Compare Project Management Software

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Without the help of project management software, running complex projects can be pretty tricky. As a manager, you have to assign tasks, request and receive status reports, and monitor progress – from the start of the project to the finish line.

With great project management software, you can automate these processes, satisfy your clients more quickly, and maintain a motivated team. The statistics and results support the adoption of these solutions: according to PwC, 77% of top-tier businesses in the US make use of project management software.

So, how do you choose the best project management software for your business? There are several considerations to look out for, which can make or break your choice. However, if it's a new company you're choosing software for or your first time doing so, making that choice may be difficult.

Not to worry, though.

We’ve done the hard work for you. We will explain the key criteria for comparing project management software for your needs and introduce you to our advanced comparison tool that gives you a quick snapshot of different software, so you can always make the best choice.

What Is Essential for a Project Management Software Comparison

To determine the criteria for making an effective comparison of project management software solutions, we analyzed the entire markert of PM software and conducted in-depth research into each offer's features and components to determine which criteria are most relevant. More details about our study can be found on our Best Picks.

Based on our research, we've determined nine criteria that are key for comparing project management software. Below are these criteria and the key attributes to them:

1. Features

As a project manager, it's essential to have a complete suite of tools in your portfolio to meet your and your team members' needs. From creating checklists to adding and scaling new projects, a great project management solution allows you to develop and execute projects seamlessly.

When comparing the features of products, here's what to look out for:

Tasks and subtasks

Every project comprises multiple tasks, which may tend to have a hierarchy. A project management software needs to be able to add new tasks and assign them to team members. A great project management software also supports hierarchy through subtasks.

Task dependencies

You cannot start baking a cake until flour, sugar, and eggs have been supplied. Often, certain tasks cannot be completed until other milestones are met. This is called task dependency. Because no single task is in a vacuum, this feature is significant in your project management software comparison when you require only to release new tasks once specific requirements are met.

Start and due dates

Every project has time-bound goals. It ensures that the team meets deadlines and stays productive. Additionally, it provides no team delays the other, especially for task-dependent assignments. So, the feature of setting the start and due dates is essential.


Managers are pretty busy and sometimes cannot spare the time to start building a structured schedule for each project. This is where pre-installed templates come in. With these templates, PMs can swiftly initiate new (or familiar) projects, making them an excellent feature for project management software.


Ticking off checkboxes is always one of the most satisfying feelings when on a project. But it's not just the feeling; it's the fact that you're nearing your goals. This means that checklists are a crucial feature of project management software.

Automated Workflows

Automation is the engine of 21st-century productivity. An automated workflow ensures that every project stage proceeds smoothly, leading seamlessly from one phase to another with minimal manual effort.


Being able to view milestone is a crucial feature in project management software. It provides an opportunity to track and measure progress at every process stage.

Time tracking

When team members are unproductive, it can lead to unnecessary delays and a drop in quality during projects. Time tracking lets managers see which team members are efficient in their work output. This helps in effective people management and to evaluate recurring tasks.

Project budgeting

Large projects can have multiple sub-budgets for each task. An integrated project budgeting feature helps you to collate all the small budgets assigned to a project to create a comprehensive budget. It also allows you to follow and track expenses in real time.


In a world of multiple deadlines and multiple projects, it's important always to take note of what is most important. That’s why it's critical to determine priorities regarding tasks. Using various features such as reminders, color coding, etc., help you to determine what's most important so you don't lose sight of it in the grand project.

2. Access

Today, it's become more important for workers to be able to stay productive on a variety of devices. With the evolution of remote and hybrid roles, accessibility through multiple options is a priority. When comparing tools for your project management solution, it's essential to pick one sufficiently accessible for your business needs.

When comparing the kind of access products offer, here's what to look out for:

Desktop app

Most people work from their PCs, so this criterion is a no-brainer. A desktop app saves employees the stress of opening multiple tabs – which we should certainly do less of. Additionally, it provides a consistent environment where team members can be productive.

