One of the most common questions I get asked is what tool to I use to manage projects while working with virtual teams. The answer I give, is typically, “it depends a lot on the size of the project, and what you want to manage”
Collaboration, Project Management, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Online Project Management, Project Management System (PMS)
For many years, Microsoft Project, Excel and Word have been the de-facto tools for project managers. They work well (even for large projects) when a single, centralized and accountable project manager is in charge. Basic tools are simply not enough these days in which virtual teams, complex environments/schedule, volumes of emails, digital documents are the norm.
Over the years we have spent many thousands of dollars developing point solutions to allow us to more collaboratively manage project across teams. (I published a simple set of requirements back in 2008)
A note about Microsoft’s Office Project, Project Server and SharePoint: They are great tools but they are not quite integrated yet. Licensing, infrastructure and installation costs are still a barrier to their wide-spread use. (Microsoft’s new Online Services offerings are making these much easier and affordable)
I am very happy to report, that a recent web search, reveals that the web-development community has taken notice, and there are now several online services that are beginning to be viable and affordable depending on your need and requirements:
- www.comindwork.com/ – I think this is the best value and feature set around. One centralized storage to keep all project artifacts in organized manner, Milestones, Status, Tasks, Time tracking, Issues, Risks, Discussions, Dashboards, Knowledgebase (wiki) — Very impressive for less than $2/month per user.
- www.basecamphd.com – Our favorite for years! — web-based project management and collaboration tool for smaller projects and basic capabilities:To-dos, files, messages, schedules, and milestones. Very effective.
- www.Projjex.com - an online service that helps small businesses manage their clients, projects, tasks, time and invoices. about $15/user / month –
- www.teamworkpm.net Not a lot of experience with this one, but from the feature list deserves to be considered. The project notebook is a GREAT idea! — Unlimited users, bit charges based on the number of projects ( Free for 2, 15 for $24/month; unlimited $149/month) – I do like the fact that they publish a roadmap, and are very open company and team.
- www.projectinsight.net – Web-based project management software offers many strategic benefits such as: Project Scheduling, Resource Management, Document Management, Workflow and Approvals, Dashbaords, Time and Expense Tracking, Project Templates, Budgeting and Costing and Microsoft Outlook and Office Integration.
- www.5pmweb.com – takes a bit to get use to the interface, but once you do – it is very intuitive. Nicely priced as well.
- www.liquidplanner.com — ($35/user/month) Online scheduling, collaboration, time-tracking, and planning software – Have not used it but looks very good.
- http://www.easyprojects.net/ nice set of features (Project Management, TimeSheets, Issue Tracking and others ) but a bit expensive - $75 per month for 5 “Admin” users. – Unlimited “Customers Access” which is defined as: view, add issues, upload/dowload documents, and use message board)
- www.workzone.com - Very similar intrerface to basecamp – clean and direct. Nice set of basic features.
it is priced on a flat monthly fee for all users. (Not sure as to the price)
- www.aceproject.com/ A very compelling and complete set features. $1,000/year unlimited users w/ 2GB of storage )
- www.wrike.com - their tag line is: “Practical Project Management” – Nice interface, but expensive. Not a full set of features, but getting better. Project management, collaboration – $9.95 for unlimited viewer, $9.95 per collaborator user. - time tracking is additional $7.95/month. other charges apply as well.
- www.thymer.com - focused around three things: an overview of what needs to be done next by whom when, what’s going on or has been done, and quickly adding and delegating new tasks. Pricing ranges from free to $50/month for 10 users, unlimited projects.
- www.devshop.com – a web-based project management application specifically designed for planning software projects.
- www.viewpath.com – Project and Event Management web-based system,
- www.cvprojects.com – A simple and very inexpensive ($95/year) web-based project management tool with Dashboard, Tasks, Issues, Risks, Changes and others.
- www.fengoffice.com More of a full collaboration / extranet site – $10/user/month; free for Guests users.
- www.zoho.com – this one does not fall directly into project management, but is certainly a collaboration platform -
Others I have not yet checked but plan to:
- www.clarizen.com/ (starts at $50/month/user)
- www.myclientspot.com (10 user/project for $15/month; $49 for unlimited users 75 projects)
- www.celoxis.com/ ($15/month per user)
- www.projectmanager.com/ (unlimited projects; $25/user)
- www.assembla.com/ ( starts at $3/user/month) ) They have a private-labeled one using Amazon EC2 infrastructure
- www.workspace.com ($35/user/month – all apps)
- http://www.myintervals.com/ – Looks very interesting! Starts at $20 for unlimited users, 15 projects. — Intervals is web-based project management software that marries time tracking and task management in a collaborative online space with powerful reporting
- www.scrumd.com Scrum tools for Agile project management that simplifies project management for your agile team, and keeps everyone on the same page at all times.
- www.axosoft.com ($20/user./month)
- http://unfuddle.com/ ($9/month for 10 users, 4 active projects –> $99/month unlimited/50)
Web-based Project Management Applications (not hosted)
- www.activecollab.com – Although not an online service, I am sneaking this one in, as it has excellent feature set and is fairly inexpensive – ($499 or $199 for unlimited users) File sharing, discussions (set up like an online forum), task assignments, collaborative writing and reminders, time tracking, calendar ticket management and milestones. I like everything about this one.
- www.dotProject.net is a volunteer supported Project Management application. There is no "company" behind this project, it is managed, maintained, developed and supported by a volunteer group and by the users themselves.
- http://collabtive.o-dyn.de/ unlimited projects and users – Nice set of users. but VERY basic set of features.
- www.project-open.org/ – ]project-open[ is an open-source web-based Project Management / Project-ERP software which integrates areas such as CRM, sales, project planning, project tracking, collaboration, timesheet, invoicing and payments.
- www.redmine.org – open-source
- www.twproject.com (EU$45/year per user)
For Issue Tracking, then it will depend on what you want to do:
- http://nokahuna.com/ is a very simple and straight forward issue-tracking system
- http://16bugs.com/ – easy, basecamp-like interface.
- http://lessprojects.com/is a Project Task Management Application
I would love to hear what project management system do you use – which one did I missed?
Tell us about your experiences in the comments.