There comes that time in your life when you need to manage a certain project. Things could be intimidating and it is easy to get lost. However, there are several project management tools which can smooth over the experience for you.
Project management, also referred to as PM, is a process of employing established principles, procedures, methods and skills to achieve some specific project objectives.
These tools are used from start to finish of the project, working with a predefined time and budget. It is also a discipline that involves planning, controlling and executing project goals.
See a project as an endeavor, it doesn’t matter whether you want to build an app or a website, or any other thing. View it as an endeavor which is meant to accomplish a certain or some certain objectives which have specific success criteria.
Projects have a definite beginning and a prescribed end. So, managing one is not a one-phase task but that which follows a series of stages. Here are some stages of a project:
- Feasibility studies- this tests if the project is viable by weighing the pros and cons and checking out available resources and technical strategies.
- Planning- this includes setting a specific direction for the program. It is at this stage that a schedule will be fixed for the project- both time and financial; potential challenges identified and a process for tackling envisaged roadblocks developed.
- Implementation- this is the third phase in project management cycle. It is the part that puts the plans into action. Here, the project resources are being coordinated and directed to meet the objectives of the project.
- Evaluation- this is defined as a systematic assessment of a project. The essence of this stage is to determine the level of achievement and realization of the project plans and objectives.
- Benefits realization- this is the definition, planning and realization of the benefits of a project. This must have been foreseen and included during the planning stage.
So what are those tools that come in handy when you want to manage a project? Here are some of them./
25+ Project Management Tools
These tools are different from each other, although they may share some similarities. Some are free while you may have to splash some cash for others. In addition, some are accessible online while you can download and install others on your computer. And when you need to use it you may or may not have to connect to the internet.
Don’t be dismayed though, variety is the spice of life. It’s a good thing these tools are vast with vast features. It’s all good.
All in all, these tools are handy when it comes to project development and management.
RedMine is a Ruby based online tool used to achieve an effective project management within a short time. One distinct feature of RedMine is that you can use it to manage more than one project at a time with equal efficiency. This makes it flexible and suitable. It also has the following properties:
- Time tracking
- Per project forum
- Multiple LDAP authentication support
- Multilingual support
- Email notifications
- User self- registration support
- Issue creation through email, etc.
PHProjekt was created by Albrecht Gunther in the late 1990s. It is a web- based free open source application which is used to coordinate group activities and to share documents. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is very easy to use and is available in 38 different languages.
Some of its features include time card system, file management, mail client, request tracker, search system, contact manager, supports email reminders and SMS notifications, etc.
Collabtive is a viable modern project management tool that allows you work with a large number of people or multiple teams around the globe, thereby helping you manage tasks and files in a collaborative manner.
It also supports instant messaging and has multilingual capacity (supporting over 20 languages). Its importing functionality allows for data from other application and it works with other web services using XML API.
This is another project management tool that works with the Cloud system, which means the possibility of an interruption in your work while using this tool has been cut off. Its complete integrated outlook allows you use it anywhere in the world.
More so, Feng Office provides other features as issue tracking, traditional project management functionality, task management, customization, resource management, etc. it can be used to manage businesses of all sizes: small, medium and large scale enterprises.
dotProject is an open source online project management tool with multi- user and Multilanguage capacities. With no company supporting this software, it is developed by a volunteer group of programmers and its users. The features of dotProject are as follow:
- hierarchical task listing
- resource allocation
- Gantt chart
- Project listing
- Client and company management, etc.
This is a project management tool with lots of functionality. There’s a community as well as an enterprise version of the tool.
ConsultComm is a small platform- independent program which supports management of multiple projects, clients, and tasks.
It helps the user keep track of time used in working on a project. It is written in Java and often referred to as the time- keeping Project Management tool.
The features include
- JDBC support, which makes it easy to merge it into existing time management
- Flexibility to suit any chosen style
- Open source
- Platform independent, etc.
Gantt is a free online project management tool which is easy to use. It majorly makes use of Gantt chart and involves project scheduling and management. Its peculiar features include Gantt chart, PERT chart, PDF and HTML reports, Resource load chart and so on.
This tool is one of the simplest open source tools used in carrying out effective project management. Its simple interface will help the user with the planning stage of the work. Its features also include costs accounting and estimation.
Its planning and tracking capacities have been rated better than that of Gantt chart tool. It also helps the user with project scoping and to manage risk and communication.
