12 Project Management Software & Resource Scheduling Tools

pm-guide-to-resourcing-software

You’re probably asking – do we really need project management software or resourcing and scheduling tools? The answer is probably no, and yes. No, you probably don’t need it – you could get away with not having it. But yes, if you had it, you could probably run your PM team and deploy your resources more effectively and efficiently.  As agencies and studios grow, the systems and processes that worked for a small agency often struggle to scale. Excel is great, but there are some project management and resource scheduling tools out there that can help you work even smarter.

Working smarter with project management and resource scheduling software

Project management software has a capacity to help plan, organise, and manage resource pools and develop resource requirement forecasts. Depending the sophistication of the software it can include tools for estimation and planning, scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, and documentation storage.

The challenge with these tools is that there’s often a lot of overlap. Resource management, time tracking, project communication, expenses, storage, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Services Resource Planning Software (SRP) can all find themselves bundled together – this can be good, but if you need to integrate with or replace legacy systems, things can start getting complicated.

Personally, my preference is for tools that do one thing really well rather than a catch-all tool which does lots of things, but not quite right. In no particular order, below are some great options for project and resource scheduling software.

12 great options for project management software for studios and agencies

1. Roadmap – http://www.ppmroadmap.com 

Roadmap is a  project portfolio and resource forecasting tool which plays nicely with Basecamp. At a top level there is project portfolio planning and analytics allowing you to view all projects to see project stats.  The resource planning component allows cross-portfolio and individual resource forecasting. The cross-portfolio forecasting allows you to view all resources in traditional calendar view and high information density grid view, filter by specific resources or roles and a team calendar gives you the ability to block-off company-wide events or holidays, and individual resource holidays. The individual resource forecasting allows you to view all work items assigned to a specific resource, by calendar view or filtered by specific projects. The Roadmap product costs from $15/25 projects/month.

2. 10,000 ft – http://www.10000ft.com/

10,000ft is a tool designed give you a big picture (hence the 10,ooo ft) of your business, teams and projects. Armed with this information you’re then able to make better strategic decisions based on this real time, complex data. The tool is based around a dashboard which gives an overview of project, schedule and analytics. The project element gives top level project information across different types, clients, and states.  The schedule element provides an interface for scheduling resource – you can spot who is available; schedule upcoming projects; and set up how long they will last. The Analytics component gives a great overview of forecast and actual project hours and estimating accuracy. They have a great overview of the product on their site here: http://www.10000ft.com/guide.html. The 10,000 ft product costs from $49/10 users/month.

3. Harvest – http://www.getharvest.com/

Harvest is built around a robust time tracking tool. Harvest allows staff to track time and send invoices from an integrated application. Staff are able to start and stop timers to allow accurate reporting and submit time sheets.  The Harvest system then generates visual reports allow you to analyze time and see the distribution of your staff resources at a glance, helping you to keep your projects on budget and estimate for future projects accurately. Harvest also allows you to invoice accurately using the time sheet tracking data. The system provides an integrated invoicing component which  generates and tracks invoices and retainers through to payment. The Harvest product costs from $10-12 /user/month.

4. Teamwork Project Manager – http://www.teamworkpm.net

Teamwork Project Manager is a Basecamp alternative – an online teamwork & project management application to assist managers, staff and clients in working together more productively. Teamwork has components to enable Project Management collaboration, task management, milestone tracking, messaging, file management and time tracking. In short, this is one of the many young upstarts trying to offer a Basecamp alternative. A unique feature of Teamwork PM is The Risk Register where you can post risks and assign it a priority – a great tool for transparency among the team and with clients. The Teamwork Project Manager product costs from $49 /35 projects/month.

