What is Project Management Software for? To answer this and other questions, keep reading this exclusive article, where we will show you everything about the subject!
The concept of project management has been present since the debut of Henry Gantt’s Gantt charts in the early twentieth century.
However, project management technology has brought this concept to the forefront like never before in the previous decade.
In fact, according to PWC, project management software is used by 77 percent of high-performing teams. Coincidence? No, we don’t believe so.
What Is Project Management Software?
Assume you’re constructing a home. It’s a lengthy procedure, and some tasks must be completed in a specific order.
If you haven’t finished putting up the walls, you won’t be able to install windows. You’re presumably working with dozens of people on the house, and you need to know which days they’re available to pour the foundation, lay the tile, and so on.
Then you must plan them based on not just their availability, but also the completion of each assignment in the correct order.
Project management software is the best way to handle a complex project like this one, which includes all of the tasks that need to be completed by whoever and when.
A sort of online collaboration app is project management software. Everyone involved in a project logs in to see what they’re required to do and when they’re supposed to do it.
These employees also keep track of their progress on those projects and add pertinent information, such as notes about any adjustments.
People with the right access level can also see what everyone else is doing, what requirements they must meet in order to complete the task, and when they must do it.
The project management software gives the person or individuals in charge of the project a clear picture of the project’s status. Is it likely that all of the jobs will be finished on time?
What impact does a late task have on the predicted deadlines of other tasks? Is there someone who can take over an urgent assignment if the person who was assigned to it becomes ill?
Furthermore, if the project management app enables financial tracking, it will inform those in control whether the project is on budget.
How We Choose the Best Project Management Apps
We analyzed and tested more than 25 project management platforms for our collection of the top project management applications, and we’ve featured the products with the highest scores below.
Our selection is based on independent testing and evaluation. We evaluate the needs of a number of business types when generating scores, including small firms on a budget and huge organizations that must manage multiple projects, employees, and finances at the same time.
We only include typical project management apps in this category. These apps are designed for project management rather than continuing work. A project is a series of tasks with a beginning, middle, and end date, as well as a deliverable.
To be included for this list, the software must support Gantt charts, a sort of timeline view popular in project management.
In addition to Gantt charts, all of the programs included below have other common capabilities for monitoring, organizing, and scheduling project-based work.
Other outstanding collaboration tools, such as Trello, Basecamp, and Airtable, are sometimes referred to as “project management apps.”
While certain collaboration and work-management apps are excellent at handling specific types of work, they aren’t often intended to manage the complexities of dozens or hundreds of projects and their timetables at the same time. As a result, they are not included in this list.
What Can You Do With a Project Management App?
Project management apps allow you to track and manage almost any type of project, including the development of a new product, the construction of a home or website, and the launch of a marketing campaign.
Project management apps are often used by teams to track multiple projects at the same time. The program assists them in determining when work should be scheduled depending on when tasks must be completed and the human resources available to complete them.
The best project management software foresee issues before they occur. Project management software can sound an alert when a deadline is in danger of slipping, but before it really happens, by tracking the progress of work and specific tasks (for example, having finished six hours of a task that’s expected to take a total of eight hours).
When tasks go off track, the most powerful project management systems will automatically reflow the project schedule. They provide reports that show managers which team members have been allotted too much or too little work.
Some also allow you to keep track of project budgets and billable hours so that you may send invoices to clients for time spent on projects.
The Best Free Project Management Software
Free versions of some of the greatest project management software solutions are available. These free versions are usually heavily restricted in some way.
For example, you might be limited to only managing one or two projects at a time or only inviting a small group of people to collaborate with you.
Furthermore, the free version of an app frequently does not have all of the program’s main features. It might work if you have a small staff and simply need to manage one or two projects.
Zoho Projects, Teamwork, Wrike, TeamGantt, ProofHub, and a few others that didn’t make the list, such as AceProject, all provide free accounts.
Redmine is a completely free project management program that made this list, but you must install and maintain it yourself. It’s an open-source option rather than a commercial offering.
The Best Project Management Apps for Small Businesses
A low-cost tool like Zoho Projects (starting at $5 per person per month for Premium) is the best bet if your team needs to manage and track a few projects but isn’t concerned with employee scheduling, collecting time sheets to bill clients, or comparing the progress of dozens of projects in development.
What we enjoy best about Zoho Projects is how readily it scales as your team grows and requires more functionality. The company Zoho offers a variety of different business tools that may be connected to Zoho Projects to increase its capabilities.
GanttPRO is another a good low-cost choice. It’s one of the simplest tools to use, and it’s ideal for persons with little or no project management experience.
If you’re not going to use the tools that come with more expensive software, there’s no need to pay more than roughly $15 per worker each month, so go with something cheap.
The Best Project Management Apps for Large Organizations
The needs of large enterprises and small firms are vastly different. Project management apps are used by organizations with hundreds or thousands of personnel and hundreds of projects for a variety of reasons, including scheduling, resource analytics, budgeting, revenue projection, and time tracking for invoicing purposes.
It’s critical for a huge corporation to be able to manage not only individuals but also teams. You want to be able to check how much work each junior designer has assigned to them and whether you can free up one of them for the assignment if you have 15 hours of work for a junior designer and it doesn’t matter which junior designer does it.
For the same reason, everyone of your company’s managers and team leads should be able to identify which jobs are top priority and which projects are in danger of falling behind so that they can prioritize appropriately.
Celoxis or LiquidPlanner are recommended if your company deals with complex projects and has a large number of team members working on them.
The Best Project Management App With Special Features
Teams that aren’t exactly small enterprises, but also aren’t massive corporations, may have unique requirements for project management software.
