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Software Project Management

The job pattern of an IT company engaged in software development can be seen split in two parts:

  • Software Creation
  • Software Project Management

A project is well-defined task, which is a collection of several operations done in order to achieve a goal (for example, software development and delivery). A Project can be characterized as:

  • Every project may has a unique and distinct goal.
  • Project is not routine activity or day-to-day operations.
  • Project comes with a start time and end time.
  • Project ends when its goal is achieved hence it is a temporary phase in the lifetime of an organization.
  • Project needs adequate resources in terms of time, manpower, finance, material and knowledge-bank.

Software Project

A Software Project is the complete procedure of software development from requirement gathering to testing and maintenance, carried out according to the execution methodologies, in a specified period of time to achieve intended software product.

Need of software project management

Software is said to be an intangible product. project management online tool Software development is a kind of all new stream in world business and there’s very little experience in building software products. Most software products are tailor made to fit client’s requirements. The most important is that the underlying technology changes and advances so frequently and rapidly that experience of one product may not be applied to the other one. All such business and environmental constraints bring risk in software development hence it is essential to manage software projects efficiently.

The image above shows triple constraints for software projects. It is an essential part of software organization to deliver quality product, keeping the cost within client’s budget constrain and deliver the project as per scheduled. There are several factors, both internal and external, which may impact this triple constrain triangle. Any of three factor can severely impact the other two.

Therefore, software project management is essential to incorporate user requirements along with budget and time constraints.

Software Project Manager

A software project manager is a person who undertakes the responsibility of executing the software project. Software project manager is thoroughly aware of all the phases of SDLC that the software would go through. Project manager may never directly involve in producing the end product but he controls and manages the activities involved in production.

A project manager closely monitors the development process, prepares and executes various plans, arranges necessary and adequate resources, maintains communication among all team members in order to address issues of cost, budget, resources, time, quality and customer satisfaction.

Let us see few responsibilities that a project manager shoulders –

Managing People

  • Act as project leader
  • Liaison with stakeholders
  • Managing human resources
  • Setting up reporting hierarchy etc.

Managing Project

  • Defining and setting up project scope
  • Managing project management activities
  • Monitoring progress and performance
  • Risk analysis at every phase
  • Take necessary step to avoid or come out of problems
  • Act as project spokesperson

Software Management Activities

Software project management comprises of a number of activities, which contains planning of project, deciding scope of software product, estimation of cost in various terms, scheduling of tasks and events, and resource management. Project management activities may include:

Project Planning

Software project planning is task, which is performed before the production of software actually starts. It is there for the software production but involves no concrete activity that has any direction connection with software production; rather it is a set of multiple processes, which facilitates software production. Project planning may include the following:

Scope Management

It defines the scope of project; this includes all the activities, process need to be done in order to make a deliverable software product. Scope management is essential because it creates boundaries of the project by clearly defining what would be done in the project and what would not be done. This makes project to contain limited and quantifiable tasks, which can easily be documented and in turn avoids cost and time overrun.

During Project Scope management, it is necessary to –

  • Define the scope
  • Decide its verification and control
  • Divide the project into various smaller parts for ease of management.
  • Verify the scope
  • Control the scope by incorporating changes to the scope

Project Estimation

For an effective management accurate estimation of various measures is a must. With correct estimation managers can manage and control the project more efficiently and effectively.

Project estimation may involve the following:

Software size may be estimated either in terms of KLOC (Kilo Line of Code) or by calculating number of function points in the software. Lines of code depend upon coding practices and Function points vary according to the user or software requirement.

The managers estimate efforts in terms of personnel requirement and man-hour required to produce the software. For effort estimation software size should be known. This can either be derived by managers’ experience, organization’s historical data or software size can be converted into efforts by using some standard formulae.

Once size and efforts are estimated, the time required to produce the software can be estimated. Efforts required is segregated into sub categories as per the requirement specifications and interdependency of various components of software. Software tasks are divided into smaller tasks, activities or events by Work Breakthrough Structure (WBS). The tasks are scheduled on day-to-day basis or in calendar months.

The sum of time required to complete all tasks in hours or days is the total time invested to complete the project.

This might be considered as the most difficult of all because it depends on more elements than any of the previous ones. For estimating project cost, it is required to consider –

  • Size of software
  • Software quality
  • Hardware
  • Additional software or tools, licenses etc.
  • Skilled personnel with task-specific skills
  • Travel involved
  • Communication
  • Training and support

Project Estimation Techniques

We discussed various parameters involving project estimation such as size, effort, time and cost.

Project manager can estimate the listed factors using two broadly recognized techniques –

Decomposition Technique

This technique assumes the software as a product of various compositions.

There are two main models –

  • Line of Code Estimation is done on behalf of number of line of codes in the software product.
  • Function Points Estimation is done on behalf of number of function points in the software product.

Empirical Estimation Technique

This technique uses empirically derived formulae to make estimation.These formulae are based on LOC or FPs.

This model is made by Lawrence H. Putnam, which is based on Norden’s frequency distribution (Rayleigh curve). Putnam model maps time and efforts required with software size.

COCOMO stands for COnstructive COst MOdel, developed by Barry W. Boehm. It divides the software product into three categories of software: organic, semi-detached and embedded.

