Best Software for Project Portfolio Management

InterServer Web Hosting and VPS

As a project manager, you need to have the best tools at your disposal. That’s why we’ve put together this definitive guide on the best software for project management. In it, you’ll find all the resources you need to make sure your projects run smoothly and efficiently. From trackers and calendars to software that can help with communication and tracking, we’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Start working on those projects today!

Best Software for Project Portfolio Management

1 ClickUp

Best for unlimited users/seats

ClickUp is a project management software tool with powerful features for managing and completing all your team’s projects in one platform. Users can plan projects, schedule tasks, and manage resources in a centralized workspace, as well as communicate and collaborate with team members and guests.

Task management features include task checklists, subtasks, and task templates, as well as the ability to filter, sort, search for, easily reorder, and view tasks in the manner most convenient for the team. Users can also create Gantt charts, calendars, and timelines to visualize tasks.

ClickUp also includes features for creating, sharing, and collaborative editing for Wikis and documents. Users can comment on documents and tasks, assign comments, and chat with other team members for increased communication and collaboration. Reporting features include the ability to create custom dashboards, as well as six built-in report types for team reporting.

ClickUp offers native integrations with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.

ClickUp’s free plan is robust and includes all primary features. The unlimited plan starts at $5/user/month and offers additional functionality.

Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/user/month

PROS

  • Free forever plan allows unlimited members
  • Unlimited file storage on all paid account tiers
  • Can email (set-up) a task directly from Outlook

CONS

  • Read-only guest permissions are limited to paid account
  • Reporting suite is limited to paid plans only
  • Granular customization options results in a time consuming set-up

2 Smartsheet

Best for flexibility & customizability

Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-like project management tool. It has won a few awards for quickly becoming a favorite business app. It’s a nice project management software if you’re comfortable working in Excel but wants a break from complicated formulas—Smartsheet performs all the calculations for you across multiple sheets. You can also add customized brand logos and set color themes for individual projects.

Smartsheet has useful project management features such as workflow automation and visualization of tasks in Gantt, calendar and card views. Team members get notified of critical changes in real-time, and the tool provides shared views, detail history, activity logs, automated alerts, reminders, and status reports to keep everyone aligned and informed. The Critical Path feature highlights all the tasks which directly impact your project completion date to keep an eye on important milestones. Reporting is a strong feature of this tool, with editable summary reports that you can easily export to Excel.

Smartsheet integrations include Microsoft and Google apps, as well as development essentials like Jira, and useful business apps like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Box, and Tableau. The platform is extensible through a REST API and webhooks.

Smartsheet costs from $7/user/month, with a minimum of 3 users and a maximum of 25 users. They also offer a 30-day free trial.

30 days free trial

From $7/user/month

PROS

  • Sheet-to-sheet linking
  • Many project templates & resources
  • Ease of sharing
  • Easily customizable dashboards

CONS

  • Jira, Salesforce, Dynamics connector limited to Premier plan
  • Changes don’t update in real-time
  • Can’t customize chart colors

3 Kintone

Best for building custom project workflows

Kintone is a customizable project tracking software platform used by teams at Volvo Trucks North America, Japan Airlines, Shiseido, and over 23,000 organizations worldwide. Their unique approach to project and task management lets you build a wide variety of customizable “apps” either from scratch, using templates or from your existing spreadsheets, for data management, business processes, and workflows. Kintone apps can be customized for project management, sales CRM, customer databases, expense reports, shared to-do lists, equipment management, product feedback, and much more.

Kintone lets you build no-code project tracking apps by dragging and dropping elements that you want to see onto the page: rich text fields, date fields, drop-down menus, number fields with built-in calculations, spaces for attachments, user or group selection menus, related data from other apps, tables, and more.

Once you’ve built the app you want, you can use it to more easily manage whatever data and tasks you and your team need to track. And with custom notifications and reminders as well as detailed permissions settings, your project tracking solution can look and work however you want it to.

