Why do projects fail?
It’s not unusual to be unable to meet project deadlines. Project failure can happen in any organization to any project.
Poor planning or no planning at all can be one reason for project failure. Not as good team collaboration as expected could also be one. Not being able to keep the client in the loop does not help projects succeed either. There are infinite reasons for failure.
Find out how a project management software can help teams to get ultimate control over the project schedule from the planning, through collaboration, to its delivery here. Also, here, you will know which is the best project management software for your projects and teams.
What is a project management software?
A project management software is what brings projects and team collaboration at one place for everyone to be on the same page.
Sticky notes and sheets get messier and inflexible as projects are added or get complex. A project management software gives the flexibility required along with visibility.
It helps to plan, collaborate, organize and deliver projects of all sizes on time.
Who should use a project management software?
Anyone who manages projects can benefit from a project management software. Regardless of the title or the industry, all projects have two things in common:
- A set of interrelated activities with a beginning and an end, in one word, tasks
- A team that needs to achieve the project’s objectives
Be it making a website live, marketing a product, building a software or even designing T-shirts, any project requires planning, organizing and collaboration to be delivered successfully.
Benefits of using a software for project management
So, is there really a need to invest in a project management software? Here are 5 main benefits of using one:
Better tools to plan
Teams can focus on things that matter with planning tools like Kanban boards, Gantt chart, customizable workflows and custom roles.
There is no loss of information in long email threads with dedicated spaces to chat and discuss with teams and clients.
Everything is organized
Files are organized and the way work is received is simplified through request forms that help teams get the information needed to start with work systematically.
Feedback gets clearer
Feedback gets clearer and more collaborative unlike emails, with proofing tools to review files and keep file versions organized.
Track of progress
Notifications for every activity and all kinds of reports help to track who is having what on their plate and assign work accordingly.
Why is software project management important?
Almost every team struggles through the same – losing control over resources, unclear responsibilities, not breaking down a project into manageable chunks, getting lost in long email threads, failing to keep clients in the loop, ending up in chaos with everyone on different pages and finally, losing track over project or team progress.
It becomes really important to have a software for project management with all the right tools in place to overcome all of this and simplify the way projects are managed.
When to invest in a project management software?
Deadlines are getting missed, the processes are falling apart and there is chaotic communication around. “It’s too late to invest in a project management software”, you may think.It is understood that you and your team are already suffering from the negative costs of not having one in place. But it’s never too late to invest in one, provided you choose the right one.
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What to look for in a project management software?
A project management software is supposed to have all the right tools in place to help you and your team manage projects in the right and simplified way. But is it the only thing you would look for? Definitely not.
While the list of tools is undoubtedly important because you and your team will use them to simplify the way you manage projects, but so is the budget, the team size and even the help and support you are going to get.
How to select a project management software?: Short-listing options step-by-step
Does it have tools that a team needs to complete projects?
When you look for a software that fits your team and your projects, you need to look for the one that solves the troubles a team faces while working. The software should offer tools that help in the following under one roof:
By now, there must be a huge list of software claiming the same. Some of them include but are not limited to Asana, Wrike, Basecamp, Teamwork, ProofHub, etc. This brings us to the next step of shortlisting.
Is the software within my budget?
There are thousands of project management tools available in the market. Every single one of them claiming to simplify the way teams work and manage projects. However, most of them not only target enterprises, they also keep the price higher than what it actually should be, keeping in mind the set of tools offered. While lesser price often gives the idea of a lesser competent software, it is not the case with the software for project management.
While comparing them, you will see that there is a huge difference in pricing regardless of the same set of tools. So, this has to be one point of comparison while shortlisting your options.
Compare project management software with reviews
VALUE FOR MONEY
Is the project management software value for money for your team size?
By now, you have a list of software that have all the tools that solve the everyday troubles a team faces. It is good to be prepared for project planning software that have the same set of tools and yet are so differently priced. Possibly, because some of them target enterprises. Most of them, like, Asana, Wrike, or even Teamwork charge per user.
So, you eventually end up paying way more than what you actually get. On the other hand, Basecamp is comparatively economic but doesn’t have a set of tools to flaunt. ProofHub too is economic and has all the tools that Asana, Wrike or even Teamwork has. The point is, regardless of whether you are a growing team or you already have a big team size, just look for a software that:
- Has all the tools that you need: ProofHub, Wrike, Asana or Teamwork, Basecamp
- Has all the tools that you need for the right price: ProofHub, Wrike, Asana, Teamwork
- Does not charge per user: ProofHub, Wrike, Asana, Teamwork
- Does not turn more and more expensive as your team grows: ProofHub, definitely Wrike, Asana, Teamwork
So, ProofHub has all of the above:
Has all the tools you need
All the tools that you need for the right price
Does not charge per user
Does not turn expensive as your team grows
a. How difficult is it to understand the software?