Project Scheduling

Project Scheduling in a project refers to roadmap of all activities to be done with specified order and within time slot allotted to each activity. Project managers tend to define various tasks, and project milestones and them arrange them keeping various factors in mind. They look for tasks lie in critical path in the schedule, which are necessary to complete in specific manner (because of task interdependency) and strictly within the time allocated. Arrangement of tasks which lies out of critical path are less likely to impact over all schedule of the project.

For scheduling a project, it is necessary to –

  • Break down the project tasks into smaller, manageable form
  • Find out various tasks and correlate them
  • Estimate time frame required for each task
  • Divide time into work-units
  • Assign adequate number of work-units for each task
  • Calculate total time required for the project from start to finish

Resource management

All elements used to develop a software product may be assumed as resource for that project. This may include human resource, productive tools and software libraries.

The resources are available in limited quantity and stay in the organization as a pool of assets. The shortage of resources hampers the development of project and it can lag behind the schedule. Allocating extra resources increases development cost in the end. It is therefore necessary to estimate and allocate adequate resources for the project.

Resource management includes –

  • Defining proper organization project by creating a project team and allocating responsibilities to each team member
  • Determining resources required at a particular stage and their availability
  • Manage Resources by generating resource request when they are required and de-allocating them when they are no more needed.

Project Risk Management

Risk management involves all activities pertaining to identification, analyzing and making provision for predictable and non-predictable risks in the project. Risk may include the following:

  • Experienced staff leaving the project and new staff coming in.
  • Change in organizational management.
  • Requirement change or misinterpreting requirement.
  • Under-estimation of required time and resources.
  • Technological changes, environmental changes, business competition.

Risk Management Process

There are following activities involved in risk management process:

  • Identification – Make note of all possible risks, which may occur in the project.
  • Categorize – Categorize known risks into high, medium and low risk intensity as per their possible impact on the project.
  • Manage – Analyze the probability of occurrence of risks at various phases. Make plan to avoid or face risks. Attempt to minimize their side-effects.
  • Monitor – Closely monitor the potential risks and their early symptoms. Also monitor the effects of steps taken to mitigate or avoid them.

Project Execution & Monitoring

In this phase, the tasks described in project plans are executed according to their schedules.

Execution needs monitoring in order to check whether everything is going according to the plan. Monitoring is observing to check the probability of risk and taking measures to address the risk or report the status of various tasks.

These measures include –

  • Activity Monitoring – All activities scheduled within some task can be monitored on day-to-day basis. When all activities in a task are completed, it is considered as complete.
  • Status Reports – The reports contain status of activities and tasks completed within a given time frame, generally a week. Status can be marked as finished, pending or work-in-progress etc.
  • Milestones Checklist – Every project is divided into multiple phases where major tasks are performed (milestones) based on the phases of SDLC. This milestone checklist is prepared once every few weeks and reports the status of milestones.

Project Communication Management

Effective communication plays vital role in the success of a project. It bridges gaps between client and the organization, among the team members as well as other stake holders in the project such as hardware suppliers.

Communication can be oral or written. Communication management process may have the following steps:

  • Planning – This step includes the identifications of all the stakeholders in the project and the mode of communication among them. It also considers if any additional communication facilities are required.
  • Sharing – After determining various aspects of planning, manager focuses on sharing correct information with the correct person on correct time. This keeps every one involved the project up to date with project progress and its status.
  • Feedback – Project managers use various measures and feedback mechanism and create status and performance reports. This mechanism ensures that input from various stakeholders is coming to the project manager as their feedback.
  • Closure – At the end of each major event, end of a phase of SDLC or end of the project itself, administrative closure is formally announced to update every stakeholder by sending email, by distributing a hardcopy of document or by other mean of effective communication.

After closure, the team moves to next phase or project.

Configuration Management

Configuration management is a process of tracking and controlling the changes in software in terms of the requirements, design, functions and development of the product.

IEEE defines it as “the process of identifying and defining the items in the system, controlling the change of these items throughout their life cycle, recording and reporting the status of items and change requests, and verifying the completeness and correctness of items”.

Generally, once the SRS is finalized there is less chance of requirement of changes from user. If they occur, the changes are addressed only with prior approval of higher management, as there is a possibility of cost and time overrun.

A phase of SDLC is assumed over if it baselined, i.e. baseline is a measurement that defines completeness of a phase. A phase is baselined when all activities pertaining to it are finished and well documented. If it was not the final phase, its output would be used in next immediate phase.

Configuration management is a discipline of organization administration, which takes care of occurrence of any change (process, requirement, technological, strategical etc.) after a phase is baselined. CM keeps check on any changes done in software.

Change Control

Change control is function of configuration management, which ensures that all changes made to software system are consistent and made as per organizational rules and regulations.

A change in the configuration of product goes through following steps –

Identification – A change request arrives from either internal or external source. When change request is identified formally, it is properly documented.

Validation – Validity of the change request is checked and its handling procedure is confirmed.

Analysis – The impact of change request is analyzed in terms of schedule, cost and required efforts. Overall impact of the prospective change on system is analyzed.

