What Is the Best Project Management Software?

The best project management software for your company will likely vary depending on your industry and line of work. However, several options stand out.

This type of software helps teams stay organized, report on project progress, and analyze past results. As remote work grows and the traditional office setting changes, project management software has become more essential. 

Here’s a look at the benefits this type of software offers, what to look for in a system, and the best options on the market.

What Are the Benefits of Using Project Management Software?

Managing people, tasks and long-term goals is a huge job, but is made easier when you adopt project management software. 

Budgeting

Most projects experience scope creep, which is when the goals of a project expand once the project is already underway. Project management software can help reduce scope creep and keep teams on a budget for a project. And as team members log hours and invoices for a project, managers can view their progress toward their original budget and make adjustments where needed.

Remote work

In early 2020, more than half the U.S. working population worked remotely at least one day per week. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic increased these statistics immensely later that year, but the trend toward remote work was already apparent.

Supporting remote work means providing team members the ability to collaborate and communicate through clear and effective channels. Project management software allows for that. Collaborating on documents or accessing documents with ease is one of the great benefits this software offers.

Improved productivity

Showing your employees a clear list of what they need to do each day, week and month can produce great results in improved productivity. With a clear to-do list, team members get started with their day and know exactly what they should be working on. 

What Factors Make a Good Project Management Software?

As you begin your search for the right software to meet your team’s needs, here’s a look at some key factors to consider. 

Planning and Scheduling

Keeping track of your employees’ workloads is challenging and without clear insights, the result is often that star employees get swamped with work, or that new employees lack project diversity to learn more about your organization and expand their skill sets. 

Effective software provides managers insights into workloads and project status to plan resources carefully. See task timelines to assign projects accordingly. View dependencies, set clear deadlines, and manage project deliverables all within one tool.

Collaboration

The larger the project, the more departments you’re likely to collaborate with. Keeping projects moving on time means engaging in clear and effective collaboration.

Project management software allows team members to view status updates, see when a project moves into their work queue, and check in on their teammates in case a project stalls. And if someone is out of the office unexpectedly, the software makes it clear where they were at with the project and how another team member can pick up where they left off.

Documentation

By documenting every step of a project, you’re more likely to keep it on time and on budget. Plus, you’ll learn where your deliverable timelines are off for future projects throughout the project execution. This helps inform better decision-making and future budgeting based on past results.

Reporting

Before software, teams relied on memory to inform project timelines and budget planning. Once you start using project management tools, you can pull reports about actual task timelines to make better decisions.

During projects, reports can show where tasks are lacking and how to help team members suffering from roadblocks or task dependencies that are lagging.  

Best UI/UX

As your team explores the best project management software, be sure to explore free trials to see how the tool will work for your team. Complicated systems where it’s challenging for your team to see what to work on at a glance can make your team frustrated and will hurt software adoption.

You want to be able to onboard new team members quickly and for people to see the value that comes with using the software. The easier the user experience is, the greater your adoption rates will be.

The Best Project Management Software

Now that you have a clear understanding of the benefits project management software offers and what to look for in a tool, here are the best systems available.

LiquidPlanner

Manage your team members, their projects, and their time all in one place with LiquidPlanner. It offers complex project management with in-depth reporting and insights to simplify handling detailed projects with many dependencies.

Pros

  • Extremely simple user interface
  • In-depth project tracking and resource management
  • Great for working from different devices due to responsive design

Cons

  • More expensive than most competitors
  • Software depth takes longer to learn to reap the full benefits

Best for: Managing complex projects

Pricing: Prices start at $45 a month per user with a 5-user minimum. Test out the platform with a free trial. 

Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is an affordable tool that will grow with your organization. It has many great features and compliments the extensive software Zoho provides. The wide array of integrations make this software an even better value for your organization.

Pros

  • Easy software set up and user interface
  • Simple time-tracking tools
  • Highly customizable to meet your needs

Cons

  • Requires template set up before use
  • Entry-level subscription excludes some important features

Best for: Small teams or teams planning to grow

Pricing: Teams with 3 users or less can use Zoho Projects for free. The free account is very basic and allows for simple task tracking. After that, you’ll need to plan to pay $5 per user per month, but you’ll get access to more features, like budgeting, time tracking, and resource utilization insights. 

Smartsheet

If you’re willing to put in the time to learn Smartsheet, you’ll reap the many collaboration benefits. It is a highly customizable software, but with that comes a big learning curve and onboarding time frame. 

Pros

  • Highly customizable to allow for in-depth team collaboration
  • Excellent automation to improve efficiencies

Cons

  • Lacks time tracking, budgeting and resource management
  • It will take longer to onboard your team

Best for: Building automation to improve team productivity

Pricing: Prices start at $14 a month for up to 10 users. This plan excludes some key add-ons and integrations. To get full access, you’ll need to pay $25 a month per user.

Monday.com

Monday.com makes it incredibly simple to visualize projects and see where they are at in the workflow. The software allows managers to oversee timelines, reporting, time-tracking, and collaboration. You can upload files to the system easily to allow team members to comment and collaborate.

Pros

  • Customize the software to meet your needs
  • Built-in templates make it fast to get started
  • Automations speed up your workflows

Cons

  • Lacks recurring task setup options
  • Complex purchasing due to customization based on team type

Best for: Automating project workflows

Pricing: Plans start at $8 a month per user but you can test out the platform for free for an unlimited time. However, you’ll only get one user account on the free plan.

Wrike

Wrike is an outstanding project management tool for teams thanks to its customizations and different project visualization options. You can view projects and tasks as Gantt charts, Kanban boards, or lists. Create workflows and enable file sharing for deeper team collaboration.

Pros

  • Visualize data how it works best for you and your team
  • Customize the system based on your preferences
  • A simple user interface makes it easy to set up and use daily

Cons

  • Must be connected to the internet to view the system
  • Different account types based on team types makes it complicated to choose a plan

Best for: Growing businesses overseeing many team members and projects

Pricing: Teams of 5 users or less can use the software for free for an unlimited time. Larger team plans start at $9.80 a month. 

Redmine

Redmine is a free open-source project management software, but be aware that it isn’t for all teams as it certainly isn’t the easiest software to set up and navigate since there is no support outside of an online community of users. 

Pros

  • Free for an unlimited number of users and projects
  • Customizable to meet your needs
  • Includes all basic project management tools

Cons

  • Requires your team to maintain and manage the software
  • Best suited for IT teams and software developers

Best for: Free project management software

Pricing: The software is free for an unlimited number of users and projects.

Manage Teams, Projects and Resource with Ease

Project management software is about more than just managing projects. You’ll get valuable analytics and insights into your resources so you can better manage team members and get more done. 

Management software offers many great benefits to your entire team from budget allocation to future tasks and project scheduling. Get started now with a few trials to see what software is right for you.

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