17 Best Project Management Software and Tools (2021)
Whether you run a small business or a large enterprise, managing and keeping track of your projects is always a challenge.
That’s why project management software has become so prevalent in the market. In fact, 77% of high-performing projects use project management tools.
These tools help you fully plan, execute, and close your projects efficiently. By using collaboration software like this, your team can manage and assign tasks, message each other in real-time, add files, track time, and more.
In this ultimate guide, I ranked and reviewed the best project management software to use this year.
These reviews are based on ease of use, pricing, features, project management capabilities, plan views, support, and more.
Let's get started.
Here are my top picks for the best project management software for teams this year.
Table of Contents
Best Overall Project Management Software
Monday.com is one of the most well-known project management tools on the market. It's a new version of the previously known Dapulse with a lot more features.
With a clean interface and color-coded features, this platform is pretty straightforward to use and set up great for project managers and either big or small teams. They also offer a user-friendly mobile app.
- Offers a colored timeline and option to sync timeline with calendar
- Provides a portal for external stakeholders and clients
- Provides a feature called ‘create a new pulse’ that allows you to copy any list and paste it for full transfer
- Offers undo button
- Offers highly customizable workflows
- Charts for timeline visualization
- Offers map view for location-based projects
- Offers a wide variety of templates for project managers
- Resource management tools
- Unlimited users and boards
- Specific plans for businesses based on the number of users
- Offers a free trial period
- Extensive one-on-one training offered
- Provides service in multiple languages (English, German, Dutch, French, and more)
- Extensive integrations (Outlook, Slack, Jira, Excel, and more)
- Offers a Kanban-style visual layout
- Good help desk software and customer support tools
- All plans include 24/7 phone and email support
- Ability to handle complex projects
- Adding the number of users costs extra money for each plan
- One of the more expensive plans in the market
- The addition of sub-tasks can be difficult
- Can be challenging to grasp for a novice
Monday.com offers four plans. The ‘Basic,’ ‘Standard,’ and ‘Pro’ plans for up to 5 users cost $25, $39, and $59 per month, respectively. The ‘Enterprise’ plan is quote-based.
Get started for free with Monday.com.
Best Project Management Software for Large Teams
Wrike is a SaaS team collaboration and project management tool that boasts of a multi-pane UI, and also aids in team collaboration and project management.
They stand out with their wide range of project management features, including team communication, tracking employee availability, and viewing at-risk projects.
With fully customizable team sprint dashboards, team members can view new, in-progress, and completed projects in one place. Teams can also schedule and share custom interactive reports to make faster decisions.
Wrike is available in multiple languages and is compatible with both iOS and Android.
- Visualization tracking
- Easy prioritization
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor
- Offers Dynamic Request Forms (DRF) to simplify project planning
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Integrations with a wide range of tools, including CRM apps, email marketing tools, and so forth
- Advanced analytics and data insights from integration with Tableau
- Offers a single platform for all your business needs (no need to use multiple applications)
- Comes with numerous in-built tools to aid and abet your project
- Use of automation
- Has reliable security protocols in place
- 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat
Wrike provides five plans that are great for marketers, enterprise companies, and small businesses.
- First is the ‘Professional’ plan that provides access to up to 15 users, and costs $9.80 per user per month.
- The ‘Business’ plan provides access to a range of 5 to 200 students. It costs $24.80 per user per month. It also offers volume discounts.
- The ‘Marketers,’ ‘Professional Services,’ and the ‘Enterprise’ plans offer access to unlimited users and can be customized according to your requirements.
All the plans offer a free trial period for up to 5 users.
Best No-Code Application to Replace Them All
ClickUp is perfect when it comes to solving multiple problems for a business. They are known as “the one app to replace them all” with tools that help with tasks, docs, chat, timelines, reminders, and more.
Over 100,000 teams use ClickUp, including major brands like Google, Airbnb, Nike, Netflix, Uber, and Ubisoft.
It's also a highly customizable tool, with the ability to create your own custom views and task boards that include team members and projects in progress, in review, completed, etc.
And if you're looking to migrate to ClickUp from another platform, their simple automatic import all of your files and information in minutes.
ClickUp offers comprehensive time management, task management, facilitates collaboration between different business units, and offers a wide range of integrations.
It's also one of the few project management platforms to offer a freemium plan.
