Top 10 Cloud Project Management Tools

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Nearly every organization has a whiteboard for managing projects, particularly complex Big Data and data analytics initiatives. A physical whiteboard doesn't scale and neither does a single desktop application like a spreadsheet, especially for sprawling projects. This is why cloud project management solutions play a key role in today's IT management: they offer enormous flexibility and scalability.


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For managing projects across organizations of all sizes, there is a robust market of cloud project management software. Cloud-based project management services enable organizations to create, plan, manage and report on projects, across distributed teams and locations.

Cloud Project Management Features

Typical features that are part of cloud project management software offerings include:

  • Collaboration. The ability to communicate and share information with team members about a project is a foundational element of project management.
  • Task Management. The primary capability of all project management tools is all about creating lists of tasks that are tracked and managed as part of a given project.
  • Time Tracking. Keeping track of time allocated and used for project is an important project management capability.
  • Scheduling. It's not enough to just assign tasks, project management is also about scheduling due dates and managing deliverables. Typically project management tools use Gantt charts to visually illustrate a project schedule.

How to Choose the Right Cloud Project Management Solution

There are a lot of different options for organizations to consider when it comes to cloud-based project management tools. While one tool might be the ideal fit for one company, it might not be for another. There are a number of key considerations to evaluate as part of a decision on cloud project management

  • Features. The basics of project management, including scheduling, task creation and project tracking are part of all cloud-based project management tools. Beyond the basics, it's important to identify if there are other required features that are needed, whether it's directly integrated billing or a specific type of collaboration capability that is needed.
  • Integrations. Every organization is already using all kinds of different tools to get things done, whether it's an existing collaboration, file sharing, customer relationship management or other tool. Identify the tools that matter to your organization and make sure that the project management service you're considering has integrations with them.
  • Cost. Cloud-based tools are always driven by cost per user subscriptions. Consider the total cost to operate a given service as a key consideration when evaluating different options.

In this Datamation top companies list, we spotlight the vendors that offer the top cloud-based project management tools.

Celoxisceloxis

Value proposition for potential buyers: The workflow engine within Celoxis is a key differentiator, enabling large distributed organizations to not just schedule and track projects, but also to actively manage them against financial goals and risks. One of the key attributes that users comment on is the platform's extensibility via an API that enables integration with an organization's existing applications and tooling.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Celoxis provides an integrated view for management of all ongoing projects, with an understanding on both resource utilization and financial implications.
  • Workflow engine enables users to define and analyze how change and project requests move through a system and what the impact and risk for a given change will be.
  • Project request tracking goes beyond just listing ongoing work and lets users sort through requests to identify current capacity and areas of demand that align with the organization's key performance indicators.
  • Project planning integrates automatic scheduling capabilities that adjust as dependencies and resources change.
  • One particularly useful attribute of the Celoxis platform is that it can be used by organizations to give their clients their own dashboard, so they can stay connected and have fully visibility into the state of their projects.

Clarizenclarizen

Value proposition for potential buyers: For larger organizations looking for a highly customizable solution that can enable complex work breakdown structures (WBS), Clarizen is a solid option. The platform also scores high marks from users who praise the service's integrated collaboration capabilities.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The built-in collaboration features include presence awareness and chat for project team members. Additionally, connected emails related to a given task or project are all available from within Clarizen.
  • Reporting capabilities are robust, giving managers a really deep and broad view of the current and projected state of project, in terms of resources and costs.
  • Resource management is another strong suit, with the ability to manage the demand lifecycle for incoming projects, to make sure that staff are properly allocated to complete tasks on time.
  • For organizations that also use salesforce.com for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Clarizen is a particularly good fit thanks to an integration between the two services that enables sales and operations people to see project status.

