What is Best Project Management Software?
Best Project management software enables project managers and project teams to manage projects more efficiently and easily achieve goals. Project management software does this with a range of tools that helps project team to easily manage workloads, monitor and increase productivity, and allocate resources more efficiently . Also, project management software is used to keep track of multiple projects, monitor and analyze a team’s or individual’s progress, and analytics and reports about every aspect of projects.
Project management software is used by project managers (of course), employees, executives, partners as well as customers sometimes. While executives mostly use analytics and reporting to monitor projects, partners need informations regarding their particular activities in order to do their job. Customers usually watch online projects progress, provide feedback as well as communicate with the services providers.
Types of Project Management Software
There are different types of project management software and before choosing the right one for you you need to know differences between these types. Two main types are PSA (professional services automation) and PPM (project and portfolio management) software.
With PSA software, besides project management, you will usually get back-office functionality like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and accounting. This is not always true and sometimes companies must buy a separate accounting or CRM solution. So make sure you thoroughly check what you get for your money so you don’t have to spend extra.
PPM is great for work on multiple types of projects and managing the inter-dependencies between them. With PPM you can manage projects across multiple business entities. This type is perfect for medium to large professional services providers. Also, it is suitable for SMB companies as well as startups and micro-businesses.
Because there are various projects that are implemented in many different ways there are also best of breed, all-in-one suite, and point solutions kinds of project management software . While best of breed software is just for project management, all-in-one suites includes functionalities such as CRM or billing. Point solutions, besides project management is equipped with additional features such as project collaboration or project analytics.
There are also industry-specific project management solutions that are designed for professionals in various industries. They usually have standard project templates and reports or KPIs for a specific industry or market and they can be integrated with other software that is only created for the same industry and used by it.
Also, project management software is divided by the installation location, the intended size and utilization. Some solutions have all this options included and you can choose according to your needs while some are limited and can only be used in one way. Those are:
- On-Premise – Also called self-hosted project management software. These means that it can be installed locally into your company’s servers. Because access to the system is restricted to devices connected to your local servers, this is the perfect option for companies who have very strict data exposure and storage policies and want to be in complete control of their data security and privacy.
- Cloud-based –Project management software that is hosted on cloud servers. This way users and clients can access their projects wherever they may be, through a web browser or a mobile device.
- Individual –If you want to test the software before buying and don’t have big needs this is best project management software solution for you. They are web-based and although they don’t have all features like more complete solutions , they are simple to understand and easy to use.
- Open API –These types of project management software can be adjusted in order to suit your specific needs and preferences.
Some solutions have more or all this options included and you can choose according to your needs while some are limited and can only be used in one way.
Things to consider before choosing best project management software for your needs
You can download many project management software from the different sites for various platforms. But when it comes to finding and choosing a best project management software, there are many things to consider. First of all, you should have a good understanding of your project requirements before selecting and buying one. Also, factors to consider when you’re looking for a project management solution revolve around how easy it is to use, and how much it can simplify your day-to-day activities.
In order to avoid bad choices and not waste your time as well as for product to belong to Project Management category, there are some must-have features of every decent project management software you should look for.
Must-have project management tools
Real-time Communication and Collaboration
Communication is an essential process in the world of project management. Many times on troubled projects, project team members feel that if the communication had been better, the project would go smoother.
To ensure the success of a project, much information, including expectations, goals, needs, resources, status, reports, budgets and purchase requests, needs to be communicated regularly to all major stakeholders.
For project managers it is truly critical to get the message across right the ﬁrst time to avoid failures in the communication process. Your team should be able to upload, exchange, access and share all files related to the project and communicate with ease because bad communication increases the chances of the project being delivered late.
With the right project management software tool where project communication is located in one place and where every team member can access them at any time, you can maximize the effectiveness of communication within the team.
Project planning is at the heart of the project life cycle and tells everyone involved where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. The project planning phase is often the most challenging phase for a project manager.
In an ideal world, a project would be planned and approved, and then work would start and be completed according to the plan. In practice, however, you might have to adjust the plan throughout the life of the project. Therefore, any good planning and management system must be flexible enough to operate in the real world and yet be rigorous enough to provide control.
With good software, you can manage time, cost, quality, changes, risk, and related issues with ease. Also, you will be able to control staff and external suppliers to ensure that you deliver the project on time, within budget, and within schedule.
According to Wikipedia, task management is a process by which you follow a task through its life cycle, from planning to testing, tracking to reporting. Tasks have to be realized with particular order using certain resources (people, machines, materials, costs) to realize the project in a due time frame and within the planned costs.
Effective task management requires managing all aspects of a task, including its status, priority, time, human and financial resources assignments, recurrence, dependency, notifications and so on. This is maybe easy to do if you’re working on one or two small projects with a small group of people but if you’re working on multiple projects it is physically impossible to monitor and control everything.
With good task management tool you can see the status of all projects and all tasks in one place in real-time and always have most accurate view of your project’s progress.
Resources are people, equipment, place, money, or anything else that you need to do all of the activities that you planned for. Every activity in your activity list needs to have resources assigned to it.
Project Resource Management includes the processes to identify, acquire, and manage the resources needed for the successful completion of the project. These processes help ensure that the right resources will be available to the project manager and project team at the right time and place.
If you manage several projects that use common resources, be sure your software can manage the projects by sharing a central resource pool. Every decent project management software will often have features designed to help project managers estimate resource needs and constraints and find the best combination of assignments for the project.
