Despite our best efforts, most plans fail.

Not a slim majority of them, either—according to, most organizations are looking at 70% failure rates for their ambitious projects.

Even Dwight D. Eisenhower, charged with the D-Day invasion that swung the tide of World War II, once wrote: “Peace-time plans are of no particular value.” Then he finished with: “But peace-time planning is indispensable.”

Enter the concept of project management. While your best-laid plans might not always make your daily life in small business a breeze, it doesn’t mean that you can’t optimize your project management tools to set yourself up for success in planning. You only need the right tools, the right strategies for implementation, and a consistent mindset to use project management software as an ally for organization and simplification—not a time-thief. Here’s what you’ll need to know:

Find the Right Project Management Tool

It starts with identifying the tool that’s best for your small business. What will simplify your life? What will unify the office into a well-oiled machine of productivity? Here are a few factors you should take into account when browsing tools:

If that sounds like a lot of research to do, don’t worry: these tools are plentiful. We even have a few suggestions that you can peruse today:

Make a Project Management Tool Work for You

Personal finance experts will tell you that money can go one of two ways: either you can work for it, or you can reverse your fortune and have money work for you. It’s the same with project management tools. You can either ignore their features and never bother with the tutorial, or you make an upfront investment of time and energy to ensure that these tools do end up making your life easier. Here are a few tips for making it work:

Best Practices for Making Project Management Simple

Even with all of these fancy tools at hand and the tips to make full use of them, there are still a few principles you’ll need to incorporate into your life as a project manager that will make things easier.

Tweak Your Project Management System for More Success

As you get used to the features of your chosen project management tool, you’ll get a sense for what works for you and what doesn’t. But stick at it. The more your customize your own dashboard and tailor your strategy for what works in your small business, the more your schedule will run like a well-oiled machine.