Different Types of Project Management Software [Complete List]

Have you ever found yourself with a chaotic project where the team members are behind schedule, you have disorganized tasks, there is lack of communication, and misused resources? This is an example of an unsuccessful project, which could lead to an unhappy client. A project management software may help simplify your project in an organized manner so that you can attain the project goals. It could help manage the tasks, monitor, avoid issues, and communicate effectively with your team.

However, with so many tools and diverse kinds available in the market, how do you know which is right for your project? In this article, you’ll discover the different types of project management software, its features, benefits, and applications.

What is a Project Management Software?

A project management software, as its name implies, is a digital tool designed to help individuals or businesses to manage their projects efficiently. It is an all-inclusive solution, which aids its users to manage tasks, track them, schedule, and communicate with their team members. The tool provides a centralized platform for organizing timelines, resources, and the workforce.

A project management software’s key features in includes collaboration tools, budget tracking features, a calendar, file-sharing tools, and a scheduling feature. Many advanced project management systems may include features such as a risk assessment tool, Gantt charts, advanced reporting, Kanban boards, integrations, etc. We will look at some of the elements to consider in project management software further.

It is worth noting that these solutions are customizable according to the size or needs of your project. There are also distinct types of project management application software available for various businesses or industries. For instance, marketing agencies need software to help them schedule the distinct phases of the marketing campaign. In Education, teachers need software that can plan an entire year’s worth of lessons across multiple classes.

Benefits of Project Management Software

Benefits of Project Management Software

Before going into the different types of project management software, you may be wondering why you need one. Whether you are an individual or an organization, you can receive many benefits from using a project management system. It helps streamline the project process as well as enhance the overall productivity. Here are some of the key benefits of project management software.

1.  Planning the Project

With project management software, you can be able to plan projects and files easily, as well as track their progress. As a project manager, your team relies on you as their leader. Therefore, you can put everything in place and avoid confusion.

2.  Improves Organization

Project management software also helps you organize timelines, tasks, documentation, and resources in one centralized location. This keeps your projects neat and ensures that everyone who’s involved in the project is on the same page.

3.  Manage Tasks

Another useful function of project management software is to help you manage and track tasks, whether for big or small projects. You can easily define the plan, set the deadline, assign it to the team members, and get alerted when it’s completed. The visual interface helps you organize your staff and understand who is handling which task.

4.  Scheduling and Time Management

Project management software can help you schedule time for the project. You can easily set deadlines and a timetable for the team so that they can know what they should be doing and at what times. It also lets you see who is lagging or slow to meet the deadlines. You can monitor everyone’s schedule and progress and ensure everyone is on the right track.

5.  Communication and Collaboration

Many project management programs have communication tools such as real-time chat, file sharing, and commenting. Team members can communicate and share documents or information effectively even if they are geographically dispersed. You can also conduct webinars, conferences, and presentations. The project management software can also make communication among the senior management, stakeholders, and team members much easier. You can update everyone involved in the project about any changes or developments.

6.  Resource Management and Allocation

Resource Management and Allocation

With a good project management software, you’ll be able to distribute resources such as equipment, materials, or manpower more effectively. This prevents overloading or misusing materials and encourages responsible resource utilization.

7.  Risk Management

Most types of project management software tools have features that may help identify and manage risks. This enables planning risk mitigations and minimize the impact of unexpected issues during the project.

8.  Scalability

The project management software can be scaled to meet the project needs of diverse sizes. A good system should be able to perform well under an increased workload or maintain or increase its performance in case there are larger operational demands.

9.  Budget Control

A project budget highlights the expected expenses, income, and the profit of your project. By tracking your budget, you can monitor how much you have spent and the balance. A project management software with a budget tracking tool is important as it will help you to actively track your finances throughout the project. This will help you identify problems that may arise and fix them before its too late.

10.  Analysing Past Data

A project management software accumulates valuable historical data, which is significant. You can use this to analyse past data, identify trends and failures, and apply the lessons for future projects.

11.  Integration

Many projects software offer integrate with other productivity tools such as calendars, emails, etc. This streamlines the project process, making the project much easier for everyone.

