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Why You Should Ditch Your Project Management Tool for a Work OS

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Project Management applications are fine for specific use within narrow parameters. When it's time to expand, it's time to look at a Work OS.

Businesses are becoming increasingly fractured. As more companies embrace remote work and highly specialized departments, many find it difficult to keep everyone on the same page. In the past few years, a growing number of businesses have turned to project management (PM) software for help.

While PM software is gaining popularity, its adoption remains relatively limited. A survey published in 2020 found that just 23% of global organizations use these tools. Part of this is because they’re still relatively new, but many users also find that they don’t meet their needs.

If you’re considering PM tools to help your growing organization, you should know that there’s another option. Work operating systems like have emerged as a more helpful alternative. (Read also: How to Ensure Peak Remote Work Activity.)

How Is a Work OS Different from Project Management Software?

PM tools are programs that help plan, schedule and allocate resources to a specific project. Different solutions offer varying features, but the primary purpose of all of them is to facilitate easier project planning and tracking. For example, a team developing a new product could use it to set a timeline, estimate a budget, then assign tasks like market research to different employees.

A Work OS is similar but offers a more comprehensive approach. In a Work OS, team members can build custom tools and workflows, enabling more freedom and customization to meet their unique needs. Some more sophisticated options like also feature low-code or no-code app creation and built-in communication channels.

Work OS solutions still have many of the same project organization features but also support a company’s other operations, including day-to-day work and communication. They typically include automation features, data and app integrations, data gathering, visualization and analytics, and adjustable permissions.


Where Project Management Software Falls Short

At first, PM software may seem sufficient for your operations. These tools can enable significant productivity and transparency gains, especially compared to older, paper-and-pencil alternatives. Still, despite its benefits, PM software often falls short in a few areas.

According to a survey performed by Capterra, nearly 60% of project teams are cross-functional, but PM tools are often specialized, narrow-scoped services. This makes communicating and working across departments challenging, often requiring teams to use multiple other apps. Since, (as reported in the survey) 38% of PM users report difficulty integrating it with other systems, this often creates disorganization and disruption.

The most oft-cited issue with PM software is its complexity, with 43% of users saying it has a steep learning curve. When you have employees from multiple departments using various systems, it makes it harder to collaborate. If one team can’t tell what another’s workload or processes look like, transitioning between them will likely cause disruption.

How a Work OS Improves Operations

Many of PM software’s most pressing issues come from the same place: it’s too limited. These tools work well for specific projects with small, dedicated teams with clear goals but aren’t sufficient for other operations. Work OS solutions are an ideal alternative here since they’re organization-wide and include multiple integrations by design.

Since every member in an organization would use the same work OS, everyone’s already used to the system. No one would have to learn to use new tools or software to collaborate with other departments. Hosting everyone on the same platform also provides a single source of information, helping different stakeholders stay on the same page. (Read also: Managing Cloud Sprawl in Your Organization.)

App building and integration are key components of any Work OS, fixing PM software’s interoperability problem. These integrations reduce the amount of separate apps teams will need and eliminate confusion from working in fractured environments.

While 90% of organization leaders say agility is crucial to future success, only 26% say they have high agility. A Work OS’s automation features eliminate many routine tasks, making workflows more agile. As teams collaborate more seamlessly and reduce workflow bottlenecks, they’ll ensure long-term success.

In Practice: Work OS vs. Project Management Software

To help understand these benefits, imagine a software development company was designing a new mobile app. First, designers will need to design and prototype the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), which often require various tools. In PM software, these solutions may be incompatible, making sharing progress or finished work difficult. A Work OS could integrate with these apps, letting them share their work seamlessly.

After the design phase, this work must change hands for developers to make a working version. A Work OS provides shared calendars and workflows, providing insight into each team and worker’s workload, timeline, and status, which enables more seamless hand-offs. Similarly, automation tools can automatically notify workers of changes or adjust priorities. PM software doesn’t provide this transparency or automation, which could lead to scheduling problems.

During development, workers will likely have to revisit their work frequently to fix bugs. Both PM software and work OSes enable this process to happen smoothly, editing and reassigning tasks as needed. Since Work OS solutions often include built-in communication services, though, they may make it easier to collaborate through this process. Automated alerts for bugs and errors further speed this part of development. (Read also: Diving into Dev: The Software Development Lifecycle.)

In the last step before launch, the company will need to run some user tests. In a PM solution, this may look like a team receiving the order to test, then running them in other programs. With a Work OS, these testing programs would integrate with the rest of their tools, helping other stakeholders track progress and streamlining workflows.

With this example, it’s clear why companies like Hulu and Uber use work OS solutions for their software development. While PM tools don’t cause any significant disruptions, Work OS enables much smoother, more collaborative workflows. These benefits lead to faster times to market at least and better, more polished end products at best.

It’s Time to Switch to a Work OS

The need for collaboration is becoming increasingly clear today, yet remote work and all-digital workplaces can make collaboration challenging. Work OS platforms like give teams the transparency, interoperability and flexibility they need to work together in these fractured environments.

Project management software can be helpful, but these solutions are often too limited. You need more than a way to manage and organize individual projects. Work OS is the answer.


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Devin Partida is the Editor-in-Chief for, and has had her freelance work featured in the official CES magazine, as well as various other tech publications. When she isn't writing about the latest tech, gadgets or cybersecurity trends, you can find her biking around the Golden Gate Bridge. To view Devin's full professional portfolio, please visit this page.