Control – If the prospective change either impacts too many entities in the system or it is unavoidable, it is mandatory to take approval of high authorities before change is incorporated into the system. It is decided if the change is worth incorporation or not. cheap life insurance quote If it is not, change request is refused formally.

Execution – If the previous phase determines to execute the change request, this phase take appropriate actions to execute the change, does a thorough revision if necessary.

Close request – The change is verified for correct implementation and merging with the rest of the system. This newly incorporated change in the software is documented properly and the request is formally is closed.

Project Management Tools

The risk and uncertainty rises multifold with respect to the size of the project, even when the project is developed according to set methodologies.

There are tools available, which aid for effective project management. A few are described –

Gantt Chart

Gantt charts was devised by Henry Gantt (1917). It represents project schedule with respect to time periods. It is a horizontal bar chart with bars representing activities and time scheduled for the project activities.

PERT Chart

PERT (Program Evaluation & Review Technique) chart is a tool that depicts project as network diagram. It is capable of graphically representing main events of project in both parallel and consecutive way. Events, which occur one after another, show dependency of the later event over the previous one.

Events are shown as numbered nodes. They are connected by labeled arrows depicting sequence of tasks in the project.

Resource Histogram

This is a graphical tool that contains bar or chart representing number of resources (usually skilled staff) required over time for a project event (or phase). Resource Histogram is an effective tool for staff planning and coordination.

Critical Path Analysis

This tools is useful in recognizing interdependent tasks in the project. It also helps to find out the shortest path or critical path to complete the project successfully. Like PERT diagram, each event is allotted a specific time frame. This tool shows dependency of event assuming an event can proceed to next only if the previous one is completed.

The events are arranged according to their earliest possible start time. Path between start and end node is critical path which cannot be further reduced and all events require to be executed in same order.

Software project management

Software Project Management is a subset of Information Technology Project Management that deals exclusively with the development of software applications. Every application that is created follows some discernible process that can be connected to the set of steps that collectively define Software Project Management.

One of the main challenges in software project management is the balance of the “triple constraint” (scope of software, time required to implement, and development cost). Scope is the set of specific objectives that a define the problems a piece of software should address. Time required is a numeric figure that is definable based on the work needed to achieve the scope. Development cost is a monetary figure that is calculated based on the time required, as well as other planned and unforeseeable, expenses. Any of these three factors could be the most important, or there could be more than one mutually important constraint, in the context of a specific software development project. An increase, or decrease, in any of the three would have ramifications for the values of the other two. A successfully managed project will deliver the scope, while achieving time and monetary budgets.

More broadly, a project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.”(PMI) Projects have five attributes: a unique purpose or well-defined objective; a definite start and end point; develop using progressive elaboration; require resources; have a primary sponsor or customer; and involves uncertainty. Software projects have these attributes and follow the project life cycle.

A project life cycle is divided into several phases: concept: development; implementation; and close-out. In the concept phase, uncertainty is highest as the purpose of the project is defined. In the development phase, project work plans and budgets are defined. In the implementation phase, the actual work on the projects product, service or result takes place. The close out phase marks the completion of work and sponsor or customer acceptance. Software projects follow this same life cycle but have some life cycle models that are distinct from other kinds of projects.

Project management involves five process groups that integrate the phases of the project life cycle. Initiating is the first process group. It involves the concept phase of the project life cycle, but the initiating process is part of all phases of the project life cycle. Planning is the second process group and involves defining the flow of work done in the development phase, though it too extends into later project phases. Executing is the third process group and involves the coordination of people and other resources to carry out the planned work and produce the product, service or result. The executing processes span from the earliest phase of a project to the final close-out phase. Monitoring and controlling is the third process and involves issues like status reports and quality control which span all the phases of a project’s life cycle. Closing is the fifth process group and includes formal acceptance of the product, service or result by the sponsor or customer. Closing processes also include project documentation, such as closing out contracts and ‘lessons learned’ reports.

There are two unique frameworks involved in software development. They are the predictive life cycle and adaptive software development. Each one differs in their approach to the software development life cycle. The predictive life cycle favors optimization over adaptability, whereas adaptive software development is much more flexible while welcoming change.

The predictive life cycle requires that the scope of the project be clearly defined up front to include the schedule and cost of the project. A majority of time is spent clarifying the requirements of the software before anything is constructed. Because so much is invested in planning, deviations from the plan are rare. Within the predictive life cycle, there are several models such as the waterfall life cycle, the spiral life cycle, the incremental build life cycle, the prototyping life cycle, and the rapid application development (RAD) life cycle.

  • The waterfall life cycle model is the most traditional of them all. This model has a top-down, or linear, ordering to it. Normally no phase is repeated, however, there may be overlapping between the different phases if necessary. Generally, the output of each stage becomes the input for the next.
  • The spiral life cycle model differs from the linear approach associated with the waterfall life cycle in that the same set of life cycle phases are repeated. Phases such as planning, development, construction, and evaluation iterated until the final product is finished.
  • The incremental build life cycle model provides progressive development of operational software, with each release adding new capabilities. It is unique from the spiral life cycle in that it divides the product into builds, where sections of the project are created and tested separately.
  • The prototyping life cycle model involves heavy user involvement while developers generate functional requirements and physical design specifications simultaneously. A model is created that is analyzed, inspected, and tested by knowledge workers who can then offer recommendations to improve it.
  • The rapid application development (RAD) life cycle model focuses on building applications in a very short amount of time with compromises in usability, features, and/or execution speed. The emphasis on speed helps ensure that clients’ requirements do not change before the cycle is complete, as was often the case when applying the waterfall life cycle model in the past.

