Project Planning Software

Project planning software helps managers and stakeholders map out and visualize a project's critical path, or the sequence of activities and tasks required to complete a project, the duration of those tasks and the way they relate to one another.

Highest User Rated

The top products as rated by users. When reviewing a product, users are asked to asses the product’s overall quality, ease of use, features & functionality, customer support and value for money.

Things

4.87 (100 reviews)

"I am someone who using my email inbox as the list of "action items" for my day. Things sitting in there are either going to be replied to by end of day, acted on or filtered into Things via a specific link URL for me to act on at a later day / week. The deep linking is super nice as I can hit a quick keystroke, have the email link into Things and then I can categorize it, set dates and also add tags or list items to it. This keeps my inbox clean and easy to manage. I have this on Mac, iPhone and iPad, which is an expensive investment, but its a very polished piece of software. I use this for school and work only and use something else for Personal (more on why in a moment) When I triage my tasks at the start of the day, it's easy to prioritize, and drag things around to shift priority throughout the day or as things change. Also the "Evening" grouping on a "Today" task makes it easy for me to separate my Masters program tasks from work while still having an eye on both and not having them blend together. The one short coming is why I cannot use it for personal. My wife and I both have shared tasks, and this does not share tasks. My wife can sign into this, but then she is subject to all my stuff, which she does not need, and there is no way to turn off lists per device or hide various items. So instead we use 2Do right now which does allow a more fluid shared system. If Things added shared lists, this would be a complete solution for personal/work shared lists."

Ron

February 2021

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Recommendations: Sorts listings by the number of recommendations our advisors have made over the past 30 days. Our advisors assess buyers’ needs for free and only recommend products that meet buyers’ needs. Vendors pay Software Advice for these referrals.
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Showing 1 - 20 of 245 products
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Showing 1 - 20 of 245 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 project...Read more

4.13 (31 reviews)

56 recommendations

Clarizen

Using Clarizen’s leading collaborative work management solution for the enterprise, businesses can solve challenges far beyond traditional work, project or resource management. With Clarizen’s enterprise-grade solut...Read more

35 recommendations

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 ...Read more

27 recommendations

NetSuite Professional Services Automation

NetSuite Professional Services Automation is used by professional services organizations to optimize their project-based operations. The software offers integrated project management, resource management, project-based accounti...Read more

3.83 (12 reviews)

27 recommendations

Project Insight

Project Insight (PI) is the work management hub helping companies manage projects, allocate personnel and track what work is being done throughout the entire organization. The intuitive software aggregates data from hig...Read more

4.35 (30 reviews)

21 recommendations

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...Read more

19 recommendations

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 w...Read more

19 recommendations

BQE Core - Integrated Project Management and Accounting

BQE Core is a cloud-based solution that offers integrated business accounting, project management, and business intelligence. It can support the operations of a variety of industries, including legal services, architecture firm...Read more

16 recommendations

KeyedIn

KeyedIn is a cloud-based project management solution for enterprise-level companies offering a suite with features, such as program management, professional services automation and project portfolio management application....Read more

4.35 (40 reviews)

15 recommendations

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 expe...Read more

11 recommendations

Software pricing tips

Read our Project Planning Software Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

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 r...Read more

10 recommendations

Cora PPM

Cora Systems provide enterprise project and portfolio management solutions to global organizations and government agencies, such as Honeywell, Elanco, PwC, City of London and the UK’s National Health Service. Their soluti...Read more

4.50 (2 reviews)

8 recommendations

Sciforma

Sciforma is a cloud-based project and portfolio management solution for enterprises that allows to strategically track and analyze project data and make relevant decisions. It can be sold as a stand-alone portfolio management, ...Read more

4.41 (41 reviews)

8 recommendations

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 vie...Read more

7 recommendations

Aysling

Aysling is a cloud-based enterprise resource solution that can run an entire business, from leads to sales, through delivery to payments. Aysling is easy to deploy, configure, use, and manage while offering ...Read more

4.00 (1 reviews)

7 recommendations

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...Read more

7 recommendations

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...Read more

4.34 (64 reviews)

5 recommendations

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...Read more

4 recommendations

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...Read more

4 recommendations

Screendragon

Screendragon is a leading work management platform designed for marketing, agency and professional services teams. It is used and loved by global companies and agencies like Kellogg’s, BP, The International Olympic Commit...Read more

4.68 (31 reviews)

3 recommendations

Popular Project Planning Software Comparisons

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: February 28, 2021

Whether or not a project is successful largely depends on how well the project is planned. In fact, in a recent analysis of project management (PM) software buyers who contact Software Advice, 86 percent request systems with strong project planning capabilities.

