Different Types of Software for Project Management
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Project management software platforms are web applications that project managers can use to plan, track, schedule and deliver projects. Software can offer a range of useful tools to help automate and simplify project management. If you work in project management, understanding how to use software and the types available can allow you to make effective choices. In this article, we explain software for project management, list some of the most common software applications available and describe why it can be beneficial to use project management software.
What is software for project management?
Software for project management is a type of online application that allows project managers and team members to monitor the progress of a project. Team members can record their progress on specific tasks, add relevant information or identify any issues or changes. Project management software or apps can help team members see what other team members are doing and provide an overview of all the tasks. This can be helpful if some tasks depend on others as it allows team members to understand who is responsible for performing specific tasks.
For project managers, using software can provide an overview of how the project is tracking against the original project plan. This may include tracking tasks to monitor their progress and checking that teams are completing work on time or assessing resources available to determine if someone has additional capacity to support other tasks. It can also allow managers to monitor budgets, with some software offering invoicing and billing capabilities.
Types of project management software
There are numerous applications and software available for project management. Here are some commonly used software applications:
GanttPro is a good option for smaller project teams because it is relatively straightforward to use and has lots of useful features. It's quite a simple system, so it doesn't offer a customisable dashboard or reporting, but it's affordable compared to other software. GanttPro saves your work history and includes customised fields for specific tasks. It doesn't offer any billing or invoicing, so if you're looking for something that combines financial tasks, then this probably isn't the right choice for you.
It uses traditional Gantt charts – a graph that plots all the projects' tasks against a timeline – to track projects. This type of chart allows project managers to identify issues that may affect meeting milestones. Gantt charts can also show how long a task is likely to take and which tasks depend on the completion of other tasks.
Teamwork offers an extensive set of features and includes a reasonably intuitive interface. It also includes billing and invoicing and offers both free account options and paid options that provide more features. Features include allowing project managers to assess project team members' time and workload, tracking deadlines and sending invoices to clients. The free account offers support for up to five people managing two different projects at a time. It also provides 100MB of storage for files. The free version offers most services but doesn't incorporate billing or allow you to use any project or task templates.
It's relatively easy to set up an account, and you can start using it to manage projects immediately. The navigation is intuitive, and it's a useful tool for more complex projects that require you to set up tasks, sub-tasks and task dependencies. It includes priority levels, the option to assign tasks to more than one person and kanban boards, which allow you to drag and drop tasks into workflow columns so everyone can clearly see the status of the task. Another feature is workload, which allows you to see each team members' workload.
Celoxis is a good choice for medium or large organisations with multiple team members working on projects. It works well for decision-makers because it offers a wide range of reports and includes budgeting, resource management and time tracking. There is no free version available, and it doesn't come with any proofing, invoicing or billing features. Instead, it provides customisable dashboards, allowing everyone on the project to see relevant information quickly. For example, burn down charts help show you how much work is available on each project.
Another interesting feature is the What-If Analysis tool. This tool allows managers to track the effects any specific action might have on the budget, tasks, team members and other resources. Another useful feature with Celoxis is that it offers you a tool to manage budgets, which not all project management software provides. This feature can help you keep track of financial information at the task level. In addition, Celoxis offers enhanced scheduling tools that automatically adjust schedules when you miss a deadline or the date changes, which is useful for project management.
LiquidPlanner is a comprehensive tool to help projects, tasks and workloads. It's fully automated and offers scheduling, which can make it a good choice for larger organisations or teams managing multiple projects. It can also forecast scenarios to help with risk assessment. The system can be more difficult to use given its advanced features, but it also offers the ability to track and schedule work and staff, external partners and resources like equipment. There are four pricing options, along with a free plan with limited members, projects and fewer features. There's also a 15-day trial available for their Unlimited plan.
Depending on the plan you choose, you can access custom fields, filtering and cost codes, package dashboards, timesheet reviews and the ability to export to Excel. The key benefits of this app include its predictive scheduling, which is an automated way of identifying task and project completion dates. Scheduling works in real-time, making it an excellent tool for project managers to see how a project progresses instantly.
ProofHub aims for a simple design that includes some impressive core features. Its strength is collaboration, and it's an affordable option for small businesses. ProofHub is quick and easy to set up, and it has a good range of tools that allow the team to discuss visual materials. This can be useful if your project includes visuals like advertisements or design work that requires feedback and collaboration.
ProofHub doesn't include any invoicing, budgeting or resource management tools, but it offers an intuitive user interface and has a range of price plans for you to choose from, including a free option. It also offers Gantt charts, time tracking, reports, in-app chat, task management tools and milestones. ProofHub is a reliable project management service that charges you a fixed monthly price, regardless of how many team members use the system.
Why use project management software?
Project management software can help project managers oversee many projects. Projects can range from creating a new product or changing a significant business operation. It's particularly beneficial for project teams working on more than one project at a time to keep track of all tasks and timelines. Project management software can help project teams organise schedules and understand when they require additional resources or a budget.
Software for project management can help detect any project-related issues or problems before they occur. By tracking the progress of tasks and the overall project plan, project management software can create an alert if there is a risk of a team missing a deadline. Some more advanced software programs also automatically adjust project schedules if tasks fall behind, creating reports that provide insights into workloads and capacity.
Role of a project manager when using software
Typical responsibilities of a project manager when using software to help manage projects include:
Planning: Project managers define the scope of projects, assess resources, determine the timeline and develop a communication strategy, all of which feed into the project management software.
Leading: A key role is to assemble and lead the project team and monitor the team's progress, capacity and workloads using the software to help manage the project effectively.
Tracking time: Managers can use the software to help manage deadlines of all tasks, develop contingency plans and assess any changes or obstacles that may affect the project.
Executing: Overseeing the execution of each stage of the project, otherwise known as meeting milestones, can involve monitoring progress, frequently checking in with team members and creating status reports using the software.
Budgeting: Project managers create and manage budgets and, where possible, use software to track budgets and manage invoices.
Testing: Depending on the type of project, project managers can also be involved in testing to ensure the products meet the customers' needs and to keep the project on target. They can feed the results of the testing into the project management app and determine any impacts to the timeline for rework or design changes.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Explore more articles
- How to Create a Personal Vision Statement in 5 Steps
- The 4 Major Types of Income: Definitions and Examples
- How to Constructively Handle Feedback From a Manager at Work
- How to Lead Through a Crisis
- What Is Functional Testing (With Types and Importance)
- What Is a HACCP Plan? (With Importance and Principles)
- 13 Problem-Solving Games for Effective Team Building
- 5 Ways to Develop Strong Application Architect Skills
- What Is a Company's Employee Retention Rate? (With FAQ)
- What Are Product Features? (And How to Define Them)
- What Is the Design Thinking Process? (With a Definition)
- What's a Business Contingency Plan and How Do You Create One?