This article is going to introduce you to the best available project management softwares. Before we take a look at those details, let us take a look at the reasons why a Project Manager should choose to use a Project Management software. This can be a decision for you to make if your Organization hasn’t made this for you, or else, you won’t stand a chance to change it for your Organization may be.
Organizations always continuously strive towards working on accomplishing tasks, most of the times these tasks spanning across multiple teams and multiple locations. There are always more than just a bunch of people try to accomplish the project deliverables and when the counts (teams, or resources) go beyond the benchmarks then there project management tasks will span across multiple project managers. Tracking these tasks, resources and deliverables on different softwares and different project managers can often become very unmanageable. This section of the article provides a gist of the points that needs to be tracked using any of the project management softwares across the organization, in a unanimous way:
Whether you are a full-time project manager or a part-time project manager, you are always taking part in Project Management activities. Considering that fact, it is very important for you to keep track of the team, tasks and a clear goal of the end date (with all changes to tasks individually or as a whole) always. This task gets very hectic if you don’t follow a specific way of tracking it manually or to choose a tool to do the same for you.
Since that we are at the right point to get our hands dirty with the available options, let us get down to business. This can somehow be mandated by your Organization for you, and if you are one of the lucky ones to make the decision for your Organization, then you are at the right point to look through all the available options for you.
1. Atlassian JIRA: JIRA by Atlassian is the Project Management tool that most teams use for their planning and also to build greater products. Though at your desk or on mobile, JIRA is the tool that helps your team’s work done in the best way possible.
API availability for customization
Kanban / Scrum boards
Android / iOS applications for mobile usage
Amazing integration with Bitbucket & Confluence
Too many clicks to convert tickets from Backlog to In Progress in the Kanban view
Conversion of tasks to sub-tasks option is hidden way too deep in the actions menu.
2. Citrix Podio: Podio is a constantly growing tool that helps Project Managers to keep track, organize and an effective way of communication for any business, for that case. As a traditional Project Management application, it is used as a File storage system, to setup task management and also as an effective means of communication.
Podio can also become your intranet for your effective collaboration with the resources internally
Podio can easily be transformed into a CRM system as well
Lot of possibilities with the customization of the site in itself.
Too little focus on the customization (as the command is given to the end user)
Time consuming process to create the whole workflow by ourselves and to explain its final usage after it is configured
3. Wrike: Wrike makes it next to easy, the task of managing multiple projects and cross-domain, distributed teams. Work progress is the easiest to track and reporting results is just a piece of cake. This is one of the best options for IT, Analytics and Operations teams. Though an open source project management software, it is competent enough with its peers on the paid version providing loads of features.
Timeline view is the best feature available on Wrike for Production like environments
Listing of all the available projects as lists, icons and timelines etc.
Has features for almost all the occasions to help streamline efficiency.
Graphical representation of projects could’ve been made available
Mobile application is not up to the mark as compared to the other options available
A little pricey if your organization is more than 25 users
4. Basecamp: It is the simplest application after JIRA that has a very simple UI navigation to communicate and also to collaborate on projects. Most of the users who have already used it would recommend this software for its simple usage and its mobile counterpart is as simple as its web version.
A friendly interface to welcome you on the Project Management activities
Very easy to add documents, users and also to track progress inside the application
Support on any issues is top notch, turnaround time was excellent and knowledgeable
Mobile application is an adaptation of its desktop / web version
Task management should have been made easy along with the overall application navigation
Non availability of Kanban style display of tasks
Email notifications are always ON or OFF, should have given the flexibility to the users to select it.
5. Asana: Asana though an open source software, it is very efficient to scale up to an additional 50% because of its feature to track everything that a resource is working upon anywhere in the projects. It allows all the resources of your team know on what tasks, projects or conversations that each resource is working upon. Provides a better reach to add Calendars, meetings, launches and campaigns etc. with ease of use as well.
One task, one owner – cuts down the ambiguity on the task ownership
Ability to have multiple members, teams and projects
Ability to check off each task that has been completed
Drag and drop Calendar feature
Setting up of reminders is easier on tracking other team member’s tasks.
Very easy to lose track in tracking the activities, might end up wasting more time on Asana than the actual tasks.
Should have provided an option to see the list of all subtasks instead of looking for subtasks in each task
Editing comments is a bit tricky
6. Teamwork: Teamwork projects provides a rich software that gives an advantage to track / deliver on time. It combines high performance features that build clever workflows and bridges the gaps of communication so that one can focus on getting things done.
Setting up similar projects is an awesome feature which can be accomplished with a limited set of clicks
Another beautiful feature is the provision of Gantt charts
Though provision of Gantt charts is provided, there is strong requirement for reporting options within the tool itself.
UI navigation is a bit tough on the first time usage
7. Smartsheet: Its spreadsheet like interface coupled with file sharing capabilities are what that keeps it so simple and also named after its functionality. Gantt charts, card views and work automation features have put this tool into utmost usage and has enabled to acclaim lot of accolades to this tool.
Creation of templates for projects to streamline the process is pretty easy
Creation of forms for surveys or general forms for data capture
Should have provided the shortcuts of excel in the tool as well
Fairly on the higher side on the time required to learn about the tool
8. Freedcamp: FreedCamp is almost the first on the list along with Bitrix24 but has a small lacking in the project management capabilities as provided by the software earlier. Nevertheless, if your requirements meet with this one, it is a viable to option to choose this over Bitrix24 safely. Having said that, let us look at the advantages and disadvantages of this software usage as such:
Unlimited users, projects, storage for usage
Pretty smooth design
Good count of functions made available
Tasks for a resource to choose
More control to administrators on permissions to different sets of users
Optimized site for mobile usage, iOS app made available
Missed features like Gantt charts, Task dependencies and recurring tasks
Learning curve – takes a little time on the site navigation
9. Trello: Organizing projects into boards is the simplest way of tracking things. All the tasks, members and projects are easily visible in one single view – perfectly organized. Users’ news to the tool can work within minutes because of the list and card metaphor.
Ease of use, no steep learning curve.
Vertical alignment of lists should have also been provided
Does not have a calendar functionality
10. Zoho Projects: Zoho projects provides a feature to have as many users as required but with a limited storage of 10MB, though there are not any features unavailable for free usage. Extended storage is upgradable at an additional cost.
Has an intuitive layout as like Facebook
Best features for Waterfall followers, as like Gantt charts and milestone completions
Provides timesheets and reporting feature
The upgraded version has a document storage capability of mere 5GB
In this article we have tried to understand the need of a project management software firstly and how effective a project manager becomes if there is a unanimous tool being used within an Organization. We have tried to provide the pros and cons of each of the 10 best project management softwares.
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