5. Projectplace – https://www.projectplace.com/

Projectplace is a powerful project management, and collaboration tool. More than just another Basecamp alternative  – Projectplace has a slew of additional features including issue management, project templates, online meetings, meeting and resource management and organisational reports and analytics.  The resource management features in Projectplace give users overview of all scheduled resources in all projects, show the availability and capacity, allow searching and booking of resource, perform scenario planning of resources, identify possible “show stoppers” due to overbooked resources and prioritise resources between projects.  The Projectplace product costs from $29/user/month.

6. Basecamp – http://basecamp.com/

Basecamp is an excellent project management tool that focusses on making collaboration easy. It’s really simply to use and for many years it was the de facto choice of agencies. Basecamp helps you manage multiple projects at a time with to-do lists, file sharing, chatting, messages, calendars and time tracking. As it’s so established there are now many different possible integrations and ways to extend the base product including time tracking, invoicing, accounting, reporting, planning (including Roadmap), file synchronization, bug & issue tracking, source control, creative approval and lots more. Read about them here: http://basecamp.com/extras. There is a trimmed-down free version, which is great for starting out. The Basecamp product costs from $20/10 projects/month.

7. Float – http://www.floatschedule.com/

Float is a simple (but pretty)  resource management software. It’s a great tool to use alongside project management software, when you’ve already planned your projects and need to schedule a team to do the work. Float allows you to easily manage your staff’s workload and upcoming projects from a single place. Workers are updated with their weekly schedule via email. They don’t need their own login information, which keeps the system simple. There’s also a reporting component so that you can monitor your team’s utilization at any time – report on scheduled hours by individual team member, department, client and project. The Float product costs from $19/10 users/month.

8. Resource Guru – http://resourceguruapp.com/

Resource Guru is a dedicated resource management software. With a great visual calendar style interface it shows what everyone’s working on and clearly displays availability so you can maximise utilisation. The tool allows Project Managers to make bookings simultaneously with no chance of stepping on each others toes. Clashes are automatically prevented. Bookings can be added to a waiting list and used for capacity planning later. Each staff member gets their own resource dashboard so they can log in and know exactly what they should be working on. And to monitor business performance, powerful reports monitor utilization of your team and help with capacity planning. The Resource Guru products costs from $19/10 users/month.

9. Traffic Live – http://trafficlive.com/

Traffic Live is an online studio management software with an elegant interface, and some pretty amazing scheduling functionality. The system automatically knows the right person for a job, based on their availability and client suitability. It allows you to split tasks and defer until later, or just drag it onto someone else – drag, drop, split, reallocate and park work as you need to balance day-to-day demands and changing priorities. Traffic Live’s point of difference is that it’s built on an open system which plays nicely with lots of other systems including Jira, Maconomy, Outlook and Mailchimp. The Traffic Live product costs from $29 /user/month.

10. Workmajig –  http://www.workamajig.com/

Workamajig, was one of the first web-based systems ever built for the creative industry, and is now the most selected advertising agency software on the market. It’s a web based, mobile friendly complete project management solution. Workamajig creates schedules producing gantt chart and calendar views of schedules, shows resource availability and sends alerts if individuals/groups are overloaded. The schedule is integrated into timesheets to enable quick reconciliation on projects. It’s also got functionality to support file collaboration and sharing with clients, estimating, job costing, and accounts payable and receivable are built into the system. The Workamajig product costs $38 /user/month.

11. Clarizen – http://www.clarizen.com/

Clarizen is a complete project management PSA and SRP tool. Clarizen provies a comprehensive set of tools for managing projects, tasks, resources, and budgets all wrapped in a single product offering. The Clarizen product costs from $25/user/month.

12. Schedule App – http://scheduleapp.com

Schedule App is pretty much as bare bones as they come (other then an Excel spreadsheet)! Projects are added to the tool and then resource assigned to those projects. Resource is entered into the system and staff are updated with daily and weekly reminders via email. It’s cheap. $15/20 users/month

Other project management software solutions:

Below is a list of additional project management software solutions:

http://www.attask.com/
http://streamtime.net/ca/
http://www.projectorpsa.com/
http://www.synergist.co.uk
https://podio.com/
http://www.openair.com/
http://www.hansoft.se/

What do you think?

