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Project Management Software 2021 - Ultimate Guide

Learn why Project Management tools are important and how to choose the right Project Management software

Updated By Cuspera

Last updated: Feb 17, 2021

Project Management Software 2021 - Ultimate Guide

What is Project Management?

Project Management is a specific set of processes and operations carried out by many stakeholders. These could include consultants, who may be from the same company or different organizations, and spread across geographies. They work together to accomplish a singular goal within a stipulated period and utilizing fixed resources.

Project management entails the efficient application of skills, knowledge, technique, tools, and people to carry a project to completion. With technological advancements and disruptions taking place at a rapid rate in this segment, Project Management Software has become a strategic function for every business today. As per a report titled ‘Project management Software Market – Growth, Trends & Forecast, the project management software market is expected to register a CAGR of 10.17% during the forecast period, 2020 - 2025.

What is Project Management Software?

Project Management Software is a platform that helps teams complete and coordinate the requirements of their clients’ projects within a stipulated time and budget while delivering the expected quality. It can be used for collaboration among teams in companies and often supports resource allocation, scheduling, and planning of the project.

Key Benefits of Project Management Software

Key Benefits of Project Management Software

Availability of Historical Data for Planning

Project Management Software helps project managers set up a management plan, allocate resources, prioritize goals, identify issues, fix deadlines, and create project deliverables conveniently. The software makes it easier for users to archive and manage historical data and this can be effectively used for planning purposes.

Effective Utilization of Resources

Project Management Software provides better visibility into the utilization of resources. Using its workflow-based system tools, project managers can easily account for the time needed for a task and work it into team members’ schedules, alert teammates when tasks are veering off-track and ensure that the right people are working on the right tasks in the time allotted to them. Effective utilization of resources helps organizations to execute more projects with fewer resources.

Project management can be defined as a way of developing structure in a complex project, where the independent variables of time, cost, resources and human behavior come together.

R B

Rory Burke

Author of Project Management Techniques

Transparency and Better Visibility

One of the main problems faced by key stakeholders and executives in any organization is getting the right level of visibility into project execution. Also, organization leaders like to get visibility into the project which is real, metric oriented, and quantitative. In the absence of tools and metrics, leaders need to rely on first level managers for the assessment which tends to be more qualitative and very often glossed over. Project Management tools solve this big issue and with dashboards and tools that provide visibility and bring in transparency in project execution.

Better Collaboration

With many tasks overlapping among teammates in different departments and across geographies, Project Management Software helps by enabling real-time collaboration, thus avoiding communication gaps while on a project. Teams get instant updates on the progress of work through live activity stream and instant messaging features.

Effective Task Delegation

Using Project Management Software, managers can delegate tasks and brief the team at the same time while assigning the tasks to the relevant team member. This is especially helpful in complex projects, which involve multiple stakeholders to ensure there are no overlaps or wasted efforts.

Easier File Access and Sharing

Project Management Software provides companies with centralized control over all project assets. Within the system, users can change or modify documents, which can be viewed by everyone involved in the chain, including new team members or third parties, brings more transparency and easier project asset organization.

Budget Management

Keeping the project on a budget is a critical component and key to the success of any project. With Project Management Software, managers can track their budgets aided by real evidence in the form of every teammate’s work hours and money spent on their tasks. Guided by this reliable information, managers can tweak their financial decisions to keep the project on track.

A project without a critical path is like a ship without a rudder.

D M

D Meyer

Support Remote Working

Many organizations have teams in different time zones and geographies, besides allowing employees to work from home. In such a scenario, it is imperative that their people feel connected all the time. With delegation, scheduling, and constant updates being central to any Project Management Software, managers can harmonize different teams and get them working in tandem on projects efficiently.

Onboard New Team Members

Bringing on someone new to the project becomes easier with any Project Management Software’s tools which help them catch up with the work done and any direction changes along the way. They can begin effectively contributing faster, as this tool allows them to seamlessly integrate into the project.

Which Industries Use Project Management Software?

The industries that widely use Project Management Software include construction, event management, retail, healthcare, advertising, manufacturing, engineering, and IT, among others.

Who are the Users of Project Management Software?

Businesses, both large and small that have to manage numerous projects, plans, and people to coordinate seek to use Project Management Software to help streamline their project work. While nearly anyone facing a client, and needs to estimate, track, deliver, and get paid for services need this software, it is commonly used by project managers, design and product teams, engineering, and marketing teams.

