8 Best Project Management Software
Managing a project is a lot of responsibility and if you are going to keep everyone on schedule, you will need to put in a lot of hours. The modern practice of agile development particularly puts pressure on the project manager because its development reiterations can be difficult to track.
No time to read the whole post? Here is our list of the eight best IT project management software:
- Jira Software Formulated for software development projects, this tool will track bug fix tasks as well as regular development timelines.
- Zoho Sprints A project management system tailored to agile projects.
- Intervals The top pick for web design consultancies, web developers, publishers, and PR firms.
- MeisterTask A cloud-based project management tool that can be linked to brainstorming platform, MindMeister.
- Monday.com A Kanban-style task management platform that is available online.
- Wrike An online project and task management platform.
- Project Insight A cloud-based tool that is suitable for all sizes of organizations.
- ClickUp Cloud-based project management tool that is very adaptable. A free version is available.
A plan is easier to stick to if everyone knows what work they need to do right now and what work they have coming up. Being able to move tasks on down a production pipeline gives the team a sense of achievement and an idea of progression towards a goal.
IT projects vary in nature from hardware provision through to software development. The project management tasks involved in each type of project are not the same. For example, resource planning and critical path analysis for a hardware purchase will be very different from those for a software development project.
Fortunately, there are some very good IT project management software products available on the market today. Certain types of IT projects would be well supported by general project management tools, while others require tools that have specific IT-related functions.
The best project management software
You can read about each of these project management tools in the following sections.
1. Jira Software
Jira was developed out of a software bug detector that is used by development teams – that bug tracker is still there in the package. The tool was written especially for software development project management. The tool includes brainstorming and planning modules. It carried through to work allocation and then enables progress tracking.
Modules in the project planning tool track testing, rewrites, integration testing, and release. The tool is particularly useful for agile software development projects.
Each team member gets a dashboard that lists that member’s tasks in a Kanban format. Tasks are cards that are allocated to lists. The user signals progress by moving cards on to following lists with a drag and drop action.
This is a cloud service that is paid for by subscription with the charge rate set per user per month. There is a Free plan, which is limited to 10 users. The two paid plans, which are Standard and Premium, can host up to 5,000 users.
The user task management dashboard is included in all versions, including the Free edition. That free version also includes project management functions and a project framework. All plans include cloud storage space: 2 GB of disk space with Free version, 250 GB with the Standard plan, and unlimited storage with the Premium edition. Those space allocations are per user.
The paid plans allow for the creation of different user types – some with project creation rights, other just for team members. The free plan doesn’t have that distinction of user types, which might be a problem because it doesn’t allow managers to limit the view of all data in the system.
The producer of Jira, Atlassian also produces a documentation platform, called Confluence, which integrates well with Jira. Confluence includes collaboration templates for team forums, chat, announcements, and notices. It can also be used to create project documentation, including specifications, program reports, and test plans. Once the documentation platform can also be used to produce user documentation.
Jira is available on a 7-day free trial.
2. Zoho Sprints
Zoho Sprints was designed to support Scrum projects. The Scrum system requires a framework to take a project from user requirements, through to specification creation, resource planning, project planning, resource allocation, task allocation, and deadline monitoring, through to testing and a completed software product. Scrum is a type of agile development.
Although the Scrum system is different to the Kanban alternative project planning method, the team member dashboards for the Zoho Sprints system look a lot like a Kanban console. Each task is written onto a card and cards are placed in time-horizon lists, which are contained by a Scrum Board. Workers move a task on by dragging it and dropping it into the next list.
The manager’s dashboard includes project planning tools and progress charts. The progress data also feeds into analysis tools within the manager’s user area. Each project includes a forum for discussions on requirements and there are tools for annotation of documents and chats between managers and team members attached to each task.
Zoho Sprints is a cloud-based system and it is available in four editions: Free, Standard, Premium, and Enterprise. Charges are made on a subscription basis with the Free version allowing five users, the Standard plan including access for 12 users, the Premium plan allowing 20 users, and the Enterprise edition including access for 25 users. In each case, extra users can be added for additional fees per month per user. All plans include storage space on the Zoho cloud servers. Zoho offers the Enterprise edition of Sprints on a 15-day free trial.
Interval has found success as the project management tool of choice for web development companies and media businesses. The tool is an online service and is aimed at small teams. The key features of Intervals are task allocation, time tracking, and progress monitoring.
The project manager screen is based around a calendar and day planner. Project task times get mapped onto the calendar as a form of Gantt chart. Notes can also be added to timeslots to notify project meeting times. Projects get split into tasks and tasks can be split into sub-tasks.
Each team member gets a dashboard, which has a Kanban layout. When a task gets allocated to a team member, it appears as a card in that person’s To Do list. The worker moves the card on to other lists to mark the task as In Progress or Completed.
Intervals is charged for on a subscription basis with a monthly rate. There are four editions and all include access for unlimited users. The four plans are: Basic, Not So Basic, Premium, and Unlimited. All plans include storage space on the Intervals cloud server, ranging from 25 GB for the Basic account up to unlimited storage with the Unlimited plan. All plans can be accessed for a 30-day free trial.
MeisterTask is a cloud-based project management platform from Meister Labs, which also produces a brainstorming and planning system called MindMeister. These two products link together to solidify development ideas into a project plan. However, MeisterTask can also be used as a standalone product.
Project managers deploy a workflow template in order to plan a project. The tasks that arise from that plan can then be allocated to team members. Each team member gets a Kanban board to record task progress. Tasks are written as cards, which the user can move from list to list as work progresses.