Mobile app

Today, mobile phones have become a second office for many workers. According to research by Hitwise, nearly 60% of all searches are performed on mobile, with many workers finding the ability to put in one or two hours on the go quite helpful. A mobile app offers great flexibility and allows you to derive more productivity from team members.

Number of users

It's pretty obvious – the more users the software allows, the more talent you can bring to a project. The best project management software will enable you to bring in an unlimited number of team members to scale as much as you want. Of course, depending on the size of your business, your needs may vary.

Number of tasks

Tasks are the building blocks of projects, so it's critical that your project management software comparison properly takes them into account. It's often best to have a solution where several tasks are supported, with the ability to add subtasks and assign users.

Number of projects

As a project manager, you deal with projects first of all. So, it's not uncommon to have multiple projects ongoing simultaneously. A great project management software should have your back on adding new projects so that you can scale quickly and continually stay productive. The best products in this category allow you to add unlimited projects.


Each project generates data, which businesses must keep either temporarily, or for extended periods. So, your chosen solution needs to have excellent options for storage. Like many other features, your needs often depend on your business size and industry. However, it's critical to stay flexible and choose the best you can get for your money.

3. Pricing

If you're a small or medium-sized business, this is probably one of your most crucial factors. A well-priced software solution helps you improve the delivery of your projects without your needing to break the bank. Even as a large corporation, getting a reasonable product price enables you to cut costs. A word here, though. Don't be afraid to spend a few extra bucks on a great product; it could be worth it in the long run.

Want to get the best in terms of pricing? Here's what to look out for when comparing products:

Free plan

With a free plan, you can explore the features and functionalities of a product without having to allocate more of your budget to it. It’s a great way to help your team members adapt to the basic features of a product before upgrading to a paid plan. And for small businesses, a free plan can help you to reduce your expenses on smaller projects.

Pricing plans

While it’s essential to get the best your money can buy, competitive pricing is always welcome. And if you're a smaller business, the pricing plans may be very critical. Affordable monthly pricing helps you stay within your budget while improving productivity. The monthly cost usually grows with your team size, so keep an eye on it.

4. Admin controls

One of the key reasons for using project management software is the ability to improve your productivity. Another vital feature is the ability to track your productivity. By understanding and analyzing your performance in previous projects, you can find gaps in your performance and improve in the future. Additionally, this lets you receive real-time updates as a project is on, quickly adjusting where you need to.

Here is what to look out for regarding administrator controls when comparing project management tools:

Project dashboards

A project dashboard is a great way to get a general overview of the project status and key metrics at a glance. For project managers, it's important not to get lost in the details. With a general overview from a dashboard, it's easier to stay on track with a project before diving into the aspects that need more attention.


Projects are dynamic, so it's important to observe how progress is being made in real-time to evaluate performance and recommend adjustments where necessary. Excellent project management tools allow you to generate reports around key metrics and stay updated.

Custom fields

Because each project will probably have custom tasks that are dependent on the nature of the task (or the company protocols), having the ability to create custom fields is critical. Custom fields can add specific details such as budgets, priorities, and more, depending on the project requirements. It, of course, helps you to stay flexible.

Project portfolios

Being able to visually group projects is essential for staying organized as a project manager. Excellent project management tools allow you to keep similar projects together to manage them seamlessly. This feature should be considered when comparing project management tools from the perspective of handling multiple projects simultaneously.


Goals help to keep a team focused and harmonize everyone's efforts to see how everyone contributes to the finish line. Setting goals that every team member can constantly refer to is a feature of excellent project management tools.

User permissions

The user permissions functionality allows managers to assign different levels of access and permissions to team members. Depending on each team member's level and competencies, it is often necessary to give different levels of access to team members. This feature is thus handy for businesses where team members have different levels of experience and expertise.

Data export

Exporting data for use in other company areas is crucial for scaling operations. Data exports allow you to export various formats of projects, tasks, users, lists, and reports. It is vital for data analytics and decision-making.


