September 21, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

10 Ways to Compare Online Project Management Software

By Linky van der Merwe

Project Management Software

Project management software is any software solution with the capacity to help with planning and estimation, scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, communication, decision making, quality management, task management, documentation and collaboration.

You want information about scheduling, costs, time management, task assignments, quality control, issue tracking and more. When you need to make a selection of the right project management software for your business, there are a number of factors to consider.

Selection Criteria

1 Software as a Service (SaaS) or On Premise consider:

  • Pricing information
  • Support and updates
  • Data security
  • Compatibility
  • Features
Client-server software is on-premise and installed onto a computer/server, giving the owner control and complete ownership of the software. Do check that the software is compatible with your servers and operating systems. It comes at a one-time price with a high start-up cost, as well as support costs. Integration with existing company software is easier. Collaboration can be difficult especially for remote users.SaaS requires no local installation of software because the vendor manages all the code and the data. You access the system through a web browser, but ensure all of its features will display and function correctly in the web browsers used at your offices.Typically licensed per user with a subscription plan.No start-up costs and support is included. Integration with existing company software could be hard, but collaboration is easier, especially for remote users.
2 Features Understand project manager and team needs before making a purchase. What vital features do team members need to make projects successful and to help overcome obstacles, but also list non-required, but desired features.
3 Company size The size of your business, the number of projects and team members will help to determine which features are needed, as well as the storage space required.
4 Important trends Consider the most important trends.1) Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions have gained popularity. PM software industry is one of most mature with 85% that are SaaS solutions. Now a standard offering providing ease of use, frequent updates, mobility etc.2) Collaboration software – include collaboration features to cater for widely distributed (virtual) teams (offered by 94% of software).3) Agile solutions making provision for Agile development (30% software are Agile solutions).
5 Main functionality Software consists of modules to make provision for functionalities like:

  • Traditional project management (see explanation nr 7)
  • Collaboration (document management, create teams, messaging, social collaboration, forums, Wiki, RSS feed, Web Conferencing)
  • Task management (create to-do lists, set due dates and priorities, add contacts to certain tasks, task history, etc.)
  • Learning and support to learn functionality, troubleshoot issues (mail, phone, blog, videos, demos, knowledge base, brochures, help desk, Webinars, Live chat, tips and hints, User manual, White Papers, Wiki, Podcasts, etc.)
  • Reporting to summarize and graphically represent data (Dashboard, Financial, Resource, Custom reports).
  • Budgeting (project hours, manage expenses, forecast, hourly rates, track burn rate, etc.)
  • Resource management (allocate resources by skills set, role based permissions, cross project allocation, forecast resource needs)
  • Notifications (email, SMS, custom, notification groups)
  • Issue tracking (code integration, escalation management, issue history, multiple workflows)
  • Customisation (custom fields, labels, user interfaces, software development kit)
  • Agile project management (used to create products quickly especially where scope is uncertain.)
6 Traditional project management functions A variety of tools to organize your team and assist in decision-making processes like:

  • Scheduling
  • Calendar
  • Interactive Gantt Charts
  • Project templates
  • Project hierarchy
  • Supports multiple projects
  • Cross project dependencies
  • Risk/benefit analyser
  • Mind maps
  • Project Portfolio Management
  • Gate review process
7 Agile project management – for software/product development Consider the following functionality:

  • Burndown charts (used to forecast completion dates for specific project and sprints)
  • Card view (Simple way to access user stories, capture requirements, and examine project details)
  • Cycle time analytics (to view the completion rate of your projects or sprints)
  • Kanban (what and when tasks should be performed)
  • Manage product backlog (a prioritized list of features that need to be created for a product)
  • Scrum methodology (projects are divided into sprints to control schedule of work and getting tasks done)
  • User stories (to capture the needs end users of your product have)
  • Version control (to work with the most up to date version of the code)
8 Platform How the project management software is accessed.

  • Online – through a web browser and subscription based
  • On premise must be installed on your computer or local server
  • Mobile software can run on a mobile device through an app or a mobile optimised site.
9 Starting price The cost of the software, or lowest base monthly payment.
10 Solve the problem Determine the business problem you want to solve, then find the software that would give the best solution and the best return on investment.

 Source: Software Insider

FindTheBest is a technology company focused on collecting and interpreting data. The company offers websites, like Software Insider that helps business leaders compare all the software solutions needed for their enterprise.

Click PM Resource and find Project Management Software listed with details that helps you compare several project management software based on the criteria explained above.

Find below the PM Competitive Landscape where you see top products in the industry based off of average user rating vs. Marketing Presence (social, site traffic, review count).

 

Find below the PM Competitive Landscape similar to the above but looking at Feature Score vs. Market Presence (Social, site traffic, review count).
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