15 years helping British businesses
choose better software

Project Planning Software

Project Planning software is a category of business applications closely related to project management software that allows users to create timelines for project completion, allocate resources, assign tasks, and budget for project-related expenses. Project planning tools are designed to help project managers and their teams to execute their projects more effectively and efficiently. The key benefits of using project planning applications are that it allows project managers to create a logical project strategy, clearly define project goals and tasks, establish ownership principles, and provide overall clarity for all stakeholders. Standalone planning software can be used in conjunction with other tools, such as project management software, resource management software and project tracking software. In some cases, project planning apps can serve many of the same functions, and the most comprehensive options on the market could even replace the need to invest in those solutions. Compare product reviews and features to help find the best Project Planning Software for your business in the UK.

Featured software

Most reviewed software

Explore the most reviewed products by our users on the Project Planning Software

Local products for United Kingdom

United Kingdom Show local products
From project planning to complex portfolio management--teams deliver their best work on monday.com's infinitely customizable platform. Learn more about monday.com
monday.com Work OS is an open platform that brings teams together with custom-built solutions to break communication barriers, move projects forward, and align everyone involved. Easily access all progress updates, budget approvals, and more on one platform and see where all of your team's work stands at a glance. Whether you're at home, in the office, or on-the-go without wifi, monday.com allows you to access important information and make better data-driven decisions quickly. Learn more about monday.com

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Jira is the #1 software development tool used by agile teams. Millions choose Jira to plan and build great products. Try free! Learn more about Jira
Jira is the #1 software development tool used by agile teams. Teams of 2 to 20,000 rely on Jira to manage every stage of their workflow, from planning to shipping and releasing. With native roadmaps, teams can ladder up their work to track the big picture. Jira's no-code automation engine allows teams to save time and increase power by automating any task or process with a few clicks. And with a free edition, teams up to ten users can leverage all the power of Jira at no cost, forever. Learn more about Jira

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Teamwork.com is the only platform built for scaling client work. The best balance of functionality, price, and ease of use. Learn more about Teamwork.com
Teamwork.com is the only platform with best-in-class client operations combined with easy-to-use project management that teams love. Deliver work on time and on budget, eliminate client chaos, and understand profitability all in one platform. Teamwork.com has more than 20,000 customers worldwide with a global team of over 350 employees. With Teamwork.com, you'll be able to track every detail, inspire team collaboration, and have full visibility into performance and profitability. Learn more about Teamwork.com

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Zoho Projects is a project management solution catering to small and large-scale businesses that wish to ship impeccable projects. Learn more about Zoho Projects
With 4 million users and counting, Zoho Projects emerges as a solution that facilitates real-time communication among teams, enables optimal task allocation, ensures meticulous bug tracking, generates analytical reports, and seamlessly automates workflows. A host of industry-specific project templates, a List view that allows you to make edits over just the keyboard, Gantt charts to help visualize your projects and features like Blueprints and Workflows that automate everyday tasks are some of the highlights that make Zoho Projects a powerful and dynamic project management platform for diverse industries. What's more, Zoho Projects' tight integrations with a plethora of in-house and third-party applications make it a versatile project management tool, addressing all your project management needs while keeping all your favourite apps close. Learn more about Zoho Projects

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Essential Strategy helps organizations document, organize and achieve their strategic objectives. Learn more about Essential Strategy
Essential Strategy makes tracking progress towards achieving organizational objectives simple. Key progress updates and next steps are highlighted to ensure schedules are maintained and executives can automate update requests before an objective goes off schedule. The system features detailed objective dashboard screens simplify tracking status, budgets, benefits and how close an objective is to completion. Learn more about Essential Strategy