12.  Accessibility

Since most project management solutions are cloud-based, team members can easily access the project at any time no matter where they are. This can be essential, especially during a crisis that may require one working while away from work.

13.  Detect Issues

It can be a real dealbreaker to finish the project and then notice some big problems that were preventable. Project management software helps the project manager to monitor the tasks. Therefore, realizing any issues and fixing them before it gets out of hand. You can notice the errors and call for readjustments from the team whenever possible.

14.  Transparency

Transparency

Project management solutions promote transparency with the team members. Therefore, everyone can see what others are working on, how much they have spent on a task, whether they have delivered their assignments on time, and what their progress looks like. This will diminish laziness and lies about the project. Besides, it will boost productivity as everyone looks forward to delivering their part. This will result to a better-quality work output, which will result to customer satisfaction.

15.  Enhances Customer Satisfaction

As a business, your main goal is to deliver your promises to your customers. With a proper project management tool, you’ll be able to plan the project, budget it, and get the work done. By organizing the tasks and monitoring the project through the software, you’ll always be able to understand what the team is currently working on.

Moreover, the software will help you achieve the goals of your project and at the expected time. It will also allow you to communicate and update the customer about the project and its milestones. So, the system will help you deliver your promises to the clients, and they will certainly walk away with a smile on their faces.

Different Types of Project Management Software

Now that you know why a project management software is essential, it is time we look at the distinct types available. There are various PM tools in the market, and it can be overwhelming trying to choose one. Each project management software is designed to cater for dissimilar needs and preferences. Here are the different types of project management application software in the market.

1.  Traditional Project Management Software

This tool is meant for large projects, which require a lot of planning, monitoring, and collaboration among members. It offers features like task lists, Gantt charts, scheduling tools, budgeting functions, and resource management.

2.  Agile Project Management Software

Agile project management software is an iterative approach to managing projects that require frequent changes, continuous releases, and customer feedback. This tool provides a flexible worksheet where the team can adjust the project according to the customer’s comments. Project management software that embraces this tool boosts their collaboration, development speed, and ability to respond to market trends.

3.  Collaboration and Communication Tools

Collaboration and Communication Tools

Collaboration platforms allow team members to communicate effectively. They allow the team to stay connected throughout the project and share information or comments about the project. The collaboration tools usually include task management features and file-sharing tools.

4.  Time Tracking Software

Time-tracking project management software allows team members to track hours they spend on a task. This enhances transparency among them as well as ensuring everyone is on schedule.

5.  Cloud-Based Project Management

These are PM tools that are operated entirely on the cloud. This allows remote project access and enhances collaboration even when the members are distant.

6.  Open-Source Project Management

As its name implies, this is community-driven software that is often free and customizable.

7.  Project-Planning and Scheduling Tools

This is another type of project management software that focuses on creating project schedules and timelines.

8.  Task and To-Do List Apps

These are simple to-do list applications that can be used by individuals or team members to manage tasks and things to do during the project. This is best for noting down simple and short daily activities.

9.  Portfolio Management Software

If you are searching for software that can hold several projects at once and which you can use to show prospects, then this portfolio management software will do. It can store multiple projects simultaneously, giving you an overview of the company’s projects when needed.

10.  Enterprise Project Management Software

Large businesses can benefit from the enterprise PM tools since they come up with comprehensive solutions and offer advanced functions to handle complex projects.

11.  Construction Project Management Software

This is tailored for the construction industry. It is equipped with unique functions of construction projects such as bid and financial management, scheduling tools, inventory, and equipment management, and more.

12.  Hybrid Project Management Software

Also known as a blended project management tool, it combines different aspects of methodologies such as traditional project management phases with agile practices, to suit your different project needs. The main idea is to find a balance between these blends, thus allowing organizations to manage projects effectively while making room for uncertainties and changes that may arise during the project.

13.  Lean Project Management Software

Lean Project Management Software

A lean PM software is an agile methodology that eliminates waste from each phase, which increases customer value. It is best if you want to enhance customer satisfaction, reduce product waste, stay with the project scope, and meet critical success factors.

These are just some of the best types of desktop project management software you may find in the market. Remember to consider your project needs, team size, budget, and preferred methodology when choosing a PM tool.

