NetSuite OpenAir PSA gives professional services organizations the ability to run their core business operations including project management, resource optimization, project accounting, time and expense management, and billing and revenue recognition. Delivering end-to-end automation and visibility, NetSuite OpenAir PSA enables professional services organizations gain real-time insights, increase project profitability, maximize billable resource utilization and make informed, data-driven decisions.
Project Insight (PI) is a project and portfolio management solution for project driven organizations. PI connects teams and aggregates project data by providing end-to-end visibility into the workloads of resources, project status, budgets, and more with real-time reports. PI is used by IT, professional services, product development and many more industry leaders worldwide. PI offers features such as, intelligent project scheduling, resource management, time and expense tracking, project budgeting and costing, document management and collaboration as well as customizable reporting and executive dashboards. The PPM solution can be deployed on premise or in the cloud and can be integrated with other enterprise applications. PI is also PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) compliant and follows the standards of PMI (Project Management Institute).
What do you get when you add the core functionality of Journyx with the ability to forecast costs, revenues, and resource availability? You get Journyx PX, a robust enterprise resource management software solution that will supercharge your project cost accounting by estimating and tracking at the resource level. Without effective resource management and scheduling processes, your organization won’t have visibility into who is working on what project, whether or not your projects are on schedule, and project profitability. With Journyx PX resource management software, you can:
FunctionFox is the Leading Timesheet and Project Management tool for creative firms worldwide. FunctionFox’s capabilities are suited for advertising, graphic design, marketing, public relations and multimedia firms looking to track Clients, projects and personnel from concept to completion. FunctionFox can support an unlimited number of clients and projects, with the ability to customize account preferences to meet the company's workflow. It also allows users to track project costs and expenses as well as project estimates, quotes and budgets. Its to-do lists offer automated email alerts and users can run reports on clients, personnel, expenses, estimates and more. The FunctionFox platform includes a stopwatch that tracks both billable and non-billable hours. The solution is available for purchase on a per user per month basis. As a cloud-based solution, there are no downloads, no installation and free customer support.
KeyedIn Projects works across the entire project lifecycle – from portfolio analysis and capacity planning to project execution and executive reporting – helping you select, prioritize, deliver and analyze the projects that create the most value across your entire portfolio. This comprehensive approach results in reduced project overruns, labor cost savings, enhanced budget accuracy, lower employee turnover and a significant decrease in project and portfolio administration time.
Ravetree is a work management software platform that empowers teams to deliver work faster, be more informed, and spend less time searching for information. Companies use Ravetree to manage their projects, resources, and creative workflows—all in one place. Ravetree eliminates the pain of moving between different applications to find important information, relying on cumbersome spreadsheets, and entering the same data in multiple places. It’s easy to get work done with Ravetree!
Clarizen is an enterprise-grade online project management platform that facilitates team collaboration and project execution and provides tools to connect resources, manage workflows and plan activities. The solution ensures data is kept up-to-date and aligned with business objectives. It is redefining enterprise collaboration by connecting social context with tasks and projects to drive increased productivity and profitability. Clarizen provides complete control over project management with features such as risk assessment, resource estimation, scope management, and reports. It is highly adaptable and supports custom fields and business rules. The app marketplace provides hundreds of clarizen apps for common or specialized customizations. Users can make informed decisions by tracking KPIs in real-time from the dashboard.
ProjectManager is a web-based project management software that combines powerful project planning and scheduling features with collaboration tools for teams. With ProjectManager, one can easily create new projects, plan out and schedule tasks, allocate resources and assets and monitor progress of all their projects from a single dashboard. The product integrates with MS Project, allowing users to import MS Project plans and customize security settings. It also integrates with MS Excel, MS Word, Project Server, and Google Docs.Core features offered within this comprehensive project management software include real-time dashboards, Gantt charts, task management, instant reports, timesheets, team workload management, scheduling, to-do lists, resource management, multiple project management, team collaboration, chats discussions, online file storage, project templates, advanced reports, project groups, custom security, and more.