Teamwork, which specializes on client work, is our top pick in this category. If your team typically completes projects as billable work for clients, Teamwork is the project management app we recommend.
Billing and invoicing, as well as the option to construct intake forms for new projects, are all included. Paymo, another software that didn’t quite make the cut for our roundup, includes built-in billing and invoicing features.
Of course, project management software can be specialized in other fields. We propose Wrike or Celoxis if you need a tool that can handle both project and non-project tasks. (LiquidPlanner is also a fantastic option, although it’s more suited to large groups.)
ProofHub is an excellent solution if your team spends a lot of time debating and iterating visual assets. Smartsheet is useful for incorporating automation into project management.
Choosing What’s Best for Your Team
It takes effort to find the appropriate project management software, but it’s worth it to get it right before deploying it to a complete team.
Typical project management software come with a hefty setup fee. Even if they are simple to use and allow you to import data, fine-tuning the app to accomplish what you need it to do and then getting everyone on board with it takes time.
Consider what kind of work your team does, how many people are in the organization, and how you want to manage your firm before picking which software to utilize. There are plenty fantastic solutions available to suit any budget.
People can cooperate on project work more easily with a dependable project management system in place.
Additionally, business owners and team managers can gain valuable insight into how their teams perform, whether projects are on schedule, and how to get them back on track when they falter.
The Best Project Management Software for 2022
You’ll need project management software if you’re juggling many projects and attempting to keep track of what has to be completed before moving on to the next one.
Unlike other types of work-management tools or collaborative applications, project management apps nearly always contain Gantt charts (our PCMag criteria demands them) that show you how all tasks in a project contribute to the ultimate outcomes, as well as any potential blockages on your timeline.
One such program is GanttPro, which was released in 2015. It has turned into one of the better solutions on the market for small organizations who require a fundamental project management platform but don’t need a lot of bells and whistles like reporting or invoicing tools—though it does offer basic budgeting.
It’s an Editors’ Choice winner because it has everything a small business needs and is exceptionally simple to use.
What Is a Gantt Chart?
A Gantt chart is a graph that plots out all of the tasks that make up a project on a timeline. Project managers and team members can see the following in Gantt charts:
- When do certain chores have to be completed?
- How long do you think each task will take?
- Which tasks can’t be begun until the ones before them have been completed? and
- Who is in charge of each task?
Gantt charts are included in most project management tools. Work-management apps, rather than standard project management apps, are more likely to lack them.
Work-management software (think Trello and Airtable) are ideal for organizing continuous work, such as responding support emails or writing short articles, but the distinction between the two groups can be difficult to pin down.
Complex projects necessitate the use of project management software. A project is a group of tasks with a start, end, and deliverable date.
It is a project to create a website. Adding new information to a website on a regular basis is a never-ending task.
Project management is so complicated that you can earn a master’s degree in it in two years. It’s not that difficult with Teamwork, one of our top-rated project management tools.
This fantastic online platform eliminates many of the problems of managing projects and all of their milestones and responsibilities by giving team members with a simple interface with all of the tools they require.
It comes with billing and invoicing capabilities, making it excellent for companies that primarily handle client business. Project managers and business owners may keep track of people’s time and workloads, know when deadlines are approaching, issue billable work bills to clients, and more.
Along with Zoho Projects and GanttPro, Teamwork is an Editors’ Choice winner for project management. Zoho Projects is an excellent choice for small and developing teams on a tight budget.
Because GanttPro is so simple to use, it’s also ideal for small teams, even individuals with little or no expertise with project management.
How Much Does Teamwork Cost?
There are four sorts of Teamwork accounts: Free Forever (no payment information necessary), Deliver ($12.50 per person per month), Grow ($22.50 per person per month), and Scale ($22.50 per person per month) (custom pricing).
You get a 30-day trial of the Grow service when you sign up for an account, and there’s no credit card required.
To obtain a Free Forever account, you must first sign up for the service, then begin the Grow trial, and finally cancel Grow to drop to the desired tier.
Billing and invoicing, project templates, task templates, client users, collaborators, sophisticated team management capabilities, the option to allow clients to have limited access to projects, and a few more features are not included with this account type.
Except for Zapier, you can’t integrate with other apps (an app that ironically enables you to connect Teamwork to other apps, such as Trello, Google Sheets, and Slack).
Zoho Projects Review
Project management software can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. However, you don’t have to pay a lot of money to acquire the best project management app on a budget.
Zoho Projects is a fantastic program that even the most cash-strapped teams can afford. Even if it doesn’t offer everything under the sun, it has a lot of features.
For $10 per person per month, you get time tracking, resource management reports, and the ability to track project budgets with the highest grade of service.
Although you can connect with other apps that provide these features, you don’t receive invoicing or billing tools. Overall, Zoho Projects is an Editors’ Choice winner for project management for small and developing organizations because it offers a lot of value for a low price.
Two more Editors’ Choice awards for project management software have been presented. One option is Teamwork, which is more expensive but includes additional services that mid-sized enterprises may require, such as invoicing.
LiquidPlanner is our top recommendation for large enterprises with hundreds or thousands of staff and projects. It’s better at managing many projects and shared resources, and it offers powerful scheduling and conflict-resolution capabilities.
What’s New in Zoho Projects?
Zoho Projects launched a new version of its software in 2021, along with new plans and pricing. The following are some of the most notable developments for paid account holders in the last year.
Workflow Regulations (Enterprise accounts only). Workflow rules allow you to handle workflows with automated steps more effectively. “When X happens, automatically do Y,” for example. “When a team member checks off a task to indicate they shipped a project, automatically update the Ship Status field to Shipped.”