What do you think we’re missing? What else is there to project management and resourcing tools and software? We’d love to hear if you’ve got any suggestions, tips or thoughts on using this kind of software – why not share them using the comments below?

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager. I've been in the industry for more than 10 years working at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS’, flash games to banner ads and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

57 Comments

  • Chris DCosta says:

    May I recommend StrikeBase ( http://www.strikebase.com )
    It has —
    * a Work Board for Tasks with Time Tracking
    * Chat on the Web and Desktop
    * File Sharing,File versioning
    * Dropbox and Google Drive integration
    * A Calendar with Google Calendar integration
    …and lots more!

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you Ben for this resource, you have pointed out some new software that I’ve never heard about! In my company we are using Teamwork right now(not Teamwork pm :-)) and it is a really good software for scheduling resources. At first we also thought that a software for managing our resources’ time was not necessary but since we started using it we immediately encountered its benefitl! We are now more conscious about which of our resources is overloaded and so we can manage the situation in time and all the team is happier :-)
    If you want to take a look at Teamwork here is the site http://www.twproject.com/

    • Jim Harrison says:

      Thank you Sarah for your precious suggestion!

      I already tried lot of PMS, but after your suggestion I gave Teamwork a try.
      Now we are completely addicted!
      We started with a very light approach, inserting only the root of each project and using issues for day-bay-day management (we found the issue planner quite comfortable).
      Now we structure complex projects using Teamwork Gantt editor and even dependencies, but only when really necessary (some of our customers love to ask us a printed Gantt :-) )
      As you said, having a clear situation of work progress, project costs and work load makes our team happier :-)

      Thanks, thanks, thanks

  • Alison says:

    I’d like to recommend LiquidPlanner (http://www.liquidplanner.com/). It’s a wonderful online project management system. Here are some key features:

    – Flexible best/worst case estimates
    – Multi-project planning and organization
    – Drag-n-drop scheduling
    – Integrated timesheets
    – Integrated project portals
    – Collaboration and file sharing
    – Analysis and trend reporting
    – Email and calendar integration
    – Web, iPhone, iPad, and Android apps

    and much more!

  • Nils says:

    Great list – thanks!

    The agency I work for currently uses salesforce for their entire CRM, I wonder if there are any PM tools you can recommend that are able to integrate with salesforce?

    Thanks,
    Nils

  • Tibi says:

    Hi Ben,

    You missed RationalPlan – http://www.rationalplan.com/ It is a suite of products that can help you do project management, resource management and scheduling i.e. everything that you need.

    Cheers,
    Tibi

  • René says:

    I really think http://www.workbook.net is missing on this list. Not only will it do resource planning and project management, but it also covers project-driven business need for software from a-z.

    • Steve Stone - Complete Advertising says:

      I completely agree René!

      As I have written below, I would encourage all advertising, PR, design etc. agency owners to take a look

  • Swanny says:

    As far as the web agency world goes, this resource planning tools beats a lot of the list above. Definitely deserves a mention.

    Hub Planner

    http://hubplanner.com

    • Nats says:

      I agree, Hub Planner nailed it! +1

    • J Moody says:

      We also just moved over from using spreadsheets for our resource planning to using Hub Planner. I am greatly impressed with the software so far, pretty easy to get up and running with nice visuals and scheduling tools. Saying that, we were stuck in the gloomy world of Excel spreadsheet planning for quite some time, so anything that beats that on a Monday morning is fantastic IMO :)

    • Adam Carr says:

      another positive vote for the product from Hub Planner – doing a fantastic job at managing my resources

    • Nats says:

      and now they have introduced Time Sheets to Hub Planner. Gotta love the amount of love going into this software…I’m a fan!