Wrike offers cloud-based project management solution that facilitates management of distributed projects and promotes team collaboration. It is equipped with enterprise-level security and scalability and was primarily designed with one goal i.e to improve the speed and efficiency of work in both co-located and distributed groups. It is suitable for marketing, operations, creative and large to mid sized IT teams. The service by Wrike allows users to schedule, prioritize, discuss, and keep track of both work and progress in real time. With Wrike, users can manage external and internal requests with built-in form, edit documents online and automatically assign work to appropriate teams based on team schedules and availability. Team leads can also manage team efforts with the Workload View, visualize schedules, track work progress on the Gantt chart and evaluate team performance with Custom Reports.
Mavenlink is a software as a service (SaaS) project management solution that transforms businesses by uniting project management, team collaboration, time tracking, professional services automation (PSA), resource management, reporting and project financials all in a single place. With Mavenlink, teams get the insights they need to successfully manage and scale projects, and profits. It’s intuitive design relies on a single navigation bar which links to key areas of the platform. Mavenlink lets users store and share files, create sub-tasks, keep them updated about the progress and integrate with third-party applications for seamless syncing of files. The primary emphasis of Mavenlink is task management and team collaboration with a focus on future work predictability. It’s customer base includes IT Service firms, advertising and marketing agencies, consulting firms, and other professional services providers.
Asana is a cloud-based project management software suitable for teams of all sizes that allows organizations to manage and organize projects, communicate and collaborate. It organizes all of a team's activities in one place that helps coordinate tasks and keep projects on track. Users can add team members to the projects and tasks, share files, and communicate with them. As soon as any changes are made for each project related activity or a task has been assigned, users get notified in their inbox to track the update. A particular user can also be made to pay attention by mentioning them in task comments. Asana makes it easy for organizations by letting their employees manage their working space, prioritize and organize tasks, delegate duties, upload files, and report in an accurate way. Some of its features include task management, dashboards,customer portal, automatic notifications, document management, collaboration tools, and task assigning.
Jira Software is offered as a cloud-based or an on-premise solution suitable for teams of all sizes, across most industries. It is an issue and project tracking tool designed to help users capture, assign and set priorities to their work. Teams get visibility of the status of the projects, long-term goals, and real-time release information. Also, Project Managers can create user stories and issues, plan sprints, and assign tasks to their team members. Jira enables agile teams to manage the whole process of application development with ease from concept to launch. Some development capabilities include Kanban and Scrum boards, and reporting options such as burndown charts or burnup charts to help support teams at every stage of the development lifecycle.
Pivotal Tracker is a cloud-based agile project management tool designed primarily for software development experts to facilitate collaboration between teams, assign activities, prioritize tasks, and set deadlines. Project status, workflow, conversations, and documents are accessible to the entire team from the same real-time view and the estimated time required to complete a single task or the entire project is automatically calculated based on the past efficiency of the team so product owners know where things stand and let developers spend time on work instead of reporting it. Pivotal Tracker facilitates project stories which can be tracked with full-text search with provisions for comments to let it evolve based on feedback. It also offers a shared calendar that displays project status, daily assignment, and future availability of resources. Users can leverage a guided iteration-planning tool that helps them prioritize project activities and break down tasks with built-in charts to track on important KPIs.
Podio is a project management and social collaboration software that helps teams complete tasks and projects through a system that puts content, context, and conversations in one place for easier collaboration with less confusion. It facilitates organizations to create custom applications to meet their unique business requirements and workflow without any technical expertise. Podio speeds up the communication and provides transparency and accountability needed for effective teamwork. Updates, comments, and changes are done in real time so the projects are kept on track. Podio offers tools for social collaboration, instant messaging and video chat, file sharing, task management, schedule meeting, automated workflows, calendar, and many more. It’s app building capabilities and the app market allows users complete leeway to customize and access thousands of pre-built apps like CRM and Applicant Tracking to manage multiple business processes within a single system. Personal dashboards, data visualization, and granular data access ensures smooth workflow and efficient management of tasks.