Adaptive software development (ASD) is a mission driven, iterative cycle that is tolerant to change. project mgmt software It is a good tool to use when the requirements cannot be clearly stated early in the life cycle. ASD originally grew out of rapid application development. Contrary to RAD, however, an ASD life cycle is feature based whereas RAD emphasized speed. ASD provides for continuous adaptation to the emergent state of the project. Recently, the term agile software development has become popular and is interchangeable with adaptive software development. Two of the most favored ASD life cycle models are extreme programming and Scrum.

  • Extreme programming (XP) focuses mainly on reducing the cost of change by introducing more flexible practices in day-to-day activities. Some of the values extreme programming emphasizes are communication and simplicity. Collaboration of users and programmers requires rapid communication where information needs to be distributed quickly among members of the team. XP also promotes beginning with the simplest solution and building from there. In this approach, the focus is on meting the needs of today, rather than those of tomorrow. The drawback to this is it could cause more work in the future. However, proponents of XP do not believe in spending resources for uncertain future requirements that may not be needed.
  • Scrums are similar to other life cycle models in that they use the iterative approach to address changing requirements. The difference is with a scrum, these repetitions are referred to as sprints, which normally last about thirty days. In this model, teams focus only on their discrete piece of work, while a project manager coordinates the overall body of work. One of the main priorities of a project manager is to identify and remove any obstacles that could hinder the teams’ ability to accomplish their goals. Each team, or scrum, is self-organized and is encouraged to communicate with all other teams involved on the project.

Regardless of which model one chooses, a project manager should review each phase of the cycle before continuing on to the next. The reason for this is that as a project continues, the organization usually commits more money and resources to it. report writer software Due to various factors such as compatibility with other organizational goals, potential success, and cost, it may require redirection or even termination. These review sessions by management are referred to as phase exits or kill points. This is a very important aspect of the life cycle to keep the project on track, or in worst-case scenarios, to cease work on the project.

Software Project Management is generally accomplished with the help of some specific tools and applications. To facilitate versioning in code, systems such as CVS, Subversion, or FishEye are used to checkout and combine code created concurrently by different programmers. Traditional project planning tools, such as Gantt charts and Critical Path, can be helpful in determining task order and dependence. Numerous free, shareware, mid market and enterprise project management tools are available for the software developer.

I don’t consider myself qualified to rewrite the article, however, I think I can contribute a few comments which could help a more qualified person improve the article. Also, I’m a pretty bad wiki editor, so I’m likely to simply not be able to properly edit this article, so IMO it’s safer (for the article’s content) to just add a comment. Below are my comments.

Since I don’t intend to edit the article itself (just throw some pebbles in the water then let men wiser than myself get them out again :-), I didn’t really check what I wrote, so whoever reads this should double-check with other sources.

  • IMO, the time constraint is part of the scope. AFAIK, the three constraints are scope (functional and time), reliability and cost. What each means, in detail, is that customers usually want projects delivered with maximum functionality in the shortest possible time (scope), bug-free (reliability), and for free (budget). As long as you do no testing and bug-fixing, and employ thousands of programmers, you can maximize the fulfillment of the scope requirements, but you get a minimum of fulfillment of the reliability and budget requirements. As long as you heavily invest in testing, limit the functionality, and plan a late delivery, you can maximize the fulfillment of the reliability requirements, but minimize the fulfillment of scope and budget requirements. If you invest only little money, you have no ppl to do a reliable and feature-rich app on time, so maximizing the fulfillment of the budget requirements minimizes the fulfillment of the scope and reliability requirements. What SW prj mgmt has to do, is to reach the optimal compromise between the three constraints.
  • Project success is judged indeed by three criteria which are timely delivery, feature completeness and delivery within budget (for example by the chaos reports published by the standish group.) As you can see, reliability is usually not included in the evaluation criteria. This is because it is usually hidden in the feature completeness evaluation – features which are delivered but are buggy are not counted as being present. However, these are success evaluation criteria, not the constraints within which the project management process has to happen. They are of course related, but they are not the same, and optimal project management does not necessarily lead to a successful project.
  • A more straighforward criteria used instead of feature completeness is whether the app ever gets to be used in production, and if so, whether the end-users get along with it (which can be easily judged by the amount of work the app generates for the helpdesk). I like this criterium more – especially when using a predictive approach it is easy to miss important requirements, by simply ignoring important stakeholders in the requirements definition process, or by getting usability requirements wrong due to a wrong assessment of the end users’ computer skills.
  • http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=221622, when read with its comments, provides a good reference what software development is about – it’s not just technology. Neither is SW prj mgmt. There is an organisation, which IMO has a smarter, broader approach than PMI – http://www.ipma.ch/Pages/IPMA.aspx, which should also be mentioned here. Also, I don’t read a word about prince2.
  • Prototyping is one approach to RAD. RAD is not so much about a specific SW prj mgmt method, AFAIK, but about the techniques and technology used. You could do RAD by PMBOK or prince2, and you could also do a project based on the waterfall model also using PMBOK or prince2. Prototyping can also be viewed as being more of an adaptive technology, and not a predictive one, when the final prototype is the actual final product, and prototyping is not just used to mock up something the end user can understand.

