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Top 10 Alternatives to Microsoft Project: Analysis of Project Management Tools

Wrike: No. 1 Project Management Tool

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Planning business endeavors can be tedious. Luckily there are many project management software providers that offer top-of-the-line programs that can simplify the process. One such program is Microsoft Project. Over the years, it has become one of the most common choice for businesses to reinforce their project management needs because of its flexibility, powerful portfolio management modules, and easy-to-use collaboration tools.  

However, this does not mean that Microsoft Project is the only solution you can use to boost operations. Whether it is too expensive for your budget or does not offer certain features that you need, don’t fret. There are other options out there that are just as good as this software solution. To help you out, we have compiled the top 10 alternatives to Microsoft Project according to their functionalities, pricing, as well as usability and adaptability.

Top Microsoft Project alternatives

Business endeavors succeed because of one crucial factor: effective project management. However, as an entrepreneur, you know that this process involves a number of tedious tasks that range from planning and budgeting to resource allocation and progress tracking. This is why project management software solutions like Microsoft Project are created to help you simplify the process and alleviate some of the major challenges in the industry.    

Villanova University identifies undefined goals, scope changes/scope creep and lack of accountability as the most common challenges of project management teams.  When you implement a project management platform, you can easily follow both the big picture and individual contributions by each team member to gauge how you are closing in on the project goals and deadlines. Each task is clearly delineated, so accountability is also clearly spelled out.  

With these benefits, there should be nothing stopping you from investing in a project management system. However, before you purchase a platform, you should keep in mind that while almost all PM software can provide you with the tools to tackle the tasks mentioned above, it can be difficult to find which project management platform will suit your business best.

The popularity of a software is not the only factor to consider when choosing a system to manage projects. Managers should also look for functionality (40%), ease of use (24%), and affordable subscription rates (9%). On top of those, you should also take a closer look at a vendor’s’ technical support services as well as the implementation process of their software.

Source: https://www.binfire.com/

You can also check out our guide on how to choose a project management software to get a better grasp of what you should be looking for as you browse through the options that we will be providing in this article.  But before we start discussing the top 10 alternatives to Microsoft Project, let us first take a closer look at the features that make this product a top solution for project management.

What is Microsoft Project?

Microsoft Project is a project portfolio management (PPM) software designed to cater to the needs of all types and sizes of businesses. Designed for both cloud-based and on-premise deployments, this platform offers integrated planning tools that let you keep tabs on the tasks, deadlines, and meetings associated with your projects. It consists of three main modules–project management, portfolio management, and resource management–that will help you better understand, plan, and execute your projects more efficiently.  

From mapping out project paths and determining tasks to delegating responsibilities and monitoring a project, this platform has everything you need to optimize the project management process. It has a plethora of features including scheduling, IT management, real-time communication, and collaboration tools to streamline your workflow.  On top of that, it can even integrate with Power BI Pro, so you can get in-depth analysis of your data.

Microsoft Project currently offers various sets of payment plans depending on the set of features you will be needing. For their cloud-based solutions, you may choose from three monthly packages: the Project Online Essentials, Project Online Professional, and Project Online Premium priced at $7/user, $30/user, and $55/user. As for their on-premise solutions, you may choose from Project Standard, Project Professional, and Project Server. The first two are priced at $589.99 and $1159.99 respectively while the last option is only available by quote.  

Benefits of Microsoft Project

As a product of one of the world’s most trusted technology companies in the world, Microsoft Project is undoubtedly an asset to project managers and entrepreneurs. It offers quality tools that not only speed up your operations but also maximize your resources and optimize the planning process. On top of those, there are plenty of other benefits that you can reap by utilizing this software such as:

  1. Better Project Visibility – Entrepreneurs and project managers should always be in the know of the tasks they need to work on as well as the resources needed to accomplish them. With Microsoft Project’s easy-to-navigate dashboards, you can get full visibility of multiple projects in a single platform. This way, you know who is doing what as well as when you can expect to finish the delegated tasks without having to check on your staff members every now and then.
  2. Makes Adapting to Scenarios Easy – Planning projects is difficult, but it is even more complicated to make sure everything will go according to plan. This is why you need tools that can help you adapt to unexpected scenarios quickly. Microsoft Project has an intuitive interface that offers a great balance of usability and complexity. With it, you can add new tasks and revise plans midway through a project without disrupting your overall workflow.
  3. Faster and More Optimized Workflow – Meeting project deadlines rely heavily on how efficiently you plan your workflow and accomplish your tasks. To make project management faster and more optimized, Microsoft Project is equipped with Gantt charts and prepopulated pulldown menus. This way, you can speed up your planning stage and set timelines before you start to delegate tasks.
  4. Improved Team Collaboration – Good teamwork is a crucial factor when it comes to tackling projects. In order to help you and your staff members work better together, Microsoft Project comes with collaboration tools and communication options. With this, you won’t need to exit the platform in order to message your team members.  
  5. Working On the Go Made Easy – Some projects will require you to move from place to place. Because of this, there will be times that you won’t be able to go to the office to meet with your staff or check on the progress of your projects. To remedy that, Microsoft Project can easily be accessed from various desktop and mobile devices. This means you can view your project data anywhere you want and whenever you need as well as manage your projects on-the-fly.  

Top 10 Microsoft Project Alternatives

1. Wrike

Wrike is an online project management software trusted by reputable companies such as Google, Stanford University, Adobe, and HTC. Serving as a single hub for all your project management tasks, it is designed to improve the speed and efficiency of co-located and distributed groups. The platform offers features that let you schedule deadlines, prioritize tasks, discuss the workflow, and keep track of progress in real-time. It is even equipped with tools for analytics and custom reporting so that you can get actionable insights on your data.

Another great thing about Wrike is that they offer affordable monthly pricing packages as well as a free plan for companies with up to 5 users. You may choose from their Wrike Professional plan, Wrike Business plan, and Wrike for Marketers package which costs $9.80/user, $24.80/user, and $34.60/user respectively. Should you need a customized plan for your operations, they also have a Wrike Enterprise Pricing option which is available by quote.  

If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a Wrike free trial here.

This award is given to the best product in our project management software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.
USER SATISFACTION 99%
OUR SCORE 9.7
Wrike won our Best Project Management Software Award 2018

Why Choose Wrike instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. The vendor provides better, more hands-on technical support.
  2. Wrike has a simpler yet more modern interface.
  3. This platform has an extensive list of functionalities compared to Microsoft Project

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Wrike?

  1. Microsoft Project offers better project budgeting capabilities.
  2. This platform has a more advanced portfolio coordination tool.
  3. Microsoft Project’s interface has an interface that is more suited for large companies.

If, in any case, this platform still does not meet your preferences, you should also check out these great Wrike alternatives.  

2. Monday.com

Monday.com is a leading collaboration and communication application for teams. Formerly known as daPulse, it is an all-in-one platform that synchronizes project details to make it easy for agents and team members to collaborate. This is also equipped with tools that let you streamline your workflow. Among its most notable features are its compact interface, advanced scheduling capabilities, searchable knowledge base, and comment functions. It even offers real-time activity monitoring and budgeting features so you don’t have to rely on multiple platforms to manage your projects. On top of that, the platform has an open API architecture that lets you integrate third-party applications to your system.  

This software is currently available in four subscription packages which are priced depending on the storage capacity and the set of features you will be needing for your operations. They have a Basic plan that costs $25/month, a Standard plan priced at $39/month, a Pro Package costing $59/month, and an Enterprise plan that costs $118/month. The vendor also offers a free trial option, so that you can take the product for a test run before committing to a subscription package.

You can check the solution closely when you sign up for a Monday.com free trial here.

