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- Best project management software for small teams | Top 9 tools
Running a business, no matter how small, can be difficult. We’ve compiled a list of the best project management software for small teams to help you stay organized.
Project management is critical to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. Small businesses, unlike large corporations, require project managers to wear multiple hats and oversee various responsibilities. With so much on your plate, you’ll need the best project management software for small teams to help you navigate requirements and stay productive.
Why do small teams need project management software?
Small businesses have a variety of unique needs, and the small business project management software you choose must meet them. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to project management, there are some essential features. The following sections will cover some of the elements required for any project management tool for small teams or businesses.
- Capabilities for collaboration: Project collaboration tools and effective project communication are critical to the success of any project. Simple chat rooms, team channels, and file sharing systems can boost productivity by centralizing everything you need.
- Integration with other apps: To optimize projects and operations, any business, large or small, relies on various tools and technologies. You can integrate required apps into your workflows using online project management software. This would save everyone time and allow them to concentrate on their work.
- Cross-platform compatibility: Is another critical feature of any project management tool. You will occasionally outsource tasks to freelancers and other outside resources as a small business. Clients, too, would need to be onboarded at various stages. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to access the software using the same operating systems or devices. You must ensure that the software you choose supports the most popular platforms, such as iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac.
- Scalability: You are not in the market to be a small or medium-sized business for the rest of your life. Your project management software should be able to accommodate your long-term growth plans over a long period. Consider having to replace your primary tool every couple of years. That would be costly, inefficient, and inconvenient for everyone involved.
- Features for project/task management include: The software’s entire purpose is to provide project management features that help you maintain control, transparency, and visibility. The software you select should be capable of delivering the features you may require for effective project management.
9 best project management software for small teams
Trello facilitates team collaboration on tasks and projects. On a visible board, the tool displays outstanding to-do list items.
Similar to a traditional whiteboard with sticky notes, team members drag tasks from “not started” to “in progress” to “done.”
Trello’s main advantages are as follows:
Intuitive: The ability to drag and move tasks from one area of the board to another means it’s simple to use, even for the most inexperienced member of your project team.
Low cost: Trello provides a basic package for free, and premium prices are still reasonable. This is a good option for new or small businesses to cut costs.
Available on an app: Trello has a dedicated app for team members who prefer working from their phone or iPad. This allows you to access your tasks quickly and on the go.
Trello, like any other project management software, has limitations:
Lack of project structure: Experienced project managers understand the importance of tracking project timescales. Trello lacks advanced features that project managers require, such as a Gantt chart.
Lack of email: Trello does not provide sophisticated email notifications. If you need to send regular reminders and updates to your team via email, this may not be the software for you.
Basecamp was one of the first project collaboration tools available on the market. Its initial product release occurred in 2004 and was well received by startups and small businesses in the technology sector.
Basecamp is a collaborative online workspace for projects. You can communicate with your team members, share files, get project updates, and hold team meetings.
Here are some of the Basecamp features that users enjoy:
Ease of installation: Basecamp is a user-friendly tool that is simple to set up. Individualizing spaces as you go eliminates the need for advanced configuration at the organizational level.
Unlimited users: Basecamp has the advantage of charging a flat fee that does not increase as more users are added to the system. This is useful for companies that want to expand.
Here are some of Basecamp’s known drawbacks:
Limited reporting: Basecamp lacks robust high-level reporting, which some teams require for their projects when communicating with clients or senior stakeholders.
Lack of high-level overview: Basecamp creates spaces for individual teams and groups, but there is no high-level overview. If a project manager requires a high-level overview, the space structure does not always provide it.
Smartsheet provides an alternative to the typical frustrations experienced by project managers when using tools such as Microsoft Project.
It kept the organization and planning features like scheduling and milestones while also adding the critical collaboration features that teams require to function efficiently.
Here are some of the features that many users appreciate about Smartsheet:
Project management layout: Smartsheet’s project management layout will be familiar to project managers who are used to creating traditional Gantt charts. Smartsheet’s planning feature makes it popular among project managers.
Management reporting: Senior stakeholders can use Smartsheet to cut and slice information to get a high-level project overview.
Here are some of Smartsheet’s shortcomings:
User interface: While the traditional planning interface may be popular with project managers, it will be less intuitive for other team members. They might prefer a more task-oriented appearance and feel.
No auto-save: If you’re used to auto-save, you might be surprised by Smartsheet’s lack of this essential feature. It could cost you valuable project planning time.
Another collaboration software tool, Asana, provides a shared space for teams to manage project tasks and priorities.
The interface combines traditional project timeline views and task dashboards and some automation for repeating project activities.
Here are Asana’s main advantages:
Integration: Asana has over 200 integrations with other platforms used by teams, such as Zoom and Dropbox. This is beneficial for larger project teams that use multiple software tools.
Customizable: Users who want to see a dashboard that meets their specific requirements will appreciate the ability to customize the workspace in a way that makes it easier for them to work.