    • Taylor says:

      For larger firms, is hubplanner really $7,000 a year when most of these are $900 – $1,200 a year for similar user/resource count.

  • Rene says:

    For more agile project management check out Breeze ( http://breeze.pm ), it’s Basecamp and Trello mashup, plus it adds more stuff like time tracking, calendars and reporting.

  • Danny says:

    Thanks for including us in the awesome write-up, Ben! Just a small correction – our price starts at $10-$12/user/month and not the $19/user/month as listed above.

  • Robert says:

    Also, check out http://kanbantool.com/ intuitive and web-based solution for visual project management with online boards and cards.

  • Hi Ban, if you like visuals, please take a look at http://casual.pm/ it helps visualize and manage project workflows. Currently Casual is mainly used by teams with digital projects.

  • Albert Cohen says:

    In the same vein as OpenAir, I would like to mention Resource Planning by Retain International (http://www.retaininternational.com). They’re UK-based and have been around for 20 years serving among others the big four audit/accounting firms. Not strictly PM software but resource planning and scheduling for staff and/or physical assets; well worth a look.

  • Katy says:

    Hi Ben,

    thank you for your list. I highly recommed open source project management software Easy Redmine. I am using it for 1 year and it is really awsome. It has many extensions so it adapts to every kind of project, it is cheap and nice.
    http://www.easyredmine/

    Katy

  • Mariel says:

    Hi Ben, I came across your article, and was wondering if you’ve seen our project management app? It’s called Trigger (www.triggerapp.com), and it helps you manage tasks, projects, and log time.

    It’s doing really well with creative agencies, and it constantly being updated.
    I used it personally myself before joining the team. I found it so easy to use, it looks damn nice, and is simple alternative! :)

  • Sam Nolan says:

    been using guru before and spreadsheets but now we just switched to Hub Planner http://hubplanner.com So far pretty impressed with the features and pretty UI.

  • Steve says:

    I’d like to recommend Neutrino (http://getneutrino.com). Neutrino is a multi-project tool that includes collaboration, documentation, and file sharing

  • Project managers love this unique task board optimized for teams. Matthew Osborne created this project management system because my clients demanded it. He has developed a search function that worked effectively. online project management software.

  • Jon says:

    Great list of PMS!

    You might as well check this list of over 40 project management software – http://blog.timedoctor.com/2011/02/02/43-project-management-software-alternatives

    It’s a great resource for those who are looking for more alternatives.

  • Erin Cummins says:

    Great list!

    Newcomer, Allocate (www.allocatehq.com), is worth checking out too. It’s a very simple resource management tool that helps you quickly see your team’s availability. Set up and scheduling is super fast, and it’s still in beta so it’s currently free for all team sizes.

  • Richard Dywer says:

    At our studio we use a combination of different software to achieve our needs…In no particular order this is what our setup looks like for 2014

    1. Project Tasks / Discussions / Interface
    We use a combination of Basecamp http://basecamp.com and Trello http://trello.com

    2. Resource Planning and Scheduling
    We use Hub Planner http://hubplanner.com

    3. Invoicing
    We use Harvest http://getharvest.com

    4. Document Sharing
    We use Google Drive http://drive.google.com

    I am pretty happy with it…

  • Kim says:

    I am not happy with this list because it does not contain proofhub.com which offers features like gantt chart, time tracking, proofing, sub tasks, labels etc.

  • Mike says:

    Also take a look at http://www.proofhub.com, It is simple and easy to use effective project management software that enables precise tracking, adequate highlighting and timely conduction of events and milestones. Timely email notifications are sent to team members, clients, customers and other stakeholders so they can mandatorily and timely participate in events, meetings without forgetting them.

  • Marc says:

    Another program to check out is Function Point. We provide web based project management and resource scheduling software specifically designed for creative agencies.