Key Features of Project Management Software

Scheduling and Project Timelines

One of the hallmark features of a Project Management Software is that it helps project managers and team leads to schedule tasks, give relevant instructions, make lists, and fix deadlines. Automatic alerts are often a key feature to notify team members of an approaching deadline. Automatic reports are generated when subtasks are completed, creating a timeline visualization that lets other team members see their work in the overall scheme of things.

Forecasting

This feature utilizes data from previous projects and helps in calculating the ROI of a project before it is started. It takes into account the time spent on each task, and the resources mobilized in alignment with the organization’s budgets and business goals. This tool can help a business pivot towards making better strategic decisions before beginning a project by predicting potential risks and limitations.

Time Management

Time tracking helps managers know exactly how much time is spent by each team member on their respective tasks and keeps the project on schedule. By measuring this, managers can make forecasts on project completion dates.

Task Management

As large teams work on projects together, the software lets managers delegate responsibilities and see ‘who did how much work in how much time’. As many tasks may be interconnected or require inputs from many teammates, managers can get the full picture of where tasks are being derailed and reassign tasks based on these insights.

Budgeting and Expense Tracking

Sticking to approved budgets is critical to the success of a project and the Project Management Software offers expense tracking and budgeting functions as well. Through the budgeting and expense tracking tool, managers can set budgets and also get updates regularly on how team members accrue expenses during the project implementation stage. These insights can be used to predict future project costs as well.

No major project is ever installed on time, within budget, with the same staff that started it.

E B H a R

Edwards, Butler, Hill and Russell

Communication and Status Updates

In-built communication tools help each resource stay informed and connected to the progress of a project. These collaboration tools not only connect teams working on different tasks in different parts of the world, but also support the sharing of documents, updates through message boards, and internal messaging.

AI in Project Management Software

Risk Analysis

Identifying a potential risk that could impede a project and mitigating that risk is critical to its successful completion. Project Management Software also offers cloud-based tools that can bring in real-time data for managers to track projects more effectively. Using real-time analysis, risks can be predicted and companies can plan strategies to avoid or overcome them more effectively.

Automation

Automation in Project Management Software is helping free up human resources from doing low value-repetitive tasks. These tasks can include triggers for critical changes, missed deadlines, and overloaded resource, or project delays.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics uses historical data, artificial intelligence, and context to analyze and surmise future outcomes. By employing solutions sometimes included in the Project Management Software like statistical tools such as regression analysis, data modeling, forecasting, and statistics, businesses can undertake predictive analysis to foresee potential issues and course correct to achieve their business goals.

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Buyer’s Guide: Guide to Choose Right Project Management Software

On-Premise or Cloud

There are different variants of Project Management Software in the market - on-premise as well as cloud-based. On-premise software is preferred by large enterprises where the usage can be complex, multi-site, and across various divisions. Also, they would need higher data protection and security. But they bring in higher deployment and administration costs.

Buyers are recommended to consider peer reviews and expert opinions that are extensively available on Cuspera before making buying decisions. Cuspera’s AI based engine guides you through the requirement process to help you choose the right software.

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Increasingly cloud variants are gaining popularity due to its simplicity, more cost effective for small to midsize organizations as they are devoid of deployment and maintenance overheads.

Industry Vertical

The project management complexity and needs vary widely across different industries. Construction industry requirements can vary drastically from technology industry needs. Also, project management tools need to support newer models like Agile. So it is important to assess the fitment to the industry before the buying decision.

Multi-site Support

It is quite common for teams to spread across geographies and it is important that the software supports a multi-site model for different teams to collaborate seamlessly. Sometimes in very large organizations, they might even prefer multi-nodal deployments.

Data Migration

It is quite common in organizations to have pre-existing tools, home-grown software that are used in project management. When new software is chosen, it is important that the vendor supports data migration from existing tools to the new environment.

Total Cost of Ownership

Project Management tools are largely seen as productivity tools and organizations tend to be sensitive to the overall cost of managing and administering. So apart from the licensing or subscription cost, the overhead cost of managing, administering, support, and training costs need to be optimal and this is a key factor of consideration for organizations.

Security

Security is imperative to the adoption of any software for a firm. Secure Project Management Software should have different user roles available and provide different levels of access to these roles. It should also have Secured Socket Layer (SSL) certificates and well-established processes to manage and control infrastructure access and access to customer/client data.