Even the most carefully planned project can run into trouble. No matter how well you plan, your project can always encounter problems.
There are almost always some unexpected events, such as project team members resigning, budgeted resources suddenly changing, the organization becoming unstable, newer technologies being introduced or something else. When managing projects, there is always a real need to properly identify various risks and manage these risks.
Some risks can be prevented; others can only be mitigated. With a good project management software, you can identify, analyze and respond to project risks very quick.
The project schedule as it is called is the act of juggling resources such that they match the time and cost requirements. The project schedule is the tool that communicates what work needs to be performed, which resources of the organization will perform the work and the time frames in which that work needs to be performed.
Good project management software allows project managers to track project schedules, resources, budgets, and project-related assets in real-time. With the help of this feature, the project schedule can be viewed and updated by team members associated with the project, keeping everyone well informed on the overall project status.
To keep all stakeholders, including team members, customers, project sponsors, functional managers, and senior management appropriately informed, your project management software must have the possibility to easily build various reports that show the status of a single project or the health of your entire portfolio.
Reports on all the tasks, costs, and resources at a project as well as reports on risks, issues, and changes on the project are most important and if you can’t make them with the current software you are testing, just leave it and look for something else.
Things to Pay Particular Attention to
Of course, you heard for Microsoft Project but you also heard for its price. If Microsoft Project is perfect for you and your team but you can’t pay for it then look for free and paid MS Project alternative solutions. Many on market can do the same as MS Project but costs much, much less.
When looking at prices, pay attention to how much you get compared to paid. The best and most famous are always a good solution, but they are also the most expensive. With little time and google, you can find software that do the same or even more for significantly less money.
There are options to pay monthly or annual, per-user or unlimited users, support or no support… If you don’t want to think every month about payment, the best and easiest solution is to look for an option to pay one time and forever have licensed software with no restrictions.
Most project management solutions are hosted in the cloud and that makes the leak information to third parties’ biggest concern. That’s why it is important that you can define the roles of the user in the project (system) or restrict access to sensitive information. Although this way your data will not be 100% secure, you can minimize the possibility of accidental leak information to third parties from your employees.
If you or your company have very strict data exposure and storage policies and want to be in complete control of your data security and privacy than look for apps that give you the option to install it on your infrastructure as a project server (self-hosted, on-premise). Aldo this requires a bit more work you will have complete control and privacy regarding your data and bee free to use of the system resources.
Today, with the evolution of internet and technology, people included on project are often living in different countries. Also, in a field of project management there is no classic work time. Today project managers and members of project team are required to be available in every time of day or night. That’s why it is good that your project management solution is optimized for mobile devices. The project management apps for mobile devices give you the ultimate way to manage your business from anywhere, anytime. With the applications, you and your team members can organize the data, leave comments, checklists, track budgets, achievements, and many more things wherever you are in an easy way.
Try best free project management software
Now that you know how to identify good project management software, go and try some of them. Most of them have a free version so it’s best to try some free project management software. Although they are generally quite limited (number of projects and users, short trial period) you will be able to see if it is the right choice for you and your team. Take your time for research and see what fits your needs.
Be aware that not all project management solutions are the same. Some are perfect for developers and designers, others are for marketers or construction companies and so on. The right tool for you depends entirely on your team or department’s workflow and planning model.
While you are here check out our Kendo Manager free version. Maybe you find Best Free project management software it perfect for your needs.
All Best Free Project Management Software Options to Keep Your Team On-Track
Kendo is more than just a best free project management software – it’s a best free collaboration platform for your business. In each project group, you’ll find all of the files related to that specific project, while all tasks can be assigned or delegated to work colleagues at any step of the process, with a Task list, Kanban board, and Gantt chart view option if you prefer.
You can track how much time an employee has spent on each task, with task counters available to keep track. You can do simple cost tracking by viewing the actual and planned costs for tasks, resources, assignments, and the project.
Projects can also be shared online, so clients and those outside the organisation can track progress and contribute too.
All Best Free Project Management Software Options
- Free Portfolio Project Management
- Free Collaboration
- Free Budget and Expenses Mangement
- Free Task Management
- Free Resource Management
- Free Gantt chart
- Free Task dependencies
- Free Critical path option
- Free Kanban View
- Free File and document management
- Free Time Management
- Free Issue Tracking
- Free Change Management
- Free Risk Management
- Free Tracking and monitoring
- Free Reporting (Advanced reports)
- Free Self-Hosted Project Management
- Roles and permissions
- GPDR Ready
Our best project management software is free for 1 active project and 2 active team members. If you have a bigger team and more projects you can easily buy our license and unlock Kendo Manager for multiple project and team members.
What can you do with Kendo Manager?
Kendo Manager is Enterprise level solution with low cost and simple to use, flexible, complete and simple project management software solution with no additional costs for extra plugins.
Our project management software is suitable for all types of projects, regardless of team size or project complexity and it does not require expensive education of employees.
- Portfolio Project Management
- Traditional Project Management or Agile Project Management
- Budget and Expenses
- Task Management
- Resource Management
- Gantt chart
- Task dependencies
- Critical path
- Kanban View
- File and document management
- Time Management
- Issue Tracking
- Change Management
- Risk Management
- Tracking and monitoring
- Reporting (Advanced reports)
- Roles and permissions
- GPDR Ready
Now, do a little more research and find more project management apps that can do all this and costs less. Good luck and take your time ;)