Zoho Projects is an online project management software suitable for businesses of any size. This application enables organizations to create projects, tasks, schedules, plan, estimate project costs, and collaborate in order to complete a project. It also lets team members communicate in an effective manner, discuss ideas, and stay updated letting users deliver quality results on time. The software consists of four base modules, Tasks Milestones, Documents, Project Calendars, and Meetings Forums. The add-on modules of Bug Tracker, Time Tracking Billing, Wiki, and Chat can be added as and when the needs scale up.Zoho Projects allows users to share documents, resolve issues and automate document processes such as access control, revision tracking, search and retrieval. Dashboards and reporting give access to in-depth insights, displayed in charts and graphs, to generate meaningful reports. With milestones and task lists, Zoho projects helps break complex projects into manageable units and schedules recurring tasks, dependencies, and subtasks according to the project deadlines.
Easy Projects is a cloud-based project management platform ideally suited for fast-moving teams inside mid-size organizations. The software suite enables businesses to visualize their project’s hierarchy in the Activity Center as well as Project Portfolios. With Easy Projects, Project Managers can initiate, plan, approve, and execute projects, assign resources, monitor expenses, prioritize tasks, track progress, and report on KPIs from a user-friendly and personalized collaborative workspace that supports Agile, Kanban and Waterfall methodologies. Projects can be broken down into tasks and then be assigned to the team members with deadlines and priority. Easy Projects facilitates project management with interactive Gantt charts and Time Tracking for Project Planning, resource loading simulations, personal to-do lists, task dependencies, a guest portal, and a project calendar. It offers custom forms and pre-built project templates as well as supports critical path management and portfolio management. Easy Projects encourages collaboration across teams through real-time chat, discussion boards, notifications, file sharing, and group events.
Trello is a cloud-oriented visual collaboration solution that provides tools to define projects, their requirements and the workflow to ensure projects are completed in a planned and sequential manner. It represents the project hub for cross-team collaboration. Trello enables members to discuss a project or a task in real-time. It keeps everybody informed through task assignments, activity log, and email notifications.Trello utilizes the concept of boards ( which represent projects) and within boards, there are cards (which represent tasks). The cards contain lists which can be used to track the progress of a project or categorize items. Users can post comments, and attach documents to the tasks assigned to them. Project managers can even define workflows, add members, assign tasks to individuals or teams, set deadlines and monitor progress.
Smartsheet is an enterprise level, cloud-based project management application that helps teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. Smartsheet combines the ease of use of a spreadsheet with visual timeline management, collaborative file sharing and discussions, and automated workflow capabilities. It simplifies estimating budgets, managing operations, tracking marketing campaigns, and planning events, among others. Smartsheet standardizes key project elements, increase speed and improve collaboration with options that fit individual work preferences. It provides targeted solutions for mission-critical, high-value work processes in the organization and allows users to track all the projects to improve visibility into team priorities such that important activities do not get missed out in regular work operations. The application’s easy-to-use and friendly interface, coupled with Gantt charts, and automation features have helped this application to be a chosen one for productivity among varying businesses.
Workfront is an enterprise level cloud-based project management software that offers businesses global reach with a very effective, scalable, and advanced solution for work management, project management, collaboration, and more. It is suitable for businesses of any size across industries that helps customize organizational needs, streamline requests, plan and prioritize them, manage processes, review assets, and customize reports. With Workfront, users can execute tasks using Waterfall and Agile methodologies, that help visualize the work lifecycle so users can maintain project schedules and budgets. Users can also assign tasks to the team members by dragging and dropping the tasks, shift assignments and organize workflows through the visual interface. Communication tools allow team members to collaborate, track deadlines, check status updates, deliver work and manage reviews and approvals. With a 360-degree view of the operations, business users can identify issues and become more aware of every situation, optimize projects, and take total control.
Scoro is a web-based project management software which caters to small and medium sized companies who are key players in advertising, consulting, IT and other industries. It is an end-to-end project business management solution which allows professional and creative services to control their entire workflow from one place.Scoro's key feature is its control hub, from which tasks, account information, key performance data and calendar events, among other aspects of businesses are displayed. Core features offered by this software include a business dashboard, calendar management, task management, project management, quote management, customer management, invoices expense management, financial reporting, work-time billing, scheduled invoicing, delayed invoice and payment reminders, comparative reports, commission calculator, budgets forecasts, resource planning, file management sharing, company news feed, custom fields, custom tags, multi-currency, multi-language, automated alerts, configurable statuses, lead management, and more.
