Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice helps small businesses select the right project management tool, that is easy-to-use, offers relevant features and fits their budget requirements.

Showing 1-20 of 321 products

NetSuite OpenAir

NetSuite OpenAir offers buyers a collection of applications designed to support every stage of the professional services delivery lifecycle. Offered as Software-as-a-Service, the platform includes applications to manage projects, resources,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 70 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Workzone

Workzone is a project management solution that offers document management, project collaboration, customizable reporting, resource and task management and time tracking. The software is cloud-based and offers automated emailed reports... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 53 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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NetSuite Services Resource Planning (SRP)

NetSuite SRP is used by professional services organizations to optimize their project-based operations. The software offers integrated project management, resource management, project-based accounting and time & expense tracking applications. Users... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 48 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Viewpath

Viewpath is a cloud-based project management solution that allows teams to view team availability, assign tasks and collaborate with teams in real time. With everything hosted in the cloud, the platform can be utilized by global teams,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a work execution platform and collaboration tool with a familiar spreadsheet-like interface that helps teams plan, track, and manage projects in real-time. Smartsheet features include a range of project management tools,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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BigTime

BigTime is an online time and billing solution designed to serve professional service firms like accounting, engineering, government contracting, legal and IT services. The integrated solution offers features like time and expense... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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inMotion ignite

inMotion ignite is a creative project management software built specifically for the needs of creative and marketing teams. Combining the most powerful elements of task and workflow management with the collaborative features of online... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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MPOWR Envision

Designed to eliminate rigid departmentalization and streamline strategic execution, MPOWR Envision helps organizations build an execution strategy using open communication and organizational alignment. As a cloud-based execution tool,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Deltek Vision

Deltek Vision is a cloud-based project-based solution for professional services firms that is available for cloud or on-premise deployment. It combines project accounting, resource management, project management, time/expense management... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Workamajig

Workamajig is a cloud-based HTML5 project management solution designed for creative ad agencies and in-house advertising teams of all sizes. Key features include opportunity tracking, project management, time tracking, resource management... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Procore

Procore manages your projects, resources and financials from project planning to closeout. Our platform connects every project contributor to solutions we've built specifically for this industry—for the owner, for the GC, and for... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

Platforms: MacWin
Deployments: Cloud
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FunctionFox

FunctionFox is a cloud-based time tracking and project management application, offering timesheets and estimates, as well as scheduling, task assignment, and reporting.  FunctionFox’s capabilities are suited for the billing and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Dovico

Small businesses require big data to scale and improve. Dovico Timesheet helps growing companies with project time and cost data reports that provide insights into labour availability and billable or non-billable project health. Teammates... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Deltek Ajera

Deltek Ajera is an integrated accounting and project management solution built for architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. It is suitable for small to mid-size firms seeking an industry-tailored solution to improve project level... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWin
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Ravetree

Ravetree is a cloud-based project management solution with integrated resource planning, customer relationship management and time and expense tracking capabilities. The solution helps users manage project workflows, task assignment... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Oracle Financials ERP Cloud

Oracle Financials ERP Cloud is a cloud-based, end-to-end business management solution designed for midsized to enterprise-level customers. It offers a suite of applications including material planning, financial accounting, and business... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Financial Cents

Financial Cents is an easy to use practice management solution built for accountant and bookkeepers. Track client work, communicate with your team, store client information, and track your client’s financial performance all in one... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Slack

Slack is a cloud-based project collaboration and team interaction tool designed to facilitate communication across organizations. The solution caters to various industries, including media, research, technology, education, financial... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Trello

Trello is a visual collaboration tool for planning tasks and projects. While commonly used by agile software development teams, the solution is also used in other departments such as marketing, sales, support and HR. The web-based... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Basecamp

Basecamp is a real-time communication tool that helps teams stay on the same page; it’s less for traditional project management tasks (e.g., resource planning and long-term scheduling). With to-do-lists, calendaring, due dates and... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 30, 2020

Small businesses that replace inefficient manual systems with project management software reduce operating costs. Besides lowering costs, these tools help businesses improve employee productivity, resulting in better products and higher revenue.

That said, project management (PM) tools for small businesses differ in functionality, pricing and deployment. For instance, certain PM offerings are better for managing IT projects, while some solutions are more suitable for small marketing teams.

In this Buyer's Guide, we look at the core features, uses and benefits of small business PM software. Read on to learn what you should look for when deciding on the best PM tools for your business.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Small Business Project Management Software?
Common Features of Small Business Project Management Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations
Market Trends

What Is Small Business Project Management Software?

