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How Much Does Project Management Software Cost? Comparison of Pricing Plans

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Project management tools have been an integral part of all organizations’ management programs. They are viewed as invaluable additions to the way businesses handle their projects. This is probably the reason why companies are willing to invest in such tools no matter what the cost.

Pricing is a very important consideration when choosing a project management solution. There are a lot of these platforms available in the market, with cloud-based systems leading the pack in terms of low pricing plans, followed by project management software providers who offer on-premise solutions to those who prefer them.

An indispensable tool among project managers and other industry stakeholders, project management software is used primarily in planning, resource allocation, scheduling and change management. Using online project management tools, managers are able to handle budgets, quality and documentation and control project costs. They likewise foster improved communication and collaboration among project team members.

In this article, we’ll touch on the various ways vendors package their pricing plans to help you figure out the best terms for your company. Generally, you’ll come across plans for small business, medium-sized business and enterprise.

Key Project Management Features

Even as project management solutions have such a wide variety of functionalities and there are various types of project management software, their core features remain the same. The purpose of project management software is to manage and track the key components, stakeholders and resources associated with a project. Such software’s capabilities include project planning, task management, document sharing/collaboration, bug management, time tracking and calendar and contact sharing, among many others. So there it is, project management software explained.

Now that you know what project management software means and what they can do for your organization, you have to learn what to look for when purchasing one, you have to make sure that the tool of your choosing fulfills the purpose of project management software. The following features should be present in a project management platform:

  1. Integration with existing systems
  2. Capability to add users
  3. Operation streamlining
  4. Cost control capability

As more and more businesses turn to project management tools for their unique needs, the market for such solution has been steadily expanding. In fact the global project management software market is forecast to reach $1 billion by the year 2020. This growth is seen to be fueled by the demand for business optimization, operational time reduction and increasing profitability. In the energy sector alone, the CAGR through 2025 is steady at 3.6% for oil and gas project management solutions.

This growth is also supported by other factors which include integration with social media, investments in technology, vendor-end-user partnerships, mergers and acquisitions and R and D initiatives. In the same manner, the lack of project management skills has been driving the market, with first-time users leading the demand for online project management tools.

How Much Does Project Management Software Cost?

Although purchasing project management solutions with key features in mind is a sound proposition, there is also the issue of pricing, which almost in all cases dictates whether or not a piece of software is purchased. The prices of solutions are as diverse as project management software are. For example, TIEMCHART is offered by quote only, while Wrike has a free plan. One way to effectively address this issue is to take advantage of free trials being offered by vendors. Doing so would ensure that prospective investment in a platform would not go to waste.

Another way to get your money’s worth is to avoid giving into the impulse of purchasing a solution outright. Instead, you may subscribe to a platform for a month or even longer. This will effectively reduce the cost of the software, compared to buying. This is especially applicable if you are not certain that the tool will suit your business. What’s more is that many vendors offer subscribers discounts.

Before selecting a project management tool, consider getting responses or feedback from the rest of your team, especially the ones whom you think will be using the solution. Check the issues they have which the tool can hopefully address. The prices of project management software largely depend on tools that you may prefer. These are discussed in detail, along with some examples of project management software and their pricing plans.

Cloud-based systems are inexpensive software whose vendors usually charge a flat monthly fee. They are ideal for users who want to access their project management solution from anywhere at anytime.

Pricing Plans Comparison

We can classify the different pricing plans by business size: small business, medium-sized business and enterprise. Note that some solutions like Wrike can scale from small business to enterprise and, in fact, is ideal for fast-growing companies to help them future proof their growing project management needs.

Cloud-Based Solutions for Small Businesses

With this type of project management software, the number of users are usually limited to 15. Data is also limited to 10GB while the number of projects are confined to 25. However, these figures may vary according to vendor policies. Prices may range from $19 to $99/month.

Examples of Project Management Software for Small Business

Two of the most popular project management tools around for small businesses are Wrike and Asana. The former is known for its scalability while the latter is ideal for businesses with employees of 15 employees and below. Wrike is available in four different pricing plans, including a free package which enables users to manage tasks, hold discussions, share files and view spreadsheets, among others.

wrike dashboard example

Its Professional Plan, which is available for $9.80/user per month has all the features of its free plan, along with 5GB of storage, unlimited hierarchy folders, Gantt Chart and a dashboard with custom widgets, to name a few. Wrike’s Business Plan, meanwhile has all the functionalities of the Professional Plan, along with tracking ability, workflow customization, a report builder and scheduled notifications, among many other functionalities. The plan allows for 5 to 200 users for just $24.80/user per month. Finally, its Enterprise Pricing plan has all the features of the Professional Plan, storage capacity of 100GB, shareable dashboards and custom fields and workflows, to name a few.