monday.com, formerly dapulse is a cloud-based project management solution suitable for small and midsize businesses. It syncs all information in a single, accessible hub, and empowers agents and team members to make important decisions together. It primarily offers a collaborative environment that allows project members to communicate, create a knowledge base and share files, images, designs, and other specifications. monday.com has advanced scheduling capabilities, which applies both to task and project management that eliminates manual entry errors and ensures fast delivery of projects. It also assembles and displays progress data in a logical and understandable manner, making it possible for all team members to keep track of projects in a single glance. It is a tool that allows managing anything from projects, tasks, people, ad campaigns, bugs tracking, CRM, customer projects, and more.
Hive is a powerful, easy-to-use project management platform for modern businesses. It is designed for teams of all sizes who need to share files, charts and automate task management. Hive's centralized platform enables companies to plan, execute, and track projects in real time. It brings communication, file storage, and external tools together in one space, helping everybody stay on the same page. Hive integrates external systems into the Dashboard, helping people concentrate on their work instead of remembering passwords, granting access, sending invitations and switching between tabs.Core features offered within this software include multiple views, flexible projects, action templates, action cards, action list, forms, chat, collaboration, file sharing, external use, analytics, predictive alerts, time tracking resourcing, powered to-do lists, status view, project tracking, Gantt chart, group communication, direct messages, automatic updates, files folders, simple workflows, import tasks, integrations and more.
Backlog is a cloud-based project management solution designed exclusively for all teams involved in a software development to collaborate together and deliver projects faster. The visually appealing and intuitive interface enables users to turn milestones into manageable tasks. The core features include project and issue management, Gantt charts, Burndown charts, subtasking, watchlist, comment threads, version control, file sharing, and wikis. It also allows development teams to track bugs and resolve them. Backlog helps users prioritize and manage tasks within projects through collaboration across teams and to-do lists while tracking overall progress. It integrates with Git and subversion repositories which helps developers manage a project's source code along with tasks. Collaboration essentially occurs through real-time comments, plan discussion, file sharing and centralized file management that improves coordination between developers and non-technical team members. Some other valuable features include custom fields, user permissions, and email integration.
Teamwork Projects is a cloud-based project management solution that offers flexibility, combined with high-performance features that build smarter workflows and close communication gaps so teams can focus on getting things done and increase productivity on a daily basis. The feature-packed software provides managers, staff, and clients every advantage to stay on track and deliver projects on time. Teamwork Projects features include task lists, time tracking, document management, milestones, Gantt charts, file uploads, high-level reports, messages and more. Productivity is enhanced through dashboards which provides visibility into project progress and objectives, billing and expense tracking that allows users to generate invoices based on hours worked and expenses incurred or the project scheduling feature which allows project managers to define project tasks, assign them to people and track progress.
Basecamp is a web-based project management and communication tool suitable for SMBs to large enterprises. With to-do-lists, due dates, calendaring, and file-sharing, Basecamp can be used to communicate on project ideas, time tasks, give feedback and define deadlines. The primary focus of Basecamp was to provide a simple, visual interface in which users can create projects, document progress and manage tasks. The restrict permissions and views in Basecamp allow project managers to choose which team members and clients to collaborate with. The software can also be used to host discussions, group chat, organize events and meetings, and much more. Best of all, the subscription is not charged per user, unlike most group software.
Airtable is a cloud-based project management solution that offers businesses of all sizes, a centralized platform to manage projects, content, records, customers, and ideas. It uses a spreadsheet format with relational database capability. Related data can be linked together enabling users to access the information in one database from another database and vice versa. On desktops, users can see data in a spreadsheet format, while on mobile devices, data is displayed as tappable cards. Users can add and remove data, attach files and share tables with other team members or organization. Airtable incorporates rich fields including checkboxes, dropdowns, long notes, barcodes, drag and drop file attachments and document previews in addition to customizable forms. Users can configure records to be arranged in grid, gallery calendar view with filtering, sorting grouping capabilities, and add comments, notes, or discussions on records to collaborate from the database itself. A chat tool is also included, which allows users to chat with each other while working on tables.