An open- source self- hosted PHP web interfaced application, ProjectPier has the capacity to help you in collaboration and the uniqueness lies in its free extensive support and hosting facilities. It is excellent for project management.
Trello utilizes a project-management style developed by ex Toyota vice president, Taiichi Ohno. In Trello, every task is represented by a card, which allows you to create a visual representation of what is happening with a project.
It’s quite surprising how effective this widget is.
Furthermore, it is free if you can go by a storage of just 10 megabytes.
This tool is ideal for team collaborations. It offers a private messaging service with a couple of privacy settings if you’re on a project.
The packages start with a free version where you can manage up to 5 people and 2GB of online storage space. The enterprise versions depart from their producers at a cost.
One good thing about it is that it integrates with common third-party storage applications such as Google Box and Dropbox fluently.
This open source project management application is the only best alternative to Microsoft project because it is free and offers almost all the tools embedded in Microsoft Project like Gantt Charts, PERT Charts, WBS, RBS charts, Earned value costing, etc.
Companies see it as a less expensive alternative and so prefer its use. The OpenProj is appropriate for desktop project management and could be found on Unix, Mac, Linux and Windows. Any company, ranging from small scale to large scale, can use it.
Taiga is an open source project management tool made specially for core software developers. It is in the beta phase, so it isn’t the finished product.
With Taiga you can create one private project with four members and unlimited public projects. Furthermore, it allows you to set tasks, add third-party integrations, add social media management as well as Wiki pages for reference.
This is a traditional project management tool which is quite handy when you want to scale up a business. It’s fantastic and costs next to nothing.
There are good admin tools available and if you want a new feature you just drop some change and you’ll get it. It also offers fleet as well as customer relationship management.
If you want to collaborate with your clients and colleagues, this tool is the one for you.
Producteev is a rare project management tool. It is different from others and unique in its own way.
It offers unlimited users and projects even on the free version. Although there’s an option to upgrade to the paid version, most people saw no need for it.
This tool was designed by one of the founders of Facebook – Dustin Moskovitz. It is easy to use and works like magic, with an overall design that is cool on the eye.
Furthermore, Asana benefits from a social-network-like level of untuition and ease. But people complain that it doesn’t have the full feature set of other project management tools.
MeisterTask is a free and fully featured project development and management kit. It integrates nicely with online storage systems as well as other project managers and mobile apps.
This is a widget that gives you fantastic features for free. There’s one issue though- it’s tough to navigate around the software works. This can be real tricky and if you’re not patient like I am, you’ll get frustrated in no time.
To make your life better, get everyone on your team on 2-Plan Desktop, and then merge up the projects with 2-Plan Team.
This tool is best for small business owners. It is free to use as long as your team isn’t more than 12 people. It includes great small office features like the ability to communicate across multiple locations, as well as free cloud storage for your projects.
Here’s another tool which will come in handy. BamBam! gives you a 14-day free trial which allows you to manage an unlimited amount of projects and storage for ten people.
Zoho Projects is a paid-for project management tool. However there’s a free version which limits you to 10p MB of storage. It gives you the ability to manage an unlimited number of users and projects.
Evernote is a cross platform tool. It is available for web, Android, Windows and iOS users. It gives you integrated apps, task tracking, blog publication and public and private ‘notes’ formatted into a presentation.
However, there’s a hitch. Evernote allows its users to upload about 60 MB of data each month. Nevertheless, it is a great addition to your list of project management tools. Plus it’s free.
Harvest is an online project management tool that provides time tracking, invoicing and report creating capabilities to its users. There’s a free section for small businesses owners where you can have about four clients/two projects a month.
You can get this tool for web, mobile and there are plugins available for Twitter and Gmail.
This is a free open source project management and development tool. At the moment close to 100,000 people have downloaded it.
Some of its key features include: interactive project summary, single screen display and report aggregation.
And you can customize it to suit your own tastes, as it’s an open source tool.
This is a hybrid task and project management tool with plugins to many popular services such as Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box for storage.
You can also upload files directly to your projects, and easily assign to-dos to your team members. Apart from this you can check on their status, make comments on individual tasks, track changes, and see how a project is going from a top-down view.
In all, project management is an indispensable part of designing and developing a project of which selection of a project management tool is an integral part. This makes it necessary to painstakingly consider each tool and its functionalities in order to verify which one will provide adequate capacities for the project you are about to manage.