What makes Kintone particularly great for project tracking are the features to filter and prioritize tasks by data field or team member to generate custom reports or dashboard views, as well as the ability to automate reminders and handoffs between team members for multi-step workflows.

Kintone’s built-in communication features also allow teams to discuss projects directly in the app and in topic or project-based threads. Dedicated “spaces” organize everything your team needs for your project, including task-tracking apps and searchable conversation threads.

There are so many ways to customize Kintone it can be hard to know where to start. Read the starter blog “What Can You Build with Kintone?” or watch Creating an App from Scratch for a quick look at how the drag-and-drop builder works.

Kintone lets you expand its capabilities with both free native plugins built by the Kintone team as well as integrations with other tools like Slack, Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, Tableau, Dropbox, Salesforce, HubSpot, Eventbrite, WordPress, QuickBooks, MailChimp, and many more through a paid plan with Zapier or via API integrations.

Kintone costs $24/user/month with a minimum requirement of 5 users. They offer a 30-day free trial (no credit card required) and discounted prices for nonprofits and educators. Kintone’s team also offers a free custom app build as part of the free trial process.

30 days free trial

From $24/user/month

PROS

  • Flexible pricing that includes special deals for schools and NPOs
  • Admin accounts have access to tons of customization tools
  • Data is easy to pull and manipulate into good looking reports

CONS

  • No single-user plan available (minimum 5 users)
  • Limited to 5GB/user storage on every pricing tier
  • No native templates for common project types or documents

4 Forecast.app

Best AI-native project planning tool

Forecast is an all-in-one platform for resource and project management, used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agency, software, and consulting companies. It’s equipped with tools to manage everything from quote to invoice, plus it offers intelligent automation to predict project delivery dates, forecast capacity needs, and become more efficient. Their AI uses cumulative learnings from hundreds of thousands of projects and creates rules based on that user data.

ALSO READ:   Best Cloud-Based Enterprise Project Management Software

Let’s talk about features. The Auto-Schedule feature is great for project scheduling, providing estimates, automatically assigning resources to tasks. It’s got a drag-and-drop module that lets you adjust plans and resources in an instant. Another cool feature is that the tool automatically builds a budget for every project with key financial metrics to track planned vs. actuals. It also supports various billing types (fixed price, time & materials) side-by-side and in real-time. It has advanced up-to-the-minute reports you can customize.

Forecast also introduced a one-of-its-kind feature to manage projects in a retainer setup. A dashboard with retainer periods and totals lets you track the financials of ongoing projects without losing sight of staff workloads and time spent on delivery.

Forecast integrations include several turnkey integrations with mainstream project management tools and two-way sync with Jira on the market. It also complements accounting systems like Quickbooks and Xero with PM capabilities.

Forecast costs from $31.76/user/month (€27/user/month) with a 10-seat minimum requirement. They offer a 14-day free trial.

14 days free trial

From $31.76/user/month

PROS

  • Predictive tasks for spreadsheets
  • Can manage resources across multiple projects
  • Easy to plan projects and timelines

CONS

  • Milestone data is lumped together rather than separated
  • Additional fee for onboarding/training
  • Higher learning curve

5 GanttPro

Best project management tool for planning and scheduling projects with an online Gantt chart

GanttPRO is a project management software based on Gantt charts and useful for managing all kinds of projects and teams from different spheres. It stands out for its intuitive interface and powerful features.

The software includes features for breaking down projects in an efficient manner into subtasks, sibling tasks, and subprojects, as well as set dependencies and milestones. To get more visibility, users can choose between the Gantt chart, Board views, and task dashboards. GanttPRO also offers handy task management features such as statuses, priorities, duration & estimation, progress, dates and deadlines, assignees, and more.

The Gantt chart maker allows teams to collaborate in real-time using comments, mentions, and attachments. Resource management and workload features for monitoring team members workload and tasks are also included.