WorkMarshal is a powerful project management software offering a single, unified and robust project management platform specifically developed to assist all types of enterprises from small to large, in order to manage their business work in an inclusive manner. It brings together all channels on a single platform to help end users easily manage files, to-do’s, tickets, projects, and tasks. Enterprises can be audit-ready any time and make themselves compliance-ready by automating all their work activities and processes. WorkMarshal minimizes the need for time-consuming meetings as it provides dashboard and reporting features. Core features offered within this comprehensive project management software include Dashboards, Task Management, Activity Management, Workflow Management, Bug Tracking, Milestone Tracking, Portfolio Management, Status Tracking, Email Integration, Time Tracking, File Sharing, Collaboration, Issue Management, Percent-Complete Tracking, Project Planning and Project Budgeting.
Freedcamp is a web-based project management and collaboration service designed specifically for large enterprises who are key players in advertising, architecture, interior design, engineering, IT services, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, and more. It is ideal for enterprises who want to stay in control of their projects, resources, budget, and time. Freedcamp offers users with applications such as assigning tasks to the team members, scheduling events via calendar, discussion boards, time tracking, and many more. Core features offered within this software include task management, subtasks, project templates, team milestones, calendar, team wikis, invoice management, issue tracker, discussion boards, shared file management, messaging board, password manager, read-only guest access, core project management, project scheduling, document and issue management, project collaboration, portfolio management, reporting, task and time tracking.
WorkflowMax is a web-based end-to-end, fully integrated workflow and job management software designed specifically for small and medium level service-based enterprises helping their businesses run in an efficient way. It mainly caters to anyone who bills by time such as construction firms, creative agencies, architects, engineers, surveyors, lawyers, IT companies, consultants, and more. WorkflowMax features tools to manage project execution, including the ability to integrate with several popular document management systems, such as Google Drive, Box, Salesforce, Xero, MYOB, Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Dropbox. Core features offered within this software include lead management, quotes and estimates, time and job tracking, milestone management, job costing, purchase orders, flexible permission for clients, staff and contractors, email integration, invoicing, and a custom report builder.
Assembla is a combination of services that consists of two platforms namely Assembla workspaces and Assembla Portfolio to accelerate the software development process and extend support to distributed agile teams. It is the provider of Enterprise Cloud Version Control (ECVC) that provides secure cloud hosting for Subversion, Perforce and Git repositories. Assembla Workspaces combines various tools such as code repositories, collaboration, and issue management to increase productivity, while Assembla Portfolio, facilitates control over multiple projects and team workspaces that provides a centralized user management feature, a branded portal, and reporting abilities.Assembla provides an activity stream that consists of a wiki, a message board, file sharing, and other collaboration features for agile teams to work faster and deliver projects on-time. It helps development teams meet HIPAA, SOC 2, PCI and GDPR compliance standards and provides code search, merge requests locking from webApp, desktop, and mobile, all within the AICPA’s SOC 2 framework.
Microsoft Project is a project management and portfolio management tool for businesses of all sizes that help organize and keep tab of all the projects, including daily tasks and long-term goals. The tool has both cloud-based and on-premise deployment options. It empowers businesses to choose the right resources, plan, manage, and collaborate with all the project stakeholders across various devices. Microsoft Project features built-in templates, scheduling tools, and project budgeting that helps project managers estimate costs and increase productivity. The software has three modules- Project Management, Portfolio Management and Resource Management. Project planning features such as Gantt charts and prepopulated pulldown menus help prioritize tasks and projects based on urgency or other rules. The project managers can also prepare insightful reports and take informed decisions about project execution and resource allocation.
Paymo is a cloud-based project management suite dedicated to small and midsize businesses to manage and keep track of their projects from start to finish. It bundles core project management features like task management, scheduling, planning, collaboration, time tracking, and project accounting. Project managers can create projects, break down projects into tasks and assign tasks to team members. Team members can then engage in project discussions and stay updated on the progress of the projects. Paymo allows users to eliminate project bottlenecks and track project’s idle time from the Kanban board. They can save a project as a template or create customizable static and live reports that can be shared with both internal and external stakeholders for audit, billing and reporting purpose. With the project accounting functionality, users can track expenses, create automated client invoices and estimate project profitability.