Here are some of the platform’s more negative aspects:
Complexity: While the numerous features may suit larger organizations with multiple and diverse teams, they may be too overwhelming for small businesses. These businesses may prefer a simple day-to-day solution.
Single task owner: Asana only allows one person to own a task at a time. This can be beneficial in project ownership, but it can also lead to inflexibility in some situations, particularly in small businesses.
Slack is a software application. Project teams frequently used it as an instant messaging app beyond email’s limitations. Individual sections can use Slack to create channels and communicate, giving people a quick and consistent way to keep a project conversation going.
Here are some of the reasons why users like Slack as team management software:
Visibility: Slack places a premium on team communication. This tool will provide a project manager with complete visibility of every issue and conversation on a project.
File Collaboration: With integrations to popular platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox, the Slack tool allows teams to share critical documentation in one place.
Here are some of Slack’s limitations:
Overwhelming: Slack has the feel of a social media app, with continuous updates whenever someone posts new content. In a project with many team members, this can create a lot of noise.
Lack of project structure: Unlike other small team project management software, Slack does not have a structured interface. The layout can make it appear not easy to use for high-level project management.
TeamGantt enables project teams to abandon the time-consuming process of writing, publishing, and sharing project plan Gantt charts.
Instead, users can create, edit and share live Gantt charts online, allowing for more collaborative project planning.
Here are some of TeamGantt’s most popular features:
Planning: TeamGantt is similar to traditional project planning in that it uses a standard Microsoft Project Gantt chart. When planning timescales, most project managers will rely heavily on it.
Planning: If users do not like a standard milestone chart, they can use a Kanban board layout or a traditional calendar view.
Here are some of TeamGantt’s shortcomings:
Budgeting: TeamGantt cannot support a project plan with an assigned budget for each task for project managers who require all-encompassing software for their role.
Cost: While the platform provides a free trial, pricing becomes prohibitively expensive once multiple users are added. As a result, it may not be as cost-effective for a larger project team.
Evernote began as a personal document and notes storage service with an app and a browser-based application.
Project teams are now adopting the software and using it to create individual notes and notebooks to share information with the rest of their colleagues, thanks to collaborative features.
Helpful for research: Finding exciting and relevant research can be difficult. Many people value Evernote’s ability to clip information from the web and share it with the team.
Link emails: Switching between a project software dashboard and email can be time-consuming on a project, so linking emails to Evernote is one solution.
Here are some of the features that users believe Evernote lacks:
Too generic: Evernote did not create a project management tool. Because of its different scope, it lacks the planning functionality that many project managers require.
Checklists: Checklists can be helpful for personal planning. However, most project teams will struggle to manage the project’s progress through lists solely.
(8) Google Drive
Google Drive, arguably the most well-known software on the list, was never intended for project use.
However, many teams have adopted Google Drive’s document sharing and collaboration features to help manage projects and share information.
Here are some of the reasons why people prefer to use Google Drive for projects:
Everyone uses it: Google Drive is a free tool that most people already use without the need for a license. It is quick and straightforward to incorporate into a project’s software tools.
Trusted: Because of Google’s ability (and reputation), it is a trusted and reliable platform for businesses.
Here are some disadvantages of using Google Drive for projects:
Lack of project features: While Google Drive allows teams to collaborate, it lacks a project dashboard and the planning features found in more dedicated project tools.
Security: Unless you keep documents password-protected, you may be able to share information outside of your project team. That poses a security risk.
Monday is one of the more feature-rich project management software tools available for small teams. It goes beyond project teams to include sales, marketing, human resources, and a CRM component.
Organizations use Monday to plan out team activities on a project and day-to-day operational work management.
Here are some of Monday’s advantages as a project management software platform:
No emails: The Monday platform has so many features that teams can avoid communicating via email. This avoids a step that is frequently a liability on complex projects.
Knowledge base: When new team members join, a comprehensive, searchable knowledge base is ideal for teaching them how to use the platform.
Here are some of the drawbacks of using Monday as a project software platform:
Pricing: The platform charges fees based on the number of users. This can become costly for small businesses looking to use the platform and expand their team.
App: While the platform provides a mobile app, some users have complained that the features are limited compared to the information and layout on the desktop dashboard.
Is there any free project management software suitable for small businesses?
Most decent project management apps offer a free plan; the best are Asana and Wrike.
What is the most straightforward project management software?
Monday.com is probably the most basic project management tool, with Asana and nTask close behind.
Is there a free project management tool available on Google?
No, not at all. You can combine Google Tasks and Google Calendar to manage tasks, but it’s not as effective as a dedicated tool. However, you can read our guide on using Google project management tools.
We hope this article assists you in locating the best project management software for small teams as your company or, at the very least, shortens your search for the best fit. Finding a good solution often involves some trial and error, so we recommend giving each one a try to see how you like it.
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