We've created this guide to help buyers better understand project planning solutions and how they factor into the larger PM software market. Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Project Planning Software?
Common Capabilities of Project Planning Software
Benefits of Project Planning Software

What Is Project Planning Software?

Project planning software helps managers and stakeholders map out and visualize a project's critical path, or the sequence of activities and tasks required to complete a project, the duration of those tasks and the way they relate to one another.

This high-level "roadmapping" process helps managers:

  • Identify key resources
  • Pinpoint task dependencies and constraints
  • Determine essential project milestones
  • Set baselines for the project's scope, budget and timeline (the three benchmarks used to determine project success)

Businesses can purchase stand-alone project planning applications (often referred to as "mind mapping" or "story mapping" tools), or invest in an integrated PM suite. A comprehensive PM solution typically contains project planning capabilities in addition to other core PM functionality, such as:

Among the best project planning tools are Gantt charts, which are used to visualize a project's schedule and determine the critical path. These digital charts are vastly less labor-intensive to update than Gantt charts created using manual methods (more on this below).

Managers also use Gantt charts after the project planning stage, in order to monitor task progression and resource usage over the course of the project life cycle. These charts are used to keep internal and external stakeholders up to date on the accuracy of initial scope, timeline and budget estimates. Many top PM software vendors include Gantt charts as part of their platform.

Common Features of Project Planning Software

The following are some common capabilities of project planning tools:

Gantt charts Represented as cascading bar charts across a timeline or calendar. During planning, managers use Gantt charts to visualize the project schedule; determine the critical path; spotlight task dependencies and potential risk areas; monitor personnel workloads; and assign staff to tasks. They can also help track performance and progress on tasks once projects are underway. (See screenshot below table for an example.)
Resource scheduling Some platforms include resource management functionality, allowing managers increased visibility into personnel availability and skill set. Managers can schedule resources to tasks, or assign a “placeholder resource” for roles they know they’ll need, but haven’t been able to schedule yet.
Calendaring Managers can easily reorganize a project’s schedule by clicking-and-dragging work items on the calendar (see screenshot below). If the update causes a conflict later in the schedule, this conflict would be flagged for further attention.
Work item color-coding Allows users to set rules for color-coding tasks on the calendar. These rules use variables such as the employee responsible for completing an item (e.g., Tom’s tasks are blue and Tammy’s are green) or the task status (in-progress tasks are green, overdue tasks are red etc.).
Risk identification Allows users to flag potential risk areas, such as dependent tasks (e.g., if task B can only start once task A is complete, these tasks would be flagged).
Automatic alerts Lets managers schedule in-app or email alerts. These can be used to notify employees about upcoming task due dates, or to alert staff assigned to a dependent task that the preceding work item is nearing completion.
Communication tools Help facilitate collaboration among users via in-app comments, group chat streams or discussion forums. For example, users can comment and add status updates directly to tasks or flagged risk items, or loop in a team member on a question posted to a project discussion board.

 

Gantt Chart in Wrike

Benefits of Project Planning Software

There are several benefits of using project planning software as opposed to manual methods. These benefits include:

Increased visibility into individual and team workloads, skill sets and current and future availability. This benefit is best realized when using a comprehensive PM suite with both project planning and resource management capabilities.

Improved communication and collaboration. Project planning tools act as a shared hub where managers, team members and stakeholders can store all project-related communication. This provides a permanent record for important decisions and project changes.

Using visual tools, such as Gantt charts, helps managers with early risk detection. This allows managers and stakeholders to plan risk management strategies ahead of time and combat any potential obstacles.

Easy access to historical archives. The information in project plans and status reports can influence future business decisions. Managers and stakeholders using planning software can look back on previous projects to see why decisions were made, and to compare timeline and budgetary measures.