Getting a panoramic view of an entire project is essential for effective project management so you don't get lost in the details. Excellent project management software solutions provide options for different views of a project. Excellent viewing options are essential for efficient project management, from interactive Kanban boards to easily accessible Gantt charts.

We have scanned providers for the most frequently used views so you can see which providers offer or lack your favorite ones:

Types of Project Management Views


A board view or Kanban helps you view the progress of tasks in real time in an easy, interactive manner. With a functional Kanban system, you can view and arrange projects based on a view of separate “cards”.


An integrated calendar helps to convert abstract timelines to visible dates so that you can stay focused – and keep your team motivated. This view often comes with the possibility of integrating a Google or Outlook calendar.


Arrange your tasks in a simple list format. With some providers, lists look more like a table or grid, so we merged them as one. These views are perfect for you if you like them clean and organized.


With a timeline, you can view tasks and projects on a time continuum. It helps you see how each task or project progresses with time in chronological order.

Gantt chart

A Gantt chart is a highly visual way of getting a timeline view of your project, but it also helps display task dependencies and project phases.


If you're a business with multiple on-site projects, a map helps you easily manage and visualize the progress at numerous job sites. Maps are a great way to handle projects when physical locations, such as events, come into the picture.

6. Integrations

Hopping back and forth between applications for a single task is stressful and a waste of time. As a project manager, you often don't have that luxury. Having an online software option that seamlessly integrates with other practical applications is always a great idea. With a software solution that allows you to integrate useful third-party apps, your workers can save time and continue delivering consistent work with the apps they already know and use.

Here's what to look out for regarding third-party integrations for your project management software comparison:

Number of native integrations

Third-party integrations allow teams to use familiar, proven applications while maintaining the native benefits of project management software. With more third-party integrations that fit your industry, you can save time and promote efficiency among your team members.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive office suite from Microsoft, including various tools to optimize productivity, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and more. With Microsoft 365, projects connected to these powerful tools are also backed up to the cloud, making it easier to work from anywhere. Thus, Microsoft 365 is often an essential tool in a project manager's kit.


Also part of Microsoft 365 is Outlook, a multifunctional tool that helps teams that use Microsoft tools in many ways. With Outlook, you can send and receive emails, manage your calendar, add and store contacts, and keep track of your tasks. We have added Outlook separately as it’s often also used without the whole 365 suite.


Slack is one of the best office hub applications out there. It's made business communications quicker and more flexible, allowing team members to chat and share files quickly and from one central location. It's one of the most popular tools today. It’s one of the first integrations PMs to look out for in a project management solution.


Gmail is one if not the biggest email communication tools in the world. It makes sending emails to customers, clients, and colleagues easy. With emailing not slowing down anytime soon, it can help to integrate it with your project management software to automate tasks.


Dropbox is a popular file storage tool that harnesses cloud services to provide storage for businesses and individuals. It also offers functionalities to keep business files safe, such as password protection, download permissions, et cetera.

Google Drive

Google Drive is Google's answer to helping businesses with their file storage and file sharing needs. With Google Drive, you can store files of various formats on the cloud and access them from anywhere. Google Drive also automatically saves files created on the Google ecosystem, such as Docs, Sheets, and Forms.


GitHub provides a dedicated space for developers to collaborate on projects. With GitHub, you can create repositories, add developers, and work together remotely. It also uses cloud storage to ensure your work is always safe and protected.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is undoubtedly more than just a calendar. With Google Calendar, you can add timelines to tasks, schedule meetings, and set reminders. Plus, it syncs to all devices, from mobile to desktop.


For B2B companies, Hubspot makes interactions easy. It brings everything companies to need to provide a first-class customer experience into one place. Its cloud-based CRM platform integrates sales, marketing, services, and other features to improve customer relations. Hubspot is a top option to consider in a project management solution for businesses that want to improve customer relationships and drive sales.


Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM solution that helps businesses connect with customers and prospects quickly and helps to scale a business's marketing operations. From marketing automation to customer service, Salesforce is an essential tool for many companies.