- Offers a wide range of templates
- Offers four different views
- Drag and drop feature
- You also get a wide range of integrations (Slack, GitHub, Dropbox, Google Drive, and much more)
- Provides excellent contact management features
- Allows goal-tracking and time-tracking
- Allows automatic import of documents from other apps
- Allows you to organize tasks into sub-tasks
- Task tray feature allows you to avoid opening new tabs
- Allows you to set priorities for your tasks
- Extremely customizable
- Cloud-based application
- Offers a freemium plan for basic services
- Has a customer-centric approach
- The dashboard view is very efficient
- 24/7 speedy customer support
Apart from the Freemium plan, ClickUp offers three other paid plans. The ‘Unlimited’ plan costs $5 per user per month, and the ‘Business’ plan is $19 per user per month. Then you have an ‘Enterprise’ plan, which is tailor-made for larger businesses.
Get started with ClickUp for free.
Hive is a cloud-based project management and collaboration software that lets you manage tasks, automate workflow, track progress, and more.
Your team can manage and monitor projects and tasks, just the way they want by switching between different project views.
Four project views are:
- Gantt view
- Kanban view
- Calendar view
- Table view
Hive also provides numerous types of templates to use immediately for recurring tasks or even new tasks. You can also find pre-designed templates for workflows and project roadmaps.
There’s also a ‘My Actions’ section in your Dashboard, where you can view all your actions. After assigning the tasks, you can further break the project into different actions like ‘current,’ ‘future,’ ‘completed,’ ‘assigned by me,’ etc.
Additionally, Hive Analytics lets you monitor the progress of your team and projects. You can track metrics like project completion, work done by an individual, most productive day of the week, overdue actions, etc.
You can even automate the workflows and perform actions like moving cards, adding labels, changing assignees, etc., with a click.
The Hive Chatbox enables you to transfer files, flag any potential issue, and attach necessary documents. It also helps you chat and alert your teammates with the drag-and-drop action.
Plus, integration with Gmail or Outlook inbox allows you to see all your emails in Hive Mail itself. Not only this, but you can also attach your emails to new or existing tasks.
Besides, Hive integrates with over 1000 marketing and communication apps to avoid switching from one platform to another. Some of the famous integrations are Google Drive, Microsoft team, Slack, GitHub, Salesforce, Okta, etc.
You can also use Hive’s mobile app to manage your projects from the go. Use the app to access information readily, attach files, send messages, add tasks, etc.
- Hive helps you provide feedback and approve the projects directly from your phone.
- Add comments and notes on the cards to communicate with your team.
- Use track sheets to track time spent on projects.
- You can invite and collaborate with clients and members from outside your organization. (5 external users allowed per account).
- Enable Hive Chat or integrate your Hive dashboard with Slack for better communication.
- It sends an alert whenever you pass over a task to each member.
- 14-days free trial.
- It offers a free demo to help you get familiar with the tool.
- Hive’s mobile app supports all platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS.
- Security measures include single sign-on, SAML, compliance export, active directory integration, and audit logging.
- Special discounts for non-profits.
- You can import data from other tools like Asana, Trello, etc.
Hive offers two types of plans:
- Base Package: $12 per user, per month.
- Enterprise Package: a quote-based plan that includes all the add-ons.
The Base plan offers all the basic features like project layouts, summary views, chat, Hive Mail, etc. You can add extra features for different prices. However, the Enterprise plan comes with all the basic as well as advanced features. You don’t have to pay anything extra for the add-ons.
Get started with a 14-day free trial of Hive.
TimeCamp is an easy-to-use, powerful time tracking software for teams and freelancers. One of the most popular free project management apps on the market streamlines daily workflow issues. It tracks time and activities in the background so that you can focus on what really matters at your job.
TimeCamp is now free for unlimited users, and the plan includes unlimited projects and tasks as well.
- A unique project tree structure with tags streamlines client management and creates multidimensional time and project management,
- Computer activities tracking – fill your timesheets automatically with daily activity,
- Guests – invite your customers and show them proof of work and team’s performance,
- The attendance module – track leaves, holidays, and vacation days; and if you combine it with billing rates, you'll create a payroll system within Timecamp,
- Custom user roles – define your user classes to adjust the user privileges to the structure of your projects,
- Timesheet approvals – approve time submitted by your employees on their timesheets,
- Automatic time tracking
- Custom reporting
- Away time,
- Project transparency,
- Data for daily performance improvement,
- Wide range of integrations with project management, sales, marketing, HR, accounting, etc. tools,
- High availability (The tool is available as a web timer as well as for desktop and mobile),
- Simple layout that some of you may find quite outdated
Plan.io is a project management software that lets you track and manage your projects. It’s based on Redmine, another open-source Ruby on Rails-based project management software. Besides, it helps you with Version Control and file syncing as well.
