Any software product development project is a compilation of chaos. It takes meticulous planning and coordination to keep deliverables on track and to keep all stakeholders happy.
Despite having a dedicated project manager, keeping a project on track could still prove to be an onerous task. Even organizations with deep pockets and decades’ worth of managerial expertise struggle to manage their software development projects.
It is no surprise that when the first generation of project management software and tools took form, the whole world adopted it with feverish interest. Today, this software and tools are used by a milieu of business functions including marketing, talent acquisition, and so on.
Thanks to the massive proliferation of the cloud, there are now endless options of project management software to choose from. While some of them take the freemium route, wherein basic features are offered free of cost while plans with premium features will have to be subscribed for. Based on budget, utilities, features, and project type, there are several project management software that you can choose from.
We have rounded up a list of some of the best available in the market today to help you make a quick choice. Here they are:
Trello — Best for small teams with a limited budget
The first impression that most users get while taking a trial of Trello is this — it is fun to work with. Trello simplifies the use of Kanban board-based project management for all. Teams can create separate workspaces based on their functions or individual projects.
Within each workspace, it is possible to assemble several boards which contain individual tasks with their corresponding owners and deadlines. Trello boards can be made detail-oriented with descriptions of the task, attachments, start dates, end dates, and even multiple checklists.
Trello offers a freemium plan. The basic plan is for all. Advanced plans come with premium features like ‘Butler’ which automates task planning and coordination. That said, Trello is a great tool for small teams that work with a shoestring budget.
Wrike — Best for growing teams with unpredictable project deliverables
Wrike is popular among its users due to one reason — it is easy to set up. Also, it comes decked with all standard project management utilities like Gantt Charts, project dashboards, time tracking and so on that are expected of all project management software.
Wrike boasts of a user interface that is easy-to-use, free of complications, and one that is also visually appealing. Wrike is available on the web and on mobile with Android and iOS applications.
The free plan lets users set up and manage an unlimited number of projects. However, there is a cap on the number of users that can be added to the project.
Basecamp — Best for projects with several distributed stakeholders
Basecamp from Atlassian is perhaps counted upon by a lion’s share of project managers as the go-to tool for project management. It is an excellent option for software development teams that need effortless coordination and accountability of tasks.
Basecamp wins above the competition with its intuitive interface that needs no prior training or onboarding to get started. Admins have the option to set up multiple projects and assign individual owners to them for efficient project management. Basecamp also has an email integration that allows for sending
Microsoft Project — Enterprise-grade project management software for large teams
Microsoft Project has been around for almost three decades. So one can be sure that the tool has been refined over the years and made bespoke to the needs of modern project management. In fact, its long-standing presence in the space has also made it a best-fit for enterprise-grade customers.
Microsoft Project is ideal for complex projects with granular-level details. The vastness of the tool and the feature sets makes it a less lucrative option for beginners. In fact, one would need some amount of training and reference to tutorials before Microsoft Project can be used with ease.
From a project manager’s perspective, Microsoft Project makes life easier with pre-built and customizable reports that can be quickly exported to Microsoft Powerpoint. Also, the tool is seamlessly integrated with other Microsoft Office tools for maximized productivity. However, third-party integrations are limited.
LiquidPlanner — Feature-rich project management software for all
LiquidPlanner is a Swiss Army Knife of sorts. It offers a great way of running and managing software projects. The helpdesk-style issue tracker is a great add-on that makes it easy to assign specific tasks to specific owners and see it to completion within a stipulated period of time.
Also, the tasks can be assigned to an individual or to a group as desired. LiquidPlanner already has a growing list of features and continues to grow significantly. However, it ensures that things don’t get too complicated for users with tutorials that make adoption easier.
LiquidPlanner integrates easily with most third-party applications and also offers Zapier support. This makes it easy to create zaps or automation for repetitive or personalized workflows in project management. The only downside is that LiquidPlanned does not offer free plans. The basic plan begins at $45 per user with a minimum of five users and goes up from there.
What if none of these tools suit your needs?
Well, there is always custom project management software development that you can count on. You can delegate the task of building a bespoke project management software to a software development company that knows how to weave together time tracker, user roles and privileges, reporting modules, and many other capabilities necessary for a project management software. The custom-built tool will ensure that your software product development does not suffer for want of good project management.