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Resource planning and forecasting for digital agencies and development studios. Your central command center for improving utilization. Learn more about Parallax
The resource planning and forecasting tool you need to increase utilization. Purpose built for digital agencies and development shops to drive better operations orchestration in weeks - without a lengthy rip-and-replace of your core operational tools. Quickly see your team’s capacity and allocate resources to current and future projects. Maximize your margin by seeing forecasts on project burn rates. Curate a central source of truth for strategic, forward-looking orchestration. Learn more about Parallax

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Confluence keeps all project planning pieces in one place. Collaborate with your team, track timelines, and assign tasks as needed. Learn more about Confluence
Project planning has many moving parts, keep track of them all with Confluence. This tool can be used as your main project planning software. Use Confluence to create timelines, collaborate with stakeholders, and much more. Pull your team in where and when they are needed with our tagging feature so you can assign tasks without any confusion. Furthermore, stay on budget by using the same page to track your expenses. Confluence helps push projects forward, in one piece. Learn more about Confluence

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Plan projects transparently and efficiently. Plan scaled project structure, times, resource usage and costs in the appropriate depth. Learn more about Projektron BCS
Projektron BCS is a comprehensive web-based tool for planning and executing projects. Users can use the software to check the current status of their project at any time, monitor project progress, obtain a reliable forecast of key performance indicators and keep an eye on the overall project budget. Daily tasks are always visible through the appointment calendar and browser notifications. The software offers a several interfaces, including a bidirectional Jira synchronization. Learn more about Projektron BCS

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Kantata is the only end-to-end project planning solution that helps services orgs of 50 to 5000+ manage the entire project lifecycle. Learn more about Kantata
The Kantata Professional Services Cloud is purpose-built to help organizations with 50 to 5000+ employees unify project planning, resource management, financial management, business intelligence and team collaboration all in one solution. Elevate your performance and unlock your potential with better operational execution throughout the entire professional services project lifecycle. Learn more about Kantata

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Runn is a real-time resource management platform with integrated time tracking and powerful forecasting capabilities. Learn more about Runn
Runn is a real-time resource management platform with integrated time tracking and forecasting. Intuitively plan projects and schedule resources across the short and long term. Get a dynamic bird’s-eye view of capacity, workload and availability as you plan. Track project budgets and view forecasts of key metrics. Use Runn’s timesheets to monitor progress and compare plans with actuals. Integrate with Harvest, WorkflowMax, and Clockify. Use the API to connect your favorite tools with Runn. Learn more about Runn

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
BigTime is the engine empowering the greatest consulting firms on the planet to budget, track & bill their most important asset: time. Learn more about BigTime
Consulting firms need more than just a timesheet. They need a system that unifies budgeting, project planning/execution, team communication, task management, resource management, invoicing and project financials. BigTime gives your entire team the tools they need to deliver billable work on time and on budget, giving our customers an average improvement of 25% in gross margins and a substantial increase in expansion and referral revenue. Contact our sales team to learn how. Learn more about BigTime

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Float is a resource management platform to plan, schedule, and track project work. Plan projects based on your team’s real capacity. Learn more about Float
Float is a resource management platform used by teams big and small (from 5 to 5,000+). Plan projects with precision by adding phases and budgets. Assign tasks quickly based on your team’s availability, and link tasks together to create dependencies. Forecast capacity, track your actual spend, and monitor utilization with powerful reporting tools. Streamline workflows and integrate directly with project management tools like Asana, Jira, Trello, Teamwork, and WorkflowMax. Try for free (no credit card). Learn more about Float

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
GoodDay is a work management platform for project, task, product, time, and team management and productive, transparent collaboration. Learn more about GoodDay
GoodDay is a work, project, product, task, time, and team management platform that gives organizations the best tools for high-level planning, aligned with their day-to-day work, and for continuous improvement of all processes based on transparency, accountability, agility, and recognition. Learn more about GoodDay