Challenges in Adoption of Project Management Software

Homegrown Assorted Tools

While implementing new software, companies could face resistance to their use from employees who are likely to be using an assorted set of homegrown tools. Also standardizing usage of tools across different divisions and groups is always a challenge for large companies. The reasons are several - a temporary increase in employee workload, change of managers, and lack of training. This transition phase could ultimately cause delays in project implementation. To overcome this, many firms also opt for an effective training program to enable a smooth transition.

Insufficient Evaluation

Choosing a Project Management Software that aligns with the business goals of the company is imperative. Buying software without analyzing its alternatives can result in too many tools that are not useful, and merely add to red-tapism. Feature-rich platforms can also be expensive. It is therefore important to evaluate their usefulness, before investing.

May complicate simple projects

Occasionally a Project Management Software may be an overkill for a project. While it is a popular move to use Project Management Software, it could end up complicating a simple project if used when not necessary.

Which of these 112 Project Management software fit your needs?

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112 Project Management Software

WorkOtter

Project Portfolio and Resource Management Software

4.89

Read Reviews
WorkOtter Icon

WorkOtter

4.89
★★★★★
★★★★★
Project Portfolio and Resource Management Software
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Forecasting,Workflow management
Top Features : Dashboard,Personalization,Templates
WorkOtter Icon

Vendor: WorkOtter

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: Missouri, United States

Tiemchart

Online Project Management Software

4.75

Read Reviews
Tiemchart Icon

Tiemchart

4.75
★★★★★
★★★★★
Online Project Management Software
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Follower management,Collaboration,Billing and invoice management
Tiemchart Icon

Vendor: Tiemchart

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: 3, Durga Mandir Path Hatigaon Guwahati: 781 028, India

TeamGantt

Online Gantt Chart Maker

4.71

Read Reviews
TeamGantt Icon

TeamGantt

4.71
★★★★★
★★★★★
Online Gantt Chart Maker
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Workflow management,Training & onboarding
Top Features : Personalization,Alerts: popups & Notifications,Dashboard
TeamGantt Icon

Vendor: TeamGantt

Company Size: 1-10

HQ Location: 5234 Glen Arm Road Suite 202, Glen Arm, MD 21087

MeisterTask

Task Management for Teams

4.70

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MeisterTask Icon

MeisterTask

4.70
★★★★★
★★★★★
Task Management for Teams
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Workflow management,Sales document management
Top Features : Personalization,Alerts: popups & Notifications,Dashboard
MeisterTask Icon

Vendor: MeisterTask

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: 113 Cherry St, PMB 29372 Seattle, WA 98104 USA

Airtable

Part spreadsheet, part database, and entirely flexible, teams use Airtable to organize their work, their way.

4.67

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Airtable Icon

Airtable

4.67
★★★★★
★★★★★
Part spreadsheet, part database, and entirely flexible, teams use Airtable to organize their work, their way.

Airtable is a cloud-based collaboration tool that leverages the features of database and applies to a spreadsheet. It is primarily used by the developers and project management teams to organize data, collaborate and build custom applications without the requirement to code.

Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Workflow management,Content management
Top Features : Recording,Templates,Personalization
Airtable Icon

Vendor: Airtable

Founded: 2013

Company Size: 51-100

HQ Location: San Francisco USA

Financials: Series C

Casecamp

CaseCamp - Best Free Online Project Management Software ...

4.66

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Casecamp Icon

Casecamp

4.66
★★★★★
★★★★★
CaseCamp - Best Free Online Project Management Software ...
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Social media analytics,Social media management,Engagement management
Top Features : Ticketing,Dashboard,Alerts: popups & Notifications
Casecamp Icon

Vendor: Auction Software

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: 1221 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, Texas 75080, US

GanttPRO

GanttPRO - Online project management solution based on Gantt charts

4.64

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GanttPRO Icon

GanttPRO

4.64
★★★★★
★★★★★
GanttPRO - Online project management solution based on Gantt charts
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Sales document management,Proposal & quote management
Top Features : Dashboard,Templates,Personalization
GanttPRO Icon