Each account is able to contain multiple projects, so it isn’t just a tool for periodic projects, it can also be used to manage teams permanently. Complicated IT projects can be split up into sub-projects and allocated to separate managers, running all of these projects concurrently through the Meister Task system.
The service is priced on a subscription per user per month. There are four editions: Free, Pro, Business, and Enterprise. The Free version can manage three live projects and has a limit of 20 MB per file attachment. The Business edition does not have a limit on attachment size.
All three editions get unlimited storage space on the cloud server, which would enable users to get around the attachment limit by linking to stored documents instead of attaching them. includes a document store, which links files to cards rather than needing to upload them. You can get a 30-day free trial of the Business edition of MeisterTask.
Monday.com is an online project management system that also uses the Kanban format for task allocation and progress tracking. The system can be used for Scrum project management on agile IT development projects. The project manager gets a Gantt chart screen to plan the project and estimate the duration of each task. The chart can be tweaked to change task start and end times and portray work that can be carried out simultaneously.
The project management system includes a drag and drop facility to create workflows. This leads on to a task allocation screen. As each task is allocated to a team member, it appears on that individual’s dashboard in a To-Do list. Both the project manager’s area and the format of the team member’s dashboard can be customized.
The card layout includes collaboration features, such as a commenting form that acts as a chat system. Other communication channels in the platform enable private and group discussions and notifications.
The system is designed for ease of use. Project member pages are easy to set up and invitations to join the project are delivered via email. Screens are colorful and appealing and many features can be moved manually using the mouse. The package also includes a library of report formats.
The service is charged for by subscription and is packaged in editions: Basic, Standard, Pro, and Enterprise. Progressively higher plans have more tools and more storage space. You can examine the platform with a free trial.
Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform. The system supports project planning and inception as well as project management. The project management screens start with a list of requirements. Those are translated into goals. Those goals can then be entered into a Gantt chart in the interface. The start and end dates of each task in the Gantt chart can be moved manually to arrive at a reasonable timeline for the project.
Each task then gets examined for resource requirements and that step could create the need for other tasks to feed in supplies. Once the plan is finalized, resources can be planed and a start date can be set. That stage ripples through start and end dates for each task. Tasks can be reallocated, merged, or split. Once the project plan starts tasks can be allocated.
The dashboard for each team member uses the Kanban format. Tasks are represented as cards, which the worker moves on from column to column through drag-and-drop to indicate progress. Every change in the task status gets reflected in the metrics shown in the project manager dashboard. Task statuses also contribute to analysis and reporting modules.
Team collaboration is encouraged by a range of communication channels built into the platform. Messages can be sent in private or pasted to a group forum.
Wrike is available in six editions including a free version that caters to teams of up to five members. The lowest-paid plans, Professional and Business have more project planning features than the Free edition. The other plans are Wrike for Marketers, Wrike for Professional Services, and the Enterprise plan. The paid plans are all available on a free trial.
7. Project Insight
Project Insight caters to companies of all sizes. The IT departments of large organizations often have a large number of projects going on simultaneously. The Project Insight system can hold a very large number of projects, so the departmental head can allocate projects to different team leaders and watch the status of all of them through the reporting overviews in this system.
Individual project managers get a project development and management dashboard that enables the plan for the project to be created and adjusted. The project and task creation screens include a task requests and approvals process, which enables senior management to control the scope of the work, making sure that they don’t get expanded beyond the capabilities of the allocated budget. The project management system is icon-based, which makes it easy to allocate tasks to team members.
The project monitoring system includes an adjustable Gannt chart and adjustable spreadsheet-style lists of project attributes, such as task hours and costs. The environment includes a project library where standards and specifications can be made available to all team members. The system can integrate with Slack to provide a team collaboration system.
Project Insight is a cloud-based platform and it is available in three editions. PI#team caters to small businesses and doesn’t have all of the project planning features of the higher plans – these are available as add-ons. PI#enterprise is a full-featured package that would be suitable for organizations that regularly launch new IT projects. PI#platform is the top plan and it a customized service for large organizations.
The strength of ClickUp lies in its adaptability. The Kanban-style for a project management dashboard is very popular. However, not everyone likes that layout. ClickUp offers a selection of skins that can be applied to the dashboard of different teams. A project has a common backend even when it has a different appearance in different company departments.
ClickUp is a cloud-based system and so it is available from anywhere through a browser. The project management screens include Gantt charts, a spreadsheet application, time tracking, and a calendar with reminders. Team members each get a Home screen that includes a personal task list. There is also a team task register, which all team members can access.
A document editor in the platform includes templates for project documentation. The service also stores and presents this project library to the team. Other features include a brainstorming environment.
ClickUp is a subscription service with charges levied per user per month. There are three editions: Free, Unlimited, and Business. The Free version has no cap on the number of users of projects that it will host.
Choosing a project management system
The Kanban layout for team member screens is very popular. If you like that look you will be spoilt for choice. The agile methodology is very popular for IT projects these days and a lot of the project management tools in our list support this strategy.
The multi-user access requirement for project and task management systems makes this category of software ideal for the Software-as-a-Service delivery model. You will notice that all of the tools in our list are cloud-based services. This flexible delivery system enables the project management tool to unify scattered project team members and also enable the project manager to include external consultants to be included in the tool without needing to give outsiders access to the company network.
The IT project management tools on our list include systems that are suitable for companies of all sizes. Create a shortlist of two or three options and then examine those candidates in detail to find which project management tool is ideal for your IT project.