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Cloud-based construction management software that supports lean production planning and execution, with dedicated BIM integration. Learn more about VisiLean
Planning your project has never been more effective than with Visilean, the award-winning cloud-based construction management software that supports lean production planning and execution. Integrate with your chosen scheduling platforms such as P6, MSP, Asta, Excel, to improve your productivity and cost-saving. Once your project is live you report on progress in real-time whilst on-site using the Mobile App and notify your team in case of any issues. Learn more about VisiLean

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Upwave is a visual collaboration platform that helps modern businesses thrive. Organize, plan, track, collaborate and get things done. Learn more about Upwave
Upwave is a visual collaboration platform that helps teams manage their projects, initiatives, and daily tasks. With Upwave's flexible boards, you can customize them to fit your specific needs. Easily toggle between board, table, timeline or calendar view to get the complete picture. The intuitive and user-friendly interface makes it easy for your entire team to get started - no extra training needed. Learn more about Upwave

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
The best CRM with embedded project management module. Keep everything in one software. Learn more about eWay-CRM
The best CRM Add-in for Outlook, also available as a web app and on iOS / Android. It helps manage Projects, Sales, Customers, and even Email Campaigns. With eWay-CRM, you can share your Outlook with your team, track communication history, plan follow-ups, automate company processes and thus, run your business efficiently. The software is also highly customizable - it allows you to create user fields, design form layouts, customize workflows and user permissions. Learn more about eWay-CRM

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Asana for Project Planning. Track work from start to finish, so every team stays in sync and on schedule to hit their goals. Learn more about Asana
Asana is the perfect platform to help you manage and implement your project plans across your organisation. With Asana, you can orchestrate work across teams at scale–from daily tasks to strategic cross-functional initiatives. Asana is the only work management platform that turns goals into action and breaks down silos between teams. Join millions of free organizations across 190 countries rely on Asana to get more done with less! Learn more about Asana

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
A visual collaboration tool that creates a shared perspective for your team on any project in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way.
From sales and marketing to HR and operations, teams can design and customize Trello to fit their unique needs and work styles. And with over 100+ integrations with other key tools like Google Drive, Slack, Jira and more, Trello is a living, breathing project hub of cross-team collaboration no matter where your work needs to happen. Trello brings joy to teamwork by making it transparent and easily shareable across boards and teams. Learn more about Trello

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Bring your teams work together, and unify your workflow. Create, collaborate, and store information all in one place.
Evernote Business brings your teams work together. Create documents, collaborate on projects, and store information all in one place. Teammates can access, edit, upload, and share notes and files from any device--even if theyre offline. Cut through the noise, and quickly find the information you need with powerful search capabilities and integrations with tools you already use. Unify your workflow with Evernote Business. Learn more about Evernote Teams

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Boost productivity with customizable Docs, Reminders, Goals, Chat & more. Trusted by 800k+ teams. Streamline workflow today!
ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity platform that eliminates work silos. It's the hub where teams come together to plan, organize, and collaborate on work using tasks, Docs, Chat, Goals, Whiteboards, and more. Easily customized with just a few clicks, ClickUp helps teams of all types and sizes deliver work more effectively. By replacing inflexible and overlapping tools, ClickUp helps teams save one day each week! Learn more about ClickUp

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work.
Successful project planners need digital tools that organize, automate, and prioritize the inputs and outcomes of their processes. Smartsheet is a work execution platform that enables enterprises and teams to get from idea to impact ¿ fast. Use Smartsheet to create consistent project elements, increase speed, and improve collaboration with scalable options that fit individual work preferences. Learn more about Smartsheet

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Wrike is an online project planning software with Gantt charts, calendars, request forms, Kanban, time-tracking, and 400+ integrations.
Wrike is an online project planning tool used by 20,000+ companies and over two million users. Stay on track with Gantt charts, calendars, request forms, Kanban boards, time-tracking reports, proofing tools, real-time updates, and auto-assignment all in one place. Integrate Wrike with 400+ applications and Adobe Creative Cloud so you can use the tools you rely on everyday. Customize workflows to suit the project's needs, and reduce the need for emails, meetings, status updates, and more. Learn more about Wrike