7. Ease of use

A study by Harmon revealed that 97% of mobile users rate ease of use as the most important quality for mobile apps. It also plays out in apps for the workplace. A Capterra study revealed that 74% of field service companies mentioned ease of use as a top priority for choosing new tools. These stats and facts underline the importance of ease of use for a project management solution. When selecting a project management product for your company, you must pick an option your team members can navigate easily. It will help your team stay agile and reap the tool's benefits.

When determining how easy to use software is, you'd need to consider everything around setting it up and using the tool daily. We conduct research and tests to determine how seamless software works and to which degree customers are satisfied with a product. For that, we collect dozens of customer reviews, data from online sources, and social media data about the providers. We use advanced algorithms to determine a score for all of them. If you are looking for an easy-to-use project management tool, look out for higher scores in our comparison.

8. Customer support

As a project manager, your role is inherently stressful. But what could be more stressful than having a problem and no one recommending a solution? That's why choosing a software solution with robust customer support is essential. When comparing tools for your business needs, it's vital to assess how strong their customer support is. Excellent customer support will help you blitz through any unexpected bottlenecks easily.

Here's what to look at to compare the customer support offered with a software solution:

24/7 availability

With the quality of service customers demand in today's corporate world reaching new heights, 24/7 availability is becoming more critical. If your business has little downtime, this criterion is one you can ensure to include in your comparison of product offerings.

Phone support

Phone calls are a quick way to reach customer service and get a personalized solution for any problems. Check for this feature to get excellent answers to problems with little delay.


Emails may not be as fast as phone calls. Still, they offer the opportunity to reach out to the support team with detailed explanations of problems. The best solutions often provide a responsive email support team.

Live Chat

Live chat is a cheaper and more accessible alternative to telephone support. It's also preferable, mainly if your team is scattered globally. With a live chat, team members can communicate directly with an agent and get tailored solutions when needed.

Response quality

Getting prompt responses to your queries is very important in today's fast-paced business world. The response time is one of the most critical factors when examining how good a provider’s support team is. The timeline that is acceptable to you will depend on what industry you're in. We take this concept further and test how well the support team responds to queries and provides solutions. We evaluate the efficiency and helpfulness of the support teams in a custom score.

9. Security

Data privacy and integrity are vital concerns in the highly connected world of 21st-century devices. You'll need to assure your clients that their data is safe while ensuring that your business's activities and confidential information are protected. Project management solutions should come with a robust security architecture.

Here's what to look out for when assessing the security of project management solutions:

Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is a security process where users must verify their identities through multiple steps. It's essential to ensure that valuable company systems are protected from unauthorized people.

Audit logs

Audit logs document and record activity on a project or task. With audit logs, project managers have a reliable reference that they can use to assess the origin of problems if they arise.


With SSO (single sign-on), it becomes easy for users to sign into the entire system using a single ID. It’s an essential innovation in the era of distributed microservices on cloud-based platforms. Thus, your team members do not need to remember tons of passwords for everything they want to do.

SOC 2 Type 2 Compliance

The SOC 2 Type 2 report provides a reliable measure of how efficiently project management software safeguards user data. The report captures how the provider protects your data and how effective those controls operate.


With SAML, users only need to undergo the authentication process once with SSO. SAML streamlines access by linking user credentials to the services they are enabled to use.


SCIM is an open standard for managing user identity information on cloud-based systems and applications. The SCIM standard automates the exchange of information between different IT systems or identity domains. It ensures that users are either authorized across all systems or consistently unauthorized across all systems. For example, when a person is removed from the company's PM software directory, SCIM deactivates that employee's attached Salesforce, Microsoft 365, and other third-party accounts.


With backups, managers or IT administrators can prevent data loss. A backup stores an archived copy of data captured at a particular instance and can be used to replace the original in case of a system failure or compromise. This important feature helps to keep valuable company data secure.

Domain-specific access

Domain-specific access is a way to restrict IT access to authorized users. This functionality ensures that only people with a particular email ID can access proprietary IT systems. This way, company data is protected from external parties.

