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Projects are nothing but short term goals with the aim to complete some specific set tasks with a very specific objective at hand. Unlike other set goals, projects have a pre-defined start date and an end date which is just as crucial as the successful project completion itself. A project may be anything from making a simple mobile application to making a backyard pond to adding a new manufacturing plant for a company. No matter the industry, all these projects share the same phases. The phases include:
- Planning and Requirements
- Maintenance (Closure)
The key to successful project completion requires highest level of performance and precision at each of these phases. In order to that it is necessary to keep track of the project progress and the issues occurring at various stages to just not just resolve them but to make sure that the project evolves in the manner it is expected to. There are various project management tools available these days thanks to the prominent rise of project management. Moreover, owing the advancements in cloud computing, many cloud based tools are available to help manage and work on projects.
This brings us to the dilemma of choosing the right Project management tool. Here we provide you with a brief overview of 10 cloud based project management tools. Based on your requirement, you should be able to isolate on one best suited for you.
Planbox is a Canadian based company, founded in 2009. In fact, Planbox project management itself was done using Planbox using Agile method. Planbox provides special rates for Start-ups, Academic Institutions, Non-Profit organizations and a year of Free use to students. It has all your typical features found in the project management tools such as collaborating with team members and sharing information & files and documents, schedule meetings and managing deadlines.
Formerly known as 37signals, it was launched back in 1999. the company was renamed in 2014, same as its main product Basecamp. The company originally started off as web design company and later on web application development with Basecamp. Basecamp’s features include To-do lists, file sharing, time management and project collaboration. Basecamps also has Free weekly classes and conducts live Q&A sessions. Basecamp is available on the Mac, PC, iPhone/iPad and Android.
An Indian company that mainly started as an office suite than has now grown to offer more applications such as Zoho CRM, Projects, Meetings, Show and much more. Zoho’s project management tool Zoho Projects provides features like Gantt Charts, project coordination to collaborate, Time management, Report tools and Bug tracker. Zoho’s USP lies in the various free services they provide along with a fairly simple UI. It also provides integration with Google, giving access to the Google apps.
4. Citrix Podio
Founded in 2009, Podio was acquired by Citrix in 2012. Podio provides a list of tools through its Podio Apps with an easy drag and drop interface to create a combination of fields to maintain the data. These include Text, Image, Money, Progress, Calculation, Contact, Relationship, etc. It also has some great tools for collaboration which allows you to not only see the activity feed but comment and like, Instant Message and also Audio & Video calling feature. It also offers integrations with all major services like Google, Zendesk, Evernote among others.
Headquartered in California, Clarizen is another web based project management tool. Clarizen is used by more than 2500 organizations across 76 countries. Some of Clarizen’s project management tools fetures are Budget & Expense management, Chart showing the planned versus actual project progress, Files & document management, project portfolio management, Risk and Resource management and Reports.
Celoxis is yet another Indian based company offering web based project management software. Celoxis offers comprehensive project management software for enterprises. Some of the features include Advanced time management and scheduling, Gantt charts, Finance management, Collaboration and file sharing, Bug tracking, Resource management among others.
Launched back in 1997, Genius Inside offers its prime solution Genius Project since 2008 as cloud based as well as on premise solution for its Project management software. Apart from the typical project management features, some of its noteworthy features include Simulator which gives visual representation of the What-If scanario’s in the project, Phase and gate review support process for new product development and it also provides Agile and SCRUM support.
Workfront is a Utah based software company. It was formerly known as AtTask, it was renamed to Workfront in 2015. Some notable Workfront customers are Dell, Sony, MetLife and AMC to name a few. It offers flexibility use Agile, Waterfall or the hybrid methodology as per the requirement of the project or company. Other features include workflow management and the usual features expected in any well known project management software.
9. EPM Live
EPM live is an online project management tool directly integrated with Microsoft Sharepoint and Office which can be really beneficial since a lot of companies are already use these products on a daily basis. EPM Live is a part of Upland Software. Features include Resource management, Time tracking, Collaboration and What-if model. For those who heavily rely on Google Apps, EPM Live unfortunately does not have an integration with Google so you may have to look for alternatives.
10. Liquid Planner
A Seattle based firm, Liquid Planner Inc. was founded in 2006. Liquid Planner claims to be first of its kind offering a predictive and intuitive cloud based project management tool. It automatically calculates the schedules based on priority. It provides the best and worst case estimates to complete a specific task by taking into account your availability, vacations and priorities to give you a realistic schedule and estimate. Other features include Time planning & coordination, Time management, project analysis and reporting.
The purpose of these Project management tools is not just to help you complete a project, it is to improve the efficiency, costs and budget, time and schedule. It is not just about meeting the deadline, it is about maintaining the quality of the project while meeting the deadline. A project is a team effort, so the collaboration and communication between the team members is as important as the cost or quality of the project outcome. The project management tools help you achieve this and much more.