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monday.com

monday.com is an award-winning work and project management platform that helps teams of all sizes plan, prioritize, manage, and execute their work more effectively. The platform offers solutions for a wide range of use-cases such...Read more about monday.com

4.6 (4663 reviews)

61 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 view f...Read more about Wrike

4.3 (2604 reviews)

53 recommendations

Adobe Workfront

Adobe Workfront is a collaborative work management solution that addresses the challenges of disconnected teams, siloed tools, and the relentless pace of enterprise work. Workfront includes capabilities to capture and plan, assign...Read more about Adobe Workfront

4.4 (1424 reviews)

48 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 expense...Read more about BigTime

4.6 (635 reviews)

28 recommendations

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kintone

Kintone is a cloud-based, customizable workflow management platform suitable for businesses of all sizes. The key features of the solution include compliance management, approval process control, forms management, event monitoring...Read more about kintone

4.7 (153 reviews)

24 recommendations

WorkOtter

WorkOtter™ is purpose-built, by Project Managers for Project Managers, and helps PM professionals to deliver more successful project outcomes and align their work to the strategic objectives of the organization. Our solution is si...Read more about WorkOtter

4.9 (202 reviews)

20 recommendations

Project Insight

Project Insight (PI) is award-winning work & project management software that helps companies manage and visualize projects, allocate personnel, streamline accounting, and track what work is being done throughout their entire orga...Read more about Project Insight

4.4 (60 reviews)

18 recommendations

Scoro

Scoro is a comprehensive work management software specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of service businesses that have grown weary of dealing with disjointed systems, unpredictable workloads, and shrinking profit ma...Read more about Scoro

4.6 (234 reviews)

17 recommendations

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP

Continuous change requires continuous innovation Tomorrow’s leaders are those most capable of adapting to change today. Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP is a complete, modern, cloud ERP suite that provides your teams with advanced capabil...Read more about Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP

4.3 (55 reviews)

12 recommendations

KolApp

KolApp is a project management solution designed to ensure project success. With a focus on project, portfolio, work, and task management, KolApp offers a comprehensive suite of features to streamline project organization, plannin...Read more about KolApp

No reviews yet

9 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 rep...Read more about Workzone

4.8 (205 reviews)

7 recommendations

Proggio

Proggio is a project and portfolio management solution for professionals. -No more confusing waterfall charts that scroll endlessly down a page. Instead, understand the full scope of your elaborate portfolio in just one quick sn...Read more about Proggio

4.6 (40 reviews)

5 recommendations

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 assignme...Read more about Ravetree

4.3 (21 reviews)

5 recommendations

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 about Smartsheet

4.5 (3185 reviews)

2 recommendations

Kantata

The Kantata Professional Services Cloud is purpose-built to help organizations with 50 to 5000+ employees unify resource management, project management, financial management, business intelligence and team collaboration all in one...Read more about Kantata

4.2 (611 reviews)

2 recommendations

Factor AE

Factor AE is a simple, affordable software that helps architecture and engineering firms manage projects, resources, invoicing, and overall profitability. The features in Factor A/E were specifically designed to alleviate common p...Read more about Factor AE

5.0 (4 reviews)

2 recommendations

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 about Trello

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 project r...Read more about Jira

Asana

Asana is a comprehensive project management tool that offers a range of technical features to streamline workflows and enhance collaboration within teams. With its user-friendly interface and robust capabilities, Asana provides or...Read more about Asana

Evernote Teams

Evernote is a web-based project management tool that offers project collaboration, scheduling and task management functionalities within a suite. This solution is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes. Evernote allows ...Read more about Evernote Teams

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 21, 2023

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.