Project management solutions help you plan, execute, and deliberate processes, resources, knowledge, and best practices to meet project goals. Projects have different parts that need to move together to achieve a goal: talents, budget, schedule, communication, quality check, documentation, administration, to name a few. Project Managers that juggle multiple projects can’t rely on their memories or emails to keep them all organized. To deliver projects on time and within budget, and track their performance, information needs to be written down, deadlines plotted, and documents shared. Thus, a good project management solution helps you keep all the project aspects in sync, while lending to you clear visibility of tasks, activities, and updates across the organization vertically and horizontally. It also helps to keep the communication of the team members very smooth.
The most important thing to know about project management apps, as opposed to other kinds of work-management apps, is that they are for projects. It might sound tautological, but it’s important. Projects are a specific type of work. Projects have a start date, an end date, and deliverables. They have team members aligned in some hierarchy of reporting. They have milestones. Today, top project management software systems consist of standard functions, such as, task management, overview dashboards, collaboration and communication tools, scheduler, and administrative controls. Some software will offer all those features, while other solutions may only have a couple of them. To help you rummage through the pile of popular services, we analyzed the best SaaS project management solutions, highlighting the value propositions for each one.
Basecamp is the father of all the project management apps. Basecamp is considered the leading project management tool around. It boosts a simple and easy to use interface to collaborate with your team and client. It allows you to create multiple projects and setup discussions, write to-do lists, manage files, create and share documents, and organize dates for scheduling. It is fully responsive so you can manage your projects and check statues on your mobile device on the go. Basecamp’s basic plan starts at $20 a month.
Jira is specifically targeted for software development teams. Jira makes it easy to track bugs and see which issues are still outstanding and how much time was spent on each task. JIRA is most popular among agile teams for project planning, tracking, releasing, and reporting. Notably, JIRA is one of the remaining few business solutions that has an on-premise platform. This makes the software a good fit for companies who are still wary of SaaS, but don’t want to be left out. You can also generate quick insights by collating user stories and case studies to unearth best practices and avoid wasteful efforts. JIRA is also known for its enterprise features, including advanced workflow engine; robust search via its Query Language; and a wide array of integrations via REST and Java APIs. Jira starts at $10 for 10 users a month.
Mavenlink We found this project management solution to be unique in a way that it emphasizes project accounting. Aside from the regular features such as time tracking, resource planning, and collaboration tools, Mavenlink helps you monitor resources and costs across project phases. it is easy to keep track of expenses so you can quickly plug small leaks that, when aggregated, may jeopardize targets. Likewise, it lets you monitor closely the time spent on tasks, so you can reallocate your budget if necessary.
Zoho Projectsis a proficient tool to project plan and project coordinator from start to finish. It boosts all the features you need for project management with some advance features including reporting, integration with Google Apps and Dropbox, bug tracking, setup Wiki Pages to build a repository of information, forums and more.
You can start Zoho Projects with a free plan and upgrade to a paid premium account starting at $20 a month.
Asana works best for companies with remote teams, where clear communication is essential. Off-site employees can log in anywhere there’s internet connection and check right away what their project updates are. Other great features of Asana are ability to create subprojects within a project; compatibility with different types of browsers and devices; and a wide array of user roles you can set.
Podio is quite ideal for you if you want to closely involve third-parties in your project development. That’s because the vendor won’t charge you for bringing freelancers, clients, or suppliers into the platform, only users from your end are billed. This setup works perfectly for small companies that rely on a lot of outsourcing. Like most top project management solutions, Podio can be tailored to match your processes. This allows your team to work in a structure they are most familiar and efficient. Podio also features social, real-time, and mobile collaboration tools. Plus, it has a basic CRM and sales tracking as well as calendaring integration with Google and MS Exchange.
Wrike is a visual project management for the great visibility it affords to users, which is one of its most useful characteristics. Wrike lets you view tasks, activities, and updates across projects or down the subtasks. It is ideal for small units and large organizations, and it offers the best value for money from its freemium (for up to 5 users) to the quote-based and fully customized enterprise plan. Wrike also has robust analytics that helps you draw insights from real-time data. Forthcoming delays and problems are easily anticipated by mashing data to generate daily, weekly, or monthly outlook. Other admirable Wrike features include a free mobile app for iOS and Android and a comprehensive integration platform.
eXo Platform focuses more on open-source social collaboration. If your projects require close collaboration of members via their social networks, this project management software will help you establish a social intranet. The software integrates with LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google + allowing you to link up to the social feeds of members right away. For privacy concerns, members can also create a software-specific account. eXo Platform creates a social graph and activity streams related to the project. Because it’s open source, this project management solution is highly extendable. For a small business, it costs around $200 per month.
Trello is a free visual way to glance at the entire project with a single view. With Trello, you can organize cards, these cards can be your thoughts, conversations and to-do lists and be placed on a board for everyone to collaborate on. Trello may be a little less agile to handle complex projects that require advanced tools such as reports and insights. For small, medium, and short-term projects, Trello is worth the shot. Users can put lists, tasks, activities, updates, color codes, and other essential information on the cards. You can set rules to allow any team member to comment, modify, or attach files to the cards, as you move each card towards a goal, deadline, or across teams or departments.
Trello price starts at as low as $5 per month. It also has iOS and Android apps to give you more mobility.
Teamwork Projects allows you to keep all your projects, tasks and files all in one place and easily collaborate with a team. Teamwork helps you to visualize the entire project through a marked calendar and Gantt chart and setup reporting. Teamwork supports file management with Google Drive, Box.com and Dropbox. As well as integration with leading apps such as third party accounting software and customer support apps.
Plans only start at $12 a month.