Project management software is a suite of tools that helps improve production teams’ efficiency. They usually come as cloud-based, multi-user platforms that host features such project planning and scheduling, collaboration, advanced reporting, and project budgeting, among many others. They are meant to ensure that all project stakeholders are constantly in the know and that every project is delivered on time.
For a basic definition of project management software, such a system is basically a tool that helps business owners, project, and people managers track the progress of deliverables. These tools make it easier to collaborate, track, and complete tasks as they come. It’s also a great tool for knowledge sharing, as it encourages proper documentation throughout the organization.
In a case study by the Project Management Institute, the company Du Telecom was able to achieve a 32% growth rate in its first four years. The company attributes this growth to having secure project management practices. This underscores just how important having secure project implementation and management is—and using a project management software can assist you with this goal.
Aside from showing you how does project management software work and its general definition, this article will teach you more about:
We’ve described what is project management software earlier in the article, let’s now consider its key features. Some of the best features revolve around the generation of repetitive and unique tasks and projects, team collaboration, project completion, proper tracking for the purposes of budgeting and due diligence, and effective documentation. But that’s par for the course for most applications in the market. What are the most important features you should expect from a reliable solution? Here’s what we think is crucial:
We’ve defined what is project management software, but how does it work? Or more specifically, what are the various types of these solutions, and how do they function? There are several variants, and the categories are divided mostly by the installation location of the application, or the intended size and utilization of the app.
On-Premise – These are solutions installed locally into your company’s servers. This means that, barring special circumstances, access to the system is restricted to devices connected to your local servers. You can also call these apps locally-hosted project management software.
Some examples: JIRA and Microsoft Project
Cloud-based – These are basically project management apps that are hosted on cloud servers, which means that your users and your clients can access their projects wherever they may be, usually through a web browser. Cloud-based apps can also include some individual project management software and some on-premise options also have web-based versions too.
Some examples: monday.com, Wrike, Asana, Podio
Individual – For those of you with a very light need for project management solutions, or those who want to test the waters before diving in, an individual software will be just the right fit. These systems are web-based and lightweight, meaning they won’t be as feature-laden as other, more complete applications, but will be simple and straightforward enough for any individual to understand.
An example: Trello
Open API – These types of project management software provide their end users with the capacity to add to the already existing application. They can be great for those of you who have an app that you like, but would like to adjust a little bit to suit your preferences. These apps can also give you greater freedom in setting up your projects, since you can adjust components to suit your specific business needs.
Some examples: Clarizen, Trello
You’ve learned what is project management software but do you know what it can do for small, medium, and large enterprises exactly? Such solutions will mostly address a lot of concerns in the middle management, and will be a vital component in keeping an eye on the general key performance indicators of your company. This means that ensuring your projects, each one a unique venture on its own, are properly and efficiently completed. Here are some of the key features of a reliable project management software you should keep in mind:
Here are some examples of popular project management solutions:
monday.com is the best project management solution currently available on the market. This is a cloud-based solution that makes use of color and placement to streamline project management. With monday.com, project management is fun and easy, thanks to the visually appealing, color-coded boards. The boards allow you to stay on top of your schedule and track task and project progress, from start to completion. Besides, there is no confusion since all communication happens on each board, plus, sharing files and ideas is a breeze.
Wrike is used by Google, Adobe, and HTC, and is a user-friendly system that will be very easy to understand for your team. With this tool, you can oversee overall progress, identify bottlenecks in your campaign, and even cross-reference tasks with other tasks, so that you can identify dependencies across multiple projects. If you need a reliable Wrike alternative check out our other comparison articles.
One of the best things about Asana is the fact that it is an all-in-one solution. Your users won’t need to use any third-party applications to make full use of Asana. In fact, in our review, we point out that users won’t even need to use an email for the notifications. Collaboration is also made easier as each individual user will have their own workspace within the system that they can arrange to their own specifics—which makes it possible for each user to personalize his or her own workflow.
If there’s anything that Trello has going for it, it would be its simplicity. As a reliable Asana alternative the entire interface of Trello utilizes boards (for projects) and cards (for tasks), and it is all presented in an easy to understand graphic user interface. Whether you’re using it via the browser or your phone app, Trello can simplify the way you approach each project. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t powerful; users can openly discuss tasks within the cards via the commenting feature, and the solution also works as a convenient documentation tool. You can also integrate this app with third-party file storage solutions—making it a great tool for anybody dipping their feet into the project management software world for the first time.
