digital environment. 

Try it for free today and see why service firms in over 40 countries keep their work management together with PSOhub!