Admit it. Project Management (PM) is hard and those traditional methods we’re all too familiar with just aren’t cutting it anymore. Think about it: repeatedly updating spreadsheets, drowning in post-its and participating in weekly status update meetings doesn’t necessarily scream ‘efficiency’. This way of working only presents more complications as there is no real overview of the work being done. Thankfully, there is more than enough project management software out there that will help you face your ‘deadline demons’ and get your projects back on track.
In this article, Mopinion will explain what project management software is, outline key aspects of project management software functionality that are important to consider when choosing a software for your business and of course, provide you with an overview of the best project management software on the market…
What is Project Management Software?
Project Management Software is software used by a wide range of industries for project planning, resource allocation and scheduling. It enables project managers as well as entire teams to control their budget, quality management and all documentation exchanged throughout a project. This software also serves as a platform for facilitating collaboration among project stakeholders.
What makes a good Project Management Software?
From tracking down deliverables to managing resources and from budget management to collaboration with team members, there is a lot to be considered when running and managing projects. This holds true when choosing the right project management software tool as well. Here’s a list of the top 5 key functionality aspects of project management software to guide you in your decision.
- Task lists – being able to assign and update the status of tasks so that everyone in your team is on the same page is critical
- Schedules – many tools offer calendars, Gantt charts or milestone tools that help you understand where a task fits into the project as a whole and how much time there is to complete it.
- File sharing – being able to share and organise key project documents eliminates time wasted searching for files
- Communication – this is critical in project management as a smooth flow of communication means quick and easy problem solving
- Reporting – this is important for all team members when it comes to updating themselves on the project as a whole. However this is also a huge plus for project managers who want to ensure that the project is progressing and tasks are being carried out in a timely manner
With these aspects in mind, let’s take a look at the top 20 best project management software..
Basecamp is a popular project management software that is widely used by many project management teams. This software offers several different collaboration features such as a designated discussion area where users can leave behind comments. Additionally a recap of the projects your team is working (e.g. statuses and updates) is sent out on a daily basis to your email. Users can contribute to discussions via email as well. If you are unable to find a particular item, you can make use of this software’s powerful search tool to locate files or conversations. Some shortcomings, however, include the lack of milestones and customisation options as well as the inability to add an estimated duration for a task or assign it to more than one user.
Pricing: Basecamp is available to businesses for $99/month. For teachers and students it is entirely free of charge.
2. Teamwork Projects
Teamwork Projects is a great project management software for the project management power user. Teamwork Projects includes all the tools you’ll need to track the development of a project. The app is quite flexible and includes various intuitive features such as Task Management, Milestones (e.g. you can link task lists to Milestones), Messaging, File Storage, Time Tracking tools, and more. Teamwork also helps project teams visualise the project using a marked calendar, gantt chart and set-up reporting. File management support is accessible with DropBox, Google Drive and Box.com.
Pricing: Pricing can range anywhere between $69/month (Small office) to $269/month (Business). They also offer an enterprise package (pricing available upon request).
The ActiveCollab project management software positions itself as the solution for when your team ‘outgrows email’. This software provides support in the following areas: Task Management, Team Collaboration, Time-Tracking and Invoicing. What really sets ActiveCollab apart from its competitors is its invoicing features. The software can track payments and expenses. It also allows invoices to be paid directly within the software with Paypal as well as other credit card payments.
Pricing: Pricing ranges from $25/month (5 members, 5 GB space) to $299/month (60 members, 500 GB space)
4. Zoho Projects
Zoho projects is an extensive project management software with a clean and straightforward interface. This software covers the following areas everything from Project Planning (breaking down projects into manageable units) and Gantt Charts (to visual the progress of tasks) to Reporting Tools, Collaboration Software (to ease contact between consultants, vendors, employees and clients) and Document Management. It can also be integrated with tools such as Google Apps and DropBox. Here’s a more in-depth look at Zoho.
Pricing: Zoho offers a free plan that includes 1 project and 10 MB storage, an express plan (€25/month), premium (€50/month) and enterprise (€80/month). These last plans all depend on the number of project and storage space.
