There are hundreds of project management tools on the market — ranging from basic project trackers to complex tools.
The best project management software enables users to manage every aspect of a project, and with real-time updates.
A lot of projects are marked failed and suffer from scope creep. The main reason usually is a lack of proper communication.
That’s where project management software comes in.
Whether you are taking your first step towards a project management tool or re-evaluating the one you’re using today, this blog will be of help.
By the time you reach the conclusion, we’re hoping you’ll find the right project management system for your business.
What Is Project Management Software?
A project management system is a set of applications designed to help companies keep track of their projects — from conception to completion and launch.
It acts as a collaboration platform whereby all team members can report their progress and monitor the progress of colleagues.
The main goal of using project management software is to enhance work efficiency, as the software offers a holistic view of the entire project lifecycle to all team members and stakeholders involved.
But before we proceed any further, let’s take a look at some commonly used words that can help you understand project management better.
Top Project Management Terms Explained
Project Lifecycle: A project lifecycle captures the details of what needs to be done over the course to complete the project.
Agile Project Management: It is an incremental approach to delivering projects, where the project is broken down into small cycles known as ‘iterations.’ Based on importance, these iterations are prioritized.
Waterfall Model: it is a traditional approach whereby the project development occurs systematically — from one phase to another in a downward manner. You have to complete one phase to move to another one.
Milestone: Under Gantt project management, a milestone is used to measure the progress of a project. It represents a major event in a project timeline.
Sprint: Under Kanban project management, a sprint is a period of time during which specific tasks need to be completed.
If you are looking to give a boost to your vocabulary, this interesting infographic by TechInAsia is a cheat sheet of 50 project management terms.
Why Are Project Management Tools Important?
Did you know that 70% of organizations have suffered at least one project failure in the last 12 months?
In fact, 50% of that survey’s respondents indicated that they failed to achieve what they had envisioned.
If we had to define these project failures in numbers, for every $1B invested in the US, $122M was wasted. Now that’s a huge number.
And the culprit is bad project performance.
The best solution to this problem is project management software. Take a look at what all a powerful project management tool can do for your business:
i. Better Visibility and Management
Project management tools give you a 360-degree-view of your project. As a project manager, you can keep track of all your team members’ progress, prioritize tasks, and avoid delays.
The system sends out alerts if a task is reaching its due date.
ii. Process Streamline
A project management software makes it easy for companies to manage and work on similar projects or multiple projects for the same client. It standardizes the processes — for instance, you can create and save a template for a contract type that can be reused again. It saves a lot of time and effort.
iii. Automation of Workflow
Besides, a project management solution automates and streamlines the entire workflow. It helps with task management, task reminders, schedule management, and much more.
In fact, it can even automatically assign repetitive or similar tasks to save time.
iv. Functionality Boost
The best project tracking software can easily integrate with any other third-party application to expand its functionalities. Thus, it makes it easy to solve any management problem that might arise.
How to Choose a Project Management Software?
Project management software can be an efficient tool for promoting team collaboration and tracking progress. Thus, it’s crucial to choose the right tool that fits right into your business requirements.
Here are a few factors that you should consider before making your final purchase:
A project management software has a lot of functionalities to offer. Some of these include:
- Team collaboration: Collaborating on tasks and sharing documents all from one dashboard.
- Task management: The ability to assign and track tasks across the project’s lifecycle.
- Risk management: Identify potential risks associated with projects and raise flags to alert the manager.
While choosing the best project tracking software, determine all the features you need for your business. Don’t try to overload your system with unnecessary modules; that will only slow down your system.
The interface of an application plays a big role in defining the whole user experience. Choose a solution that offers a clean and user-friendly interface so that your team members need not worry about the learning curve.
You get both free and paid versions in the market. Lately, there’s been a growing trend of the SaaS (software as a service) model — where you pay a certain subscription fee on a monthly or annual basis.
Make sure that you find a project management software that justifies the cost, and charges you for features you need instead of a whole comprehensive and needless package.
9 Best Project Management Tools in 2021
Now that your requirements are defined, let’s see what options you have.
EngageBay offers a free project management software that primarily caters to small businesses.
Based on your projects, EngageBay automatically creates tasks and makes it easy for project managers to keep track of every team member’s progress. The system ensures that all your team members are aligned towards a common goal of project completion, growth, and revenue.
And, it enables effective communication by keeping every team member on the same page. Engagebay lets you add notes to the tasks and keep your employees up-to-date. It’s a great feature to share ideas and comments on business tasks.