I just read some interesting article (http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=221903) about stability vs. feature richness in a programming language. An interesting idea there is that if you are going to add a feature to a language, you should add it properly from the beginning (the article is partially criticizing the brain-damaged implementation of generics in Java – something I totally agree with.) Similarly, IMO it would be a better idea to scrap this article alltogether, put all existing content into a comments/food for thought section, and place an outline with links to new topics in the article’s content. Then, as time goes by, one outline item at a time could be easier completed than an article covering everything.

The department of Computer_Programming has such an outline, and I like it very much.

The outline for the SW prj mgmt department could be done by simply taking the http://www.ipma.ch/Pages/IPMA.aspx list of processes and phases – IPMA and not PMI because it seems to me the list of SW prj mgmt issues covered by IPMA is broader than that covered by any other methodology. Then, in the content section, you could simply state what each SW prj mgmt method has to say, and underline the differences between the different approaches – including the structural differences between the various methods. There’s just one catch: the IPMA papers are hard to get (you must be a member to get them), and there are not many freely available resources about what they preach. However, wikiversity should be a large enough community to contain members of some national organisation affiliated with IPMA. Who knows, maybe just asking them nicely would get them to write the whole outline themselves. Then, other members would just have to fill in the stuff from other methods, and IPMA ppl could write their own stuff.

IMO, SW prj mgmt is an essential success factor for most SW projects (of course, not being the only one), and it is also a topic a lot less well understood or known than other SW development topics. So IMO it is very important to have this section filled out properly.

42 Best Project Management Software and Tools

Looking for the best project management software for your company? You’re in luck! We’ve made the task easier and combined 42 project software and tools in one comprehensive list.

Check out the tools’ top features, pricing, and what’s special about them – and find a solution fit for your business.

Scoro is a comprehensive solution that combines all the features you might need in project management software: projects & tasks, contact management, quotes, team collaboration, billing, and reporting.

  • Projects with sub-tasks and deadlines
  • Real-time KPI dashboard
  • Shared team calendar & meeting scheduling
  • Contact management
  • Time tracking and billing for work
  • Detailed reports on project progress and finances
  • Quoting and invoicing with pre-set templates

What’s special about this tool: Scoro helps to streamline your entire work progress, so you don’t need to use a lot of different tools for every task. All your important information is stored in one central place.

2. PROOFHUB

ProofHub offers a replacement for conventional emailing and a bunch of other tools, integrating multiple project management features under one roof.

  • Assigned user roles
  • Online team discussions and chats
  • Task delegating and assignments
  • Reporting and tracking project history
  • Secure file storage

What’s special about this tool: ProofHub has a simple and well-designed user interface that helps the team to collaborate more efficiently.

Pricing: From $20/month (up to 10 projects) to $150/month (unlimited projects)

3. Basecamp

Basecamp is the preferred tool for thousands of project management teams, who enjoy its modern social media-like interface and carefree team collaboration features.

  • Projects to manage multiple users’ work
  • Message boards for discussing new projects or ideas
  • In-app collaboration with team
  • Reporting on project performance
  • Separate dashboard for showing to clients
  • Email and desktop notifications

What’s special about this tool: Basecamp is free for teachers and students!

Price: $99/month for unlimited users

Asana combines elements of project management, file storage, and collaboration and helps to manage projects across a team without email.

  • Break your work down into tasks, and assign it to team members
  • Organize your tasks into projects for roadmaps and timelines
  • Review milestones, and check on your team’s progress
  • Get notified about projects updates
  • Use project dashboards to get a quick overview

What’s special about this tool: Asana is a really easy-to-use tool with a simplistic layout. If you’re a small team with not too complex projects, check it out.

Pricing: Free for up to 15 members, Premium from $8.33 user/month

Podio is a flexible and highly customizable online hub for work and team communication.

  • Assign tasks, attach files and discuss details within the solution
  • Share encrypted & large files
  • Automate the sales pipelines, project budget tracking, and more
  • Get an overview of the company with visual dashboards
  • Automate your workflows

What’s special about this tool: Podio’s workflows feature enables you to add if-this-then-that logic to Podio apps. For example, instruct your app to create a task or comment, when an item is created or when a particular update is made to an item.

Pricing: From 24$ month/user for full suite of features

6. Workzone

Workzone was built by experienced ad execs who wanted to help agencies and creative teams get visibility into all of their work.

  • Personalized, individual to-do lists
  • Create subtasks and task dependencies
  • Set permissions for certain users (including clients) to access projects, tasks and files
  • Quickly see statuses with Gantt charts
  • Assign people to more than one task

What’s special about this tool: Workzone has a lot of powerful features but is simpler to use than more complex tools. Workzone is meant for the whole team to use.

JIRA is a cross-platform issue and bug tracking software with advanced project management capabilities and features.