From building a product to the final shipping – Plan.io helps you plan and manage the entire process. The software lets you change the status, category, priority, assignee, start, and due date of the projects.
Plus, you can measure metrics like the amount of work done, time spent, subtasks, and more. Ability to track issues, tasks, and bugs and creating workflows & roadmaps also come in handy in managing your projects.
Plan.io helps you work with a role-based system. This means you can give your employees detailed permissions like add/edit/delete tasks, manage subtasks, assign work, and other customized tasks.
Plus, you can monitor all these things from anywhere anytime through your mobile phone.
Plan.io also claims to make sprint planning easy. For that, it provides a drag-and-drop interface to easily add or remove tasks from the backlog to your sprint. Similarly, move the tasks to the ‘complete column’ once you are through with it.
The tool also provides automatically generated charts to help you monitor the progress and performance of your projects and team. These charts help you track metrics like issues burndown, issues burnup, velocity, lead team, etc.
Besides, Plan.io helps with Repository management and helps you assign your repositories to each member – without any redundancies. You just have to assign initial roles, and your managers can checkout, commit, clone, push, and pull any item they want.
Additionally, you can collaborate and share ideas with your team using forums and team chat features. You can debate with them, store the files they share, assess their merits, and more.
- Any team member can manage the tasks directly from the email, even on their phone. You can even change the status, priority, assignee, etc.
- It provides auto-generated Gantt charts that give you an overview of the progress of your tasks.
- Time-track your activities.
- Message forums for team discussions.
- The mobile app lets you work from anywhere you want and at any time.
- It provides customer support via help desk and live chat.
- You get a 30-days free trial.
- SSL Encryption.
- You can handle over 100 projects.
- It provides free daily backups.
- You don’t need to install the tool since it’s a web-based platform.
Plan.io provides the following five pricing plans:
- Silver: €19 per month (3 active projects)
- Gold: €39 per month (7 active projects)
- Diamond: €75 per month (15 active projects)
- Platinum: €149 per month (40 active projects)
- Enterprise: €299 per month (100+ active projects)
All the plans come with a month’s free trial. You can also get in touch with their support team for customized pricing for specific features. All plans include SSL encryption, regular updates, backups & maintenance, free imports of existing data, support via e-mail and phone, etc.
GanttPRO is an online project management tool based on simplicity and Gantt charts.
Its Gantt charts provide a clear picture of tasks, team members, due dates, and priorities. There is also a grid view, board view, and portfolio view.
GanttPRO also excels with team management. Features like real-time synchronization, notifications, file attachments, comments, and mentions all keep team members in the loop on every project.
- Project management tracking and boards
- Project calendars and change histories
- User settings and team member permissions
- Time trackers and time log reports
- Project duration and time estimations
- Custom and pre-configured project templates
- Three types of project budget tracking
- Excels in usability and simplicity with its excellent plan views.
- Easily keep clients in the loop with fast project sharing.
- Real-time collaboration easily plans priorities with clear deadlines.
- Project owners provide a single source of truth and one project opener/closer.
- First-rate data security with SSL, private VPN, and Microsoft Azure Cloud Infrastructure.
- 24/7 email support and live chat support Monday – Friday during business hours.
GanttPRO is $15 for one user and its pricing plans get cheaper per user as the number of team members increases.
- Their tool costs $8.90 per month per user for 5 users ($44.50 per month).
- $6.50 per month for 40 users ($260 per month).
- $4.50 per user per month for 100 users ($450 per month).
Overall, if you're looking for an easy-to-use, Gantt chart-based project management tool with little to no training required, GanttPRO is a great option.
ProofHub provides all the project management tools you need, under one roof. Tools that help you control your team(s) make it easier for you to finish your projects efficiently. It also ensures on-time project delivery and on-point team accountability.