You can integrate your projects with Jira, Google Drive, Slack, and other applications. GanttPRO is widely used in software development, construction, healthcare, finances, events, education, and many other spheres.

Basic plans for 1 user start at $7.99/month if billed annually.

14 days free trial

From $7.99/user/month

PROS

  • Intuitive interface with a short learning curve
  • Multiple and flexible project views
  • Professional Gantt chart templates

CONS

  • Light on integrations
  • Lack of options to create recurring tasks

6 Zoho Projects

Best for unique team collaboration features

Zoho Projects is a project management application that can handle projects of all sizes and levels of complexity. The tool comes with features that imitate social networking sites such as feeds, forums, and discussions and is available on mobile for iOS, Android, and other systems.

For project planning and monitoring, Zoho Projects’ Gantt chart features let you break large projects down into manageable sections and actionable tasks, plan and visualize different tasks and milestones, and create tasks lists to help you plan in better detail. Zoho Projects’ Gantt charts can also be used for resource allocation, so you can visualize your project schedule and the team’s workload. The resource usage table tells you who is available, who is busy, and who is overloaded.

With Zoho Projects, you can define dependencies between tasks and assign them to the right people, schedule events in your calendar, and monitor the percentage of work that’s been completed once the work has begun. Automate routine tasks at regular intervals by setting up a recurring task, and set reminder emails for tasks.

You can also create or download project documents, presentations, and spreadsheets, as well as upload and share files for team collaboration. Record the hours spent on tasks and compare them with what you had originally planned. This can be done manually or with the help of an integrated timer. Entries are automatically recorded in your timesheet, and generating invoices from this information requires only a few clicks.

Being part of the Zoho ecosystem allows you to connect to several of Zoho’s other services such as Zoho Books and Zoho’s finance suite. The new Zoho marketplace allows 3rd party integrations as well, like Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Zapier, Zendesk, and ServiceNow. Integrations via Zapier and Zoho Flow are also supported.

Zoho Projects costs from $5/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial. Zoho Projects also offers a free plan for up to 3 users and 2 projects.

10 days free trial

From $5/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial

PROS

  • Unlimited number of projects
  • Easy workflow automations
  • Robust communication features
  • Time-track multiple tasks at once

CONS

  • Does not integrate with Quickbooks
  • Lacks some reporting features
  • Lack of file type export options

7 monday.com

Best for building custom workflows across teams

monday.com is an award-winning project management software used across diverse industries by companies like Hulu, BBC Studios, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal Paris, Adobe, and Deezer.

monday.com features for managing projects include resource and project management, time tracking, collaboration, and reporting features. For example, users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing solution as other tools, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.

Overall, it’s a highly customizable tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—Kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team. You’ll also find some useful workflow tools for automating parts of your process. Read our in-depth monday.com review for a complete overview of the tool, as well as a short video tutorial of basic features.

monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.

monday.com costs from $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.

14 days free trial

From $6/user/mont

PROS

  • Huge focus on collaboration
  • Long list of supported integrations
  • Easy to customize a workflow or board
  • Helpful visual/color coding customization

CONS

  • Complex pricing rubric
  • Gantt charts locked to mid-level plan
  • May be too robust for small teams

8 Asana

Best online task management software for complex projects

Asana is a task management solution with automation tools, a rule builder, and other workplace management items. Asana’s Timeline lets users create a plan that shows how the pieces of a project fit together and help keep work on track as things change.

ALSO READ:   Best Software for Project Scope Management

Asana has a colorful, rich, and inviting user interface with everything from compartmentalized productivity items to playful cartoon animations that “zoom” across the screen to celebrate finishing a task. This scored them very well in the UX category of the evaluation criteria.

Integrations include Jira Cloud, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, Slack, Microsoft Office 365, Gmail, CSV Importer, JotForm, EverHour, OneDrive, Zoho Cliq, Box, Mailbird, Instabug, DRopbox, Gitlab, Trello, VElocity, Tick, and many more per their website. Additionally, users can connect Asana to Zapier, Automate.io, and others to integrate with hundreds of more available apps.