  • Create user stories and issues, plan sprints
  • Distribute tasks across your software team.
  • Prioritize and discuss your team’s work
  • Centralize your team communication
  • See real-time reporting on your team’s work

What’s special about this tool: JIRA is designed for software development teams, making it the perfect IT project management tool.

Pricing: Starting from $10/month (up to 10 users), $75/month for 15 users, $300/month for 50 users.

Notion will give you a completely different take on project management. It helps to plan and discuss projects, share everything with the team, and keep track of all the ideas.

  • Keep a personal weekly checklist
  • Take notes
  • Build a task board with flexible drag and drop editor
  • Share files
  • Nest pages inside each other – like an infinite knowledge base

What’s special about this tool: “Notion is like the LEGO set for collaboration software (or Minecraft, if you are from a younger generation). It lets you assemble workflows that work best for your team, as easy as using a text editor.” – Ivan Zhao, Co-founder of Notion

9. EventCollab

EventCollab is a cloud-based software that helps to collaborate, share project schedules and documents, track time, assign tasks, chat, and more.

  • Dashboard gives you a high-level view of every active event you’re involved with
  • Seamlessly connect everyone involved in your projects, including all external contractors and vendors
  • Collaborate with your team in real-time, whether editing a document or strategizing over a chat

What’s special about this tool: EventCollab is designed specifically for planning and producing events, conferences, trade shows and meetings, from start to finish.

Trello is known for visualizing project tasks on a cardboard-like dashboard that’s great fo managing short and quick everyday assignments.

  • Simple task management on a cardboard
  • Creating unlimited task lists
  • Image and file sharing
  • Organizing lists by dates or priority
  • Commenting and collaboration

What’s special about this tool: From startups to Fortune 500 companies, Trello is the most visual way for teams to collaborate on any project.

Pricing: Free for personal use, $9.99 user/month for businesses

11. Redmine

Redmine is an open source project management tool, made highly flexible by its volunteer community.

  • Gantt charts and calendar for planning
  • News feed and document & file management
  • Features for planning product roadmaps
  • Email notifications
  • Simple time tracking

What’s special about this tool: Redmine is an open-source tool and has multilanguage support which might become handy. However, to use this PM tool, you first need to download it.

12. ZOHO PROJECTS

Zoho Projects is one of the best-known tools for simple project management, that can help teams streamline their upcoming work and tasks.

  • Task lists with multiple tasks and milestones
  • Time tracking and time sheets
  • Gantt charts to oversee project progress
  • Document and file management

What’s special about this tool: Zoho projects can be integrated with Zoho CRM and other tools to manage almost every aspect of your agency in one system.

Pricing: Up to 20 projects $25/month, unlimited projects $99/month; CRM and other additional features come with an extra price.

13. what is a lab notebook WorkBook

WorkBook is a software suite for project and resource management, CRM, collaboration and file sharing, forecasting & accounting.

  • Project and tasks lists
  • Gantt charts
  • Sales pipeline
  • Client portal
  • Financial features like budgets, forecasts, and automatic billing

What’s special about this tool: Not all clients have the same needs. WorkBook lets you choose exactly what modules that suit your needs and only pay for what you use.

Pricing: $19 user/month, minimum 30 users

14. FUNCTIONFOX

FunctionFox has many helpful project management features, such as milestone tracking and budget comparison. It also has a nice user interface, making it pleasant to use.

  • Scheduling unlimited tasks, and meetings
  • Interactive real-time reporting
  • Projects with sub-tasks and milestones
  • Budget estimations
  • To-do lists and time-tracking

What’s special about this tool: FunctionFox lets users create visual management dashboards that can be customized according to personal preferences. It’s a great way to get a quick overview of your upcoming work and your team’s results.

Pricing: From $5 user/month ($35/month for 1st user)

15. NUTCACHE

Nutcache is an all-in-one project management tool that includes time tracking and invoicing features. It was built for small teams that bill their clients on a project basis.

  • Project management and tasks
  • Time tracking and time billing
  • Expense management
  • Linking projects and finished tasks to clients

What’s interesting about this tool: Nutcache has a good-looking user interface, excellent for team collaboration and simple project management.

Pricing: Free up to 20 users (limited features), $6 user/month for project management features, $15 user/month for unlimited features

16. WORKetc

WORKetc has integrated CRM, projects, billing, helpdesk, reporting, and collaboration.

  • Link timesheets, documents, discussions, notes, contacts and more to your projects
  • Manage complex project budgets
  • Automatically capture and invoice all revenue activities across all departments
  • Use live support, web forms, and email to capture support tickets

What’s special about this tool: By integrating support cases directly inside of all areas of WORKetc, you can ensure the customer is always looked after. project management it Suddenly your sales people are talking with your customer support people, and project issues can be assigned to the right person.

Pricing: From $49 user/month (first 3 users $65/month)

Cage is all about improving the way creative teams collaborate and work. It helps your team to manage projects, and have active discussions.

  • Manage and create projects
  • Make notes and comments under tasks
  • Keep track of all revisions
  • Get approvals from clients
  • Have video conversations
  • Password protection for your projects

What’s special about this tool: Cage combines project management and efficient collaboration. You can plan projects and organize video calls by using this one PM tool.

Pricing: From $49/month for teams

Paymo offers a simple yet powerful tool bringing together project management, work reporting, and time billing.