- Entirely cloud-based
- White-labelling (allows you to add your colors, logo, theme)
- Gantt charts for visualization (track progress, change views, export)
- Efficient security protocols in place
- Available in multiple languages
- Offers Kanban-style boards to visualize and self-manage
- Excellent integrations (Outlook, Dropbox, Google Drive)
- Offers great project templates
- Comes with a built-in proofing tool that allows you to share, review, preview, and provide feedback
- Both one-on-one and group chats available for better collaboration
- Allows you to review multiple files simultaneously
- Provides detailed tutorials for introduction to ProofHub
- Tasks and sub-tasks for easy allocation (also imports CSV files and provides file storage)
- Efficient use of calendar (manage all events and milestones, and get reminders)
- High customizability
- 30-day free trial period
- Offers plenty of command shortcuts for efficient working
- Doesn’t offer customer support via phone
- Can be difficult to use for beginners
- Several users have complained about the difficulty in using certain features
- Workflows and requirements management could be improved
The pricing plans start at $89 per month (billed annually) and go up to $45 per month (billed annually). They also offer a 30-day free trial.
Backlog is an all-in-one project management app for teams. By combining project management with version control and bug tracking, Backlog brings together code management and project management into one tool.
Additionally, teams can be prepared to collaborate and finish projects with Kanban boards for task tracking, Burndown and Gantt charts for project tracking, and custom Wikis for documenting your team's shared knowledge.
Plus, Backlog features push notifications, comment history threads, and drag-and-drop file management to organize everything in one place.
- Task tracking tools, bug tracking, and project version control in one tool
- Visual Gantt charts and Kanban-style boards for better resource management and project planning
- Built-in SVN and Git repositories
- Custom statuses and workflows to suit your project
- Mobile app for Android and iOS users
- Integrations with Atlassian Jira, Dropbox, Zapier, LinkedIn, etc.
- Custom Wikis easily document team information in one place to understand project histories.
- Tasking and sub-tasking allow easy organization within projects.
- Combined bug tracking and task tracking are great for coding projects.
- Works on the web, iOS, and Android devices.
Backlog features four cost-effective plans, including a free plan:
- Their free plan provides 10 users, one project, and 100 MB of storage.
- Their starter plan at $35/month allows up to 30 users, five projects, and 1 GB of storage.
- Its popular standard plan at $100/month provides unlimited users, up to 100 projects, 30 GB of storage, and Gantt charts.
- Backlog's premium plan is $175/month and gives you unlimited users, unlimited projects, 100 GB of storage, Gantt charts, and custom fields.
ProProfs is a simple project management tool that aims to keep every team in a company on the same page. It doesn’t let you miss out on any important event, whether you’re working from the office or a remote location. Moreover, it allows you to collaborate with your team members while keeping feedback, milestones, and the latest developments in the loop.
- Use the ‘Task dependency’ feature to move and customize dates for hundreds of tasks and deliverables in a single click
- It allows you to create recurring tasks and use various project templates to simplify your work
- Easily set task completion deadlines and monitor them by setting timers. You can also track time on your phone even while traveling
- Create comprehensive project completion reports for clients and summarize it by breaking down your deliverables, progress made in each task, and expected completion times
- You can manage and track your resources by allocating the right people to the right tasks and optimizing processes
- Perform comprehensive budget management, breakdown your budget, and manage expenditure in specific focus areas
- Ensures timely invoicing and follow-up with clients and vendors
- Offers Gantt charts and helps you create financial summaries
- Get secure billing for all projects
- Provides easy integrations with Dropbox, Salesforce, Xero, and more
- Share files in real-time
- It offers a forever free plan and offers extensive customer support
- You can easily prioritize tasks by assigning them color codes like red, yellow, and green
- Some plans allow CSV data export, custom branding, and live training
- Allows you to collaborate with intra-business and inter-business teams
- A bit challenging to use for beginners
It provides a freemium plan for necessary functions. After this, there are three paid plans, starting from $19 per month and going up to $199 per month. The paid plans offer a 15-day free trial period.
