I am frequently asked by new PMs and some experienced PMs as to what are the other PM tools that could be used for managing projects in addition to vastly popular PM tools offered by the Top 5 Industry majors. I noticed that majority of the people were looking for free or inexpensive tools which are efficient and affordable. So in this post, I would touch upon some of these options for you as project management professionals to explore.
PM tools are not just for managing software based projects but they also contribute in bringing standards and consistency in practice. They can be used for variety of other tasks to increase personal or team productivity too through collaboration, remote access and notification features. Though there are numerous tools for planning, organizing and managing resources to achieve project goals and objectives, there are few notable and relied by large number of professionals.Pl note each tool would have some advantages and some drawbacks but I am sure you would find something that may suit your current requirement.
- Daptive: It’s Software as a Service delivery model ensures a high value web based project management capability including robust task management, fully interactive Gantt Chart, and integration with Microsoft Project. In addition it gets teams collaborating around Documents, Issues, Discussions and News with portal approach. Starts at $50/year for a group license.
- @Task: This wed-based tool focuses on An easy-to-use interface. The Gantt charts shows some impressive utilities. You can drag and drop information to avoid unnecessary typing, easily schedule individuals for specific tasks, and view real-time reports showing your project’s status claiming superior scheduling power than MS Project!. It offers a variety of pricing plans depending on the number of users and the number of projects you need to manage.
- ZOHO Project: It’s a web-based application, meaning that you don’t have to install project management software on every computer you use. You can access your schedule from anywhere and, if you’re only working on one project, ZOHO Projects is free. ZOHO Projects can generate Gantt charts, but doesn’t offer PERT charts.
- Open Project: It’s a good fit for enterprises that have deployed Open Office as cheaper alternative to MS Office. It runs both on Mac, Windows as well as Unix machines. For a few dollars a month, users can host a virtualized edition of OpenProject on Projity’s servers, making this tool an ideal hybrid of desktop and web-based project management software.
- Active Collab: It is a PM & collaboration tool that one can set up on your own server or local network. It allows team collaboration with access control features or differentiated privileges & time tracking. Starting with $ 299 it can be answer to your global projects management requirements.
- eProjectTracker: It is a web based project management software focused exclusively on helping project-intensive businesses manage their entire project portfolio lifecycle, including projects of all sizes. It goes one step ahead & provides the project execution and control capabilities at program and portfolio level. Other notable features are Executive Dashboard, Project Management, Task tracking and Management, Issues tracking and Management, Resource Management, Customer Management, Document Management. It starts at $29 for up to 15 projects.
- GanttProject: GanttProject is a cross platform desktop project scheduling application featuring gantt chart, resource management, calendaring, import/export (MS Project, HTML, PDF, spreadsheets).
- FastTrack: Available for both Mac and Windows, it is easy to update and offers an easy introduction to the software and a gentle learning curve for new PMs while robust enough for experienced project manager wanting to put it through its paces. A license for FastTrack is significantly lower compared to one for Microsoft Project.
- ProjectPier: It is a Free, Open-Source, self-hosted application for managing tasks, projects and teams through an intuitive web interface. It is completely web based, has great usability to provide an easy to use solution. It organizes projects into Milestones, Messages, Task lists, Tasks and Files. You can set E-mail notifications for new milestones, tasks, messages and comments to stay in loop for changes.
- RedMine: It is a flexible project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. It includes calendar and gantt charts to aid visual representation of projects and their deadlines.
Shyam Verma, PMP, ITIL
Program & portfolio mgnt professional