If your agency is juggling more than one client, then you know work always flows more smoothly when you implement an infrastructure to frame your processes.
Project management can take many forms. For many reasons, your company infrastructure should transcend random spreadsheets and easily lost and missed email chains. Whether the industry is in IT, accounting, consulting, engineering, or other digital services, it’s likely that your projects have many moving parts that are interdependent in the goal of client satisfaction.
Plus, if any members of your team work remotely (up to 80% of American workers will in 2021), a system is necessary to ensure client work tasks are accomplished on time as needed. Modern businesses can’t simply walk across the office to check on someone’s status. To keep everything on track in a way that maximizes efficiency — and, in turn, profits — companies in 2021 rely on the comprehensive solution of program management software.
These online tools, often stored in the cloud for accessibility in or out of the office, are specifically designed for businesses to stay organized as they communicate with and complete tasks for their clients. Business owners and managers can delegate tasks, share deadlines, and train employees to document their efforts online in a collaborative fashion. The right tools can help you scale up, fast.
But each kind of project management software offers a different kind of structure and feature package. Integrating a process into your workflow needs to be as seamless as possible. This guide will list the top 5 project management software systems to consider in 2021, so you can determine your best solution for your business and clients.
Choosing the best option for your company will make it easier to grow your business and excel in the upcoming year. Read on for the reviews:
If you want your project management software to be available to provide updates for your customers at any time, Accelo's platform is for you.
This cloud-based service has helped service businesses in nearly every industry — including digital marketing agencies, consulting firms, engineering and architecture firms, IT, accounting, and more — create online portals for each client. It's a great way for clients to track communication, view and receive status updates on projects, and provide visibility into the remaining budget for the monthly retainer.
Accelo’s Client Portal offers customer-facing access for clients to track the projects you’re handling for them, with increased transparency through their end of the account. It’s best suited for firms looking to maximize customer satisfaction levels.
The structure for your workflow can be specialized either as a comprehensive program for your entire company or as one of four management options:
The pricing level is $39 per user each month for the individualized management tool or $79 per user a month for the all-in-one service. All options include unlimited contracts, clients and tasks, making it possible to scale your business without worrying about outgrowing your business infrastructure.
For companies that need help internally tracking their progress and collaborating behind-the-scenes, Zoho Projects offers a task management software system. Goals can be achieved more easily when they’re broken into smaller tasks, and that’s exactly what this service offers small business teams.
Team leaders can add users to projects and assign tasks, deadlines, milestones, and even requirements that must be completed before the next task can begin. You can customize the system with a variety of viewpoints, including Kanban cards that work to identify bottlenecks in the process.
This software can be used by construction firms, education, real estate, and other industries that require task automation, time tracking, and social project management. Its integrated chat feature can be handy to keep everyone in the loop.
There is also a service available to help you keep track of expenses and invoicing. You can bill clients hourly through timesheets and keep track of documents. It’s also possible to integrate other online services like Google, Zapier, and Slack.
Since it is less robust than other solutions, it’s ideal for companies just starting out. Pricing ranges from $3 to $6 a month per user. For very small companies, there is also a free plan for just three users and two projects at a time.
In terms of infrastructure, think of Airtable as a solid foundation on which you can build the online organizational tool that’s best for you using apps from their marketplace. For example, you may want a pivot table to summarize your records or an organizational chart to clarify a decision-making hierarchy. Perhaps you simply need to organize a gift exchange among your team members. You can use specific apps for specific needs to customize the base of this management tool.
The problem with so many online databases is that the templates are confining for certain needs. Airtable lets you set an individual viewing style so that you can access any kind of content, including bar codes. That makes it best for companies that have many different teams, such as marketing or financial, that need to share information and collaborate in real-time.
The Airtable Universe also serves as a social platform for community and creative projects that can help inspire your work and refine your management tracking process. You don't have to subscribe to this service to browse companies and individuals working on projects that may dovetail with yours.
Pricing, based in part on the backup process, automation options, and availability of features, can run from free to $20 a month per user.
Part of the Atlassian empire of online tools, Jira Software is best for small start-ups and personal initiatives with lots of moving parts. It is also used by software developers working to launch new projects.
This program management software helps track the needed tasks, which are delegated to specific team members and given due dates. Team leaders can run reports to improve team performance and ship their products based on real-time information that’s always up to date.
Use the out-of-the-box templates or set up your own from scratch that syncs with the current workflow processes. All the data entered into the system is encrypted in transit, making it a secure way to share proprietary information before you launch.
The system is free for the first 10 users. It costs $7 to $14 for additional plans that provide more storage capabilities, better customer support, and more features for up to 10,000 users. If you want to integrate additional security controls, you’ll need to get a subscription to Atlassian Access. That provides single sign-on, user provisioning, organization audit logs, and insights to improve efficiency.
As one of the early project management software systems, Asana remains popular in 2021 for its streamlined design. You can help your remote teams collaborate and increase productivity by tracking time management for specific goals. The software lets you plan and track campaigns and share a company calendar for customized workflow management.
This option is good for companies looking to improve collaboration within departments so everyone can work together toward a specific goal. Tools for this include work request forms, Gantt chart timelines, and quick views to determine workloads for each team member.
Like some of the other software options, you can choose from templates or build your own. Asana is also often used by individuals or by teams that are just getting started. The price ranges from free for those users up to $24.99 per user per month for premium plans that include app integrations like Salesforce and Adobe Creative Cloud.
Each of these software services offers cloud storage, so you and your team members can access the information in real-time, no matter where they are in the world. Some programs are more robust with customer-facing technology that improves communication in both the back and front ends of your organization.
To decide which option is best for your situation, you should continue to research these best project management tools before committing to a structure for your company. A great way to learn is through a free trial offer, such as the no-commitment free trial of Accelo’s client portal.
In 2021, you should focus on sending fewer emails to keep everyone informed of changes and instead create an infrastructure that can improve efficiency. Using modern tools will help your company grow and thrive, even as remote work increases distance among your team.
The more easily you can build an infrastructure that works specifically for your company’s needs, the faster you can minimize downtime and return to doing the work you love. To learn more about integrating these cloud-based services into your business workflow, sign up for a free Accelo trial today.