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Notion is the all-in-one workspace for notes, projects, documents, and collaboration.
Notion is the all-in-one workspace for notes, project management, documents, and collaboration. Tens of thousands of teams and companies around the world use it to keep their employees informed and working together in one place. By bringing all work and knowledge together and making it highly customizable, Notion creates focus and transparency, while consolidating tools, saving time, and driving more productivity for teams of all sizes. Learn more about Notion

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
Empower teams to build apps that connect the organization and drive outcomes—no code needed.
Operationalize your critical data, move beyond rigid tools, and reimagine workflows with AI with no code required. Learn more about Airtable

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies
The online tool for project planning
Miro is #1 collaborative whiteboard platform for teams of any size, trusted by over 13 million users worldwide. Easily collaborate, ideate and centralize communication for all your cross-functional team work. Try our deep integrations with Microsoft Ecosystem, Atlassian Ecosystem, Slack, Box, DropBox, Sketch, and more to make your team collaboration more productive. Explore 680+ templates and interactive frameworks to start collaborate quickly with your team Learn more about Miro

Features

  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Resource Management
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Agile Methodologies

Project Planning Software Buyers Guide

Project planning software allows users to manage their projects and create a workable project execution strategy. In order to achieve this, the very best planning software will allow project managers and other key stakeholders to define the tasks required in order to complete a project, assign those tasks to individual departments or employees, create a timeline for project completion, plan the allocation of resources appropriately, and budget for any related expenses.

The use of project control tools of this kind can play a key role in modern project management, and these project planning applications may either be standalone programs or offered as part of a more comprehensive project management software package. One of the biggest ways in which these applications can assist project managers is through visualisation of the project timeline so that the manager knows what should be happening, when it should occur, who is responsible for each individual task, and what resources need to be provided in order to ensure success.

Carefully defined projects, which are planned out in terms of the tasks required, ownership and responsibilities, resource demands, and budget, are more likely to be successful—planning software can assist greatly with this. As a result, project tools of this kind can enhance project managers' ability to carry out their roles.

Aside from its connection to wider or more comprehensive project management software solutions, planning software is often considered to be related to various other planning tools available too, including task management software and collaboration software. Additionally, it can be used in combination with resource management software and project tracking software. However, it should be noted that the most advanced programs will deliver similar functionality, meaning planning software could potentially take the place of those applications.

Clearly, the different work planning tools on the market will offer different options, functions, and capabilities, and the quality can also vary. Generally, free project planning software is going to be less comprehensive than the best in class solutions. Some tools may also provide additional emphasis on specific areas of project management, such as Agile or Waterfall project management. Nevertheless, there are some core features that help to define this software category, and users can expect the majority of solutions to allow them to:

  • Define project expectations, tasks, timelines, and deadlines, ensuring complete clarity
  • Allocate specific tasks to individuals or departments, and then continually track progress
  • Manage resources so that appropriate time, money, and labour resources are given
  • Provide collaboration tools, create Gantt charts, and monitor the overall status of a project

What is project planning software?

Project planning software is the name given to a category of applications that are designed to assist project managers with the planning and execution of their projects. To achieve this, the software will typically allow users to define tasks, allocate those tasks to specific people, create a work schedule, establish deadlines, and optimise the use of resources. The end result is a solution that will allow businesses to execute their projects more effectively and efficiently.

One of the key motivations behind the use of project planning applications of this kind is the ability to provide real clarity to a planned project so that the end result is satisfactory. Through the use of such tools, project managers and project teams can gain a much better understanding of what they are working on, what is expected, when the project should be finished, and who is responsible for each of the different elements that make up the project as a whole.

Standalone planning software can be used in conjunction with other tools, such as project management software, although in some cases, project planning apps can actually serve many of the same functions, and the most comprehensive options on the market could even replace the need to invest in those solutions. However, in other cases, the planning software may be offered as just one component of a wider suite of project management applications.