Named after a yoga pose, Asana is a highly popular SaaS-based project management system. It can run on Linux, Windows, Android, and iOS. Moreover, it boasts of multi-language capability, including French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
- Offers more than 100 integrations (Gmail, Outlook, Google Drive, Zapier, OneLogin, and more)
- Uses a RESTful API that enables you to update and access data easily
- Offers a wide range of viewing options, including list view, board view, and calendar view
- Comes with more than 50 templates to choose from
- Custom fields to keep track of critical metrics
- Offers dependency management
- Offers a ‘My task’ list and Focus mode
- Get automatic updates in emails
- Provides CSV importer to upload business data into the application
- Easy facilitation of information sharing
- Agile project management tools
- Offers a limited-capability free plan
- Allows easy prioritization and visualization of work
- Get real-time updates and file sharing
- User-friendly interface with easy task lists through the project lifecycle
- Offers email support, tickets, and training
- High customizability (allows third-party API modifications)
- Assigning project tasks can be challenging
- It doesn’t provide live chat or phone support
Asana comes with four pricing plans.
- The first one is a basic freemium plan for individuals or businesses that are just starting out.
- The ‘Premium’ plan is $10.99 per user per month (when billed annually).
- The ‘Business’ plan costs $24.99 per user per month (when billed annually).
- And the ‘Enterprise’ plan is a quote-based plan, where you can customize it as per your preference.
Workzone is a cloud-based project management software. One of its most prominent features is that it allows custom branding for businesses, allowing them to display their logos or signatures. Other than that, its focus is on enabling collaboration between different business units.
- Offers excellent collaboration features
- The project dashboard gives reference to all features
- Offers a wide variety of templates
- Comprehensive document management
- Budget and expense management
- All-in-one portfolio management
- Real-time display of to-do list
- Excellent integration with a wide range of software, including Dropbox, Tableau, Google, and more
- Offers exportable pre-built or customized project reports
- 24/7 support (phone and email)
- Great for businesses that handle multiple clients
- Allows you to create external accounts for specific business requirements
- Time management can be improved
- Lacks the capacity to create a portal for clients or external users
- Beginners might find it challenging to use
- The pricing plan is not available on the website (must contact the company to get a quote or request a demo)
Workzone does not display its pricing on the website. You have to get in contact with the Workzone team to request a demo and get a quote.
Trello is a cloud-based, Kanban-style list-making application. Most users claim it to be a very flexible app that provides excellent project collaboration. The best part is that it offers a basic plan free of cost for beginners.
- Provides a limited-feature, free plan
- Drag and drop feature
- Provides multiple integrations with third-party apps like Zoho, Evernote, Zapier, and more
- Has a voting feature, which allows the employees to vote and decide on a particular course of action in real-time
- Offers unlimited personal boards, cards, and lists to segment and manage the workload accordingly
- Unique ‘power-up’ feature that allows you to edit the content on each board and add different integrations
- Offers inline editing, checklists, and attachments
- Provides regular updates and alerts on deadlines
- Syncs across all devices
- Very user-friendly
- Mobile friendly
- Supports Android and iOS
- One of the cheapest project management apps in the market
- Highly customizable for multiple different project teams
- Easy to use Kanban boards
- Collaboration tools that sync with Slack
- Trello doesn’t provide a separate portal for clients
- The free plan doesn’t include integrations
- Doesn’t have phone support
Trello offers three plans.
- The first one is a free plan, with limited features, but great for people who’re just starting.
- The ‘Business Class’ plan costs $9.99 per user month (billed annually).
- The ‘Enterprise’ plan costs $20.83 per user per month (billed annually).
Podio is a holistic, web-based, powerful, and easy-to-use project management software. It is also one of the few project management solutions that offers a free, basic plan with limited features.
- Comes with filter and reporting options (helps automate sales pipeline and project budget tracking)
- Maintains workflows based on if-this-then-that logic
- Comprehensive task management features
- Offers a variety of calendaring options, including personal calendar, workspace calendar, and more
- Integrations with numerous third-party apps (Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and more)
- Efficient communications and online meetings (Podio chat, instant messaging, audio and video, and more)
- AES 256-bit encryption for storage and SSL Certified (highly secure environment)
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Highly customizable
- Provides excellent customer support
- Offers an excellent free plan for up to 5 users
- One of the most affordable platforms in the market
- Provides unlimited storage, even for the free version
- Offers tutorial videos for easy understanding of usage
- Powerful templates
- Limited tracking options
- Doesn’t allow archiving and use of markup tools
- No phone or email customer support
The first plan is free and allows up to 5 users. The ‘Basic’ plan is priced at $7.20 per month. The ‘Plus’ plan costs $11.20 per month and offers the option of automated workflows. The ‘Premium’ plan is $19.20 per user and offers a full suite of advanced features.