The Best Project Management Software is All About Organization
By Kim O'Shaughnessy, Market Research Associate, with Contributions from Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, Champion in Project Management
Whether you’re working on a client’s website or putting a shuttle into space, every project needs to be closely managed. Project management software (PM) puts managers in control of, and in contact with, their teams and progress status at all times. Because you know you can’t just get it done — you need to get it done right.
- Top project management software solutions were created to help businesses organize their plans and gain project visibility.
- In order to meet the goals of numerous projects, businesses will need to have a clear strategy and prioritization process.
- Most PM systems have a standard set of features, but there are also features which enable thorough customization.
- Once you’ve shortlisted several companies, it’s imperative to perform a rigorous comparison of the features, support and pricing plans they offer.
- When choosing a project management vendor, make sure you're prepared with a standard list of questions that will help you determine which is a fit for your team.
Quick Navigation of this Project Management Software Guide
- Benefits of Project Management Software
- Implementation Goals
- Basic Project Management Software Features and Functionality
- Project Management System Features for Further Customization
- Compare Project Management Software Vendors
- Questions to Ask a Project Management Vendor
Benefits of Project Management Software
This type of software solution is used by organizations that invest a significant amount of resources into the projects they carry out. Typically, projects require the work of transversal teams and, as such, project management systems are built to facilitate communication through all phases of the project, from conceptualization to realization to closing. This boost in communication is one of the ways PM software helps overcome project-specific challenges.
Project management dashboard software keeps your business organized throughout the project lifecycle.
Speaking of challenges, one of the most difficult parts of project management is handling the various factors that influence the success of a project. These include benefits, resource allocation, collaboration, scope, project size, timelines, cost, quality, risk and client considerations.
To help overcome these challenges, PM tools are built to provide project visibility, facilitate communication and optimize task management. Different solutions may accomplish these purposes in different ways, depending on the specific needs of the business. Many solutions allow users to customize the system to achieve the project management style most suited for the tasks at hand.
Project Management Software Implementation Goals
Most businesses looking to implement a project management system share a few common goals. Make sure your business objectives align with the goals we’ve listed below. If not, you may be looking for something different like a PSA system or even an ERP.
Improve Progress Visibility
|The first thing project management platforms provide is visibility into the progress of your projects. Because this type of software allows users to manage tasks on a granular level, it can also show exactly where in the process the project is at. Easy access to the project status ensures a continuous flow of work or immediate attention to bottlenecks. With any of the best project management tools, you won’t have to rely on email alone to make sure all team members are on task.|
When you find a method that yields results, you’ll want to stick with it. Project management systems make workflow standardization a piece of cake with pre-built and customizable process and templates, normally drawn from universal best practices such as the PMBOK from the Project Management Institute. This way, your team never misses a crucial step during a project. This is made even simpler with task dependencies and notifications, which you will read more about in the features and functionality section.
And although standardization is a major benefit, project management allows for customization of processes as well. Templates and task lists can be edited, added to or deleted depending on the needs of a project. There are also several tools dedicated to customizing your project management software.
Increase Resource Visibility
|Just because your organization might perform a service as opposed to producing a good, it doesn’t mean you can’t track your resource usage. Project management solutions allow users to log time worked and may even perform this automatically. This allows project managers to understand which team members can take on more work and which ones are overloaded and probably need a break. PM software lets you see a breakdown of the work each team member has accomplished and the work planned. This helps all users understand what is expected of them and who they should turn to for questions on particular tasks.|
Improve Collaboration and Communication
|Project management provides these advantages in a couple different ways. First, project management tools provides a high level of project visibility that breaks down the silos in the workplace. Access to real-time project data helps team members collaborate, even when working on individual tasks.
Additionally, PM tools offer a collaborative space for users to work together, making it much easier to communicate than using email and spreadsheets. PM software also allows your client to add their input via these same collaborative spaces.
