Project management software is a major help in facilitating the workflow of any team, whether it's a tight-knit startup crew or a sprawling, disparate corporate project with many teams working in concert with one another. Tasks can be assigned or reassigned as needed, and deadlines can be meted out and monitored easily from one central location.
The best project management software automates workflows so when one component of a project is complete, the relevant parties are notified and new tasks are assigned. Here's a look at some of the best project management software applications and the industry as well as advice on choosing software that best suits your organization.
Workfront is our pick for best online project management software. Workfront is highly intuitive and requires little to no training. Still, an extensive support system is available in case you hit a snag. Workfront boasts significant implementation support to help you get set up.
Workfront employs sideways communication, which means it fosters a collaborative effort between teams rather than creating a top-down order-based environment. This keeps all parties, managers and team members apprised of real-time developments, and realistically tracks progress toward the completion of each task in a project.
Asana is an exceptional task management software program suited to both individuals and teams. Its functions include setting up tasks and organizing them into lists or projects, creating deadlines, assigning tasks to team members, and monitoring progress. There are also customizable tags and a search feature that makes finding specific tasks much easier.
Asana has a built-in communication app so your team members can stay in touch directly in the software, rather than exiting to use email or a third-party chat application. A centralized dashboard gives managers a centralized view of each project and individual team members' projects on tasks within those projects. Asana integrates with 37 other apps that can augment its abilities, such as Instagantt, which offers Gantt charts for your team.
One of Basecamp's best features is its ability to create reproducible templates for projects that are similar in nature. If your business often deals with a similar workflow or type of project, you can create a template for it and then easily queue it up when a new project in that vein comes along. This reduces the legwork that goes into creating new tasks and projects and assigning them to team members.
Much like our other best picks, Basecamp features a centralized dashboard from which users can view all projects they are part of. You can prioritize the most important so they always show up at the top of the list, helping to organize the clutter of several concurrent projects.
Wrike offers task management software for free that is far less limited than most other free versions on the market. Wrike's free version comes with an unlimited number of projects. More advanced features, like subtasks and Gantt charts, however, are restricted to the paid edition of Wrike.
The free version supports up to five users, making it a solid choice for small teams and startups on a budget. Since the paid version supports more advanced features, starting small with the free version provides a scalable solution for the future, allowing growing companies to stick with Wrike if they so choose.
In 2015, the project management industry's size was estimated at $2.54 billion, and expectations all pointed toward continued growth. Factors driving the industry's growth are the expanding adoption of cloud-based services, plus the continued automation and digitization of businesses across all industries.
The software itself makes up the vast majority of the industry's market share, but additional services contribute significant revenue to project management companies and are the quickest-growing segment of the industry. These include additional technical support, reporting and analytics. The support and consulting segment alone was valued at more than $300 million in 2015.
As far as company size, the small and medium enterprise segments of the project management industry are a major source of revenue, valued at $901 million of the total market in 2015.
The most prominent players in the project management industry include HP, Microsoft, Oracle and Workfront Inc. The market is largely dominated by a small number of big businesses focused on acquiring or forming new companies, making the field highly competitive.
Our project management reviews below include analysis of online project management software and task management software that help teams work more efficiently and coordinate more effectively.
Project management software is paid for in one of two ways: either through a monthly or annual subscription, or through a one-time cost for locally hosted solutions. Costs vary from company to company depending on the depth and breadth of each solution.
Monthly subscriptions: Monthly subscriptions for cloud-based software vary greatly both in price and model. Often there are discounts for signing up with an annual contract, and some models employ a per-month and per-user cost, while others are simply a flat monthly fee. Depending on your company's size, you can expect to pay different amounts.
According to Capterra, small business project management software averages $45 per month, midsize companies average around $130 per month, and enterprises can expect an average cost of roughly $200 per month. Of course, there are more and less expensive solutions on the market.
One-time costs: One-time costs apply to installed software that you pay for once and then own. These models are simple and straightforward but sometimes include additional service or maintenance fees. Check with the company prior to buying the software to identify any additional costs.
Installation costs tend to range from $600 to $10,000, according to Capterra, with the average price standing at roughly $4,600.
The first step in choosing project management software is to determine whether cloud-based software or installed software is best for your organization. From there, listing your specific needs and determining which vendor aligns best with those priorities allows you to discern exactly what level of service you need. Don't overpay for project management features you might not need.
Once you've established your needs, create a list of companies that are in your price range and offer the services you most need. Investigate each one so you can compare services, prices and the level of support you can expect.
Make sure each company shows you in writing what you can expect from them so you understand exactly what you'd be paying for. As always, never sign anything unless you're truly prepared to move forward and you fully understand the terms, subscription period, costs and services provided.
Common Project Management and Task Management Software Questions & Answers
Have a project management or task management software question of your own?
Basecamp with pricing starting at just $25/month has become arguably the world’s #1 project management tool. It’s famously easy-to-use, reliable, and works well for most users. I'm told that last year alone, Basecamp helped over 350,000 companies work on more than 4,000,000 projects. This is an impressive record.
If you don't have an extra $25/month, I can recommend Wrike. https://www.wrike.com/ It is for small teams who need basic task management with limited planning and reporting. ...
Wunderlist - while it looks like a task list on steroids, it's much much more productive than any other project management tool I've used.
As a retired organizing expert I've tried all the ones listed, I kept coming back to Wunderlist. You can create folders for projects, sub-tasks within an item, attach files (image, doc, voice), have conversations with team members in each task, assign due dates / reminders, and access it from all devices (desktop, mobile, iOS, Android ... all this in the...
Krista, as a former technology PM I can tell you that it depends. First and foremost is project management is a "responsibility" not a role. You can give the responsibility to anyone on the team. Just make sure that you clearly delegate that responsibility.
What is more important at this stage is really understanding the goal of the project and what you want your desired outcome to be. Then make sure everything that everyone on the project is working on is moving toward that outcome. ...
Having been around the block with a few tools now, ranging from simple to the decked out features version, I would highly recommend Wunderlist (wunderlist.com):
1. A very simple online and/or app interface to list ideas
2. The list can be shared with a team
3. Users can 'star' their favorite ideas
This is great for the ideation stage only but extremely simple and effective. To clarify, I have no affiliation with Wunderlist other than being a rabid fan of its simplicity and...
Given your requirements for the best free project management app for Google apps and iOS, I recommend Pivotal Tracker. If you remove the "free" restriction, I would suggest Basecamp. You might also want to take a look at Wrike. Each vendor has their own style and one may suit your needs better than the other.
Pivotal Tracker: An agile project management and collaboration by Pivotal Labs. Tracker is designed specifically to support software development teams. Tracker is free for individuals,...
Your to do list should comprise your most important things of the day at the top. Emails could be done before or after lunch and no more than thirty (30) minutes. Things that don't need your direct attention should be delegated to specific persons. Emergencies... should always be taken care of with personnel that can take over when the fire is out. Evernote, Wunderlist, & Asana are some helpers to make life easier and sync your day.
Arnold Group, LLC