One minor gripe is that having an active, real-time chat function would benefit this app in particular. Asana bills itself as more of a holistic solution to the project and task management but communication is limited to cumbersome comment sections.

Asana starts at $10.99/user/month and has a freemium version of the software.

30 days free trial

From $10.99/user/month

Best for visual planning

Used by Amazon and Netflix, TeamGantt is a project management tool with a freemium version for smaller groups and teams who don’t yet need an upgrade to a paid plan. Obviously, TeamGantt specializes in Gantt charts and other task planning but they also track workloads and team availability, collaboration features like chat and tagging, and customizable alerts.

Project managers should be aware that TeamGantt works best for simple projects but the software struggles to handle more complex projects across multiple teams. For example, it is not easy to gauge project status at a quick glance.

TeamGantt scores well in the Usability segment of the evaluation criteria, as it is incredibly flexible to use. The tool is accommodating to however you may want to set up and track your projects, no matter their structure or constraints. Additionally, providing an easy “read-only” URL makes it great for sharing with outside parties for input.

TeamGantt costs from $24.95/month and has a freemium version of the software for up to 3 users.

14 days free trial

From $24.95/month

PROS

  • Flexible setup/tracking for projects
  • Share charts without recipient logging in
  • Easy drag-and-drop task duration
  • Really easy to learn

CONS

  • Dependency functionality can get complicated
  • Doesn’t have in-app notifications
  • Views lag behind changes

10 Workzone

Best for mid-sized businesses

Workzone is a great project management software for marketing, agency and operations teams of 5+ users. It’s powerful but it’s still easy to use and adopt. Organizations small and large run their projects and keep their teams in sync—it’s been used and developed for 20 years, so the company has built some really useful features to answer real-world problems.

Some of Workzone’s standout features include a useful all-projects dashboard, personalized to-do lists, and an interactive Gantt chart. Workzone also offers secure file management and creative review tools, customizable project intake forms, workload management, time and expense tracking, and powerful reporting. Flexible permissioning allows for giving different levels of access to different users, providing extra layers of security and control.

For new teams who aren’t used to working with a project management software, Workzone is a smart choice because they assist in implementing the software—their team helps your team build the foundation, processes, and discipline you need to get the most out of the software and use it to manage projects successfully. Their level of support is hard to find—they offer needs assessment, success planning, setup and customization, training, and ongoing coaching.

The tool integrates with standard industry software including various communication, IT, file sharing, time tracking, accounting, marketing, and CRM software. You can extend Workzone’s functionality through their extensive APIdeveloper API and Zapier.

Workzone pricing starts at $40/user/month for up to 5 users. Price per user lessens with the number of users…for instance, for 15 users the price per person starts at $24/user/month.

Free demo

From $24/user/month

PROS

  • Allows creation of templates from existing projects
  • Easy to customize tasks using flexible notes system
  • Email reminders to keep things flowing

CONS

  • Completed projects aren’t automatically archived
  • Delayed tasks negatively affect independent tasks on the timeline
  • Better file access permissions welcomed

Project portfolio management tools

1. Kissflow Project

Kissflow Project is a growing name in the world of project portfolio management (PPM) for its sleek design and intuitive interface. With a simple but highly efficient workspace, Kissflow Project allows users to extensively integrate processes across multiple channels and automate data collection on a single platform.

Join 10,000+ Project Managers Who Manage Their Work Using Kissflow Project!

Signup for FREE

Allowing teams to work on multiple projects simultaneously, the software can provide in-depth reports and let users access crucial information faster and more effectively. The numerous features Kissflow Project has for easing management of complex workflows and multiple projects make it an ideal choice as a project portfolio management tool.