Basic Project Management Software Features and Functionality
Every project management software solution should contain a baseline of capabilities, regardless of the industry or company size it serves. Here are some standard features most project management systems offer:
|Define and Describe Projects||The ability to define and describe projects is standard across all project management tools. A simple yet essential tool, this feature often is provided as a text field in which users can type their own descriptions and titles of projects. It provides a systematic way to define the business case or the project, calculating its financial return. Users can organize descriptions of projects using tabs to quickly access things like project issues, scope, processes, deliverables, etc. Users may also add custom fields for specific information or to add links.|
Project management software offers pre-built and custom templates, including work breakdown structures (WBS) and project plans. Many systems offer both, but some systems may only provide one or the other. Additionally, many PM solutions offer templates for a variety of industries and departments such as HR, finance or IT project management.
Templates can also be methodology-specific to suit Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, Kanban and more. Templates make it so users don’t have to enter in the same tasks every time a project is created. Many tools are configurable so you can make adjustments to your templates as needed. This is helpful if you offer several services, as you can include them all in the template and remove tasks based on what your client is asking for.
|Task Creation||Project management tools provide a level of organization not as easily achieved without software. One of the biggest contributors to this organization is the ability to create tasks from the scope and work breakdown structure. Task creation provides a simple way to track project progress and lets users know what to do next. In addition to tasks, users can create subtasks to keep smaller assignments grouped with the larger work it contributes to. Users can set due dates, milestones, priority levels, flags and reminders for tasks. These can also be automated through configuring business rules for different types of projects.|
In addition to task creation, project management software allows users to set up tasks that are dependent on other tasks, both within the project and outside the project (with other activities or projects). For instance, after completing the tasks associated with onboarding a client, the project management platform might then prompt the user with the next set of tasks related to the client. Task dependencies allow a project manager to go in and identify bottlenecks and work to resolve the issues. It also helps keep the different teams working on the same project from dropping the ball or working on tasks too early.
Task dependencies can be simple or complex as well as internal or external, depending on your needs. Project management solutions also support circular dependencies for projects that need to be repeated once complete.
|Reports and Dashboards||
Project management tools not only allows users to work and store their information but also provides visual reports on their status and progress. Advanced tools offer many types of visualizations, including pie charts, column graphs, line charts, workflow diagrams, Gantt charts and more. Simpler solutions may not offer as many types of visualizations, but should still provide a summary of your projects’ statuses. Solutions with project portfolio management (PPM) capabilities can also show you reports that provide insight into your larger business objectives.
These reports may include data on a number of things, such as billable and non-billable hours, scheduled time vs actual time, unfinished tasks, on-time milestones, benefits achieved, identified risks and more. Reports help give project managers and project executives a better idea of how his or her team is performing and where improvement is needed. Additionally, reports supply insight into how busy your team members are, allowing you to balance the workload equally across staff.
|Users and Roles||The users and roles feature restricts what information and permissions each user has access to. For instance, you might encourage your clients to sign up for an account within your project management platform. However, you wouldn’t want them seeing project timelines or resource allocation, especially if you’re not completely on target. But you would want them to access messages with client-facing staff and you may also wish to give them access to upload files such as logos or diagrams.
This is useful for teams within your company as well. Maybe you don’t want team members comparing hours worked. Or you have freelance employees and you don’t want them to see data on projects outside of what they’re hired for. Whatever your reasons, this feature helps your project continue to run smoothly giving all parties the information they need to know.
Project Management Software Features for Further Customization
These next features allow administrators to fully customize their project management solution. These features are necessities when it comes to defining your workflows to suit specific business needs.
Webhooks provide a way for project managers to further customize their software solution. This feature is configured through an API and gives users real-time data on events through push notifications. Without webhooks, users need to request the data manually. This is a very inefficient way to work on a project, especially if the user relies on data from many sources.
Webhooks also allow users to use other applications in tandem with their project management tools. Configure notifications to be sent through email or other messaging services. You may also use webhooks to send data to third-party applications to increase the number of tools you can work with for a specific project.
Custom fields are a way for users to enter data into the system that may not fit elsewhere. For instance, project managers may use this feature to create a customizable checkbox field to indicate project status. There are also several other types fields so users can enter a number of different information such as dates, currency, department and more.