  • Tracking the time spent on tasks and projects
  • Thorough work reports
  • Dashboard to see your team’s performance
  • Billing customers for completed tasks
  • Integrated project accounting

What’s interesting about this tool: With Paymo Plus, you can automate your time tracking completely. All you need to do is download the desktop app, let it track your PC usage, and at the end of each day, categorize all your time entries.

Pricing: $8.95 user/month + project accounting add-ons

19. BRIGHTPOD

Brightpod is a web-based project management & time tracking software for digital marketing & creative teams.

  • Projects with tasks, priorities, and milestones
  • Editorial calendar
  • Logging time under each task
  • Individual dashboards for team members
  • In-app communication and file-sharing

What’s special about this tool: When creating a project, your can use pre-set Pod templates for a faster set-up and customized project experience.

Pricing: From $29/month for 10 users

20. LIQUIDPLANNER

LiquidPlanner is a collaboration tool that combines project management and time-tracking.

  • Estimating a realistic range of time to complete tasks
  • Commenting on tasks and schedule
  • Task-specific collaboration boards
  • Adding notes to projects

What’s special about this tool: LiquidPlanner has an interesting methodology for project management – it helps teams to set realistic deadlines based on best-case and worst-case scenarios.

Pricing: From $39 user/month, billed annually

21. WEEKDONE

Weekdone is a weekly reporting and goal setting tool for small teams, that enables managers and leaders to get a clear overview of both short- and long-term progress.

  • Weekly status reporting
  • Quarterly Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
  • Graphical metric dashboard
  • Private 1-on-1 feedback

What’s special about this tool: When most project tools focus on either weekly status reporting or long-term goal-setting, Weekdone covers both of these. Employees can link their weekly tasks with quarterly objectives, so that their work is focused on the right objectives.

Pricing: Free for small teams, from $49/month for larger teams

22. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 offers a complete suite of social collaboration, communication and management tools for your team.

  • Social intranet for internal communication
  • Gantt charts
  • Employee workload management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Telephone integration

What’s special about this tool: Bitrix24 has a large set of features, from traditional project management to integrated telephone and HR system, or internal email.

Pricing: Free plan, paid plans with more storage from $39/month

23. REDBOOTH

Redbooth lets you manage your projects the way you want, with kanban boards or lists to organize tasks, and time tracking to see where your day goes. Or, if you’re not sure where to start, there’s a library of project templates to start your projects out in a click.

  • Simple project & task planning
  • Shared virtual team workspaces
  • HD video conferencing for collaboration
  • Productivity reports for managers and team leaders
  • iOS or Android applications

What’s special about this tool: Unlike most PM tools, Redbooth’s business package gives you everything you need to see and hear your team members. You’ll get the tools for unlimited high-definition video conferencing, direct messaging, voice calling, and business chat to stay on top of everyone’s schedule.

24. Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project helps to streamline project, resource, and portfolio management. This project tool is used by 20+ million users.

  • Project scheduling & costing
  • Resource management
  • Reporting & business intelligence
  • Built-in project templates
  • Project timelines

What’s special about this tool:

Pricing: From $30 month/user for cloud platform, from $1,159 for on-premise software (for one PC)

Barvas provides guidance on the key practical steps to take in order to deliver projects successfully.

  • Task management with task board
  • Mind mapping tools
  • Internal communication
  • Shared workspace

What’s special about this tool: Barvas offers a mind mapping feature, excellent for brainstorming or idea generation.

26. ClickUp

ClickUp is a project management platform that’s focused on efficient task management. Built for teams of all sizes and industries, ClickUp’s fully customizable features make it a must-have for agile teams that want to keep everything from design to development in one intuitive place.

  • 3 different views (Board, Box, List)
  • Assign comments
  • 52 customizable features for each project (Statuses, Assignees, ClickUps)
  • Elegant hierarchy to keep projects simple as they grow
  • Tools like ‘Smart Search’ and ‘Smart Estimates’ make you more productive over time

What’s special about this tool: ClickUp’s beautiful design and unprecedented user experience in an otherwise dull space echoes what Slack did to communication.

Pricing: Free for up to 100MB, Premium for $5 user/month

Avaza is a simple project management tool that lets you collaborate on projects with both your team and customers. In addition, you’ll be able to track your time and bill your customers.

  • Task management on a cardboard-style interface
  • Automatic task reminders
  • Flexible time tracking and timesheet approvals
  • Sending quotes & invoices in moments

What’s special about this tool: Each project in Avaza has a user-friendly email address. Simply forward emails from your Avaza-registered email address to instantly convert these into tasks.

Pricing: Start free with up to 5 projects, $39.95 for unlimited projects

28. Teamweek

Teamweek is a timeline-based project management tool that lets teams schedule their upcoming tasks and meetings into a shared calendar.

  • Simple project management
  • Gantt-chart interface
  • Drag-and-drop task management
  • Scheduling work hour by hour
  • Overseeing your team members’ availability

What’s special about this tool: Teamweek serves as an add-on to more comprehensive project management tools, making time-scheduling super easy. If you’re looking for a cool time planning tool, check it out!

Pricing: Free fro up to 5 members, $39 for larger teams

29. 10,000ft Plans

10,000ft Plans is a visual project management application with strong features in resource planning and forecasting.