Vendor: XB Software

Company Size: 101-250

HQ Location: 3a Kollektornaya Street, Minsk, 220004, BY

Paymo

online work management software Time Tracking and Resource Planning

4.62

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Paymo Icon

Paymo

4.62
★★★★★
★★★★★
online work management software Time Tracking and Resource Planning
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Billing and invoice management,Sales document management,Workflow management
Top Features : Dashboard,Recording,Widgets
Paymo Icon

Vendor: Paymo

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: Alexandru Vaida Voievod 18, Oradea, Bihor 410088, RO

Monday.com

monday - team management software | monday.com

4.61

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Monday.com Icon

Monday.com

4.61
★★★★★
★★★★★
monday - team management software | monday.com

Monday.com is a Work OS platform that enables Enterprises to test, track, collaborate and manage workflow, in a secure environment. It can be used by Remote work teams, Marketing, Software Development, HR, Sales and others.

Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Workflow management,Engagement management
Top Features : Personalization,Templates,Alerts: popups & Notifications
Monday.com Icon

Vendor: Monday.com

Company Size: 101-250

HQ Location: 52 Menachem Begin road , 13 Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel 6713701, IL

Financials: Series D

Freedcamp

Free Project Management to streamline projects, processes, workflows

4.60

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Freedcamp Icon

Freedcamp

4.60
★★★★★
★★★★★
Free Project Management to streamline projects, processes, workflows
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Engagement management,Engaging and following up
Top Features : Alerts: popups & Notifications,Personalization,Templates
Freedcamp Icon

Vendor: Freedcamp

Founded: 2010

Company Size: 1-10

HQ Location: 3066 Foothill Rd., Santa Barbara, California 93105, US

Aha!

Aha! Roadmap Software | Create Visual Product Roadmaps

4.60

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Aha! Icon

Aha!

4.60
★★★★★
★★★★★
Aha! Roadmap Software | Create Visual Product Roadmaps
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Products & pricelist management,Collaboration,Workflow management
Top Features : Dashboard,Recording,Templates
Aha! Icon

Vendor: Aha!

Company Size: 51-100

HQ Location: California, US

Financials: Private

EagleSpace

Project Management enabling team to work faster, anytime, anywhere.

4.59

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EagleSpace Icon

EagleSpace

4.59
★★★★★
★★★★★
Project Management enabling team to work faster, anytime, anywhere.
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Workflow management,Document sharing
EagleSpace Icon

Vendor: EagleSpace

Beesbusy

Project and task management for collaborative work

4.57

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Beesbusy Icon

Beesbusy

4.57
★★★★★
★★★★★
Project and task management for collaborative work
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Order management,Helpdesk management
Top Features : Personalization,Alerts: popups & Notifications
Beesbusy Icon

Vendor: Beesbusy

Founded: 2017

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: Nantes, FR

SuiteDash

Client Portal Software with White Label branding

4.56

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SuiteDash Icon

SuiteDash

4.56
★★★★★
★★★★★
Client Portal Software with White Label branding
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : White labeling,Billing and invoice management,Training & onboarding
Top Features : White label,Dashboard,Templates
SuiteDash Icon

Vendor: SuiteDash

Company Size: NA

HQ Location: PO Box 110163,, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Teamwork

Work and project management software that lets to work way, so can focus on delivering results

4.55

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Teamwork Icon

Teamwork

4.55
★★★★★
★★★★★
Work and project management software that lets to work way, so can focus on delivering results

Teamwork is the all-in-one project management software that allows to easily manage the projects from start to finish. It helps to get organized, customize the workflow and manage complex projects.

Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Workflow management,Helpdesk management
Top Features : Templates,Dashboard,Personalization
Teamwork Icon

Vendor: Teamwork

Company Size: 101-250

HQ Location: Blackpool Retail Park, Blackpool, Cork T23 AX73, IE

Financials: Private

WiseTeam

CRM and Project Management program to collaborate easily and effectively

4.55

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WiseTeam Icon

WiseTeam

4.55
★★★★★
★★★★★
CRM and Project Management program to collaborate easily and effectively
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Billing and invoice management,Collaboration,Engaging and following up
WiseTeam Icon

Vendor: WiseTeam

Company Size: 1-10

HQ Location: Mokslinink? st. 2A, LT-08412 Vilnius, Lithuania

Scoro

Business Management Software

4.54

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Scoro Icon

Scoro

4.54
★★★★★
★★★★★
Business Management Software
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Sales document management,Proposal & quote management,Workflow management
Top Features : Dashboard,Personalization,Templates
Scoro Icon