Teamwork is a team collaboration, project management, and task management software. It is entirely web-based and is compatible with both Android and iOS. On top of that, you get a wide range of cloud-based applications, along with a free plan.
- Provides excellent integrations (Hubspot, Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and more)
- The portfolio feature enables you to get a panoramic view of all your projects
- The “Board view” automates your workflow
- Offers “Teamwork Timer” app to track time
- Gantt charts for visualization of the timeline
- Risk register allows you to manage all risks with your project under one roof
- Offers a client portal to segment your projects accordingly
- Chat option for teams for effective communication
- Allows you to create tasks and sub-tasks
- Use of filters to view project information
- Personalized dashboard to show key project metrics
- Ability to leverage cards and smartsheets
- Invoicing for clients using native timesheets
- 30-day free trial period
- Offers a basic, free plan for up to 5 users
- 24/7 email, phone, and live chat customer support
- Offers free guides and tutorials to get hands-on learning
- Offers a Kanban-style board
- Can be difficult to use for a novice
- The interface is a bit cluttered
Teamwork offers a free plan for up to five users. After that, the paid plans start at $9 per user per month and go up to $15 per user per month. You also get a quote-based plan that is highly personalized. Annual payment helps you save up to 20%.
MeisterTask is a project management software that helps organize and manage tasks in a beautifully designed, customizable environment. It is entirely web-based and doesn’t require any downloading or manual updating.
- Kanban-style boards help in task management
- Mobile friendly and is compatible with both Android and iOS
- Make use of multiple checklists that allows you to break up long lists into manageable sub-lists
- In-built time tracker feature
- Easy project portfolio management
- Offers extensive integration with a wide range of applications (Gmail, Dropbox, Zendesk, GitHub, and more)
- Excellent security protocols in place
- Provides direct import option from a variety of apps like Trello, Asana, and Wunderlist
- You get a personal URL to subscribe to your tasks, schedules, and more
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Predefined workflow helps in efficient team collaboration
- Very efficient automation (offers ‘section actions’)
- Allows you to set up recurring tasks
- Excellent collection of tutorial videos to guide you
- Allows high customizability
- Subtasks are not visible right away
- Doesn’t provide a native reminder feature
- Isn’t compatible with Linux
- Phone support is offered only for the ‘Business’ plan
You get a free plan for basic requirements. The paid plans start from $8.25 per user per month and go up to $20.75 per user per month. They also offer one ‘Enterprise’ plan that can be tailored for each individual.
BaseCamp is a cloud-based online project management tool. It organizes everything in one place and eliminates the need for additional software.
Moreover, it helps segment projects into small parts, which increases the focus on each part.
- Provides message boards to post announcements and pitch ideas
- To-do list (make a list of what to do)
- Efficient scheduling
- You can share docs, files, spreadsheets
- Excellent group and individual chat
- Project-based calendar system
- Offers a wide range of project templates
- Provides a client/third-party portal
- Allows you to set-up and schedule notifications
- Offers in-built file management for each project
- Extensive integrations available (Zapier, TaskClone, Pleexy, and more)
- The “Klipfolio” features help you visualize all your business metrics on a single dashboard
- Allows high level of customization
- Doesn’t charge based on the number of users
- Promotes and facilitates collaboration between business units
- Offers an excellent free plan (limited features)
- Offers a 30-day free trial plan for the paid plan
- Compatible with Android, Mac, Windows, iOS
- Extensive tutorials for in-depth learning about BaseCamp
- Entirely based on cloud thus may not be used by businesses who prefer in-house project management
- Doesn’t offer customer support via phone call
The paid plan costs $99 per month. You also get a freemium plan with regular features. However, you won’t get the VIP customer support that is exclusive to the paid plan.
A few tools not yet listed include Zoho Projects, Microsoft Projects, LiquidPlanner, and Mavenlink.
Project management is the science or art of mobilizing a company’s resources towards the completion of a specific project or goal. It may be a one-time activity or a long-term work order. Project management software is either an on-premise or SaaS collaboration tool that allows teams to manage tasks, share deliverables, and work on projects to completion.
Naturally, the software tools that help companies perform project management are called project management software (or PM software for short).
Whether working on a software development project or a simple document, this collaboration software allows teams to work together faster, and save the company both time and money.
Ever since the first PMS was developed in 1896, called the harmonogram, the software has seen profound changes.