  • Resource management
  • Project and task management
  • Task delegation
  • Project and resource matching
  • Detailed project reporting
  • Time tracking

What’s special about this tool: 10,000ft gives a broad overview of every project, making it easier to schedule, plan, and estimate the outcome. With a beautiful interface, this tool is suitable for creative agencies of all sizes.

30. Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects enhances team collaboration and helps creative teams to organize their work and tasks.

  • Project planning on Gantt charts
  • Time tracking and reporting
  • Customizable features on each project
  • Task lists with sub-tasks
  • Milestone management
  • Comprehensive user permissions
  • Reporting

What’s special about this tool: Teamwork Projects is easy to use and packed with features. The tool integrates seamlessly with Teamwork.com’s other two products; Teamwork Desk and Teamwork Chat.

31. Freedcamp

Freedcamp will help you, whether you have wedding plans, organizing a camping trip or leading a work project. Working from home or at the office.

  • Task lists & status management
  • Shared team calendar
  • Project templates
  • Issue tracker

What’s special about this tool: Like sticky notes? You’re in luck! Freedcamp uses kanban board with sticky notes to manage tasks.

Pricing: Free plan, paid add-ons

32. Advantage

Advantage is a project management software designed for a great user experience – clean interface and simple functionality.

  • Manage time, tasks, and expenses
  • Automate and expedite work
  • Manage media
  • Manage prospect and client activities
  • Get thorough reports and forecasts

What’s special about this tool: Advantage is most suitable for agencies.

33. Easy Project

Easy Project is easy, visual and intuitive project management software.

  • Gantt chart
  • Risk management
  • Portfolio management
  • Project templates

What’s special about this tool: Easy Project is a fit for a number of different industries, from IT & software development to education or voluntary projects.

34. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow makes it a breeze to assign staff, track time or reschedule projects.

  • Dashboard for an overview of your workload
  • Allocate tasks
  • View workload across teams
  • Manage contacts
  • Share files
  • Manage invoices and quotes

What’s special about this tool: Convenient mobile application lets your track time, communicate, and complete tasks on the move.

Pricing: From $22 month/user for teams

35. Smartsheet

Smartsheet is excellent for managing and automating collaborative work.

  • Project plans and schedule
  • Program rollups
  • Resource management
  • Budget tracking
  • Strategic planning

What’s special about this tool: Smartsheet is trusted by over 50% of the Fortune 500.

Pricing: From $15 month/user for teams

36. Celoxis

Celoxis offers a comprehensive project management software for enterprises.

  • Advanced scheduling
  • Gantt charts
  • Project tracking
  • Financial management
  • Reporting analytics

What’s special about this tool:

Pricing: From $25 user/month for cloud solution, $450/user for on-premise solution

37. Insightly

Insightly is a powerful CRM with a project and business management feature set.

  • Manage leads, contacts, organizations, partners, vendors and suppliers
  • Track project activity and performance against milestones
  • Look at your business any way you want with task dashboard, activity sets, reports and more

What’s special about this tool: Insightly CRM is tailored for any level of experience – from first time CRM users to sales experts.

Pricing: From $15 month/user for teams

38. Copper Project

Copper Project simplifies work processes as an affordable and invaluable executive tool, from Large multi-national projects to small home-based ventures.

  • Collaborative project and task views
  • Project templates
  • Task timers
  • File sharing

What’s special about this tool: Copper offers simplicity in project resource management and communication.

39. Clarizen

Clarizen‘s cloud-based project management software has a single goal: to help move your business forward.

  • Unlimited number of projects
  • Automated and repeatable processes, alerts and workflows
  • Social collaboration
  • Budget tracking & expense management

What’s special about this tool: Clarizen offers configurable workflows – customize Clarizen to fit how your enterprise does business, not the opposite.

40. Volerro

Volerro is a little non-traditional as far as project management services go, in that it uses what it calls “boards” to contain different phases of a project.

  • Conferencing tools, chat box
  • Kanban-style project management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Image-markup tools

What’s special about this tool: Volerro offers most of the tools a team needs to work together while focusing mainly on communication tools.

Pricing: Free for up to 3 projects, starting from $7.99 user/month for business teams.

41. Highrise

Highrise is the just-right, more thoughtful way to keep track of the people, conversations, and tasks that are the lifelines of your business

  • Store important emails
  • Attach documents and files
  • Control who sees what with easy privacy settings
  • Keep track of important tasks
  • Assign tasks to team members

What’s special about this tool: Highrise was designed to simplify your workflow, no more, no less – as simple as that!

Pricing: From $24/month for small teams, from $49/month for larger teams

42. ACTIVE COLLAB

Active Collab helps your team stay organized while you outgrow email.

  • Time tracking and invoicing
  • Gantt-like timeline for planning
  • Kanban cards
  • Creating tasks with multiple users and deadlines
  • A shared team calendar for collaboration

What’s interesting about this tool: Active Collab is especially great for collaboration, with functions like collaborative text editing and @mentions for communication.

Pricing: From $25/month for cloud version, from $499 for self-hosted version

Further reading

As always, we’d love to hear about your experiences with project management software. Leave your comments below!

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