Overall, it reduces data inconsistency, keeps teams aligned, and enhances productivity.
EngageBay is one of the most affordable software on this list.
EngageBay’s pricing is four-tiered:
Free: This plan is free forever for up to 15 users, offering contact management, CRM automation features, and calendar integrations.
Basic: This plan costs $7.79 per month and includes multiple deal tracks, calling, 3rd party integrations, tag manager, and much more.
Growth: This plan is priced at $14.99 a month and allows 50,000 contacts in its database. It includes features like multi-currency support, sales automation, proposals, leaderboard, and more.
Pro: This suite costs $29.99 a month and offers advanced features like dedicated account manager, proposal analytics, role management, goal management, custom reporting, and much more.
ProofHub is a popular project management tool that offers complete control over your projects and the tasks your team members are performing.
It provides a platform that supports the Kanban board whereby members can self-manage their tasks and move from one stage to another. It also allows you to view your projects in a timeline view.
The project manager can restrict access based on the responsibilities of your members, thus protecting confidential information about your project.
The best part is that it easily integrates with third-party applications like FreshBooks Classic, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, iCal, Box, OneDrive, and Outlook.
Large companies like Nasa, Google, and TripAdvisor use Proofhub to manage their projects efficiently.
ProofHub charges a flat fee instead of charging based on the number of users. It offers two pricing plans:
Essential: Available at $50 per month that allows you to manage up to 40 projects with unlimited users and 150 GB storage. Some of the core functionalities that it offers include time tracking, Gantt charts, group chat, file sharing, and more.
Ultimate Control: This plan costs $99 per month with unlimited projects and users. It comes with 100 GB of storage. Its advanced features include custom workflow, API access for data transport, project and resource reports, advanced activity logs, and more.
nTask project management software streamlines various aspects of your project management, including project planning, task dependencies, resource management, financial management, and others.
It promotes collaboration amongst team members while allowing them to plan and analyze everyday tasks.
No wonder over 250,000 companies are using nTask Manager in 155+ countries, including Google, Sony, Harvard, and more.
nTask Manager has four plans for its users:
Basic: This plan is free for freelancers and individuals. It allows you to onboard five members per team with unlimited workspaces, timesheets, issues tracking, and much more.
Premium: This plan costs $2.99 per month per user. Here, you get access to the Kanban board and Gantt chart along with 5GB of storage.
Business: This plan starts at $7.99 per user per month. It gives you a 10GB storage area with advanced features like custom filters, risk management, custom roles & permissions, kanban board templates, and advanced reporting & integration.
Enterprise: The price is quoted on request. It offers custom onboarding, dedicated account manager, and dedicated cloud — best for large enterprises.
Asana is one of the best project management tools that keep you and your whole team organized by prioritizing your tasks. Project managers can easily add and assign tasks and track progress reports of each member individually.
Besides, its 50+ templates help you create a standardized workflow that keeps everyone aligned in the same direction.
The real-time status update ensures that your project is running on time and helps identify actions that might result in delays.
It offers 100+ integrations to promote collaboration and coordination within the organization.
Asana has four pricing plans:
Basic: It is free, useful for individuals or teams just starting out. It allows you to collaborate with up to 15 teammates and offers list view, 100+ free integrations, etc.
Premium: The price starts at $10.99 per user per month for unlimited dashboards. It includes an admin console, milestones, unlimited guests, private teams and projects, and much more.
Business: This plan costs $24.99 per user per month. Its advanced features include portfolios, goals, workload, custom rules builder, forms branching & customization, approvals, proofing, and much more.
Enterprise: The price is available at request.
Monday.com acts as a centralized platform where you can easily plan, track, and analyze your project’s progress. It offers hundreds of visuals and customizable templates to get you started. If you want, you can even create your own.
Most importantly, you can view your data in whatever you like — kanban boards, list view, calendar, etc.
It provides you with personalized customer service along with a resourceful knowledge base.
Integrate with your existing tools and streamline your entire operational activity.
Monday.com has four pricing plans in total with an extra free version for an individual. Its price varies based on the number of users.
Basic: The price starts at $8 per seat per month with unlimited boards and unlimited free views. It offers 5 GB of file storage and prioritized customer support.
Standard: The plan starts at $10 per seat per month, including timeline and Gantt views. It also offers automation, guest access, integrations, and much more.
Pro: The price starts at $16 per seat per month. Its advanced features include private boards, time tracking, formula columns, and much more. It enables you to create a dashboard that can combine up to 10 boards.
Enterprise: The price is available at request.