What are the benefits of project planning software?

The benefits of project planning programs are primarily centred around their ability to help project managers and their teams to organise the project workforce, create a logical project strategy, clearly define project goals and tasks, establish ownership principles, and provide overall clarity about the work that lies ahead. With that being said, it can also be beneficial to explore some of the specific and tangible benefits associated with these software solutions, and some of the most significant examples include the ability to:

  • Clearly define project expectations: one of the primary benefits that can stem from making use of project planning applications within a business is the ability to clearly define all aspects of a project and establish clear expectations. A major part of project planning involves answering the "who?", "what?", "when?", "why?", and "how?" type questions, and software of this type can assist with this. Answering these questions and having the answers readily available can help to improve project outcomes by providing all members of project teams with greater clarity. Additionally, project managers and other leaders can clearly establish who is responsible for each aspect of the project, who should lead work on specific tasks, and what the chain of command is within the team.
  • Manage resources more efficiently: another key advantage linked to project planning programs is the ability to manage all resources much more efficiently and accurately. This includes effective time management, so that an appropriate amount of time is given to project teams to carry out specific tasks; effective management of money so that the right budget is set for the completion of the project, and so that investments are made in the right areas; and effective management of labour, so that enough team members are allocated to each task, without situations arising where too many people have been assigned to one task, leaving some of those employees with little to do. When resources are managed properly, there is less waste and greater overall efficiency.
  • Access to multiple project planning tools: planning software packages bring together multiple different project planning tools, consolidating them in a single place, including task management, collaboration, and Gantt chart creation options. Having access to all of these different tools in one app can be more convenient for project managers and can help businesses to cut costs by avoiding the need to purchase separate solutions for each of those areas. In addition, the inclusion of these different tools within one application means data from one area can also be easily transferred or copied into another area without running into issues related to compatibility or formatting. This can then lead to significant improvements when it comes to collaboration between different departments, or teamwork between different groups operating within the same larger project team.
  • Allow changes or adjustments to be made: using project planning tools, managers and other senior figures can more easily make adjustments to a project and share information about those changes with stakeholders. If requirements shift, new information is discovered, or feedback emerges from end-users, project managers can use planning software to plot out any adjustments and allow the project team to know as quickly as possible. With the Agile approach, changes could occur relatively frequently, and communicating this information effectively can easily become the main difference between project success and project failure.
  • Visualise project tasks and timelines: finally, software that has been designed to assist with project planning can also help project leaders to actually visualise timelines and quickly see elements like the tasks that have been assigned to different team members, in a clear and concise way. Being able to view this information in an easy-to-digest visual format can be invaluable for helping a project manager to build a complete picture of where their project stands, where it should be in the future, and when that should occur. It also makes it easier to see who is responsible for each stage of the journey and when each of their individual deadlines are.

What are the features of project planning software?

The features of project planning software are designed to assist project managers with the planning and execution of projects. While there can be some significant variation in terms of the options and functions available in each application, there are many common features, which are found in a large number of project planning solutions. Some of the most common and popular features contained in programs of this kind are outlined in more depth below:

  • Resource management: keep track of the most important project resources, including time, money, and labour, and allocate those resources to the right place at the right time. A fundamental part of project management involves knowing how much money is left, where that money is being spent, and where more money may need to be made available. On top of this, projects rely on the work of individual employees, and those employees need to be carefully managed so that they are working on the right tasks, at the right time. Finally, time is one of the most important resources of all, and it needs to be continually managed so that the project remains on schedule. Using project planning applications, managing all of these resources becomes much easier.
  • Task management: define each individual task that needs to be carried out over the course of the project completion process, and allocate those tasks to the right individuals, departments, or teams. Task management is essential for ensuring that project team members understand what they should be working on, why they should be working on it, how long they have to complete their task, and who they will be working alongside. A critical aspect of task management involves defining ownership of each task so that there is certainty on where responsibility lies. The best solutions will also allow adjustments to be made so that tasks can be reallocated to different individuals or teams if the need arises, and so that the details of the task can be altered if new information comes to light.
  • Visualisation: see visual representations of project progress so far in order to gain a clearer sense of where individual tasks stand and what the status of the project as a whole currently is. One of the most common visualisation elements included within software of this kind is a visual timeline. Generally, this timeline can be used to plot out the individual tasks and the amount of time they have been allocated, along with hard deadlines for different sections of the project. Moreover, it is usually possible to mark significant milestones along the way, which can assist the project team with understanding precisely where they are and maintain morale and motivation. Additionally, many solutions provide support for Gantt charts and other graphic illustrations that can help to convey important information about progress and the project schedule.
  • Budget management: establish an overall project budget, allocate financial resources to the different areas of the project team, and continually track how much money remains, how much has been spent, and where that money has been spent. Solutions that include dedicated budget management tools can make it easier to monitor finances and create reports for stakeholders. Additionally, the budget management component can often go hand-in-hand with the resource management component, making it quick and easy to move data between them.
  • Collaboration tools: utilise a variety of collaboration tools and features, which make it easier for different individuals and teams working on the project to share ideas and help each other. On a basic level, software of this kind is likely to include options for channels to share files and communicate, either via a text-based messaging system or video calling. However, going further, some project planning apps will also include options to create digital working environments—which can be made invite-only—which can help project team members to collaborate more effectively through screen sharing, annotation, and similar tools.
  • Progress tracking: monitor the progress of individual tasks, assignments given to teams, and the project as a whole. A status bar can indicate how far along the project is, how much work has been carried out by different teams, and the speed at which this progress has been made. In some cases, this data can then be used to forecast project completion times or to give a better understanding of when individual tasks may be finished. The ability to track progress in this way is vital for overseeing a project because it allows new tasks to be started at the best possible time. Progress reports can also be created and presented to stakeholders to give them regular updates.

Using Capterra's project planning directory, it becomes easier to find the ideal solution based on what they have to offer. More specifically, the directory allows users to sort the available applications according to the features they contain. This then ensures that users are only presented with the programs that actually perform the functions that are required. From there, it becomes much easier to narrow down the options to those that are most suitable.

What should be considered when purchasing project planning software?

When attempting to purchase the ideal project planning program, there are a number of things that must be considered. One thing to keep in mind here is the need to acquire the most suitable software, rather than just the most complete package. After all, the needs of one project team can differ substantially from the needs of another, and the features that matter are also going to vary. A good way to approach this is to ask the following questions:

