It generally depends on the size of a project. But I believe that you need to research available resources before increasing the running cost of your project. So what do we need?
First of all, we need means of communication. Email takes the lead here, but I suggest you consider other more productive options. Video or Voice conferences are more fruitful, instant messengers are faster. Moreover, many tools combine task tracking and communications. Tools like Asana, Trello, Slack. All of them will be better than email for productive work.
Task tracking system is the second important tool. For smaller projects, the ones I mentioned already will suit well. For larger projects, you may need something more robust like Atlassian JIRA or Microsoft VSTS. These tools will also give you an opportunity to track defects and documentation.
This leads us to the third important component – a documentation management system. There are so many options here. Google Drive and its office suite, Microsoft Office 365, Confluence, etc. I tend to use a system that removes the necessity to send files back and forth and give an ability to collaborate on a document.
And the last one. Do I need a Project Management tool, like MS Project? It can help if you know how to use it. Moreover, you need to ensure that this tool is aligned with your PM framework. However, on a smaller project, such tools require more efforts to keep them up to date than they give benefits for the project.
And the final note. Aim for an integrated solution that includes all this tool or at least integration with them natively. Synchronising information between two separated tools is a pain already. So, consider all pros and cons.
So, let’s summarise. The tools you need are: a set of communications tools, share task tracking system, defect tracking system, document management system and a project management tool if you do understand how to use it.
But don’t overcomplicate it. Most of the times an email and a notepad is all you need. All these tools will not cover a lack of knowledge in Project Management.
OK, that’s all for today, if you want me to answer your question, please put it in the comments below. And do not forget to like this video. See you soon!