Moreover, custom fields allow your data to be incorporated into reports and analytics. To return to our earlier example, a custom field created to indicate project status then allows this status to be seen on a user’s dashboard if they wish. Custom fields used to enter in currencies can be used in analytics to indicate trends in costs. Ultimately, this feature can be used in a multitude of ways to customize the type of information you receive from your project management solution.
Risk management is a feature of PPM, but can often be found in popular PM systems. This is because risk management is a vital element in successful projects. As such, you’ll want to make sure your project management solution can provide the visibility required for proper assessment of potential risks and mitigation actions. You’ll need to be able to track all aspects of the project and identify where risks may hinder your progress. Project risks might include conflicts of interest, going over cost, employee turnover, unrealistic client expectations and more. Therefore, it’s important that your project management system can provide insights into these types of risks.
Some project management tools allow users to create a fully detailed risk management plan using pre-made templates. Others may simply allow you to enter a risk management plan into a notebook (see below) but may provide you with the visibility to create a comprehensive plan.
|Notebooks||This feature refers to the ability to write and collaborate on formatted content within your project management solution. This may include summaries of meetings, additional project information and wikis. Notebooks allow users to keep track of information surrounding a project and create a single source of information. Notes taken with notebooks can be shared and may include photos. Project managers may choose to restrict notebooks from certain groups of users if the information is private or sensitive.|
Compare Project Management Software Vendors
Although many project management software systems are customizable, it’s still important to find the solution that best suits your needs. This is especially true if your software needs to support a particular project management discipline. For instance, not every solution supports a Kanban view of tasks which many organizations rely on. In order to get the right solution for your operations, it’s important to do a full project management software comparison of the solutions you’re thinking about implementing.
Our in-depth comparison report rates top project management software vendors across nearly 30 features. It allows buyers to see which vendors rate better for features like resource utilization charts, file storage, custom templates, overall capability and more. However, you decide to compare software leaders, make sure you and your stakeholders completely understand how your options stack up.
Questions to Ask Potential Vendors
After doing so much research on potential vendors, you might be tempted to sit back during product demos and conversations with vendors. Nevertheless, this stage in software selection is the best time to get clarification and ask questions.
What is your pricing model?
If this information isn’t available on the vendor’s website, you’ll definitely want to ask this question. Project management solutions often offer different pricing models depending on the needs of your company. They might consider factors like the number of projects, number of users, file storage needs and training. You should also ask if you’ll be expected to pay monthly or annually.
How long will Implementation take?
Depending on how many clients you have and the complexity of your processes, the length of implementation can vary. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to identify your needs and properly implement the new software. Additionally, watch out for project management software companies offering timelines that seem too good to be true. Make sure you also ask what the specifics are on the process for transferring data from your old system to the new one. This will help you better imagine what effect implementation could have on your daily processes.
Simple project management systems can act as a virtual bulletin board, auditing movement of tasks and projects.
Is your solution complex/simple enough for my organization?
The complexity of project management tools differs greatly across vendors and pricing plans. In addition to asking about the overall complexity, be sure to ask which specific features are offered. This will help you better judge the system. If all you’re looking for is a Kanban drag-and-drop interface, don’t feel pressured to buy an oversized system. Conversely, if you’re looking for in-depth analytics to help your company grow, make sure your next system captures all the details you’re looking for insight on.
What types of organizations do you have experience with?
The ability to customize your project management solution will be a big factor in how well it performs for your unique business. However, it’s still good to know if organizations similar to yours have had success with a particular product. You may want to find out how many organizations like yours have failed during their implementation as well.
Is your system easy to use?
Depending on your organization, you may have several different teams working in the software. Probably not every team member is going to be a project management whiz but will still need to use the system on a daily basis. If you have clients working in the system, you’ll need it to be intuitive enough for them as well.
What kind of training and support do you offer?
This is a big one, especially if you need a system with many features and customizations. Make sure your vendor offers the type of support you’ll need, whether it’s email, phone or in-person training sessions. Ask if there’s ongoing support and if it’s included in your pricing plan.
The top project management tools are an excellent way to improve the way your organization does business and develops future offerings. But choosing the correct system is no easy endeavor. Therefore, it’s essential to invest the proper time and effort into researching and contacting your final list of project management software vendors. Let this guide be the jumping off point for your software selection journey.