Trello is unlike these other project management softwares in that it is an online kanban tool. This means that it visualises an entire project in just one single view. Trello makes it possible to make cards and move them around on the ‘board’. These cards can display – for example, conversations or to-do lists, which can be placed on a board, making them accessible for any of the designated tool users.
Pricing: Trello offers a free package (with unlimited boards, lists, cards and members). It also has a business class package that costs $9.99/month, which includes unlimited ‘power-ups’, which are different features and integrations, and an enterprise package that costs $20.83/month.
JIRA is a popular project management software that caters mostly to agile, software development teams. Within the software, these teams can create customisable scrum boards, kanban boards, and make use of agile reporting (in real-time). Users can also track bugs, view any outstanding issues and monitor time spent per task. JIRA comes with a robust set of APIs that enable users to connect it with many third party softwares.
Pricing: Pricing ranges from $10/month to $1500/month depending on how many users you have. There is also an option to deploy JIRA on your own server for a one-time payment.
In order to keep work organised, the Asana project management software offers Tasks, projects, conversations and dashboards. Many satisfied users say that the catchiest feature this tool has to offer is the ability to add customer fields and track only what is important to you. The software also offers Team Pages where ideas and conversations are shared for all to see as well as a ‘Smart Box’ where team members receive only important project updates rather than all messages back and forth. It can be integrated with a large number of other systems including Google Drive, DropBox, Github, MailChimp and more.
Pricing: Asana offers a basic version which is free, however business can also sign up for premium ($9.99/month) or an enterprise package which offers more control and support (pricing upon request).
Named the Best Online Collaboration tool in 2016 by PC Mag, Podio tool is seen as an ever-growing project management software. It is used mainly for organisational and communication purposes among businesses. Podio allows users to personalise the platform, by defining content structure, reports and overviews. The software also enables users to set up task management flows and a file storage system. Podio can also be used with an internal intranet environment, which allows users from the same company to interact with each other.
Pricing: Podio pricing ranges from $9/month (basic version) to $24/month (premium). There is also an enterprise package with pricing available upon request.
Within the Freedcamp project management software, users can view the entire project at a glance via a dashboard. Users can also add tasks, create sticky notes and organise these into a calendar. This web-based software offers some additional add-ons (mainly intended for high-level business) such as CRM, issue tracking, invoicing and wiki pages. What makes this tool so popular is that it is offered for free with no limit to the number of users.
Pricing: Freedcamp has a number of different packages including free, light and business which range from $0 to $8.99/month. They also offer an enterprise option (contact for quote).
Wrike is a cloud-based collaboration and project management software. This tools helps its users keep track of day-to-day operations and ensures that the project is finished within a certain frame and pre-determined cost. When setting up tasks, Wrike can be integrated with other business tools such as Google Apps, Microsoft Excel, Dropbox and many more.
The wrike app also provides the option to transform emails into tasks. This email integration also enables users to create, assign or edit documents from their email account.
Pricing: Wrike offers a free version, professional version (5-15 users, $9.80/user/month), business version (5-200 users, $24.80/user/month), a version for marketers ($34.60/user/month) and an enterprise version (pricing available upon request).
Workfront is a user-friendly project management software offers customisable project dashboards, real-time reporting and clear visibility of all ongoing tasks and operations. It also offers capacity planning and project prioritisation tools as well as notifies teams of work in progress. Workfront can be integrated with other systems such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive and Microsoft Outlook.
Pricing: Pricing for all packages is only available upon request.
Mavenlink project management software offers cross-platform collaboration features that make it easy to post, share and receive updates on projects, all in real-time. Users can also create projects and tasks wherein they can collaborate in a team form. Mavenlink is known for ease of use and access and advanced tools for real-time reporting and resource management. Some of Mavenlink’s sub-tools include: project accounting, resource management, business intelligence and team collaboration.
Pricing: Mavenlink costs anywhere between $19 and $39/month. There are also Premier and Enterprise packages (contact for pricing).
