Tuesday 17 December 2013

Best Online Project Management Softwares, Services, Solutions and Reviews

Best Online Project Management Softwares, Services, Solutions and Reviews

Project management software helps you to plan, organize, and manage resource pools and develop resource estimates. Depending on the sophistication of the software, Project management software can manage estimation and planning, scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, decision-making, quality management and documentation or administration systems.

We will discuss the need of online project management tools and how to choose best project management services from hundreds of vendors in the market. We have also listed down some best online project management tools, their pros and cons for your guidance.

Why do you need online Project Management Software, Services and Solutions?

Some companies estimate an increase in production by as much as 30 percent after implementing a project management system. This means you could potentially accept 30 percent more projects and pull in more revenue using the same resources you have now. If your collection of spreadsheets and limited collaboration tools are becoming burdensome and inefficient, it is time to consider an online project management solution. Most top project management software works alongside your current business solutions, including Outlook, SAP, ERM, CRM, accounting software and Salesforce, either via direct integrations or advanced programming interfaces (APIs).

The best online project management services can help PMOs manage multiple projects, from the initial project request to the final invoicing. Nowadays, most of these services also provide mobile tools and modern social networking tools for time entry, expense tracking, status updates and secure team collaboration. The most capable solutions also provide free client interfaces so that your customers can submit requests and view projects' statuses. Global and remote teams can take advantage of always-available web access, and companies that need to control their own security can install the solution on-premise. Endless, customizable reporting options can help you easily prepare communications for your executives and clients.

How to choose best Project Management Software?

When choosing online project management products, always consider their basic project management tools as well as their resource management and collaboration tools. Also evaluate the online project management software companies in general, because adding a project management solution is often a long-term partnership and it is important that the company has a proven track record of supporting its product and its customers. Consider many companies and ask each company what new features they have added over the past year and what new features are in development. 

Also consider their relevance, based on the answers to the following questions: 

1. Have they created a useful product that caters to market and customer demand? 

2. Are they evolving with emergent technologies? 

3. Will they answer your phone when you really need them? 

4. Will they fly in to train your team in person? 

The best companies value customer retainment and strive to provide exceptional service.

Below are the criteria which you should use to evaluate online project management services:

1. Project Management Tools

Top online management solutions support traditional project-management ideologies and incorporate emergent technologies. For example, they should be able to easily handle traditional methodologies such as Waterfall, Agile, PRINCE2 and Chain methods and have the ability to create proprietary processes. You should also evaluate whether the project management tools can handle all basic functions such as request management, budgeting, issues, risk assessment and task management. The best products also provide extensive reporting options and easy ways to share those reports with stakeholders and other interested groups.

2. Resource Management

Always evaluate the tools available for project managers to manage and allocate resources, including team members, external resources, generic resources, documents and physical assets. In addition, this category includes the tools for tracking expenses and timesheets. Also look for advanced search tools for filtering resources so that project managers can find resources that are not only available, but are also at the experience level and price that fits projects' requirements.

3. Collaboration

Although this comparison focuses on project manager tools, also briefly look at how team members can interact and what tools there are for clients to monitor projects. Collaboration tools include features such as discussions or streams, social networking type tools, file sharing and announcements. Also look to see if the services offer free tools for non-paid users, such as report viewing and read-only accounts.

4. Ease of Use

High adoption rates are directly related to ease of use. If the software is difficult to use, it may not be used, which will directly affect your company's return on investment (ROI). Also, inscrutable project management software may not be used to its fullest capacity. We looked for convenience features such as project templates, customization options, import tools, automated functions and more to determine how easy and convenient each project manager is to use. The service should also provide ample training through webinars, documentation, videos and even one-on-one training to help your team learn how to use the service quickly.

5. Integration & Professional Services

Implementing a project management solution is not a casual, one-time purchase; it is a partnership. It is imperative to find a company that will provide the services you require, such as custom integrations, on-site training and direct support options. The best services create customized implementation plans, provide one-on-one management training and connect you with a dedicated account manager (for large contracts). Support should be provided throughout the life of your contract, and the support teams should be dedicated and motivated to help you resolve all issues to your satisfaction.

Best Online Project Management Softwares

There are lot of online project management softwares available in the market. We have listed some of them with their pros and cons.

