Project Management is no longer about poring over post-it notes, updating spreadsheets, keeping track of emails, and running update meetings. Professionals now have a range of digital resources to organize information, assign tasks, and check progress. With the right project management software, you can get a comprehensive view of your project at a glance. This blog will introduce you to some excellent options!
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10 Leading Project Management Software
Basecamp started in 2004 as a simple project management app for a design business. However, due to its organisation and communication benefits, it soon gained prominence in the market as an all-in-one toolkit for disentangling workstreams. Today, millions have worked on a project with Basecamp, and thousands of companies are signing up to serve their clients better.
Here are some features that make it stand out:
- Scheduling and calendars
- Real-time chat with the option of private messaging
- File storage and search functionality
- Email integration
- Customised notifications
- Access across web, Android, and iOs
Basecamp’s uncluttered interface comes with a low learning curve, allowing managers and teams to get on top of projects quickly. That said, it is more suitable for larger organisations than early-stage ventures as you have to buy a monthly subscription plan.
2. Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project has been around in the project management space since 1984. It can be tacked to MS Office 365 subscription or purchased and installed separately on a computer. You can use it to create schedules, assign resources to tasks, manage budgets, and analyse workloads. Additionally, you can easily analyse workloads and export reports to PowerPoint.
This tool is ideal for individuals with some years of project management experience. It is best to opt for the online MS Project tool when you already work with the Microsoft ecosystem set up and now want granular details of resources, tasks, and people.
Trello is a flexible, Kanban-based tool that uses visual signalling to indicate progress towards project goals. Both individuals and small teams can use it to organise components, highlight timelines, and increase the visibility of due dates, work-in-progress, tasks under review, etc. It comprises different boards, within which multiple cards can be added and coloured red, yellow, and green depending on urgency. You can also include images, hyperlinks, attached files, custom dropdowns, and much more.
Trello is available on desktop, web, and mobile. The basic version is free for use for unlimited cards and users up to 10 boards. You can also store 10 megabytes per file and integrate one of the boards with other online services. The paid plan is affordable with hardly any limitations.
The only drawback is that Trello does not have built-in reporting functionality, for which it requires third-party extensions.
4. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is another productivity tool based on the kanban and other traditional styles. It is packed with workflow management features, Gantt charts, and custom reporting. As for team communication, you do not have to jump to email or Slack as Zoho has its chat app.
You can also integrate Zoho Projects with Zoho’s suite of apps or other platforms like Microsoft and Google. All in all, this project management software gives you all the standard convenience and utility at an affordable price.
LiquidPlanner is known for its helpdesk-style tracker and resource management tools. You can use it to assign on-off work assignments to a user or group. It automatically assesses the impact of extra work on people while estimating the deliverables.
From built-in reporting and cloud storage to automated connections with other business tools via Zapier support, LiquidPlanner has everything you would expect from a modern project management software. It takes some time for beginners to learn and master LiquidPlanner. But if you are not part of a small or ad-hoc team, you can consider its monthly and annual plans to revamp your workspace.
6. Teamwork Projects
It is an app with a straightforward and intuitive user interface. Instead of throwing up complicated charts your way, it organizes your work as traditional lists or kanban boards. You don’t have to dig through multiple screens for the information you need.
As with the other project management apps, Teamwork Projects can automate actions within the app or through integrations with other services. You can either go for the free tier (permitting two projects and limited storage space) or the high-end enterprise version. It is available in the market both as a standard web view and mobile app.
Try your hand at Wrike if you are looking to manage a medium-sized project without learning the nitty-gritty of a new system. Easy-to-use dashboards, Gantt charts, and a built-in reporting suite make it fit for newcomers, too. With the free version of Wrike, you also get the basic task management features, interactive spreadsheets, scheduling tools, and cloud integrations with Google Drive, OneBox, OneDrive, etc. It is no replacement for a dedicated time-tracking system but can handle most of the requirements effectively.
You can think of Asana as a single place of unity for tasks, ideas, and conversations. It has “Team Pages” to allow users to share project details with everyone, whereas the “Smart Box” lets team members receive only the critical updates. You can integrate it with Google Drive, Dropbox, MailChimp, Github, among other systems.
The basic version of Asana is available free of cost. The enterprise package gives you more control and support at varied price points.
Check out ClickUp if you want to customize your workflow or add different dependencies for tasks. You can bring your project goals, tasks, documents, emails, and chats on a unified platform, replacing other project management tools like Todoist, TickTick, etc.
Here are some additional of its star features:
- To-do lists
- Goal tracking
- Time tracking
- Resource management
ClickUp has a free plan, an unlimited (paid) plan, and a business plan for different types of users and project management purposes.
TeamGantt is ideal for smaller businesses that prefer a quick setup procedure and better team collaboration. It lets you invite colleagues to a Gantt chart and also grant them edit access. However, this software lacks in-app communication features.
A maximum of 10 users can use the free tool for one project. However, the paid plan, which allows unlimited users and projects, is slightly more expensive than its counterparts.
Apart from the tools mentioned above, you can also look at Slack, Proofhub, Backlog, and Plutio. Every software has its merits and demerits. So, make the final choice after evaluating the features, pricing, and scalability alternatives.
Now that you know about different project management software available in the market, let’s delve more into the context of their usage.
Here is what most of them have in common:
- Task lists: Assigning and updating tasks and work assignments to bring team members on the same page.
- Schedules: Calendars, Gantt charts, and milestone features that show where tasks fit into the project as a whole.
- File sharing: Organising key documents and files in one place to save time.
- Communication: Solving problems by exchanging emails, having real-time chats, and commenting on certain aspects of the project.
- Reporting: Updating the progress and timelines of the project in line with the goals.
With work-from-home and flexible-work arrangements gaining prominence across industries, there is an increased demand for online project management tools. From startups and multinational firms to schools and government offices, every organization has realized its importance. From an employers’ perspective, it is better to hire someone familiar with these software tools. So, aspiring project managers should aim to be aware of at least one toolkit.
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