Why Choose Monday.com instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Monday.com offers an interface that is both easy to use and track compared to Microsoft Project.  
  2. Adding notes and uploading new versions of documents is simpler using Monday.com
  3. Monday.com can be integrated with third-party applications.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Monday.com?

  1. Microsoft Project has more affordable pricing plans.
  2. This platform may be deployed on-premise.
  3. The vendor offers quote-based plans that can be customized to your unique needs.

Should you think that this software is not the right fit for your company, you can also take a look at these Monday.com alternatives to see if there are other options you can choose from.

3. Clarizen

Clarizen is an enterprise-grade solution offering powerful project management and social management capabilities. Designed to boost the performance of your operations, it provides features that help you tackle collaborative planning, task management, issue tracking, portfolio management, and workforce management. The platform even has a customizable and user-friendly interface to simplify administration and speed up the project planning process.

For pricing, this software solution is available in two subscription packages that are priced according to several factors such as storage capacity, the number of panels you can create, and the amount of scheduled components you’ll be needing. You may opt for either the Enterprise Edition or the Unlimited Edition. However, the vendor doesn’t provide their pricing details in public, so be sure to contact their representative to get a quote.

You can easily sign up for a Clarizen free trial here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.

Why Choose Clarizen instead of  Microsoft Project?

  1. Clarizen is built for social collaboration which is why it’s ideal for those who want to focus on boosting teamwork within the workplace.
  2. This can be merged with a number of third-party applications
  3. Clarizen has an extensive feature list with scalable functions.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Clarizen?

  1. Microsoft Project files may be used on other MS Office software, making project plans easy to export and share with clients and team members.
  2. Expect top-of-the-line customer support from the technical team of Microsoft Project.
  3. Microsoft Project is more budget-friendly.

Before deciding to purchase this product, It is also a good idea to check out these Clarizen alternatives.

4. ProjectManager

ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management system that combines powerful planning and scheduling features. It offers a unique team manager tool that lets you compare a project’s actual progress to its planned progress. Equipped with Gantt charts, resource management options, real-time dashboards, and tons of team collaboration tools, ProjectManager is utilized by more than 10,000 teams worldwide. Notable users of this software solution includes NASA, Volvo, and the United Nations.

This vendor also offers reasonably priced payment packages according to the number of users who will be enrolled in the system. You can choose from their Personal plan, Team plan, and Business plan, which cost $15/user/month, $20/user/month, and $25/user/month respectively. They also have an Enterprise plan that is available by quote.

If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for a ProjectManager free trial here.

Why Choose ProjectManager instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. ProjectManager has open API capabilities that let users customize their system.
  2. The vendor offers more technical support options, including video tutorials, a forum, and a knowledge base.
  3. The platform is HIPAA, PCI, and SOC certified.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of ProjectManager?

  1. Microsoft Project offers IT management options.
  2. The vendor offers more competitive subscription rates.
  3. This platform is easier to navigate and maintain compared to ProjectManager.

While this product may be a good enough option for you, you should also consider these ProjectManager alternatives. You might find choices that are better suited for your needs.

5. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a software solution designed to help project managers enhance productivity and output. Loaded with functions for team collaboration, task management, and document management, this system can divide complex projects into manageable units for you. This way, you can meet your deadlines more efficiently while reducing the workload of your staff. It is even equipped with an intranet where you can easily and safely share documents across departments as well as a bug tracking software to keep your network safe from prying eyes. Additionally, Zoho Projects provides data analysis tools that can be visualized however you want so tracking opportunities and catching drawbacks is simpler.

What makes Zoho Projects stand out is that it they offer a free plan for small companies that can accommodate a limited number of projects. As your business grows, you can choose to upgrade to any of their paid plans: Standard, Express, Premium, and Enterprise. Prices for these monthly plans are $25, $50, $100, and $150 respectively.

An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for a Zoho Projects free trial here.

Why Choose Zoho Projects instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Zoho Projects is designed for fast implementation, making it a good option for businesses who have yet to use a similar platform.
  2. This platform can handle more moving parts so it is easier to adapt to unexpected scenarios.  
  3. Zoho Projects is created specifically for small businesses and freelancers.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Zoho Projects?

