SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Project man­age­ment soft­ware to keep your eye on in 2021

The new year has of­fi­cially started, with most peo­ple now back at work try­ing to re­mem­ber ex­actly where they left that last pro­ject be­fore their Christmas break.

As al­ways, plan­ning and pro­ce­dure is key to the suc­cess­ful out­come of any pro­ject, and one of the best foun­da­tions for these two pil­lars is us­ing a qual­ity pro­ject man­age­ment tool. In this ar­ti­cle I will be ex­plor­ing what are some of the best pro­ject man­age­ment soft­ware tools avail­able in 2021.

What we will look at is:

  • What are some of the im­por­tant things pro­ject man­age­ment soft­ware can do.
  • Finding your use case.
  • What is avail­able for cer­tain bud­gets.
  • Overall favourite.

What are some of the im­por­tant things pro­ject man­age­ment soft­ware can do

Project man­age­ment soft­ware be­comes ex­tremely help­ful in ag­ile pro­ject man­age­ment method­ol­ogy, as it al­lows for a cen­tral, col­lab­o­ra­tive space where the en­tire team can track who has done what and when, mean­ing there is no cross over or du­pli­ca­tion. Additionally, from a re­port­ing per­spec­tive, this al­lows man­age­ment to very eas­ily see if a pro­ject is run­ning on time, and where any ef­fi­cien­cies could be made.

Key tools you will use in most pro­ject man­age­ment soft­ware:

Gantt Charts

  • Gantt charts are a vi­sual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a pro­jects sched­ule, it al­lows you to quickly see who is work­ing on what and what their avail­abil­ity/​work­load is at a high level.

File stor­age

  • Having a cen­tralised space for file stor­age al­lows for sys­temi­sa­tion in where your team can store work and ac­cess it at fu­ture dates.

Task Delegation

  • Being able to see who has time avail­able quickly en­sures that you can del­e­gate tasks to the best suited team mem­bers on the pro­ject.

Calendar in­te­gra­tion

  • Integration into your cal­en­dar/​email server al­lows you to en­sure your team is able to ac­cess their daily plan from any­where.
  • Additionally, it makes for seam­less meet­ing book­ings.

Discussion boards

  • Communication is key in any pro­ject, and hav­ing a cen­tralised/​ded­i­cated space for the team to com­mu­ni­cate about their fo­cus/​block­ers/​bugs is a highly valu­able ad­di­tion.

Finding your use case:

So you have de­cided to start look­ing into what pro­ject man­age­ment soft­ware is best for you and your or­gan­i­sa­tion, the first thing you will need to do is dis­cover what are the most im­por­tant things for you and your team that your cur­rent process is lack­ing?

Questions to ask:

  • Do I need file stor­age?
  • How many users will need ac­cess?
  • Do you need time track­ing?
  • Is bud­get­ing/​rev­enue pro­jec­tion needed?
  • What in­te­gra­tions will I need?

After you have an­swered all of these ques­tions the se­lec­tion process can be­gin.

What is avail­able for cer­tain bud­gets

TeamGantt

  • TeamGantt of­fers a free ac­count with an un­lim­ited amount of stor­age for up to 3 users
  • If you want pre­mium fea­tures like fore­cast­ing, time es­ti­ma­tions and guest user ac­counts then you will need to sub­scribe to one of their paid ac­counts (for a team of 20 on their stan­dard plan you would pay $214/month)

ZoHo Projects

  • Offer a free plan for up to 3 user across 2 pro­jects at a time
    • Limited to 10MB of stor­age space
    • Includes Gantt chart viewer
  • Premium pric­ing for a team of 15-100 users costs $7.75/user/month
  • Features in­clude:
    • Unlimited pro­jects
    • 20 pro­ject tem­plates
    • 100GB of file stor­age
    • Utilization fore­cast­ing

Notion

  • Offer a free plan for 1 User with upto 5 guest users
  • Syncs across de­vices
  • Allows for search across all notes, wik­i’s and pro­jects
  • Comprehensive Gantt Charts
  • Milestone Tracking
  • Works in­line with Agile soft­ware method­olo­gies well
  • Premium Features:
    • $8/month/user
    • Unlimited team mem­bers
    • Admin tools/​ac­cess par­ti­tion­ing

Jira

  • Offer an al­ways free plan for up to 10 users
  • Scum and Kanban boards
  • Agile re­port­ing
  • Customisable work­flows
  • Road map­ping
  • 2GB File Storage
  • Premium fea­tures
    • Unlimited file stor­age
    • 24/7 sup­port
    • 10,000 user limit
    • Project role al­lo­ca­tion
    • Advanced road map­ping and pro­ject au­toma­tion
    • Audit logs
    • Pricing: $14/month/user

Overall Favourite

It’s hard to ad­vise on what is go­ing to be the best pro­ject man­age­ment soft­ware for you in 2021, ul­ti­mately it is go­ing to come down to what your needs are and what your bud­get is.

For a small team look­ing for a free ver­sion as a start­ing point I would rec­om­mend TeamGantt as it has a large enough list of fea­tures on the free ver­sion, un­lim­ited stor­age and can scale with your team.

For a small-medium sized team I would rec­om­mend Notion due to it’s com­pre­hen­sive fea­tures and mid tier price range

For Medium to Large teams, it is hard to look past the Atlassian suite and use Jira for your pro­ject man­age­ment soft­ware. This is what we use at WorkingMouse and it suits our needs very well.

If you have any ques­tions about how to pick a pro­ject man­age­ment soft­ware to fit your ag­ile soft­ware de­vel­op­ment team, please feel free to con­tact us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josh Beatty

Account de­vel­oper and hair gel hoarder

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