1. Clarizen

Pros: Clarizen provides all project management and collaboration tools you need while requiring none of your IT resources. It works across platforms, languages and currencies. It comes with dedicated implementation assistance and integrates with popular business solutions.

Cons: This project management service does not offer on-premise or network versions for companies that require in-house control for compliance or security reasons.

2. Genius Project

Pros: Genius Project is flexible and adaptable to your business. It supports a variety of deployment options, generates more than 500 reports, has traditional and ad-hoc workflows, and incorporates modern enterprise-level social media tools. Genius Inside provides solutions for new product development, IT departments and professional services, as well as other types of project teams.

Cons: Although Genius Project accounts can be accessed using web-enabled devices, an Android-specific app is not yet available. Neither is 24-hour telephone support.

3. AtTask

Pros: AtTask greatly reduces project failure rates by accounting for all of the little things that influence project delays, such as side work, ad-hoc work, overburdened resources and other distractions. By providing complete visibility and advanced collaboration tools, AtTask helps managers see everything happening within a project so that they can make wiser, better-informed planning decisions.

Cons: This project management service does not include invoicing tools; however, you can create a custom integration with your accounting solution if you have the resources.

4. Project Insight

Pros: This online project management service provides full mobile access, supports traditional and proprietary methodologies, is Microsoft certified and includes free training. It is compatible with Sage accounting software as well as CRM and ERP solutions. Metafuse continually adds new functionalities to improve ease of use, mobility and visibility.

Cons: Project Insight accounts do not include free access accounts for shareholders; however, project requests can be managed using custom forms. In addition, you can turn generic member accounts off and on to accommodate externals or clients on specific projects.

5. ProjectManager

Pros: This online project management service continues to add in-demand features. It is flexible, works across geographically dispersed locations and supports mobile tools. ProjectManager also provides volumes of education and training for team members and managers. It can manage numerous projects, unlimited resources and budgeting.

Cons: ProjectManagment is not yet available for Android devices. However, since this is an online service, new features are available to all members as soon as they are released.

6. Daptiv PPM

Pros: Daptiv is one of the most integrated online project management solutions in the industry. It continues to add new compatibilities and now provides more than 150 direct integrations. In terms of project management, Daptiv PPM can manage any type of project, size of team and type of task. It provides complete visibility, highly customized reporting and interactive offline reports.

Cons: This project management service does not provide an on-premise option for those who want to control their own storage and security. The company has not yet developed social media type tools that most of the PM market now demands.

7. Tenrox

Pros: Tenrox provides all levels of professional services, power PM tools, unlimited integration options and a robust reporting module. It includes configurable timesheets, expense reporting and receipt tracking, and security and restriction tools.

Cons: This online project management solution relies on SharePoint's collaboration tools to facilitate team communications. However, SharePoint has recently added social media tools if you are looking for enterprise-level social networking tools.

8. Celoxis

Pros: Celoxis can manage more than 10,000 tasks per project eloquently. It includes powerful interactive Gantt charts, free client logins and email accounts, a choice of six languages and online training. It has excellent auto-scheduling and resource management tools.

Cons: For now, most custom integrations have to be created using the company's APIs. If you have the resources to create custom integrations for your business, you will appreciate the access to development tools Celoxis provides for both hosted and on-premise solutions.

9. LiquidPlanner

Pros: LiquidPlanner has an innovative priority-based scheduling engine that provides faster, more-accurate results. It supports numerous projects within one workspace, so you never overbook resources and you can get a bird's-eye view of your projects together. It is a great PM tool for modern teams that may be dispersed or work remotely.

Cons: This online project management service does not include many out-of-the-box integrations. If you need a solution that will integrate with CRM, ERP or accounting software, you will need to create those integrations using LiquidPlanner's APIs, or select a different PM service.

10. EPM Live

Pros: EPM Live directly integrates with Microsoft SharePoint and Office to create a complete project management solution that uses technologies you are already familiar with. Upland Software provides numerous free apps to add additional integrations, and provides generous professional support options.

Cons: This project management solution is intended to work with SharePoint; if this is not the collaboration tool you would like to use, you may want to select a different solution. In addition, the lowest price requires a 36-month contract.

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