The core function of any project management software is to monitor, track and follow the progress of projects from their inception to their completion. These tools are traditionally used by both project managers and project stakeholders to plan projects and follow their progress and development, as well as to future-proof and ensure the projects’ smooth and timely completion.
Project management applications allow for a clear oversight over all aspects of a project - from the management of tasks, people and resources, to the sharing of documents and client information. The general purpose of project management software is to improve communication, transparency and collaboration among all members of a project, allowing for full visibility over processes, tasks, and workflow.
As project management software has evolved it has become a vital tool not only for project managers, but also for small businesses and entrepreneurs to automate the actions normally carried out by a project manager. These applications are used for short-term or long-term projects, as well as to organize better the general day-to-day working of a company.
A project management application will vary from one to another. When choosing the right solution to suit your needs, you may want to narrow down the features you are looking for. Some PM applications are designed with specific teams in mind, such as software developers, while others cater for a more diverse range of workers.
Common project management functions you will want to look out for include task management features to set and assign tasks, deadlines and time sprints. Other tools should facilitate communication with automated notifications, document sharing and the ability to leave notes. If you have a team with well-defined roles, don’t forget to search for a project management app that allows you to assign specific user permissions at various stages of the project lifecycle.
Users of project management software will also benefit from reporting tools, such as error or bug alerts and past-deadline notifications. These can also include reports generated from key project analytics and insights for better visualization of a project's performance. More robust applications may also handle financial issues related to your projects such as budgeting, purchasing, time billing and invoicing. But you often have to try them out to find the right project management software for you and your team. Many of our PM apps have free trials, so give one a go!
GetApp's Category Leader ranking is for business owners and decision makers looking for a comprehensive list of the leading cloud-based software products in the industry.
The ranking serves as a point of reference highlighting key factors that small businesses should look at when assessing a piece of software. These factors include user perception (reviews), compatibility (integrations and mobile compatibility), market presence (media presence), and security features (security).
An app's score is calculated using five unique data points, each scored out of 20, giving a total score out of 100. The ranking and scoring methodology ensure complete impartiality and independence from any relationships that GetApp has with app vendors.
Review scores are calculated using reviews collected from GetApp and its sister sites, Software Advice and Capterra. Scores are calculated based on the total number, average rating, and recency of reviews.
The number of reviews and average user rating are scaled against the category average. A weighting is then applied to reward recency of user reviews: reviews written in the last 6 months score up to 10 points, those written between 6 and 12 months ago score up to 6 points, and those more than 12 months old score up to 4 points. These numbers are added together to give a total maximum score of 20.
Integration scores factor in a number of variables. Up to 16 points are awarded based on the number of integrations an app has; the first 10 points are awarded based on the number of integrations relative to the category average, while 4 points are awarded based on the number of integrations relative to the leaders in the category. An additional 5 points is awarded for an integration with Zapier, a widely used software integration platform, while an extra point is given for having an open API. The total possible score for integrations is 20 points.
Mobile scores are calculated based on the availability of an iOS and Android app. 5 points are awarded for the presence of each app, with an additional 10 points being awarded for the number and average rating of reviews in both the App Store and Google Play. These review scores are calculated and scaled against the competition for a maximum of 5 points per platform and an overall maximum score of 20.
If there isn't a native iOS or Android app, the product's website is assessed using Google's PageSpeed Insights to measure mobile usability. The score is returned out of 100, then scaled to a score out of 5 for a maximum of 5 points.
Media presence is calculated using the number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans that an app has. The number of fans and followers are added together, and each app is scored based on this overall number, compared with others in the category. The first 15 points are awarded for the combined number of followers and fans scaled against the category average, while the final 5 points are awarded for the combined number of followers and fans scaled against the top leaders in the category. These two scores are added together for a total out of 20 points.
Security scoring is calculated using answers from a vendor-completed survey. The questions in the survey are based on the Cloud Security Alliance self-assessment form as part of the Security, Trust & Assurance Registry. With 15 questions, each answer is assigned a point value based on vendor response, with additional points given for security certifications, for a maximum possible score of 20.
In the event of a tie, each data point is weighted for importance, with security taking precedent, followed by reviews, integrations, mobile apps, and media presence, respectively.
*All data points combining calculations for both ratings and reviews are calculated using a Bayesian estimate, which is a weighted average that includes the number of reviews and the rating of an app, benchmarked against others in the category.