Management of any kind, in any field is a hassle. There are so many metrics, logistics and other things to juggle all at once that it can really make your head spin. Software to help with this kind of stuff is often a welcome innovation, and the same can of course be said for project management tools.
Now, unlike a lot of fields, there have been many project management tools, even before the SaaS revolution. Developers like Microsoft and other utility software creators have designed many of these software concepts for a longtime. The problem was, though, that prior to SaaS, not many of these really worked that well, and they were expensive and hard to come to terms with.
Add to this the fact that platform dependencies made multiple purchases of this software necessary for large, multi-department projects, only to find many of them didn’t support all your platforms, and well, you had a real problem.
Let’s take a look at the new generation of this sort of software that SaaS has made possible, which don’t have these problems.
#1 – Mavenlink
Mavenlink is to project management what Moodle is to LMS or Salesforce is to CRM. This is a juggernaut, and its features are vast and extensive. It’s a bit more expensive, so it’s really more for big companies with big projects, but don’t let that stop you if you have the budget to tap into this powerhouse.
Features include Google Apps integration, Quickbooks integration, track tasks, share documents, invoicing, open IDs, online payments through PayPal, project activity streams, project history, file sharing, private messaging, subtasks, community pages, email digests, real time messaging, email invitations, link conversations, assignment of responsibility, and an intuitive centralized dashboard.
On top of this, it’s customizable and has been tested to work fine in most browsers, though some have reported iPhone’s Safari is hit or miss … but then, iOS in general is hit or miss, isn’t it?
#2 – Clarizen
A close alternative is Clarizen, which is about on par with price and feature set, but brings in Salesforce integration which means that you may lean more to this one if you value Salesforce integration with all of your services. That’s not the only reason to consider Clarizen, though.
Among its features are project scheduling, gantt charts, collaborative planning, time tracking, task management, budget tracking, issue tracking, resource management, project portfolio management, a native app for iOS and Android, project hierarchy, personal calendars and a ton more.
So, Clarizen may be slightly less flexible than Mavenlink, but they do have Salesforce integration going for them, as well as more guarantee of stability with iOS if you really must use Apple’s subpar handhelds for business. I know some people do that, I just can’t understand why.
#3 – ProWorkflow
A slightly newer one that’s going to keep the other two on their feet, ProWorkflow offers much of the same features but also offers recurring tasks, mobile apps for all of the standard platforms, XML exporting and individual project reports.
This one’s, as I said, a little new, though so while the “all the features of the other two plus more” makes it sound great, it may be worth waiting a while and seeing how this one fares before investing in it. It also lacks Salesforce integration, meaning that if you’re turning Maven down over the need for mobile native apps, then you may want to choose Clarizen, so you can get that CRM integration.
These are just three examples of how powerful and diverse project management tools are nowadays.