The software has to be easy-to-understand for you team. Switching from traditional ways to manage projects to using tools should not be a “journey”. It should be a smooth transition. Look for software with a free trial so that you can check out the tool before letting the team use it. Ask these questions:
Is the design of the software simple and easy-to-understand?
Is everything connected seamlessly?
How long will it take for the team to understand it?
Does it have shortcuts?
b. How difficult is it to understand the pricing plans of the software?
As far as the pricing plans are concerned, the packages one will have to choose to manage projects in Asana, Wrike, or Teamwork are quite a mess. Basecamp though is still understandable, bearing the fact that it has lesser set of tools that will never actually end up ever be messy. The former software do not reveal the price of their enterprise plan either (which by the way is the plan that has all the tools but is priced beyond its value). Contacting their support to know about the price doesn’t solve the confusion as that would be a biased demo in favor of the software with some hideous information about the pricing. It is far better to go for a software that has lesser and clearer pricing and plans. This brings us to the next step of shortlisting your software.
HELP & SUPPORT
Is there help & support available?
There is no software that you cannot expect to be vulnerable from bogging down. And it is an essential step for you to ask how the tool will fit your team’s workflow.
Having said that, here are certain cases you will need the help & support team for:
When you do not know exactly how the software will fit your current workflow
When you face a problem while working with the software
At the same time, it is good for a software to have help pages that will help you perform activities step-by-step.
Is there a constant development and will you be updated about it?
For a software to meet the needs of the teams, it has to go through constant development and enhancements. Not only that would include feature enhancements, it would also include new features. Apart from that, you and your team should also get a heads up on new features. And even if it’s about hike in the pricing, you should consider if the software you are opting for announces the same in advance. And mind you, there are software that have an ever fluctuating pricing and do not even announce the same in advance. Choose the one that makes project and team management easier and not messier.
What are the top project management software features?
There are multiple features you should look for in project management system. From being able to add their teams and clients to adding multiple projects, and breaking them down to tasks, the software you are looking for should have it all.
PROJECTSTo create dedicated workspaces for your projects
Dedicated spaces help you add projects so that the team is clear about who’s part of which project.
PROJECT MANAGERTo hold a person responsible for the project progress
Deciding on a project manager of a project comes handy when you want a person to get informed about overdue tasks and thus stay accountable.
PEOPLETo add teams and clients
There should be a section that lets one manage the people that are being added to the team or removed from it.
CUSTOM ROLESTo decide who gets access to what
Custom roles will help to define which space is accessible to whom and who gets permission to add or remove what from the software.
TASKSTo break projects into manageable chunks
A dedicated tasks section will help you break projects into manageable chunks and also decide which one or more than one person will work on which part.
CUSTOM WORKFLOWSTo create different workflows for different projects
Every project or team can have a different process of getting work done. So, you should look for a project management software that allows creating workflows for different projects or teams.
KANBAN BOARDSTo visualize tasks on boards
Kanban boards take out the hard work and bring in the smart work. Teams get empowered to self-manage tasks while they move tasks from one stage to the other and anyone can visualize progress right on the boards.
GANTT CHARTSTo plan and modify schedules
Gantt charts help when you need to set dependencies among tasks and decide which task should be completed or at least start before the next task is attempted. And also when plans change and deadlines shift.
DISCUSSIONSTo share ideas and project information
A dedicated space for discussions helps the team brainstorm and give their two cents that lead to a successful project. So, unlike long and messy email threads the discussion doesn’t get derailed and there is no trouble @mentioning someone.
FILESTo store and organize files, designs, and documents
A dedicated space to upload and organize files under one roof saves teams from the chaos of scattered and missing files.
PROOFINGTo give clear and collaborative feedback
Giving feedback through an email is a mess. A proofing tool is a must-have to review and give feedback on designs and documents. You can use markup tools to annotate and make feedback clear for specific regions.
CHATTo have quick conversations and send DMs
When anyone needs to have quick conversations or send quick DMs they can do that on chat. So be it about having a quick conversation in a group or one-on-one conversations, a chat tool is a must-have.
CALENDARSTo organize and schedule events and milestones
Look for project management software with a calendar that does not only help you visualize your schedule in a day, weekly, monthly, and even bi-weekly view but also schedule events and milestones of your projects.
NOTESTo jot down ideas, references, and inspiration
You and your team should be able to do all of the above and also jot down ideas, references, and inspiration all at one place.
TIMESHEETSTo keep track of time spent on tasks
It is important to be able to track time spent on tasks or even set time estimates so that tasks are completed within the set deadlines and that’s when managers, teams and clients will need timesheets.
REPORTSTo keep track of team and project progress
You should look for a project management software that has custom reports. This way you will be able to create a report and see exactly what you want to see to focus on the things that matter the most.
