Task vs Project vs Process Management – Which Is Right For You?

Do tasks, projects, and processes sometimes seem like one big blur? Never fear, help is at hand. This article on task vs project vs process management will show you which is which. It will also show you why they are different, and what the importance is of those differences in your everyday working life. But first, a word on what they have in common. This will also help explain why people sometimes mix them up.

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Understanding the Different Terms

The next step is to see whether you should choose task management, project management or process management to get what you want. There are two parameters for the items of task vs project vs process management. The first is the number of stages involved (single stage or multi-stage.) The second is repeatability (will you do it just once or many times.)

Connections Between Tasks, Projects, and Processes

Tasks, projects, and processes are interrelated. For example, a project usually divides up into a sequence of individual tasks, each task having a set a date for accomplishment so that the overall deadline can be respected. A process can also be viewed as a sequence of tasks. However, compared with a project in which some tasks may only become known after the start, the possible tasks in a process are all identified in advance.

Also, although projects themselves are specific, you could have a repeatableprocess for initiating each project(for example, “always document the objectives, then identify the stakeholders, hold the first project definition meeting.” and so on.) Conversely, you could have a specificproject to define the right process for handling a recurring activity or event, especially if the process is complex and involves several people. The initial task sequence definition would be done once (the project part), and the sequence of tasks thus defined would be repeated whenever required (the process.)

A Summary Guide to Task vs Project vs Process Management

For examples of how different software tools apply to task vs project vs process management, try this handy chart:

Task vs Project vs Process Management

Task Management Application

e.g. Todoist, Wunderlist

Project Management Application

e.g. Basecamp, Wrike

Process Management Application

e.g. Tallyfy

An example of use“Pay invoice XYZ now.”“Produce a new product design in two months from today.”“Do this every time we win a sale, on-time and fill it out properly”
What it’s forOne-off tasksOne-off projects involving various stages and people, with ad hoc discussions.Apply a known process to reliably give a certain result. No need to re-invent the wheel.
Critical featuresTasks and the ability to get them doneProject plan, schedule, budget, discussion, collaboration, tracking.Create/track a process, collect metrics to improve a process.
Type of data generatedOne-off tasks. Disposable data.Noisy, one-off chats. Disposable or historical (“post-mortem”) data.Sticky, high-value master data. Audit trail of activity.
Business impact

Low. Many individuals use pen and paper.

Medium. Ensures multiple people can get a one-off goal more quickly.

High. Ensures quality and consistency, as well as scalability of operations.


A little practice in fitting these concepts of the task, project, and process management to your own activities should soon show you which one(s) you need, and when. With Tallyfy, you could even define a preliminary process to systematically identify if you need to apply task, project or process management to a given situation or requirement. Using the conditional logic in Tallyfy to branch off in the appropriate direction, you could then be sure to make the right choice every time.

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