Project management tools offer functionality that help small businesses plan and track projects on visual dashboards. These tools also serve as a repository of project related information and offer insights on employee performance and ROI of projects.

Small businesses that consult Software Advice for project management software have a low number of software users (less than 50), and are looking for an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution.

As a result, small businesses often choose cloud-based solutions that are available online, require no upkeep and offer intuitive interfaces with features such as drag-and-drop kanban dashboards. 

Trello kanban board

Drag-and-drop in a Trello board

At small businesses, choosing a PM tool is a decision made by a handful of people at most. While this can simplify the decision-making process, it can be challenging to understand what functionality a particular small business needs. Once you identify the features most important to your company, you can identify the best candidates.

Common Features of Small Business Project Management Software

Task management Build to-do-lists, add due dates to tasks and set-up automated reminders
Collaboration Communicate with colleagues and stakeholders using task comments, activity streams and built-in chat boards
Document management Store and share files, documents, videos etc, with project members on a centralized platform
Workflow visualization View and track project progress as a series of task-lists or cards on Kanban/Scrum boards
User management Control the access of users to a project, functionality or file by setting-up permissions
Reporting View project progress reports as charts and graphs or as an email digest
Time tracking Monitor the time employees spend on a single task or the whole project

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Research and advisory firm Gartner defines small businesses having under 100 employees and with less than $50 million in annual revenue. However, even within this broad category, the right PM tool for each small business differs based on factors such as actual number of software users, primary business challenges and so on.

Here are the three common types of small business PM software buyers:

  • Individual buyers: Individuals can manage projects by using low-cost or even free solutions. Common capabilities include basic task management with the ability to set due dates and reminders. Some software options offer additional functionality such as file sharing for attaching documents to tasks.
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  • Best-of-breed buyers: These buyers are looking for software that solves specific challenges. For instance, one small business may be looking for a tool that helps improve team communication between project members working out of different locations. In this case, collaboration tools can be a good choice. On the other hand, small IT teams might be interested in bug tracking software, which is a specialized tool for tracking the time taken to resolve bugs in software.
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  • Full-suite buyers: Some small businesses need all of the common PM features, with support for multiple users and additional functionality such as attaching documents to tasks. Full-suite small business PM tools are different from enterprise-grade tools called project portfolio management software, which offer sophisticated functionality such as analytics and resource planning.

Key Considerations

As a small business, you want to invest in software that is low-cost, yet offers the relevant features you need. Likewise, you don't want a tool that employees need extensive training to use.

Here's are some of the top considerations small business buyers have when selecting project management software:

Deployment and availability: The first question when selecting software is whether to opt for an on-premise or cloud-based solution. For small businesses the latter option, also known as online project management software, is preferable as there are no upfront costs. If users are going to be accessing PM tools from Windows, Mac and mobile devices, you'll want an OS-agnostic solution.

Free vs. open source vs. low-cost: Many small business PM tools offer a free version with limited features. These are suitable for individuals, but not for businesses that need to track multiple simultaneous projects and users, and want full control over their project data. These businesses may be deciding between open source and low-cost tools. While open source PM tools are free to use, they can result in long-term costs since these systems have to be maintained on-site by a team member who has a lot of technical knowledge.

Integration: Last but not the least, small businesses should ensure that the PM tool offers basic integration with third-party tools that they use regularly. An increasingly important one is email integration, which allows project members to directly turn email into tasks. Similarly, integration with file sharing tools such as Box or Dropbox helps project members to easily attach notes and files to tasks.

Market Trends

From our research and conversations with small business project management buyers, we've identified these three emerging trends:

Agile project management: There has been a rise in specialized PM tools that help small businesses execute agile frameworks such as Scrum and Kanban. The reason behind this is the increasing popularity of agile PM, an approach that began with software companies but is becoming increasingly popular in businesses of all types.

Workplace collaboration: Social networking tools have changed how people communicate online. As a result, email has taken a back seat to collaborative tools that offer functionality such as comment threads for tasks, social chat groups, hashtags and ratings. Nearly all small business PM tools offer some level of collaboration, but some focus more closely on social media-like functionality.

Chatbots: An emerging trend in PM technology is the use of chatbots, which automate many different kinds of tasks. These can include project scheduling, booking online meetings, project status reporting and many more. The technology is relevant to small businesses as it's relatively cheap and easy to deploy.