Key features

  • Advanced task management tools
  • Project visualization and use of Kanban methods
  • Advanced project collaboration
  • Use of metrics, pivots, reports, and other real-time analytics tools

Pricing

The following are the pricing packages that Kissflow offers

  • Free – Starting at 3 users, this basic package offers limited but comprehensive features ideal for managing one project.
  • Starter ($35/month) – up to 5 users and 5 projects can be simultaneously managed.
  • Professional ($60/month) – offering unlimited custom views, this package allows 5 users to simultaneously work on 10 projects.
  • Enterprise (Custom) – a customizable solution that gives you exactly what you want.

2. Microsoft Project

From everyday tools like Word and Excel for project management to advanced operating systems, the project portfolio management (PPM) solutions offered by Microsoft shine in every respect. Microsoft Project is no different. Focusing on optimization, visibility, and flexibility, Microsoft’s PPM software equips businesses with all the tools necessary to manage a business portfolio.

Providing users with a visual and interactive interface, Microsoft Project transforms data into insights and comprehensive project reports. Microsoft Project can systematically be transformed into a customizable solution that adapts to your specific needs.

Key features

  • Allows quick prioritization and efficient management of projects and tasks
  • Visual and interactive project timeline view
  • Effective collaboration tools

Pricing

You can get two variations of the Microsoft project. The on-premise solution covers one PC for a one-time payment of $620 while the cloud-based solution offers 3 packages starting from $10/user/month.

3. Plainsware

Plainsware was designed specifically to meet all requirements of project portfolio management. It focuses on using a strategic vision to implement business objectives in a dynamic environment. Plainsware allows users to create a comprehensive view of their portfolio and to easily communicate that view to all team members.

By illustrating a well-integrated and articulated roadmap, Plainsware helps to address variances and discrepancies between project portfolio goals and priorities. It can create portfolio scenarios to determine whether a particular investment fits your goals or not and has warning systems to alert whether it meets the required standards.

ALSO READ:   Best Cloud Project Management Software

Key features

  • Allows users to shape strategies using different parameters
  • Predicts and runs simulations for potential portfolios
  • Integrated solutions

Pricing

Plainsware provides pricing information on demand.

4. Keyedlin

Keyedlin is another popular strategy-based PPM software. Its comprehensive interface has several functions that you can benefit from such as resource capacity planning, strategic alignment, and portfolio selection and prioritization. Keyedlin is brilliant software that integrates several project methodologies to execute business long-term objectives efficiently.

Key features

  • Includes portfolio insights and financial tracking
  • Value-driven software that is ideal for managing dynamic projects and tasks
  • Helps to manage product portfolio through roadmaps

Pricing

Pay for the services you want as the Keyedlin pricing model is customizable and based on quota.

5. Acuity ppm

Acuity PPM is an easy-to-use and popular project portfolio management software choice for portfolio managers, especially those managers who are at the early stages of their careers. Its simple, lightweight interface packs a bunch of useful and comprehensive tools that you need. Acuity PPM provides a modular functionality approach and allows users to design and build up their portfolios efficiently.

Key features

  • Milestone tracking
  • Insightful reports and other analytics tools
  • Resource and task management

Pricing

Acuity PPM is based on a modular approach that lets you pick the features you need and adjust accordingly in the future. Along with this, it offers 4 standard packages listed below.

  • PPM Starter ($299 per month) – includes essential features needed to manage a portfolio such as a portfolio tracking and project status reports.
  • PPM Essentials ($599 per month) – includes all features in the starter pack as well as several impressive tools.
  • PPM Plus ($899 per month) – an ideal choice for senior leaders. Includes high function tools such as comprehensive capacity information and resource utilization tracking.
  • PPM Enterprise (Custom) – combines multiple tools and services to deliver a comprehensive and unique solution tailored to meet your needs.

6. Bubble

Bubble is a high-performing PPM tool that optimizes operations to help deliver long-term value and achieve targets. By automating the workflows of management and providing all critical information seamlessly, Bubble expertly lets you manage all aspects of your portfolio from risk management to finances.

