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Project management software
6 min read

Choosing the best project management software

Project management software can help prevent endless meetings, complex spreadsheets and your desk from drowning in post-its. This article will look at how you can use it to collaborate in an efficient and effective way, plus some of the best project management software products on the market. 

Project management software – our top three picks

First of all, we’ve picked our top three project management software products for small businesses – click the links below to visit their sites and find out more. 

ClickUp

Low-cost project management, done well

  • See your data in boards, charts or lists
  • Low costs
  • Strong customer support

Celoxis

Unmatched features at a fraction of the cost

  • Cloud and desktop versions available
  • Easily customisable
  • Real-time visibility of budget spends

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What is the definition of project management?

Project management is the leading of a team (by a project manager) to complete tasks that achieve set objectives within a specific timeframe and budget. 

As well as costs and timelines, project management will outline: 

  • Who is responsible for each task
  • What order the tasks need to be completed in 
  • The current status of tasks 
  • The workload of each member 
  • Key milestones 

Project management will allow for the early identification of any constraints in completing the project such as lack of time, resource, budget or skills required. These project risks can then be dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity.

What is a project?

A project can be done by one person or as a collaborative effort with a plan in place to complete a series of tasks in order to reach a particular goal. 

Typically, a project will be split into five different process groups.

  • Idea session
    Project initiation

    This will involve creating the project proposal and scope and conducting the relevant research including financial, stakeholder and SWOT analysis.

  • Project planning and design

    Developing the schedule, budget, team, deliverables and the order that tasks should be delivered in.

  • Wireframes
    Project execution

    After approval of the project plans, the implementation of the project work begins with the coordination of resources to produce the agreed deliverables.

  • Man working from home
    Project monitoring and control

    This involves the management of the project, measuring that tasks are being completed as expected and dealing with any project risks as they arise to keep the project on track.

  • Laptop shut closed
    Project closure

    The project is officially complete. At this stage, there will normally be a post-project review to see what went well and what could be improved on for the next project.

Checklist: What are the core project management principles?

Following the principles in the checklist below will help you to utilise project management software to best of its capabilities. 

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When should I start using project management software?

If you have been assigned the role of managing a project, or perhaps you have inherited the project from somebody else, consider where the project is currently at and if the use of project management software would be of benefit. 

Project management software is useful for:

  • Getting a team involved and working together 
  • Communication 
  • Assigning and managing tasks including seeing the order that tasks need to be completed in (the critical path or critical path management – CPM) 
  • Checking the status and progress of tasks and the overall project 
  • Monitoring risks 

For its use to be successful, everybody on the project team should commit to using the same tool and updating it regularly. If the project is straightforward or there are only a couple of people involved, the setup, cost and use might go to waste and something like a spreadsheet could suffice.

monday.com

With the slogan “work without limits”, monday.com is used by over 125k companies including BBC Studios, Coca-Cola, and Universal Music Group. 

  • Easily build, run and scale your dream workflows on one platform.
  • Readymade workflow templates for a wide range of business functions including sales, marketing, and HR.
  • Integrates with a wide range of existing tools including Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Dropbox.
  • Straightforward to set up custom automations designed to streamline time-consuming tasks.
  • Create your own dashboards to help you monitor project progress, timelines and budgets.

Additional benefits:

  • 14-day free trial
  • 24/7 customer support availability and hundreds of knowledge base articles and tutorials.
  • Kanban software to help you manage and prioritise workloads.
  • Gantt charts to help you visualise project activity and performance. 

Costs:

  • Individual – £0 (free forever) – ‘For individuals looking to keep track of their work’
  • Basic – £7 per month – ‘Manage all your teams’ work in one place’
  • Standard – £9 per month – ‘Collaborate and optimise your team processes’
  • Pro – £14 per month – ‘Streamline and run your teams’ complex workflows’
  • Enterprise – £(bespoke) – ‘For organisations seeking enterprise-grade features’

Trustpilot: ★★★★ (Excellent)

What customers are saying:

“Super customisable and super friendly. Really adapts to business workflows.”

Find out more about monday.com

ClickUp

With the slogan “simplify work and get more done”, ClickUp is used by big-name brands including Google, Booking.com, and Squarespace.

  • Free forever
  • Hundreds of customisable features to help you manage projects, track performance, and collaborate.
  • 15+ views to help you visualise projects including cards, calendar, and Gantt options.
  • ClickApps to help you customise tasks and views for different teams.
  • Reduce email overload through the Chat tool. 
  • Real-time and custom reporting to help you monitor workloads, goals, and performance against milestones.
  • Time Tracking so you better manage and evaluate your resource capabilities.  

Additional benefits:

  • 24 hour support and free training.
  • Download ClickUp onto any device.

Costs:

  • Free – includes 100MB storage, unlimited tasks and unlimited members
  • Unlimited – includes unlimited storage plus a much deeper range of features including unlimited list, board, and calendar views.

Trustradius: ★★★★ (Top-rated)

What customers are saying:

“Speed is important to us but also accuracy is everything. ClickUp helps us complete and deliver projects on time with a high level of accuracy. We are now more organized and ready to add more projects to our timeline as management of projects is now a smooth process.”

Find out more about ClickUp

Celoxis

Claiming to be “the all-in-one project management software”, Celoxis is used by big-name brands including LG, KPMG, and HBO.

  • Manage projects from the request stage through to planning, tracking, and delivery.
  • Triage project requests based on ranking prioritisation logic. 
  • Create dynamic project plans that automatically react to real-world conditions.
  • Track and address project issues through the dashboard view.
  • Ensure projects and budgets are aligned through profit and margin tracking and revenue forecasting.
  • Built-in workflow apps to track business processes.
  • Resource management

Additional benefits:

  • 24/5 customer support
  • Multilingual
  • Customisable demo tailored to your specific requirements.

Costs:

  • Cloud – £25 per-user-month – includes free support, free clients and virtual users, 2GB space per user

Capterra: ★★★★ (Emerging favourite)

What customers are saying:

“Gantt charts and financials work well, we don’t really use the resource and workload functions but they are good. Significant upgrade over Wrike for cost tracking and forecasting.”

Find out more about Celoxis

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