LiquidPlanner is a project management software that adapts to your business automatically. For example, when a user’s priorities and resources change, the software automatically updates these changes. This software also offers cross-project visibility, showing insights into progress, risks and budgets for all projects at once. It’s advanced analytics help users manage project performance, view costs and profits, and monitor resource utilisation, client portfolios and baseline trends.
Pricing: LiquidPlanner has three packages (based on team size and features needed): Small Team ($9.99/month), Professional ($39/month) and Enterprise ($69/month).
The Volerro project management software is a cloud-based application that is very visual and intuitive. It is very easy for users to upload, preview and annotate on various types of content – such as videos, images, text documents and web content. There are also time-tracking and estimation capabilities as well as customisable dashboards and charts. It’s drag-and-drop functionalities make it easy for users to move tasks and content from one workflow to the next.
Pricing: Volerro offers a Trial plan (free) and Business plan ($7.99/month) as well as an Enterprise plan (contact for pricing)
TeamGantt is a project management software that caters really well to smaller businesses. It is very easy to set up and can probably be up and running within an hour or two. The software allows users to invite colleagues to a gantt chart, which they can also edit once access has been granted. TeamGantt’s only weak points are in-app communication and collaboration.
Pricing: Pricing ranges from $0/month (max three users) to $14.95/user per month (advanced package).
Clarizen is a enterprise-grade project management software that gives businesses the power to plan, control and execute. Via a customisable and easy-to-use interface, this software offers the following: Configurable workflows, in-context collaboration, automated business processes, real-time visibility, flexible UI, and dynamic reports and dashboards. What sets Clarizen apart from other PM softwares is its accurate methodology – e.g. companies can start up a project before they’ve created a plan and move back some portions of the project to a draft so that they can be replanned.
Pricing: Offers a Unlimited and Enterprise Edition, pricing for both editions is given upon request.
Celoxis is rated among the top 3 best project management softwares worldwide. This software is simple and straightforward with a responsive interface that includes a Gantt chart view of projects and a number of different financial tools that can help track hours and project income. Celoxis hosts an online version (the SaaS plan) or users can host the data themselves. This software has many great features, but where it really stands out is reporting with its advanced reporting engine, drill-down charts, time-phrased data and flexible/shareable reports.
Pricing: Celoxis has two packages: SaaS ($25/user a month) and On-Premise, which is the self-hosting service ($450/user – one time payment).
ProofHub is an online project management app that places an emphasis on simplicity. This project management software is intended mainly for small and growing businesses. Projects are assigned to groups and clients, who are able to discuss, share and edit. Proofhub also offers to create custom roles for users to create Gantt charts. The following are some of the subcomponents of ProofHub: Custom Roles, Task management, Workflows and Boards, Gantt Charts, Reports, Time tracking, Discussions, Chat, Calendar, File management, Notes, and in-app notifications.
Pricing: ProofHub pricing ranges from $45/month to $99/month depending on the number of projects and storage needed.
The Notion project management software gives businesses key insights on how the business is doing, and how it could perform better. Notion enables to invite everyone to work together within one team. Users can create unlimited dashboards for private and team use. Additionally, user can comment on data, share conversations, provide visual reports, participate in team polling and much more. Notion can be integrated with the following tools: JIRA, Bitbucket, GitHub, Pivotal Tracker and more.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $179 and otherwise users can choose an enterprise package (pricing on request).
Last, but certainly not least is ProjectManager.com. This award-winning tool has several nice features including task management and time sheets, both of which can be updated remotely. This project management tool also offers its users Gantt charts, Project Planning features and a real-time dashboard.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $35/month for a single user. However, they also offer two team packages: $20 per user/month for a team of 10 users and $25 per user/month for a team of 20 users. Additionally, ProjectManager.com offers an enterprise package (pricing available upon request).
Choosing your PM software
In order to choose the right project management software, it’s important to consider factors such as the size of your business and team, how many features you require and which of those features you most value. Either way, I think you’ll quickly realise that having such a software in place will make your day-to-day work much easier.
We hope this overview has given you some inspiration in choosing which project management software might be right for your business. If you have any suggestions or know of other great project management software, please feel free to put them in the comments below.
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