Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of project teams choose the right tracking software so they can monitor estimated vs. actual progress and track performance.

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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: 31 recommendations

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Easy Projects

Easy Projects is a cloud-based project management platform suitable for midsize organizations and enterprises. Easy Projects provides every contributing team member, project manager, executive, stakeholder or customer with ac... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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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 a... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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monday.com

monday.com, an award-winning collaboration and project management platform, helps teams plan together efficiently and execute complex projects to deliver results on time. monday.com team management and task management tool allows ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ that is suitable for both large enterprises and SMBs. It supports remote work for various teams. This solution comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view f... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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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 to... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Mavenlink

Mavenlink offers services and solutions for project management, resource planning, collaboration, and project accounting. Mavenlink combines the robust functionality of a Professional Services Automation solution with intuitive us... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Forecast

Forecast is a full suite solution that helps professional services organizations finetune operations and finances with the help of intelligent project automation. With a focus on increasing predictability and making projects profi... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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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

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Jira

Jira Software is a business process management tool used by agile teams to plan, track and release software. Jira Software supports Scrum, Kanban, a hybrid model or another unique workflow. Jira enables users to create projec... Read more

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Asana

Asana is a cloud-based project and task management solution that enables teams to collaborate, communicate, and manage several tasks and projects. It can help teams meet project deadlines while tracking the completion of all tasks... Read more

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ClickUp

ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. Features include communication and collaboration tools, task assignments and statuses, alerts and a task toolb... Read more

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Float

Float is a collaborative resource management software for real-time project planning and task scheduling. Features include an intuitive interface, drag-and-drop features, keyboard shortcuts, reports, and analytics, and editing too... Read more

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Samepage

Samepage is a cloud-based collaboration software solution that helps teams eliminate project bottlenecks and communicate seamlessly with team members. Samepage provides a suite of project management tools, communication featu... Read more

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Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Revu is a document and project management solution designed to streamline existing workflows. This solution can help increase collaboration among project team members in real-time with customizable markup tools. Bluebeam ... Read more

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ProjectManager.com

Projectmanager.com is a project management software solution that offers applications including budgeting, time tracking, task management, document management and reporting. Projectmanager.com also offers Gantt chart function... Read more

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Miro

Miro is a cloud-based collaboration tool for small to midsize businesses. The solution features a digital whiteboard that can be used for research, ideation, building customer journeys and user story maps, wireframing and a range ... Read more

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Resource Guru

Resource Guru is a cloud-based resource scheduling application that is suitable for organizations of all sizes. This application enables booking and rescheduling through the calendar feature and a drag-and-drop scheduling tool. Th... Read more

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Notion

Notion is a digital workspace that lets small to large businesses streamline and manage notes, tasks, projects, records, calendar and more. Key features include portfolio tracker, designer templates, database management, documenta... Read more

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ProWorkflow

Founded in 2002 and acquired by ProActive Software Ltd in 2003, ProWorkflow is a cloud-based project management and time tracking software that caters to companies of all sizes. ProWorkflow includes all the features of a trad... Read more

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2021 Project Tracking Software Pricing Guide

Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.

Includes:

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 7, 2021

Once a project is underway, it’s essential for managers to monitor work and keep teams on track to meet deadlines. What’s more, managers must keep internal and external stakeholders up to date on the progress made against initial baselines set for the project’s scope, budget and timeline.

That’s where project tracking software comes in. Managers use project tracking tools to maintain a bird’s-eye view of project progress, track key performance metrics and report back to stakeholders.

We’ve created this Buyer’s Guide to help you understand project tracking systems and how they fit into the larger project management software market. In it, we’ll cover:

What Is Project Tracking Software?
Common Functionality of Project Tracking Software
Key Purchase Considerations

What Is Project Tracking Software?

Project tracking tools allow managers to compare actual project metrics—such as costs, schedules and personnel—to estimates established during the planning phase. Managers then use this data to report back to stakeholders on the overall health of the project.

Tracking systems are designed to improve efficiency by automating the data-capture process. This saves time managers would otherwise spend tracking down status updates and collating that information into progress reports.

These tools are more high-level than dedicated time- or task-tracking applications, which only track one of two things: the hours accrued by employees, or the progression of tasks. Project tracking systems, on the other hand, help managers monitor overall progress—from total work completed to hours logged to budget expenditures.

The “project tracking software” category encompasses a variety of tools: from basic dashboards to advanced reporting and analytics (see next section).

Basic project tracking capabilities include:

  • Data capture
  • Dashboards/project status overview
  • Deadline, timeline and milestone tracking

Dashboard view in Asana

More advanced tracking systems will offer all of the above, in addition to such capabilities as:

  • Report generation
  • Summary of resource utilization (billable versus non-billable hours)
  • Comparisons of actual versus estimated ROI/profit margins

Dashboard screen in Clarizen

Common Functionality of Project Tracking Software

Project tracking software typically includes some or all of the following capabilities:

Dashboards Provide an overview of current projects and their status, often highlighting impending milestones and tasks nearing their due date. Some dashboards also include an activity stream or notification center.
Gantt charts Also integral to project planning, Gantt charts provide visualizations of the project schedule and show task progress/completion rates. Tasks are displayed as horizontal bars across a calendar or timeline, and are shaded to represent the percentage complete.
Reporting Gives a snapshot of the current status of key metrics, such as ROI/profit margins, resource and budget utilization and overall project health (including identified risks and corresponding risk management plans).
Analytics Some systems include analytics and business intelligence capabilities, often coupled with reporting tools, that help users identify trends across teams and projects. These insights help businesses make more informed decisions in the future.

Key Purchase Considerations

Here are a few considerations buyers should keep in mind when selecting a project tracking system:

System complexity and pricing. There are many systems with project tracking capabilities, but the pricing and depth of functionality varies considerably. For example, it’s common for vendors to include dashboard functionality in their starter packages, but offer reporting only in their mid- or top-tier packages.

Reporting features may often come at a higher price—but we know from a 2015 analysis of project management software buyers who contact Software Advice that this is actually their preferred tracking method, over dashboards and Gantt charts.

Top-Requested Project Tracking Functionality

Source: 2015 Project Management Software SMB Buyer Report

Given this, buyers should carefully evaluate their needs and choose a system with functionality that supports their workflows. Many vendors offer free trials or product demos, which allow businesses to test out a product before purchase to ensure it aligns with their processes.

Cloud-based systems. Cloud-based project management solutions are becoming increasingly popular. They offer users a number of benefits, including:

  • Remote access (often including native mobile apps for iOS and Android)
  • Lower upfront costs (since updates and system maintenance are handled by the vendor)
  • Manageable recurring costs (since monthly or annual subscription pricing is standard, which includes updates and maintenance costs)

Additionally, cloud solutions are typically offered in several different functional tiers. This allows businesses to purchase a system with only the capabilities necessary at the time, then scale the system as their needs change.

For project tracking, this is especially useful: Managers can start out with basic dashboard tracking, then increase their investment over time to a tier that offers Gantt charts and/or reporting and analytics.