REQUEST FORMSTo organize the way requests are submitted to your team
This feature is a must when your team receives requests and information from multiple sources. Teams can use these forms and get requests added directly to their tool so that nobody wastes time in the long email long threads and nothing falls through the cracks.
ANNOUNCEMENTSTo make important announcements and updates
Not all information is project-specific. You and your team will need a dedicated space to recognize team achievements, give birthday wishes, wish on employees’ work anniversaries or even share any important information.
Why would you recommend project management tool or software to someone involved in project management?
To work smarter and not harder. When a team is not using a project management software, chances are they are doing a lot more work than necessary and making not a lot of profit. When a team uses the right tools, they do not have to worry about wasting a lot of time on the little things. A project management software juggle the little tasks for the teams to be free to focus on the things that matter and get work done. Here’s why you would recommend a project management and collaboration software to someone involved in project management:
For seamless collaboration
For better team management
For on-point project management
For effective time management
For organized file management
For results-driven reporting
How much does a project management software cost?
Let’s have a look at the cost of some prominent project management software in the market:
ProofHub has 2 simple plans. Essential and Ultimate control. It also gives a free trial of all its features so that you know how they will fit your workflow. It has all the tools that a team needs to manage and get work done on time.
Essential plan is for US$ 45 per month and there is no per user fee, billed annually,
Ultimate control is for US$ 89 per month and there is no per user fee, billed annually.
Conclusion: ProofHub does not charge per user. So, it does not get expensive as your team grows. There are no hidden charges and clear, fixed priced plans. It has all the top features that are in the list given above.
This project management software has 4 plans: Basic, Premium, Business, Enterprise. Basically, too many to choose from and thus it delays your decision. It definitely is a task to compare its plans and see which one has the tools you need and which one doesn’t. The Free plan is for up to 15 users (very less) and has only the basic dashboard and search functionality, which apparently is not enough when you want to manage projects efficiently,
Premium plan is for US$ 10.99, per user, per month, billed annually, Business plan is for US$ 24.99, per user, per month, billed annually (as of October, 2019), They do not reveal the pricing for their Enterprise plan until and unless you contact support for a quote (why not just reveal it though). It is also observed that Asana keeps on increasing their price regularly.
Conclusion: Asana is pricey as it charges per user, it has the tools needed but it has confusing plans, and keeps on increasing the prices of their plans constantly.
Teamwork has 4 plans. Free Forever, Pro, Premium, Enterprise.
The freemium plan does not have all the tools that you and your team would need for “teamwork” and you can add maximum only 5 people anyway. On their pricing web page, they insist on you buying the Premium plan as they keep it opened/selected and the others closed by default. So let’s break that plan’s pricing down:
Premium plan is for US$ 15, per user, per month with minimum 5 users (which bdw would mean that you can have less than 5 active users but still have to pay for all 5 of them), billed annually (as of October, 2019).
Yet again, they do not reveal the price for their Enterprise plan and you have to contact them for a quote.
Conclusion: It is expensive and it gets even more pricey as your team grows. Unlike Asana it also has a contingency of adding minimum 5 users.
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Wrike has 6 plans. It certainly is very difficult to choose one from all the six while also keeping in mind the set of tools that your team would need. Here’s its plans’ price breakdown:
Professional 5, 10, 15 USERS is for $9.80 per user, per month, billed annually, Business 5–200 USERS is for $24.80 per user, per month, billed annually.
The price for Marketers, Professional services, Enterprise plans is not revealed and you have to contact their support to get a quote.
The Free plan allows you to add only 5 users.
Conclusion: Wrike doesn’t let you grow all you want. And since almost all their plans are not revealed it seems like a task to contact the support and get a quote for the same.
Basecamp has 2 plans and very limited features in both their plans.
Basecamp Personal is free with limited features,
Basecamp Business is for $99 per month and there is no per-user fees
Conclusion: Basecamp claims it has all the tools your team needs. However, it does not. If you are searching for a software that has all the important tools to manage projects and teams, Basecamp does not have Gantt charts, Kanban boards, Proofing, Timesheets, Reports and many other tools. It offers integrations (some are probably paid some are free), which again would mean having to choose from many and settle from the ones available.
Trello has 3 plans. There is one Free plan which (obviously) has limited features.
The Business plan is for $99.9 per user, per month, billed annually,
The Enterprise plan is for $20.83 per user when you have 100 users (varies as you change the number of users), per month, billed annually.
Conclusion: Trello charges per user and thus you cannot grow all you want using Trello. All the Trello’s plans do not have all the tools a team needs. They mostly emphasize on having boards and merely boards to manage tasks.
Conclusion: What is the best software for project management?
|Good set of tools|
|Right price for the set of tools|
|No per user fee|
|Lets you grow your team all you want|
Not sure which project management software is the best?