Features of a Project Management Software

Before picking software, you need to check on its features and whether they align with your project. A good PMS should include all the necessary features to help your project flow smoothly. Here are some of the things you should look for when shopping around for a project management software.

1.  Planning Features

Handling a complex project can lead to a lot of confusion from the start. Planning features in a PM software can help project managers to provide a systematic approach to handle the project. Examples of planning features in a project management program include scheduling, task dependencies, milestone tracking, time estimation, and predefined templates for specific projects.

2.  Task Management Features

This provides structure, organization, and tracking. The feature allows project managers to breakdown the complex project into more manageable tasks. It also allows you to set deadlines, assign resources, and track progress to meet the goals. Examples of task management features you should look for include progress tracking, file sharing, task comments, discussions, prioritization, task dependencies, reminders, notifications, filtering, and sorting.

3.  Collaboration Features:

A collaboration feature is an essential part of any PM software. it promotes communication, teamwork, and provides transparency among team members and the stakeholders. With a collaboration feature, you can provide feedbacks where necessary and fix problems.

Some communication features you should put in mind when searching for software include chat or group conversations, @mentions, activity feeds, tagging, notifications and alerts, team dashboards, file sharing, access control and permissions, video conferencing, and user activity tracking.

4.  Integration Tools

Integration Tools

If any tools are missing, the project management software should make external integration possible. For instance, if a PMS doesn’t include a communication, billing, or time-tracking features, it should at least have integrations with third-party applications. Integration tools make it easy to extend the functionality of the project management and add to it whatever it is lacking and ensure the project is up to date.

5.  Time Tracking

Time tracking allows project managers to see how much time is spent on the tasks and how the team is progressing. It can pinpoint areas of concern or improvements. Besides, time tracking can help with scheduling, budgeting, forecasting, and boost productivity. Sometime tracking features you should look for include calendar, reminders, built-in timer, online timesheets, budget, lunch breaks, reporting times, etc. Check whether the project management software has enough time tracking tools that suit your needs.

6.  Customization Features

A customizable PM software provides more options for growth and defines how a project is structured. You can create custom workflows and dashboards for your team differently with these tools. Customization features can also help you change colors, themes, background images, icons, etc. So, when searching for project management software, pick one with various customization features depending on your needs.

7.  Resource Monitoring and Allocation

One way that a project can be successful is through constant resource tracking and allocation. A project manager must ensure that all resources like budget, equipment, and team members are being used properly.

Resource monitoring and allocation features include approval workflows, allocation charts, availability notifications, resource utilization reports, cost tracking, and requests.

8.  Dashboards

A dashboard is another essential feature you should consider having in your PM tool as it allows you to keep track of your project’s progress. It usually includes graphs, tables, and charts, which gives the project manager and the stakeholders a view of the project performance. Comprehensive dashboards also offer valuable information about milestones, project indicators, resource allocation, risks, performance, and more.

So, when considering project management software, check for dashboard features such as project overview, milestone tracking, resource allocation, financial tracking, and risk and issue tracking. Ensure that the dashboard is also customizable.

9.  Kanban Boards

Kanban-Boards

Another visualization feature you should consider in your PM tool is a Kanban board. It uses columns, swim lanes, work-in-progress limits, and cards to visualize the project and manage the workflows effectively. With the Kanban board, you can be able to start small and build sustainable long-term processes. You can also improve the project’s visibility, team focus, predictability, better collaboration, and decrease levels of waste.

10.  Document and File Sharing

PM tools need document and file sharing tools for transparency and exchange of detailed information between team members. By accessing files from a centralized location, project managers and stakeholders can be certain that they are accessing the most up-to-date information.

Consider a project management software that includes file sharing features like commenting, editing, linking, search, updates, notifications, and cloud storage integration.

11.  Reporting and Advanced Reporting

Project reporting is another valuable tool for project managers. It allows you to put your data at your disposal allowing you to uncover real-time insights faster.  Reporting features eliminate guesswork allowing you and your team to make decisions based on up-to-date data. Moreover, you can schedule reports monthly, quarterly, or yearly. This makes it easier to share data with whoever needs it and cuts out the need to create reports manually every time.