Read user reviews of Clarizen

LiquidPlannerliquidplanner

Value proposition for potential buyers: For organizations of any size, LiquidPlanner's predictive planning technology goes beyond just basic project management with analytics that help to provide better insight into what's actually going on with a project.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The predictive planning capability is a key differentiator, enabling the automatic creation of project schedules and resource workload reports.
  • Of particular value is the time tracking feature that integrates with billing and pay rates, such that a project's costs can easily be tracked and billed against. The time tracking feature also helps to identify potential issues if a certain activity is taking too long or exceeding budget.
  • Reporting in LiquidPlanner is a particularly strong attribute with customizable reports that can be build with the service's analytics engine. Reports can include items such as baseline trends, resource utilization or other user-defined key performance indicators.
  • The collaboration engine is contextual, such that project team members can work with each other at the points and topics within a project task that make sense.

Read user reviews of LiquidPlanner

Mavenlinkmavenlink

Value proposition for potential buyers: Mavenlink is well positioned for service organizations that are looking for a centralized tool that can work as a system of record for projects. Core capabilities including planning, task management and accounting as well as integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resources Management (HRM) and General Ledger (GL) software and services.

Key values/differentiators

  • Master planning capability helps project managers to properly map out the tasks, resources and costs associated with any given project.
  • Built-in expense and budget tracking is a key feature, helping project managers to keep real time track of where a project stands from a financial perspective.
  • There is a robust business intelligence capability built-in, that provides multiple type of insights and reports including ongoing tracking for performance to target goals, user task and project manager scorecards.
  • Integration with salesforce.com in particular is a feature that users often comment on, making it easier to track projects alongside sales and ongoing customer service activities.

Read user reviews of Mavenlink

Microsoft Project OnlineMicrosoft Project

Value proposition for potential buyers: For a generation, Microsoft Project was the standard tool for on-premises project management. It's now available in an updated and expanded set of SaaS cloud offerings for organizations of any size to keep track of projects and teams.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Project Online is well integrated with Microsoft's Office 365 and associated cloud services, making it an easy choice for organizations that are already heavily invested in Microsoft's tools.
  • Template based approach within the service makes it easier for managers to setup and manage projects.
  • Microsoft has integrated a number of automation features that can automatically help with scheduling based on a user-configurable set of parameters.
  • The enhanced Gantt chart project tracking timeline is likely the biggest standout feature, with the ability to help manager track relationships and dependencies in a highly visual approach.
  • The ability to forecast and test out different scenarios to see how they will impact a given project is another core capability that can help managers make appropriate decisions about project planning.

Read user reviews of Microsoft Project Online

Monday.commonday

Value proposition for potential buyers: This service is all about ease of use and time to value, with a simplified approach to getting started with project management that can grow in complexity as required. Monday is well suited for small to mid-sized organizations.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Monday is built a round a simple core concept of a 'pulse' which can be a task, a project or any item that needs to be tracked or part of an activity.
  • The service is designed to make it easier for organizations to get started and has variety of different templates available for various types of projects and workflow scenarios.
  • The planning capabilities in Monday provide a good overview of tasks and progress and are supported by highly customizable dashboards, that users can adjust to fit different needs.
  • Can work both online as a full cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application as well a local application with support for Windows and macOS.

Read user reviews of Monday.com

ProWorkflowproworkflow

Value proposition for potential buyers: ProWorkflow is a great choice - for organizations of any size that are looking for an integrated project management and billing tool for projects. The service includes project creation, tracking and management features as well as reporting.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The ability to directly create and send invoices from within the service is a key differentiator. ProWorkflow can also be integrated with accounting software to go a step further and also keep track of payments.
  • Time tracking is another particularly strong attribute, with several tools including a built-in timer, browser widget and manual input options that helps project team members and their managers track billable hours.
  • The master dashboard does a good job of visually showing upcoming actions, hours worked, recent quotes and invoices, among other project management activities.
  • Of note, ProWorkflow has an integration with Zapier that provides a web automation capability to automate certain types of repetitive tasks.