Jira is a project tracking software that is most popular amongst agile teams. It covers various aspects of project management — from planning sprints to distributing tasks and providing complete visibility into the progress.
Furthermore, it helps improve team performance by providing real-time, visual data that your team can use.
What’s more, it can integrate with various third-party applications to expand its functionalities.
Jira pricing is based on the number of users. It has four plans:
Free: Best for small teams with up to 10 users. It includes scrum, kanban boards, automation, roadmaps, dependency management, and much more.
Standard: The price starts at $7 per user per month for up to 10,000 users. Along with the basic functions, it enables project roles and advanced permissions.
Premium: The price starts at $14 per user per month for up to 10,000 users. Some of its popular modules include IP allow listing, admin insights, and capacity management.
Enterprise: The price is available at request with some of the advanced features that will benefit large organizations.
Teamwork is an easy-to-use project management software that scales into a full platform. Trusted by over 6,000 agencies, companies like Spotify, Disney, and PayPal use Teamwork to manage their complex projects.
You can easily upload files, add comments, and customize your workflow — all in a single platform.
It gives you a board view and project health status updates on your project’s timeline. Besides, its deep insights ensure that your resources are being utilized optimally.
Just like others, Teamwork offers four plans, including a free version.
Free Forever: Created for small businesses or individuals offering task management, milestone, and messages.
Deliver: It costs $10 per user per month with a free trial period of 30 days. You get 20 project templates, time tracking & invoicing, agile view with workflows, and much more.
Grow: The price starts at $18 per user per month with 50 project templates, custom fields, project portfolio workflows, workload resource management, resource scheduling, etc.
Enterprise: The price is available on request — offering advanced security and extra speed.
Podio is a social collaboration tool that enables you to customize your dashboard and run your projects most efficiently. It provides a holistic view of your project’s progress — keeping it transparent and organized.
Furthermore, it streamlines the entire communication between your team members by putting all your conversations in one place.
It provides enough flexibility to enable you and your team members to define the structure of your content, reports, and overviews.
Podio offers plans that might fit into everyone’s requirements. Its four pricing plan include:
Free: It can be used for up to five users. It offers basic functions like task management and apps and workspaces.
Basic: The plan is priced at $7.20 with a wide range of features, including unlimited items, user management, task management, and more.
Plus: The plan costs $11.20 with advanced features like light user role, read-only access, and automated workflow.
Premium: Its most popular plan is priced at $19.20 with a full suite of capabilities like contact sync, interactive sales dashboards, and advanced workflow automation.
ClickUp offers a suite of products for project management that include to-do list management, time tracking, goal tracking, resource management, Gantt charts, and Kanban boards to mention a few.
With ClickUp, you can create and automate tasks directly from email, view all daily events in one place, create knowledge bases anywhere in ClickUp, capture videos and screenshots right from your desktop, and many more.
ClickUp is meant to offer one app to replace plenty of different tools like Trello, Jira, Loom, and Slack.
The application also seamlessly integrates with other third-party tools like DropBox, Figma, YouTube, Outlook, and Google Drive for efficient collaboration.
ClickUp is used by enterprise teams at popular companies like Google, Webflow, Booking.com, and IBM.
ClickUp has a ‘Free Forever’ plan that lets you create unlimited tasks and work with unlimited members, but with a limited 100 MB storage.
They have 4 pricing plans.
Unlimited: This plan gives you everything in the free plan, plus unlimited storage. Billed annually at $5/user/month.
Business: This plan comes with advanced automation, work management, and dashboard functions that are not available with lower-priced plans. Billed annually at $9/user/month.
Business Plus: This plan offers everything in Business with custom permission settings, role creation, sub-tasks management, and priority support. Billed annually at $19/user/month.Enterprise: Enterprise customers can white label their product, and have access to enterprise API functions. Pricing is based on your specific requirements.
The purpose of writing this blog is to remind you that project management software can be of great help. This applies to small startups and large enterprises running on old systems.
With the world going digital, every business must adapt or lose out to the competition. A powerful project management platform can give your company a solid productivity boost, better employee satisfaction, and increased revenues.
On top of that, you’ll be among the top players in the market when such tools become indispensable. Their uptake is already increasing by the day.
While using any software, user experience is of utmost importance. With collaboration tools like EngageBay, you don’t have to worry about complicated interface.
Of course, pricing matters too. An easy-to-use software is no good if it burns a hole in your pocket. Find project management tools that you think offer good value for the features they come with, and begin with a free trial.
All the best!