Search for project management software that has advanced reporting features with team performance dashboards, bug and issue reports, and velocity charts.

12.  Pricing

Pricing

Most importantly, get project management software that fits your budget. Different PM tools come with different subscription plans. Some programs have free forever plans while others will need you to invest before accessing its features. Just ensure that whichever you choose fits your price target. Also don’t compromise the features while going for an affordable plan. Be sure to look around until you find the PM tool that matches your budget and needs. Keep in mind that taking the annual plan is better sometimes as you’ll get to enjoy a discount unlike the monthly subscription.

As you can see, project management software comes equipped with tons of features. Even though your team may not need all of them, make sure that the PM tool you choose comes with basic functionalities and essentials to make your project a success.

Industries That Can Benefit from a Project Management Software

Nowadays, most businesses handle some sort of projects (big or small) that may require a project management software. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the industries that may need to integrate a PM tool into their system.

1.  Marketing Agencies

Marketing firms normally launch tons of campaigns every month. As a result, project management software can help the marketers to run the campaign efficiently. At the start of each project, marketers must go through a brainstorming session, and this can be a good part to start using the tool. The managers can use the software to distribute tasks and schedule the different phases of the campaign. With the help of the program management software, the marketers can launch the marketing campaign on schedule.

2.  Education

Teachers are always on schedule with their classes, thanks to the traditional noticeboard timetable. However, setting up the latter with a year’s worth of lessons across all classes is very tiresome. But with a PM tool, the process can be eased up. In the education system, teachers can use project management software to easily create a curriculum for them to follow and for their students.

The tools can also be useful in helping the teachers to coordinate and communicate with each other easily, whether they are in the school compound or not. That way, it will be easier for them to teach their students in an organized manner. Additionally, teachers can use the PM tools on the students for schoolwork and communicate with them in case there is any work needed to be done.

3.  Construction

Creating buildings from the ground is certainly a complex process. Without the right tools or guidance, the construction can be a failure. But by employing project management software earlier on the project, the construction workers can complete the structure successfully. Construction companies can integrate these tools for the project, which can help them schedule the process, budget, distribute tasks among the workers, and allocate resources.

4.  Video Game Developers

The stages of gaming development are almost like the stages of project management, from planning to verification and feedback. But either way, game developers still need project management software to organize their efforts and ensure the process of video development is smooth and successful.

Video game developers use PM tools for task management, communication, and collaboration, reporting and feedback, allocating resources, and visual orientation. PM software is essential in game development since it allows all those involved in the development to be on the same page. Some members will be responsible for coding while others will be responsible for the design. In case of errors or bugs, then project management software will be able to help them identify them as early as possible before the product reaches the market. Therefore, the tools can help them organize themselves to create the games we love successfully.

Summary

By now, you know the different types of project management software, its benefits, features to look for, and its application in different industries. Project management software comes in various types, each tailored for specific projects and methodologies. Whether you need a PM tool entirely for collaboration, scheduling, task management, Agile, or customizable, there’s likely a project software to suit your needs.

It’s essential you evaluate your project carefully, its unique demands, preferred methodology, budget, and team size before choosing the right tool. Remember that no single solution is perfect for every situation. Sometimes, you may need project management software that has integration tools to acquire your preferred third-party tools. At other times, you’ll need simpler software for short tasks.

By incorporating a tool like this, a business can promote growth, collaboration, performance, and enhance customer satisfaction. A project management software is an asset for businesses seeking to manage and successfully complete projects of various complexities, and sizes.

FAQs

1. What software is used for project management?

This will depend on the requirements of the project since there are many different types of project management software.

2. What are the two most popular project management methods?

The most popular project management methods are traditional and agile.

3.  What is the best type of project management?

It will depend on the needs of the project, team size, project size, and budget.

4.  Are there 4 or 5 phases of project management?

A project management cycle usually includes five phases including initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and project closers.

5.  Which project management tool is the most used?

The collaboration feature is the most used tool in project management. It is used by the project manager, team members, and stakeholders to communicate about the project, its updates, and share files.

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