Key features

  • Comes included with several project-tracking tools
  • Offers a comprehensive project portfolio dashboard

Pricing

Bubble has a custom and quota-based pricing plan.

7. Proggio

Proggio is a project portfolio management (PPM) software tool that lets you manage your portfolio easily and effectively. It can track important aspects of projects and uses auto-generated indicators to report portfolio progress and health. It focuses on collaboration and communication and lets users make informed decisions by delivering real-time and detailed insights.

Key features

  • Comes included with a Kanban board view
  • Provides insights and detailed reports
  • Notifies about missed deadlines and other important updates
  • Health indicator

Pricing

Proggio offers the following price packages :

  • Basic ($250/per month) – includes essential tools for project management.
  • Business ($800/per month) – a comprehensive package that works as the go-to portfolio management solution.
  • Profession ($1800/per month) – A complete and all-encompassing portfolio management solution.
  • Enterprise (Custom) – a customizable and unique solution package for your organization.

8. Clarizen

Clarizen is designed to optimize workflow and project portfolio management by enhancing team collaboration and integrating workflow automation in business processes. It allows teams to utilize a comprehensive and transparent project management solution to optimize portfolio returns. Clarizen is an adaptive software and has a highly configurable UI. It’s effective and delivers dynamic solutions, making it a popular choice among many.

Key features

  • Cloud-based management solution
  • Real-time data collection and contextual insights
  • Includes resource management

Pricing

Clarizen offers two editions of their services:

  • Enterprise and
  • Unlimited editions.

Both have similar features but are different in terms of the overall scale. Their pricing is determined by the number of users.

Why is PPM important to an organization?

Project portfolio management (PPM) is a definitive approach towards achieving the strategic objectives of a business. It is the way through which your strategic vision can be implemented. Project portfolio management allows you to prioritize and organize projects to ensure that the right projects are being worked on at the right time.

It optimizes the overall decision-making process and helps avoid any potential conflicts that could arise based on resource allocation, scheduling, financing, etc. Businesses usually have a long list of potential projects they could be working on. However, determining whether a certain project is worth the substantial investment of resources in terms of time, and money is a difficult process.

Furthermore, even if a project is beneficial in monetary terms, whether it meets the priorities of the business and the long-term project objectives of the company is another question to answer.

Important steps in the Project Portfolio Management process

Every portfolio has its own set of requirements based on the unique characteristics of the projects as well as the company’s goals. But regardless, the following are the common identifiable steps that mostly all PPM processes follow to work efficiently.

  1. Clearly define the organization’s long-term strategic goal.
  2. Categorize all potential project ideas based on business strategies.
  3. Perform a feasibility analysis of the potential project and determine its added value to the existing company portfolio.
  4. Manage the portfolio.
  5. Be flexible and monitor future opportunities.

5 Important KPIs to Measure in portfolio management

One of the most critical aspects of project portfolio management is to monitor and track the project progress and performance of projects across the board. Without set parameters, it would be impossible to evaluate the performance and results of projects. By utilizing predetermined key performance indicators, a comprehensive overview of the projects can swiftly be gauged. These Project KPIs need to be customized and precise as per the value the project is meant to deliver. Having too many indicators can be counterintuitive and can lead to confusion.

The following are 5 important KPIs you can set to monitor and manage a portfolio effectively:

  1. The variance between actual and forecasted budget
  2. Resource allocation and utilization
  3. Conflict and risk management data
  4. Delivered value Vs. expected value
  5. Client satisfaction rate

Conclusion

The Project Portfolio Management Software (PPM) is a tool that helps you manage your projects and the portfolio. The software is a very exhaustive and complex process. It requires constant juggling of several projects at once to determine whether the portfolio is beneficial to the organization and aligned with business objectives. The software supports you in all stages of PPM: from planning and initiation to execution, monitoring and closing down projects.

Leave a Comment