  1. Microsoft Project interfaces better with other Microsoft programs, which you may already be using for your operations.
  2. The vendor offers customer training, so you can make the most out of your investment
  3. Microsoft Project is highly scalable compared to Zoho Projects.

If you think there are certain requirements that you have that this software was unable to meet, then you should also check out these Zoho Projects alternatives.

6. Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a leading web-based collaboration tool for project management. It is designed to help agents facilitate team task management, crowdsourcing, sales pipeline tracking needs, and more. This software solution is equipped with discussion boards, brainstorming tools, version control options, and project roadmapping features. You may even choose to use the custom branding feature to personalize the aesthetic of your system. On top of that, the entire system is mobile-ready, making it easy to monitor projects even when you’re out of the office.

As for pricing, Smartsheet currently offers four pricing packages according to the size of your business and the amount of workload you expect to process. You may choose from their Individual plan which costs $14/user/month, Team plan priced at $15/user/month, and Business plan which is available at $25/user/month. They also have an Enterprise plan which is only available by quote.

You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for a Smartsheet free trial here.

Why Choose Smartsheet instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Smartsheet can support more integrations compared to Microsoft Project
  2. The Smartsheet dashboard supports multiple project planning layouts such as Gantt charts and Kanban boards.
  3. This platform has collaboration tools that let you view the change history as well as give you real-time notifications.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Smartsheet?

  1. Microsoft Project is more reasonably priced compared to Smartsheet.
  2. This platform has a straightforward interface that is ideal for first-time project management software users.
  3. Microsoft Project offers only the essential tools, so you can expect a system that is not cluttered.

Of course, before you invest in this software solution, you should also try to take a look at these Smartsheet alternatives to check out similar options that might work better for you and your team.

7. Jira

Jira is a project management software that is designed to help users capture, assign, and set work priorities. You get to enjoy advanced security options as well as integration with flexible REST APIs. While powerful search and filtering options, customizable dashboards, and other great features often come in a complex interface, Jira’s is user-friendly and mobile-ready. Using this, you can easily streamline workflows, optimize task delegation, and maximize your resources.  

If you are interested in this platform, Jira has two pricing plans options depending on your deployment preference. For the cloud-hosted version, you can choose the package that can accommodate up to 10 users which costs $10/month or the plan that can accommodate up to 100 users which is priced at $7/user/month. If you prefer the self-hosted version, you can purchase the Server version or the Data Center edition. These cost $10 for 10 users and $12000 per year for 500 users respectively.

Why Choose Jira instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Jira is more suited for users with a large in-flow of projects because of its capacity.
  2. This platform provides in-depth data gathering for workflow procedures.
  3. Jira supports a large number of third-party applications

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Jira?

  1. Microsoft Project offers a highly scalable interface, making it great for businesses of all sizes.
  2. This platform supports analytics and data visualization tools that make it easy for you to present information to stakeholders and team members.
  3. Implementation of Microsoft Project is faster because it has a more familiar layout.

Do you think this software is the right choice for you? Before making a decision, be sure to take a look at these Jira alternatives to see if there are other options out there for your operations.

8. Workamajig Platinum

Workamajig Platinum is a a comprehensive project management platform built to help creative teams streamline the way they plan, organize, and manage projects. It is equipped with a number of robust features for resource management, file storage, project communications, real-time project tracking, schedule management, and opportunity visibility. With it, creative professionals, sales personnel, project managers, and administrators can optimize the way their team works effortlessly.

Workamajig Platinum offers different subscription plans based on the size of your business. They offer packages for Entry Level companies, Agencies, Mid-Sized Agencies, and Larger Agencies. These cost $50/month/user, $38/month/user, $34/month/user, ad $32/month/user respectively. They also have quote-based plans for companies with more specific needs. In case you prefer an annual subscription, you may opt for their yearly billing option.

