by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 7 August 2013
Project management can easily go from a to-do list to a complicated affair involving lots of strategies, ever-changing timelines, and an Amazon-depleting amount of Post-it notes. However, project complexity does not necessarily call for more features. This is because multiple features and functionalities that perform the same task can confuse team members and cause scope creep in projects.
Project management boils down to two parts. The first part is about making sure that work is assigned and distributed optimally. The second part is concerned with interpreting project analytics to make sure that project goals are reached in an efficient fashion. Striking a balance between the two can be a problem and most cloud-based project management apps scrimp on solutions.
The good news is that project management solutions in the cloud are excellent. They've got simple user interfaces, streamlined processing, and combine the benefits of accessibility with rich functionality that is on par with (and, sometimes, even better than) an on-premise solution.
Below we list off some of the best project management solutions to help you find the right fit.
Wrike is much more than just a project management tool; it blends social collaboration and task management features into one complete package. Suitable for companies of all sizes, the app is hot on real-time collaboration, bringing users updates on their projects as changes are made. You can access live updates through the built-in group activity streams, as well as use the analytics tools to get an instant visual on a project's progress.
Proworkflow grew out of an internal project management tool, which has incorporated suggestions and comments from users to modify and improve the app. In addition to including normal project management features and tasks (such as task management, resource scheduling and analytics), the tool is scalable; it can just as easily be used for a corporate team as for a five-man band. Also, according to the founders, the real differentiator between Proworkflow and other, similar solutions in the market is its focus on customer service.
Insightly may be better known as a CRM system that helps businesses capture information about customers, sales leads, and tasks, but it's also excellent as a project management tool. Designed specifically for SMBs, the app is focused on helping you record information fast, and being easy to use. The project overview screen gives quick access to features such as creating tasks, milestones, and pipelines for projects, tracking email correspondence, assigning roles to users, and getting automatic email updates.
Mavenlink emphasizes collaboration in project management. This is especially apparent with its commitment to presenting social activity from all different tasks, projects, and activities into an "activity stream" (à la Facebook newsfeed). This makes it easy to keep up with group projects and navigate a familiar UX (the activity stream), instead of losing track of projects through clutter or spending lots of time training (and retraining) employees on how to use the software. Another perk: Mavenlink syncs brilliantly with Google Tasks.
Workfront is an online project management software that integrates with Salesforce.com to enable customer relationship management through project management. It provides a 360-degree view of projects by incorporating internal (project-centric) and external (feedback-centric) view by incorporating social media into the project management paradigm. Furthermore, Workfront provides flexibility in terms of planning styles; it works with Agile or Waterfall methodologies, and supports quick-thinking ad hoc solutions as well.
What project management tool do you use? Let us know in the comments below. Or if you still haven't found what you're looking for, check out what project management apps other companies are using in our reviews section.