The Best Project Management Software: Which One Is Right For You?

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I tested and evaluated some of the project management platforms, and the products with the highest scores were included in this evaluation.

My independent testing and evaluation led to my inclusion.

For each product, I consider the needs of a wide range of business types, including small businesses on a tight budget and large organizations that must manage multiple projects, people, and budgets at the same time.

Project Management Software

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.

WHAT

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.

WHO

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.
  • Etc.

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.
  • Etc.

In addition, you also need to consider whether the customer (3rd party) needs to be involved in the application.

WHAT FEATURES

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
  • Workflow
  • Time Tracking
  • Gantt Chart
  • Budget Management
  • File sharing
  • Document Management
  • User Roles
  • Notifications
  • Reporting
  • Messaging and Discussion
  • Meeting Invitations
  • Approval
  • Calendar
  • Customer Support
  • Email Integration
  • Mobile Applications
  • Customizable
  • Etc.

You can sort the status from the most priority to the least, whether Mandatory, Nice to Have, or Not Needed from the features above.

HOW

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.

FeaturesAsanaTrelloJiraWrikeMS ProjectBasecampZoho (Projects & Sprints)ScoroLiquidPlannerTeamwork ProjectsSmartsheetClarizen
Issue ManagementNoNoYesYesNoNoYesNoYesYes, integrationYesYes
Portfolio ManagementNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesYesYesYesyes
Task ManagementYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Subtask ManagementYesNoYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Deadline managementYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Time trackingNoNoYesYesYesYes, integrationYesYesYesYesYesYes
Meeting invitationsNoNoNoYesNoNoYesYesYesYesYesNo
Shared Team calendarNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesyes
InvoicingNoNoNoNoYesNoYesYesNoYesNoNo
User rolesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesNo
Messaging and discussionsNoNoYesNoNoYesYesYesNoYesYesNo
CRM integrationNoNoNoYes, integrationNoYes, integrationYesNoNoYes, integrationNoYes
Gantt ChartYesNoAPI IntegrationYesYesAPI IntegrationYesNoYesYesYesYes
Free version available (except of Demo/Trial)YesYesYesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
CloudYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
DesktopNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
ReportingYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
NotificationsYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Mobile appYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Ideal forsmall teams and not too complex projectssmall projects, small teams, todosAgile & development teams (software development)Project Management teamsMicrosoft users, enterprise clientsThe high number of users collaborating on different projectsBusiness owners with 1 software for everything, min 5 usersAny team sizeLarge businesses, enterprise clients
Budget managementNoNoNoYesYesNoYesYesYesYesNoYes
Document and File managementNoNoNoYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Image & File sharingYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Team load & AvailabilityNoNoNoYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Starting Price (USD/month/seat)10.99579.81099 for team14261510745
Project templates (existing)YesNoYesYesYesNoYesNoYesYesYesNo
Create project templatesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesNo
Scrum/Agile supportYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoYesYesYesYes
WorkflowYesNoYesYesNoNoYesNoNoYesYesYes
ToDo listYesYesNoNoNoYesYesNoYesYesNoNo
Program managementYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
Team collaborationYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Every user can personalize their own boardYesNoYesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Dropbox IntegrationYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Github IntegrationYesYesYesYesNoYesYesNoNoYesNoNo
Task dependenciesYesNoYesYesYesNoYesNoYesYesYesYes
ChecklistNoYesNoNoNoYesYesNoYesYesYesYes
KabanYesYesYesYsNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Proofing and approvalNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
DashboardNoNoNoYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
What-if planningNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
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