These days we have numerous types of project management software apps, including:
- Desktop-based or web-based
- Mobile apps
Project management is prevalent in science, engineering, information technology, military, and construction industries.
The best part is that project management software has brought about considerable automation and resourcefulness, which is a distinct advantage over traditional manual project management techniques.
A project management software app can help you perform the following tasks:
- Time-management & scheduling
- Resource allocation
- Communication & collaboration
With intense competition all over the business world, merely registering for a project management platform is not enough.
You have got to be able to use it correctly and reap all the benefits in all its capacity.
After all, your competitors are going to be using such platforms as well, so efficiency and proper use can be the key to getting a competitive advantage.
Here are some of the steps you can use to maximize your results:
The first step is identifying the parts of the project you need help with and your desired outcome.
You need to identify things like:
- Whether your requirement is internal or external
- Do you need to collaborate with your clients or any other third-parties
- If remote working is possible and what kind of remote working tools would you require
- What’s your budget
If you don’t run a thorough analysis, you might end up overlooking the project management features that could have helped most.
After you’ve selected the online project management software to use, you need to choose the right plan for your business.
You could make a decision based on several factors, like the number of users you have, your budget, or other company-specific variables.
The good news is most PM tools provide several different pricing plans, along with a quote-based plan that can be customized based on your requirements.
With any platform, you need to get comfortable with the navigation panel. This panel contains all the tools that you’ll need to rely on.
Some of the components that a typical navigation panel provide are:
- Stream feeds
- Folders/projects/tasks (sub-tasks)
- Calendars (helps in tracking and following daily work)
Here’s what a typical navigation panel looks like:
You can start by creating a folder and keeping all your team members in the loop.
Creating a new folder is easy in any PMS, and can be done from the navigation window itself.
The folder usually contains all the details of a particular project.
After creating a new folder, start a new project, or add an existing project to the folder.
You just need to follow a few simple steps that are usually go something like this:
Naming —> Setting a start date and an end date —> Choosing your preferred view
The next step is adding the team members for the project. Adding the members is easy, and it allows all your team members to keep track of the progress of the project and other details they are working on.
After the creation of the project, you can start to add tasks and assign them to different people in your team.
Take Trello, for instance:
You can follow each task and see the progress each team member has made over a period of time.
The best part is that you can give each task a name, which helps you prevent overlapping between various tasks. It also helps you to easily locate the task/project when in need.
After the creation of tasks, it’s now time to add the various details.
Some of them include:
- Assigned team members
- Due dates
As you work through the project, you can keep on updating the tasks as well as the sub-tasks.
Sub-tasks are critical additions to the “tasks.”
And just like the tasks, sub-tasks also need detailing, such as:
- Key information
- Assigned team members
- Due dates
- Additional details (if any)
The benefit of most project management software apps is that the entire team can view all the tasks and sub-tasks (despite not being kept in the loop). This helps the whole team maintain the flow, which results in better transparency and flexibility.
A hallmark of using a project management tool is setting the priority levels.
Usually, the priority levels can be of three types:
- High importance
- Moderate importance
- Low importance
This option is mandatory in some, while optional in the others.
However, setting a priority level can help you keep track of the tasks that you need to do urgently and ensure you complete all the projects in time.
It is something you will get the hang of once you start working on your PMS.
Usually, with reports and analytics on your dashboard, you can track and follow the progress of everyone in your team.
Dashboards usually help in filtering the list of tasks. Specific widgets can be created that help users see tasks and sub-tasks within a particular folder. Anyone can access the dashboard and keep abreast of things.
Make maximum use of the various visualization techniques available in your project management tool.
Most of such platforms today offer Gantt charts for efficient visualization that help in easy facilitation of tasks, and a high level of team collaboration.
All in all, project management applications aim to streamline the following work management steps:
- Monitoring & control
When it comes to choosing the perfect project management platform, there isn’t any best or worst. It all comes down to the requirements of your small business, what metrics you use, your budget, among other things.
To choose the perfect software tool that aligns the best with your business, you could start with the following questions:
- Do you need your team to work remotely?
- Do you need a customized plan?
- Do you need a plan that doesn’t charge on the number of heads?
- Would a Gantt chart help in organizing things better?
- Do you want to have an external stakeholder/client portal?
- What kind of third party integrations do you need?
Keeping the above questions and your budget in mind, you can easily find the best project management software tool that's right up your alley.