How to Compare Project Management Software

You now know what features are essential when comparing software products for your project management needs. But how do you compare software effectively?

We recommend starting with your priorities. Ask yourself what you want the software to do for you and how critical the criteria we discussed are for your business. If you don’t have a clear structure for your comparison, we suggest the following order, sorted from most to least critical.


When comparing project management software, you need to consider the features offered by all solutions carefully. Does it allow you to create tasks and subtasks? Does the software allow you to add team members and automatically assign tasks to them? Does the software support automatic workflows, time tracking, and project budgeting? All these features are essential when deciding, but how critical are they for your business? Make sure to create a list of features and rank them after their priorities to clarify what you can and can’t miss.


Ease of access is a priority in today's internet-driven corporate world. When comparing products, asking questions is essential to determine how accessible the solution is and should be. Do I need to access the software from a smartphone? Do I need a desktop app? How much storage does the provider offer, and how many team members can you add at a time?


Affordability and getting the best value for your money are always significant concerns for a business. When comparing similar options, you'll also need to compare the prices with each provider. What is the entry price, and how much will you be expected to pay per user? Is there a free plan that you can use as a small business? When comparing options, ensure to answer these questions and compare the price while considering the offered features. What makes or breaks a product selection will depend on your goals and the nature of your business.

Admin controls and reporting

As a project manager, you must stay in control of many steps. You may want to pick a solution that offers features to do so. Does the solution include project dashboards? Do I need to generate custom reports and export data for further analysis? Before making your final decision, these questions need to be answered from your perspective.


How do you ensure that every aspect of your project is on track? Well, using the right view for your project can help a lot. When making your choice, explore its offerings regarding the project views. Which ones do you need? Does it have a board/Kanban option? How about Gantt charts or a geo-map view for events? Make sure to be clear about how you want to view projects.


A composite suite of integrations is essential for excellent project management software. It helps team members work seamlessly within an app, harmonizes efforts easily, and saves time. When comparing products, check for integrations with the apps you already use or plan to use. Whether it's GitHub, Google Drive, Slack, or Microsoft 365, check for what you use and need in your project management software.

Ease of use

No matter how powerful a project management software solution is, you'd be unable to derive benefits from it if it's impossible to use. It's crucial to find out how well your team members would be able to navigate a possible option. You can book a demo, get a free trial, or use the free plans for a while. Our ease of use score can give you an idea about which tools may be easier or harder to dive into.


Security is crucial when choosing a project management software solution for your needs, especially when large companies and sensitive data are involved. Not only do confidential details have to be secure, but data also has to be kept safe from theft or loss. Check for the security standards available with the solutions you're considering. For example, do they offer multi-factor authentication? Are there options for cloud backups of data? Do they utilize an efficient SAML for user sign-in? Use our comparison tool to compare these features before deciding if some are critical to you.

Customer support

Good customer support is essential for ensuring a consistent user experience. When comparing tools, check for the availability and quality of customer support if you require solid support frequently. How many channels do they offer for help — email, chatbot, telephone, or all three? How good is their response time? How good is the quality of their support? Confirm these details before opting for a product so you're assured of prompt, quality customer service when required.

While the features described above are great guidelines, you can consider what will be most critical for you will depend on your business needs. For example, if you're concerned about keeping prices low, you should prioritize the pricing aspect more. The same applies to any other criterion most important for you and your business.

Your Results of Comparing Project Management Software

We covered nine essential criteria for comparing project management software for your business. Use the tips we've shared here as a guide when you're about to make that final choice between two similar options.

Ultimately, your final decision will have to depend on your business needs. Consider your business-specific requirements when comparing tools based on our described criteria. This way, you can get a composite picture that helps you to make a good choice.

If you're just starting to make your choice, or you'd like to know more, you can check out our other tools dedicated to project management software. Our Best Picks show you the market's top project management software solutions from our detailed analysis of over 50 providers. And our Finder Tool can help you find the best software solutions for your tailored needs.


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