What is SaaS project management software
Project management tools have long since arrived in business. They are successfully used company-wide or by individual departments in companies of all sizes and from a wide variety of industries to efficiently organize the tasks of internal work teams. They form the basis for smooth employee communication and collaboration - even in locally distributed teams. From classic solutions with a focus on project planning, to lightweight systems that work according to the “Getting Things Done” method and focus on team communication, to holistic collaboration platforms and special tools for modern teams who want to work in an agile manner: Every company works differently and every project manager has his own personal management style. This is why an extremely diverse market has developed over the years that offers the right solution for every claim and requirement.
Below we present 20 of the best project management solutions that anyone who wants to get a better grip on their projects should know. As different as the solution approaches and paradigms of the individual alternatives are, they all have one thing in common: They are offered as SaaS and have already convinced thousands of business users in practice. They also all value usability and the simplest and most intuitive handling possible. They also score with transparent and flexible costs and can be introduced quickly. This makes them ideal for use in small and medium-sized companies.
The first project management software appeared on the market 30 years ago. Back then, Microsoft needed a solution to better coordinate the work of its software teams. The idea for Microsoft Project was born. In 1984 the first version for the MS-DOS operating system came onto the market. Instead of pencil and paper, the Microsoft developers in Redmond could now use a computer program to better manage their project resources, budgets and tasks. Since then, the solution that focuses primarily on project planning has continued to evolve and is now available in the cloud.
With Basecamp, project management experienced a renaissance. After the first release in 2004, the software was able to position itself as one of the world's most important project management solutions. In the meantime, over 15 million users are said to have worked with it. Behind the product is the SaaS company 37Signals from Chicago, which has made a name for itself in the industry with this and other business apps. In contrast to the solution from Redmond, Basecamp is strongly communication-oriented and reduces project management to the essentials: task and appointment management, notes, file sharing, comments and discussions. Gantt charts and similar planning tools are completely dispensed with.
With OnePoint Projects there is an interesting alternative from Austria that covers project and portfolio management and primarily addresses larger medium-sized companies. In addition to the standard functions that should not be missing in any PM software, the solution offers professional features that are based on IPMA standards (“International Project Management Association”) and cover all aspects of methodical project management, from planning and controlling to evaluation and analysis.
Wrike is another sophisticated solution from California that can convince with an extensive feature set, many integration options and mobile support. The central functions of the modular application include task management, joint document management and communication tools such as comments, activity feeds and e-mail integration. Traditional PM tools such as Gantt charts, comprehensive reporting and nice-to-have functions such as time recording complete the range of functions of this solution, which is available in German.
Seasoned project managers who do not want to do without classic planning tools such as Gannt diagrams and reporting will find a recommendable project management tool in Copper Project that is designed for SMEs. The interactive Gantt chart is particularly well implemented with this tool. Tasks and deadlines can be conveniently edited here using drag & drop. The other core functions of the software include detailed project and working time reports, which can be dynamically adapted to individual needs using various filters.
Smartsheet pursues a very individual approach that sets it apart from the competition. The core of the system is made up of interactive, “intelligent” tables, which are called smartsheets. In principle, these work like normal Excel tables, but are supplemented by many useful tools for task and file management, reporting and collaboration, which enable professional project management - even for complex projects with many participants. This makes this tool ideal for beginners who have managed their projects with Excel up to now.
Projectplace is one of the first PM solutions that could be used in the browser. The first release of the SaaS solution from Sweden was published over ten years ago. The software has continued to develop since then. It presents itself today in a modern flat design and addresses the requirements that are placed on modern business solutions with high-quality mobile apps and social collaboration functions.
Redbooth is another holistic productivity platform that competes directly with Projectplace with a strong focus on communication, project management and file administration. When it comes to collaboration, the software offers chat discussions and video conferences in HD quality. Documents can be assigned to projects and edited together with the team. As far as efficient file management is concerned, the program offers seamless integration options with popular cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.