Podio strength comes from the fact that its user interface feels pretty similar to most popular social media platforms. The collaboration within Podio happens in real-time, and the threaded view of each page is organic and uncluttered, making it easy to take in visually. The interface makes it one of the best documentation-oriented apps in the market, and coupled with a strong technical support staff, Podio is more than enough to tackle the day-to-day activities of multiple projects of varying scale.
ClickUp is a simple and intuitive project management system created for all user types. It’s a good Clarizen alternative that’s basically a hybrid project management solution. On top of that, it is loaded with tons of proprietary customizable features. The system offers a number of modification options so that you can tailor it to work for you, whether you are a manager, developer, or someone else.
VivifyScrum is an agile project management tool that simplifies and streamlines your agile workflows and processes. It is a comprehensive platform developed to meet all your agile needs, no matter how simple or complicated, small or big your project is
Azendoo is a collaborative web platform that enables companies to increase their productivity, align their various teams and get work done. It has been established on the model of social networks to amply respond to the needs of any corporate organization.
Advaiya AdValue is a project management application created to facilitate the speedy deployment of Microsoft Project Online as well as to simplify and broaden its adoption. This particular platform allows project managers, resource managers, and other members of the team to fully utilize standardized processes, create visualizations of their project, and analyze and comprehend project data so they can come to intelligent, guided decisions quickly.
TimeLive is an online time tracking software built to help businesses and organizations track the performance of their staff and all related expenses and compare them against each task. It is a smart, intuitive, user-friendly time tracking platform that enables users to manage their time and projects, optimizing their resources, plan and execute viable schedules for manpower and resources so that optimum productivity and efficiency are both achieved while keeping operational costs and other project spending down.
For a broader discussion of these and other popular solution check out our project management software category.
Some of the biggest factors to consider when you’re looking for a project management solution revolve around how easy it is to use, and how much it can simplify your day-to-day activities. Here are some of the main benefits of a project management software:
The cost of a project management software depends on the software, your specific needs, and your billing period (monthly or annual). The good news is that a lot of the best apps in the market provide their service for free, up to a point. There are others still that offer a trial period for those who aren’t sure of what they need yet.
To illustrate, here’s an idea of the price points of four of the best apps that we’ve reviewed.
monday.com – The vendor offers a generous free trial with unlimited users and boards. You can test all the features when you signup to monday.com free trial.
In addition, monday.com offers four paid plans which are billed monthly and annually. The price starts at $49/month all the way to $1,999/month. For large enterprises, monday.com has a quote based plan, which is the highest plan and it includes all monday.com’s enterprise features.
Wrike – This software is reasonably expensive. There is a free version that lets you give the service a shot; the catch is that you’re limited to up to five users in your account. Unless you’re a small group, this doesn’t account for much. This is, however, enough to showcase just how powerful Wrike is.
The paid monthly membership starts at $9.80 per month, which progresses all the way up to $34.60 for their Marketers package. The features improve steadily as the price goes up. Enterprise clients that need more features can also discuss this with the provider, and they will provide you with a quote for your specific build of the product.
Wrike bills its clients annually.
Asana – Asana also provides a rather flexible free service for clients with a small to medium-sized team. They also make most of their features available for their free members, but there are some limitations with reporting and dashboards.
They also provide a monthly service fee for larger teams, starting at $9.99, with added features that can’t be found in their free version. This includes no limit in team membership; however, it has been said that once you cross a threshold of users, Asana will start reducing the features available to you.
There is also an enterprise account, which will require you to discuss your specific needs and requirements with the Asana development team.
Asana provides a monthly and annual subscription.
Trello – At the farthest end of the spectrum lies Trello. It provides a completely free service that’s perfect for SMBs. But if you want a little bit more oomph to your service, you can enroll in their Business Class service for $9.99 monthly. This gives you plenty of additional features and third-party integrations, which can greatly change the way Trello can work for you.
As with the first two examples on this list, Trello also provides a quote for Enterprise services, and accepts monthly and annual subscription.
Despite all of the advantages of project management software, there are still some potential issues that you may need to consider.
While project management is basically ensuring that the company’s KPI requirements are met, some of the trends in the industry seem to be evolving towards the more intangible side of a project and its team, rather than just plain metrics. And what is project management software doing to address these trends?
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