  • How much does project or job planning software cost? The price of a product or service is always going to be a key factor in any decision that is going to result in a purchase being made, but this issue needs to be considered carefully and holistically, with an awareness of long-term and hidden costs. For instance, the upfront costs linked with software will not factor in issues like setup costs or costs associated with training employees to use the software properly. Within this question, it is also important to think about whether or not it is viable to get the right project planning software free of charge. In cases where requirements are not especially advanced—or where access needs are fairly basic—this may be possible, and it can save businesses significant money. Yet, as a general rule, the free options on the market are likely to lack some features, and they may be less future-proof too.
  • What are the project planning tools? It is important to examine the different software options carefully and develop an understanding of precisely which planning tools are included within each package. While the core features are likely to be similar across the majority of options, some features can be considered differentiators, and these can help with separating the options and identifying the best possible solution for a particular business. For example, the inclusion of both Agile and traditional methodologies will not necessarily feature in every product on the market, so business leaders need to think carefully about the methodologies that are most important to them and then make their decision accordingly. Even in instances where both of these methodologies are supported, the level and quality of support can vary, so it is essential to build a full picture before making a purchase.
  • What is the best deployment option? The answer to this question will depend on how work is carried out within an organisation and what the current setup is, along with numerous other factors. There are two common approaches, with the first being the more conventional on-premise option. Here, software is purchased, owned by the buyer, and installed on company systems, with data storage being the responsibility of the individual organisation. By contrast, the Software as a Service (SaaS) approach is a cloud-based deployment option. With this model, software is acquired from a third-party service provider on a subscription-style basis. The third party is responsible for securely storing data in the cloud, and the software is made accessible via an internet connection. This generally means the software can be accessed remotely or on-site, using a wider variety of devices and operating systems. Costs are more predictable, the service provider assumes responsibility for ensuring the service is working, and the software is up-to-date. There are advantages and disadvantages linked to both approaches. While it is not possible to simply identify the best deployment option in general, it is possible to find the best approach for an individual business, project manager, or project team, based on preferences and circumstances.
  • What is the most popular project planning app? It is also worth giving some thought to the popularity of the different options on the market. The most popular option may not necessarily be the best option for every project manager, but there are advantages that come with popularity, including compatibility when working with third parties and familiarity when training new hires. Popular options are also more likely to have online resources for overcoming some of the most common problems and carrying out some of the more advanced tasks. This can be valuable because it may save a business the time and money associated with accessing professional support.
  • Is remote access to planning software possible? Finally, decision-makers need to think about who actually needs access to the project planning system and where they are going to be working from in order to access it. In some cases, this could be as simple as knowing that project managers need access when they are in the office. However, modern working arrangements are not always this simple and remote, and hybrid approaches are growing. If remote access is going to be required, this is an important point that should help to inform purchasing decisions. It may be that a cloud-based option provides the best combination of accessibility and security in these situations because cloud-based solutions tend to be accessible through any internet device with a modern web browser. This means employees are less likely to encounter compatibility issues along the way.

The most relevant trends related to project planning applications also need to be carefully considered before making a purchase. It is important to find a solution that has been designed with an awareness of these current trends because otherwise, project managers risk acquiring a solution that will become outdated or which will fail to live up to expectations. Some of the most important software and technology trends to give thought to include:

  • Increased use of artificial intelligence: The trend of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more advanced and reliable can be seen across many different software categories, but it is especially relevant to project management. In fact, Gartner analysts predict that as much as 80 per cent of the current workload of a project manager could be eliminated by 2030 as artificial intelligence continues to improve and takes over. This is especially true with tasks like data collection, progress tracking, and reporting-type tasks. With this in mind, it makes sense for businesses to get a head start on this by investing in solutions that already make use of AI capabilities to automate some of the more repetitive or predictable tasks that unnecessarily take up time when project managers could be carrying out more complex activities instead. Additionally, AI and machine learning can use historical data to identify patterns, and this can be invaluable for creating project workflows that minimise risk and optimise outcomes.
  • The rise of Agile project management: The concept of Agile project management is nothing new, but it is gaining more traction, in large part because it offers greater flexibility and functions as an established methodology, which allows for sudden and even frequent changes to be made during the project lifecycle. In businesses that carry out Agile projects regularly, or where Agile projects are likely to be a feature in the future, it is important to invest in a project planning solution that includes relevant features and supports the Agile framework in general.
  • Heightened demand for mobile access: Hybrid and remote working models are becoming more commonplace, and this means the idea of carrying out tasks from a single device, in a single location, is no longer the reality for many project managers. Instead, project managers may need to be able to access their core tools from anywhere—using portable devices like smartphones or tablets—and this has led to more demand for mobile accessibility. With this in mind, it is worth evaluating the project planning tools available and identifying those that either offer a companion mobile app or provide access to cloud-based software via a mobile web browser.

Sources:

The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in Capterra's directory that offer them. The following sources were used for this document:

  1. Gartner Says 80 Percent of Today's Project Management Tasks Will Be Eliminated by 2030 as Artificial Intelligence Takes Over - Gartner (Date accessed: Friday, October 15, 2021)