The vendor offers a comprehensive free demo to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for the Workmajig free demo here.

Why Choose Workmajig Platinum instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Workmajig Platinum has open API capabilities to help you maximize your user experience.
  2. The vendor offers pricing based on the size of your business to make it easier for you to choose a subscription plan.
  3. This platform offers a more extensive set of features.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Workmajig Platinum?

  1. Microsoft Project blends seamlessly with other Microsoft systems that you may already be using for your projects.
  2. The vendor offers more affordable pricing plans.
  3. Microsoft Project has a familiar interface, making it great for novice users.

Of course, before you purchase this software, it is important that you know how it compares to the other products on the market. To help you, here are some great Workmajig Platinum alternatives.  

9. Hive

Hive is a cloud-based project management system designed to scale up and down to the needs of different business sizes. Focusing on file sharing, task management automation, and communications, this platform will allow you to streamline the way you plan and execute projects. It provides you with a detailed breakdown of pending projects, deadlines, and workloads in a single dashboard to make sure you are maximizing your resources and performing at your best at all times. It even has analytics tools to help you get insights into your team productivity.

For pricing, Hive offers straightforward SMB and enterprise subscription plans. You may choose their Professional plan at $12/user/month to get standard integrations, handle unlimited projects, as well as support up to 100 users. For custom integrations and more advanced functionalities, they have an Enterprise plan that is only available by quote.

The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. You can sign up for the Hive free trial here.

Why Choose Hive instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Hive offers custom pricing solutions to make sure you are only paying for what you need.
  2. This platform supports group communication and direct messaging.
  3. Hive has top-of-the-line analytics solutions.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Hive?

  1. Microsoft Project offers a larger array of subscription options.
  2. This system offers a more robust resource management tool.
  3. Microsoft Project comes from a pioneer in technological systems so you can be sure that it offers no less than high-quality functionalities.

If you feel like Hive doesn’t meet the requirements of your operations, worry not. There are still plenty of other products to choose from such as these Hive alternatives.

10. Taskworld

Taskworld is a cloud-hosted task management application for small companies, large enterprises, and everything in between. It aims to centralize and streamline all of your project management efforts by providing you with single workspace where you and your teammates can get complete visibility over your progress. The system even facilitates in-platform communications to help you further improve collaboration between employees and departments.

In case you are interested in purchasing this product, you should first sign up for their 15-day free trial to get a better feel of its features. After which, you can choose from their two subscription packages. They offer a Professional plan for teams looking for an all-in-one collaboration tool which costs $10.99/user/month and an Enterprise plan for large enterprises that require an on-premise solution which is only available by quote.

Why Choose Taskworld instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Taskworld accommodates in-platform communications via project chat and @mention capabilities.
  2. The vendor offers Service Level Agreements (SLA) upon request.
  3. This system has a workflow creation tool that can be modified to meet your business-specific needs.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Taskworld?

  1. Microsoft Project has more affordable pricing plans, making it great for small companies.
  2. This platform offers a no-fuss interface that is easy to learn and use.
  3. Microsoft Project has been tried and tested by tons of companies worldwide, so you can be sure about its reliability.

Should this software solution fail to meet your preferences, then, you could try taking a look at these great Taskworld alternatives.

Conclusion

Microsoft Project may be well known in the industry, and it offers some of the best project management tools on the market. However, having quality features and a good reputation is not an assurance that it is the best platform for your operations. It is still better for you to first analyze the needs of your business and determine the software functionalities that your workflow requires before you purchase a particular software–no matter how popular the platform may be. This way, you can be sure that you are investing in a system that you can actually maximize.

Hopefully, with our list of top 10 alternatives to Microsoft Project, you were able to get a better look at other project management systems with features that may be better suited to your business. Keep in mind, though, that the products mentioned on this article are not the only platforms available out there. You should also check out our compilation of the top 20 project management tools to widen your options.  

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