I have tested and evaluated some of the project management platforms, and I have included the products with the highest scores in this evaluation.
Inclusion is based on my independent testing and evaluation.
For each product, I consider the needs of a variety of business types, including small businesses on a budget or large organizations that need to manage many projects, people, and budgets simultaneously.
What is project management software?
Project management software manages tasks, projects, and other pieces of work by creating visual communications, mapping out workflows, and tracking tasks with priority and resource statuses.
Though cloud-based project management software has been around for quite some time, these systems now allow you to manage tasks, projects, and other pieces of work with ease, no matter where you are located.
In the past, people had to complete those types of tasks using traditional project management tools.
Not all cloud-based project management platforms are created equal. Below are the key features to look for in a cloud-based project management system, including open-source options that make project management even easier.
How to choose the right project management software for you
Several questions can be used as a reference in choosing project management tools.
Among these questions are why you need to use project management tools, What Functions or Features are needed to manage your project, Who will use this software, and how this project management software will be used.
This is a fundamental question in choosing project management tools. What benefits do you want to get when selecting a particular project management tool.
This question can be expanded into,
What advantages will the selected software provide?
For example, as a project manager, you need the Reporting feature.
By using project management software, you will be able to find out the division of work scopes effectively, work deadlines, who is responsible for the work, and when the work must be completed.
Using project management software shows whether project activities are still on track (planned) or are out of plan. Also, with project management tools, it can be seen how long the delay is (if any) or how long the duration of the work that has been running is according to plan or not.
In addition, with the budget feature, we can find out how much the cost has been spent, whether it is according to plan or not.
Another benefit to consider about status updates with clients. Anyone who can access whether the only internal company or including 3rd party including contractors and clients.
If the client or boss requires a report from you, you can print the data recorded in the application.
It is essential to find out who will be involved in using the project management tools. This is because each team member has different interests in using tools.
For example, as a project manager, you will need information about:
• What your staff is doing.
• When the work is done.
• What jobs need to be monitored more than other jobs?
• How is the progress of the work, are there any delays?
• How long does the job take to complete.
• Who is responsible for the job.
• How much budget has been spent.
• You also need weekly or monthly reports on activity reports related to progress and costs.
Other staff in the Marketing Supervisor position may only need the following features:
• Progress of sales of subordinates.
• Who has done product campaigns on social media, and how many have closed.
• Assignment tasks to subordinates along with the task scheduling feature that must be done.
In addition, you also need to consider whether the customer (3rd party) needs to be involved in the application.
Before buying project management software, you need to find out what benefits you want to use on the tool you will purchase.
If you do not know your needs, you will experience confusion due to a lack of sense of what is needed from the software you will buy.
You can assess by brainstorming what features are needed, then making an order which is more priority.
Here are some essential features that you need to consider when choosing Project Management Software:
• Portfolio management
• Task Management
• Sub-tasks Management
• Time Tracking
• Budget Management
• File sharing
• Document Management
• User Roles
• Messaging and Discussion
• Meeting Invitations
• Customer Support
• Email Integration
• Mobile Applications
You can sort the status from the most priority to the least, whether Mandatory, Nice to Have, or Not Needed from the features above.
Another consideration is how will this software be used? How will each user use the tools based on the functions that suit their interests?
There are three things to consider about how to use the project management software that you are going to buy, namely:
1. Do not confuse your imagination about the software you will buy. This is because most of the software to be purchased is not perfect according to your imagination.
Meanwhile, forget about the logo, appearance, color, sophistication and others. You can request this later.
Consider based solely on your company’s needs on the software you want to buy.
2. The second thing you need to consider is the possibility that you will not find the perfect software to your liking, so you still need to adapt your needs to the software’s features.
3. If you and your team can’t adapt, then the choice is back to the manual method; you can use the tools you make yourself with excel or charts that you can configure yourself.
Then how will your team use the tools to be purchased next?
You and representatives from each department can conduct trial evaluations on several applications considered close to the need.
Experiment on a trial basis and give a score for existing features. It is essential to consider the ease of use of the application. Please pay attention to how to use its features, whether it’s complex or simple.
Also, please pay attention to the completeness of the features, whether they are by what is needed or not.
Try asking the vendor about what can be customized and what can’t.
As an example:
Since the template that will be used is the same for several different projects, you can configure the dashboard template according to your needs.
So, when there is a new project, you have to take an existing template, give it a name, role, activity date, and share it with the team for updating.
You can also configure templates for reports according to your needs.
Our Picks for Best Project Management Software
Now, onto the list of the top project management apps. These are the ones that we found to be most helpful for most types of business.
Each product in this roundup has a specific set of features that you might want to look into, and each one has pros and cons.
Also, you should be aware that since we will continue to test new products in the future, this roundup is constantly being updated to include the latest and greatest options.
|Features||Asana||Trello||Jira||Wrike||MS Project||Basecamp||Zoho (Projects & Sprints)||Scoro||LiquidPlanner||Teamwork Projects||Smartsheet||Clarizen|
|Issue Management||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes, integration||Yes||Yes|
|Time tracking||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, integration||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Shared Team calendar||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||yes|
|Messaging and discussions||No||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|CRM integration||No||No||No||Yes, integration||No||Yes, integration||Yes||No||No||Yes, integration||No||Yes|
|Gantt Chart||Yes||No||API Integration||Yes||Yes||API Integration||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free version available (except of Demo/Trial)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|Ideal for||small teams and not too complex projects||small projects, small teams, todos||Agile & development teams (software development)||Project Management teams||Microsoft users, enterprise clients||The high number of users collaborating on different projects||Business owners with 1 software for everything, min 5 users||Any team size||Large businesses, enterprise clients|
|Document and File management||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Image & File sharing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Team load & Availability||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Starting Price (USD/month/seat)||10.99||5||7||9.8||10||99 for team||14||26||15||10||7||45|
|Project templates (existing)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Create project templates||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Every user can personalize their own board||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Proofing and approval||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|