Although as powerful as Wrike, Asana is being offered in only two pricing plans together with a free plan, which caters to teams of up to 15 users. Its features include unlimited tasks, projects and conversation and basic dashboards. The software’s Premium Plan is priced at $9.99/member per month, which can even go lower for large teams. Key features include private teams and projects, unlimited guests and dashboards, data export, and centralized administration.

asana dashboard example

The solution also has an Enterprise Plan, which is priced by quote. It has advanced administrative controls, a dedicated customer success manager and data and security control, among other features.

Both software have a lot to offer your business but in terms of pricing flexibility, Wrike has the upper hand as it has more plans and therefore, lots of choices in which to choose from depending on your needs.

Cloud-Based Solutions for Medium-Sized Businesses

These are ideal for companies who have teams of 50 members or below and require up to 50GB of data. These are capable of supporting up to 100 projects. Prices may range from $25 to $300/month.

Examples of Project Management Software for Medium-Sized Businesses

For medium-sized businesses, two project management tools stand out, Atlassian Jira, which is popular for its focus on issue and project tracking, and Smartsheet, a web-based platform useful in team task management, crowdsourcing, sales pipeline tracking and other processes.

jira dashboard example

Atlassian Jira has two pricing plans Plan 1, which comes for $10/month and Plan 2, which is available for $7/user per month and caters to 11 to 100 users. Smartsheet, on the other hand, is available in three models, the Basic plan, which comes for $10/user per month, offers users project coordination, employee tracking and unlimited collaborators. A Team plan is offered for $15/user per month and can accommodate 3 or more users. Notable features include all Basic features, multiple creators and user management. Finally, an Enterprise plan, which is available on a quote-based pricing, offers all Team plan features along with single sign-on, automated provisioning and a dedicated account manager.

smartsheet dashboard example

Between the two platforms, Smartsheet clearly has the edge as it has a variety of pricing schemes, any of which can surely fit your organization.

Cloud-Based Enterprise Software

These plans offer an unlimited number of users, data and projects. They also offer virtually every feature that large companies need. Prices range from $39 to $750/month.

Examples of Cloud-based Enterprise Software

For cloud-based enterprise software, three platforms come to mind, Wrike’s Enterprise plan, online suite Basecamp, which is known for ease of setup and use and web-based solution AceProject.

basecamp dashboard example

Wrike’s Enterprise plan is among the best of its kind and is highly-suitable for medium-sized businesses. As the solution is highly-scalable, it grows as your business grows. This eliminates the need for costly and complicated migration from simple to more advanced systems. It is ideal for project teams requiring more rigid security options and wider administration options. Key features include single sign-on, controlled permissions, two-step verification and password policy settings management. The plan has all the functionalities of every Wrike plan and all the security options that you need.

Meanwhile, Basecamp can be purchased in a single pricing model of $99/month or you can pay $999/year and save up to 15%. This flat pricing does not impose per user fees and will give you unlimited users and projects, realtime chat, to-do lists, file storage, schedules, automatic check-ins and documents. What’s even better is that it is given for free to teachers and students and the vendor gives a 10% discount to nonprofits and charities.

AceProject, on the other hand, is available in three plans, along with a free version, which allows for 3 users, 3 projects and 1GB of data. Its Standard plan comes for $24/month, allows for 10 users and 10 projects and 5GB of data. An Advanced plan is priced at $49/month, 30 users and 30 projects, including 15GB of data. Finally, the Gold plan is available for $199/month, offers unlimited users and projects, along with 100GB of data.

Ace project dashboard example

From these figures, it is quite clear that Wrike is the better choice owing to the fact that you can scale it to suit your requirements. Although the other two has great functionalities to offer, pricing and scalability sets Wrike apart from the competition.

On-Premise Project Management Software

If for some reason you do not want to invest in cloud-based systems, there is always desktop software which you can buy outright. Although more costly than its cloud-based counterparts, it involves but a single investment with a service subscription fee. Prices range from $600 to $10,000.

Examples of On-Premise Project Management Software

For on-premise project management tools, we will compare Workgroups DaVinci to MicroPlanner X-pert. Both have a lot of functionalities to offer your business, they differ only in the way they are priced.

workgroups davinci dashboard example

Workgroups DaVinci is being offered on a price-quote basis, which means you pay only for features that you want included in the platform. Customized quotes are very useful in terms of cost-effectiveness as they offer pricing flexibility. Micro Planner X-pert, on the other hand, can be purchased for a one-time payment of $999, which is good since you get to have all the platforms functionality with a single payment.

Between the two, Workgroups Davinci may give you more value for your money, knowing all the features and functionalities that you can choose from as it is offered through customized quotes. Plus, you also get the freedom to choose features that your business really needs.

These are but some examples of project management software that you can avail of. Keep in mind that inexpensive tools do not necessarily mean value for money. You should still consider the functionalities and try to determine if they suit your needs.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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