Vendor: Scoro

Company Size: 51-100

HQ Location: Salisbury House, London, EC2M 5QZ, GB

Financials: Series A

BigTime Software

Simplify even most complex problem with Professional Services Automation software

4.53

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BigTime Software Icon

BigTime Software

4.53
★★★★★
★★★★★
Simplify even most complex problem with Professional Services Automation software
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Helpdesk management,Workflow management,Training & onboarding
Top Features : Dashboard,Personalization,Recording
BigTime Software Icon

Vendor: BigTime Software

Company Size: 51-100

HQ Location: 311 South Wacker Drive, Suite 2300, Chicago, IL 60606

Trello

Work Together, Get More Done‚

4.52

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Trello Icon

Trello

4.52
★★★★★
★★★★★
Work Together, Get More Done‚

Trello is a web based collaboration tool for project management, operations and management teams to organize and prioritize projects.

Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Workflow management,Communication management
Top Features : Personalization,Alerts: popups & Notifications,Dashboard
Trello Icon

Vendor: atlassian

Company Size: 1001-5000

HQ Location: Level 6/341 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000, AU

Financials: IPO

Screenful

Business intelligence for Project Managers to visualize and track Productivity

4.52

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Screenful Icon

Screenful

4.52
★★★★★
★★★★★
Business intelligence for Project Managers to visualize and track Productivity
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Workflow management,Social media analytics,Social media management
Top Features : Dashboard,Calculator,Personalization
Screenful Icon

Vendor: Screenful

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: Screenful Oy, Leipätehdas Offices, Kaikukatu 4 B, 6th floor, 00530 Helsinki, Finland

DealRoom

Virtual Data Room & Project Management Software for seamless collaboration

4.51

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DealRoom Icon

DealRoom

4.51
★★★★★
★★★★★
Virtual Data Room & Project Management Software for seamless collaboration

DealRoom is an M&A Lifecycle Management Platform to manage their transactions end-to-end on one centralized platform with advanced security to store and share confidential information and effectively navigates the platform and utilizes innovative features when managing the deals. DealRoom enables business growth, efficiently collects, organizes, and shares all financial and operational documentation needed for due diligence during M&A and other financial transactions.

Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Sales document management,Contract management,Merger and acquisition
Top Features : Alerts: popups & Notifications,Templates,Personalization
DealRoom Icon

Vendor: Dealroom

Founded: 2012

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: 205 W Wacker, Chicago, IL 60606, US

Financials: Private

Daylite

Combines the power of a CRM, Project Management App, and Lead Management app

4.51

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Daylite Icon

Daylite

4.51
★★★★★
★★★★★
Combines the power of a CRM, Project Management App, and Lead Management app

Daylite is a CRM that helps small businesses run smoother. It manages leads, clients, and projects all in one place and wins more business and get more done all with less stress. It helps to acquire customers and increase sales and revenue.

Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Engaging and following up,Engagement management,Contact list management
Top Features : Personalization,Templates,Widgets
Daylite Icon

Vendor: Daylite

Company Size: 11-50

HQ Location: 30 Centurian Drive, Markham, Ontario L3R 8B8, CA

Financials: Private

Conceptboard

Conceptboard - Virtual Collaboration Workplace for Teams

4.42

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Conceptboard Icon

Conceptboard

4.42
★★★★★
★★★★★
Conceptboard - Virtual Collaboration Workplace for Teams
Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Collaboration,Workflow management,Content management
Top Features : Templates,Personalization,Alerts: popups & Notifications
Conceptboard Icon

Vendor: Conceptboard

HQ Location: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg

Apptivo

Cloud Business Management Software Suite

4.36

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Apptivo Icon

Apptivo

4.36
★★★★★
★★★★★
Cloud Business Management Software Suite

Apptivo is a Business Management Software that is used by organizations to experience the power of integrated software. It consists integrated set of apps that include CRM, Project Management, Contract Management, Email Marketing, Help Desk, Invoicing and more. It helps to improve efficiency and enhance customer relationships.

Highlights
Top Business Usecases : Helpdesk management,Contact list management,Sales document management
Top Features : Templates,Recording,Personalization
Apptivo Icon

Vendor: Apptivo

Company Size: 101-250

HQ Location: 39055 Hastings St, Suite 209, Fremont, California 94538, US

Financials: Private