Scoroscoro

Value proposition for potential buyers: Scoro is a good option for service organizations and project teams that are looking for both project and business management capabilities. The service integrates task management and scheduling with the ability to creates project quotes and invoices.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The system enables users to create a quote for project that include a breakdown of costs, based on existed resources that an organization can define. The quote sheet can then be turned into a project plan, providing a list of tasks that need to be managed and completed.
  • Task scheduling can also be done with a drag and drop dashboard interface, for rapid project creation.
  • Integrated calendar features is noteworthy, as it not only identifies what project team members are working on, but also availability, which can help for scheduling of tasks as well as meetings.
  • Alerts and reminders are also helpful, warning managers if a task is late or exceeding budget, while reminders can keep due dates top of mind.

Wrikewrike

Value proposition for potential buyers: For organizations of all sizes that are looking for a workflow and project management SaaS application, Wrike is a solid choice. Beyond typical project creation and tracking, integrated workflow management can enable proofing and approval for different tasks.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A core concept within Wrike is that of Folders, which is an organizing unit for project resources and tasks, that is setup with basic drag and drop functionality for creating, adding and sharing projects and information.
  • Team members can use the service to submit project requests to managers, outlining tasks and responsibilities as well as any potential issues of concern for organizational policy compliance.
  • Workflow management is particularly robust, enabling different teams to set up their own required workflow task items in a template, that are required for a given type of task or client engagement.
  • Collaboration within Wrike is bolstered with easy comment buttons, that let collaborators on a given project both read and comment on conversations related to specific tasks and projects.

Read user reviews of Wrike

Zoho Projectszoho

Value proposition for potential buyers: Using Zoho projects might seem like an obvious choice for those that are already using Zoho for CRM or Zoho office software, but it can also benefit other organizations as a standalone choice for project management. The different views for task management and well-reviewed collaboration capabilities make this a reasonable choice for project teams across different industries.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Project management task are organized by Zoho project in a number of configurable ways including milestones/task lists/tasks and sub-tasks.
  • Users and project managers get a number of different task views to visualize what needs to get done. Among the options are simple list based display as well as Kanban, which provides a tile based approach for getting a handle on task management.
  • Collaboration is a particularly strong point in the service with social project management capabilities including built-in forums for discussion as well as integrated chat.
  • Among the more unique features that Zoho project offers is a module for service level agreement (SLA) automation that can help track and monitor project status to make sure that it is achieving the right level of service for a given contract or customer engagement.

Read user reviews of Zoho Projects

Vendor Comparison Chart

Product

Key Features

Pricing

Celoxis

Powerful workflow engine for defining and analyzing projects.

$25 per user/month

Clarizen

Strong collaboration features that help to support  task and project management.

Enterprise Edition provides up to 1 GB of file storage per user. 

Unlimited Edition provides unlimited storage

Pricing on request from vendor.

LiquidPlanner

Predictive planning enables automic creation of scheduled and project resource workload reports.

Professional edition - $45 /month per user

Enterprise Edition - $69 / month per user.

Mavenlink

Analysis and reporting capabilities provide insight into project performance and tracking.

Plans start at $19 / month per user.

Microsoft Project Online

Automation features to help enable rapid creation of project plans.

Professional edition $30 / month per user

Premium edition - $55 / month per user

monday.com

Easy to get started, with template based approach for onboarding new projects.

Basic - $25 / month per user

Standard $39 / month per user

Pro - $59 /month per user

ProWorkflow

Advanced time tracking and integrated invoicing.

Solo - $10 per month / per user

Professional $20 per month / per user

Advanced - $30 / per month / per user

Scoro

Quote sheet capability for project planning and cost forecasting

Essential - $26 per user/ month

Work hub - $37 per user /month

Wrike

Workflow management templates

Professional - $9.80 / user /month

Business - $24.80 / user / month

Zoho Projects

Strong collaboration and configurable project task management features.

Standard - $25 /user / month



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