Doing a project management software comparison? Which features to compare in the first place?

Which software to use to manage your project? That's the question that every project leader must think through before starting. But what to base a preliminary project management software comparison on? What are the features and properties that should (or could) serve as a metric for such comparison? Let's take a look at the most important ones…

Don't omit planning and scheduling features while doing a project management software comparison

Having a comprehensive overview and control of all the assigned tasks and responsibilities in your project is essential. The software should be able to assign dates to each task and to notify the users whenever the deadline approaches. Solid task management capabilities are the meat and potatoes of any project management software worth that name.

Does your chosen software has a team calendar (or is capable of integrating a third-party one) that you can use to schedule meetings and deadlines?

Is there a planner tool that monitors the number of tasks or hours assigned and allows you to prioritize the most important ones? Ask yourselves these questions first to ensure your future projects can be managed as smoothly as possible.

Why managing your project data separately?

There's no need to bother yourselves with Excel spreadsheets if you pick the right PM software. Storing and having access to all the necessary project information including expenses, costs, time spent, present, past and future task and event overview and all things CRM – there are PM tools out there that let you do all of that. It can save you not just a lot of hassle, but a lot of errors too.

project management software comparison

Resource management and project management go together, remember that

In addition to managing your "human resources" aka your team, there are typically other resources that need managing as part of your project. Rooms for meetings, materials used, or even coffee spent. If your PM software enables you to keep track of even minute details like these, it might very well help you prevent any eventual over or underspending.

Your software should allow for mutual collaboration

This is especially important with bigger projects with dozens of specialists working on them. If one of you needs to access and chime in on the other's project, features such as file sharing are crucial. This way, you can maintain an effective collaboration and information sharing across you whole team. Just make sure you share files safely !

Managing your client's data is no less important in customer-based projects. Some of the more advanced PM software even lets you create specialized customer profiles with all the relevant data attached, which you can share with your team after.

A real cherry on top would be a built-in messaging app that allows for a quick and effective in-team communication.

KPI and reporting

A good PM software should allow you to create comprehensive reports on your project. After collecting all the important data, you should be able to compile them into a customized report based on individual parameters.

You might also look for a software that offers a project dashboard with automatic updates that let you measure KPI more accurately.

Don't underestimate the value of good reporting for your enterprise – here are some tip as to how to do it better.

These are, in our opinion, some of the main features to look out for when comparing a choosing the right PM software for you. However, everyone's needs and expectations are quite different. Tell us what do you value most in PM software and which one you think is the right for you!