Project management software helps determine the scope and path of long-term work projects. It also lets the members of your organization involved in those projects stay connected with one another and keep everyone on the same page. Projects that use project management software could be anything from a marketing campaign to developing a new app.
The engineering world is no different. No matter what field of engineering you’re in, your team is going to handle complex projects. Those projects will require agility and communication to adapt to change while staying within a budget. Project management software for engineering firms can make the whole process go much more smoothly.
If you’re trying to cut costs, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to use project management software at all. Isn’t email good enough? Not quite.
Project management software lets you:
And you can do all that in one place. Sound like something worth investing in? Read on for our top picks for engineering project management software.
Good project management software should be usable by everyone, from small businesses to large companies. It should have a simple interface, offer plenty of features, and help increase productivity. Give these a try and see if they work for you.
Accelo offers a complete client work management platform specifically created for professional service providers to improve project management, visibility, and profitability. Including everything from a proposal creation tool to detailed tracking of budgets, time, and resources, Accelo unifies everyone involved with a project — from the engineering team to clients — in a single system. A helpful and time-saving feature in Accelo’s platform is automated client messaging, providing much-appreciated updates and touchpoints to clients letting them know that you are actively working on their projects without taking you away from your work.
Accelo’s biggest differentiator is that it’s a client work management platform designed for engineers. Tasks can be easily generated based on project requirements provided by the client and allow you to manage your work in real-time. Built-in features let you stay on top of costs, available resources, and project scope.
Pricing: Free trial available; product offerings begin at $39 per user per month once the trial is complete
Best for: Engineers and other professional service providers looking for a platform specifically for managing client work and profitability
Teamwork is a good option for smaller businesses on a budget looking to try out project management software to maintain a few projects at a time. The interface is intuitive and easy to use, but tracking timelines or employee schedules isn’t its strong suit.
Pricing: Free version available; paid version with simple features costs $12.50 per user per month
Best for: Small businesses on a budget looking to try project management tools
LiquidPlanner is a good choice for larger businesses. The system is complex and highly specialized, ideal for larger organizations needing a lot of customization and control. Due to the complexity, there is a learning curve, and you will need to anticipate that new employees and contractors will likely need some training. A free trial is available, but the full version is one of the more expensive options on this list.
Pricing: 14-day free trial available; $45 per user per month after that
Best for: Large companies that don’t mind the time commitment of learning the ins and outs of new software
Another strong budget-conscious option, ZoHo Projects, offers a well-rounded set of basic project management features. Time and budget tracking features are available along with detailed reporting. It’s a good option for a company just starting out, but keep in mind that it doesn’t come with automations or billing features (other apps are required to provide that functionality).
A completely free version is available and then there are a couple of paid options.
Pricing: Free version available; two paid tiers — Premium at $5 per user per month, and Enterprise at $10 per user per month
Best for: Small businesses working on a budget
Celoxis is another software package for companies looking to balance projects with ongoing work. This program’s strong suit is the ease of getting started with it. You don’t have to get deep into the weeds to figure out how to get Celoxis up and running. Customizable dashboards help each user configure the program to best suit them. A downside is that this application doesn’t offer billing or invoicing tools.
Pricing: No free version; two paid options — Cloud at $22.50 per user per month, and On-Premise at $450 per user per year
Best for: Large companies with money and time to invest
In the professional world, especially when dealing with client work and project management, having systems in place is key. Investing in the right program can save time and money while increasing the efficiency of your entire team.
Good client work management solutions will offer a diverse set of tools — including budget tracking and time tracking — to keep projects on track and within scope. Additional features like communication tools for messaging and file sharing are also valuable to have and contribute to the overall client experience. Having a client portal keeps the client current on project status without your team being pulled away to provide updates, and lends an easy way for the client and your team to seamlessly interact.
Because proper quoting and billing is vital to your business, you want to make sure to find a solution that includes these functionalities along with payment tracking.
To get an idea of what engineering project management tools would work best for your business, sign up for free trials. Try out Accelo and see how the platform can improve your client work.