With Redmine, users receive a web-based PM system from the open source warehouse that is not only functional and free of charge, but also very flexible. In addition to classic project management features, it also offers numerous modules, including for discussion forums, wikis, help desk and ticket management, issue tracking, time recording and file sharing. This means that it can be used in a wide variety of scenarios. There are also countless plugins - the project page lists over 2000 - with which the Ruby on Rails-based application can be expanded.
Based on this widespread solution, the software company Planio from Berlin has developed an extensive project management solution of the same name, which has been able to position itself as a serious alternative in this country. From numerous features for project and task management, to file and knowledge management with wikis and FAQs, to advanced modules for communication, time recording and customer support: the wide range of functions of the online software operated in German data centers covers all important aspects of efficient collaboration in a modern company.
Another PM solution that is operated in the German cloud is Projectfacts from Darmstadt. This comes up with an extensive set of features. The central modules include CRM, project management, resource planning, time recording, vacation and illness management, invoicing, reporting and personnel management. There are also numerous collaboration tools such as shared calendars, wikis, document management and task management. Projectfacts is thus positioning itself as a holistic business software that can be used as the company headquarters by various departments.
Strictly speaking, Podio is not a pure PM solution, but rather a modern social collaboration platform. The tool offered by Citrix competes with social networks for companies such as Yammer and Chatter. However, project management plays a central role at Podio. The system scores with a lot of flexibility in terms of process optimization. This allows you to create your own productivity apps that are precisely tailored to your own needs. An interactive WYSIWYG editor is available for this purpose, with which individual processes and workflows can be mapped according to the modular principle.
Another holistic productivity solution is Stackfield, in which communication and collaboration are brought to a common denominator. In this way, users can create different work areas in the cloud and manage projects, tasks, documents, appointments, notes, and so on together in the team. A special feature of the solution from Munich: the implemented end-to-end encryption is intended to ensure that neither unauthorized third parties nor the manufacturer can access customer data.
In software development, agile management methods such as Scrum and Kanban are becoming increasingly important. Software manufacturers find special applications on the SaaS market that work according to these methods. This includes Pivotal Tracker from San Francisco. The tool brings agile project management under one roof with comprehensive collaboration functions, which are intended to ensure a smooth exchange of information among project members. "Stories" (functions, bugs, releases, etc.) can be created in the product backlog on the online dashboard. Here the project members can manage, comment and, similar to Twitter, also follow tasks.
With Jira, the Australian software company Atlassian provides project management software specially designed for developer teams. This presents itself as a function-rich alternative that covers all important aspects of the management of software projects with over 150 features. On the basis of this extensive platform, users receive Jira Agile, an additional solution that offers support for Scrum and Kanban.
Sprintly is a lesser-known but still noteworthy alternative to Jira and Pivotal Tracker. The tool, which originated in Colorado, pursues an interesting solution approach, in which the effective cooperation of software developers and management teams, for example from the areas of marketing, product management and sales, is in the foreground. The daily e-mail reports, which graphically visualize the progress of the team and give management an overview of what has been achieved in the last 24 hours, are practical.
Planbox from Canada is also aimed at developers, designers, marketers and product managers. The service sees itself as a holistic all-in-one solution that is not only aimed at professionals, but above all at beginners who have so far had little experience in agile project management. Planbox works according to the Scrum principle. In addition to the usual functions in this area, Planbox offers some nice extras. These include a comprehensive module for time recording and seamless integrations with help desk tools such as Zendesk.
When it comes to making agile management methods palatable to non-technical people, solutions like Planbox have to measure themselves against one online service: Trello. The service, launched in 2011, is developed by the software company Fog Creek Software from New York. The product now has over five million registered users. The approach is based strongly on the Kanban concept. Instead of grouping individual tasks in ordinary lists, these are displayed in index cards with which the user can interact visually.
Anyone who is impressed by the possibilities of Trello should also take a closer look at AgileZen. In terms of functionality, both tools pursue the same goals and are based on the same agile principles. With the tasks or user stories you can specify various details, write comments and share files with other team members. Stories can be moved from one column to another on the Kanban board using drag-and-drop. This enables the entire project progress to be efficiently visualized.
Axosoft is an extensive Scrum
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