    Check us out: http://www.functionpoint.com

  • Jen says:

    We use qdPM Extended. It is a web based open source solution. One of its best features is that it has a built in ticketing system to allow customers to communicate with you to request quotes and changes, report issues, given feedback in UAT and so on. Tickets can spawns as many tasks as you want so its all connected.

    Compared to other paid solutions like Basecamp and Confluence+Jira, qdPM Extended is a bargain. There is also a free version qdPM.net

  • Neha says:

    Hi Ben,
    Thank you for the list of Project Management tools you have mentioned. I would like to add one more i.e. eResource Scheduler. eRS is a collaborative multiuser project resource scheduling software which provides effective project management with enormous features like drag and drop scheduling, configurable reports, export to excel etc.

  • Mike says:

    Another tool that you might want to add to the list is PIVOT. The FLOW module handles agency project management from sales to planning to invoicing and accepting payments. It is a digital suite that also allows agencies to integrates websites, promo & email campaigns, social media, analytics and more. Check it out at:

    http://www.pivotstack.com

  • Tama says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thought you might want to add JobSuite to your mix. It is created specifically for creative project tracking. Fully web-based and built on the Salesforce.com platform. Many base features but can still be customized. Flexible scheduling, collaboration, calendars, vendor quotes, estimates, purchase orders, as well as a reports for all areas. Check it out at…

    http://jobsuite.net

  • Think I saw it mentioned further up this list but thought I would include it myself anyway…

    I use WorkBook.net as my ONLY system for all areas of my agency. WorkBook is a fantastic integrated solution that covers CRM, Project Management, Resource Management + Accounting meaning that all info me and my team require is in 1 system.

    I would encourage all you advertising, PR, design etc. agency owners out there to take a look http://WorkBook.net

  • Rana Porter says:

    Hi, Check another service http://www.oogwave.com, we built for SMBs. Simple to use, easy to adopt. For ideas, files and task collaboration. Available to discuss more anytime. rana.porter@oogwave.com (solution specialist, Oogwave)

  • […] more on timesheeting and ways to encourage staff to do it – read my previous post here or for  other reviews of PM […]

  • Catherine C says:

    Hi Ben, just stumbled upon your great PM tools list. Wondering if you would consider adding http://www.productforce.com to it?

    Thanks again for this,

    Catherine

  • maria joao says:

    A great and new collaborative resource planning tool is Pushpin Planner.
    It integrates with toggl and Basecamp, which I also use.
    It has a free plan and some of Pushpin Planner’s features include Gantt chart visualization, allocation, overall team utilization and budget reporting.

  • John says:

    I just shopped for a project management tool for my team, I almost bought Asana and then I met the Streamframe team at SxSW.  The project management space is so fragmented. Even with the most modern tools we still ended up relying on email and spreadsheets as a “catch all.”  Particularly worrying to us was how financial and efficiency tracking seemed to be completely ignored when managing projects. Even in Beta, Streamframe solves all these problems. Their feedback is quick and they have already started working some of my companies suggestions into their road map.  Here is the URL: check it out http://www.streamframe.com

  • Jeff says:

    Ben, Your list as well as those added in the comments is easily the best roundup of cutting-edge project managers I’ve ever seen. Great resource.

  • Timo Kugler says:

    We recently dialed up the efforts to transform the way we manage convergent client campaigns and needed a software solution to not only create detailed campaign plans but also centralise multiple stakeholders in a collaborative environment to share ideas, work, and files. As we are no small agency we wanted to keep the training costs at a low level while focusing on an immediate, big impact. The tool we finally landed on (after reviewing pretty much every tool in the list above) is http://www.smartsheet.com

    • Shari says:

      Hi Timo,
      I’m interested in SmartSheet. Just started playing in the trial version. Is there any sort of resourcing element, so potentially looking at several jobs’ schedules and consolidating a resource report, say where Shari is utilized across 8 projects, determining her bandwidth? Thank you.

  • Himali says:

    For project management you can also give Brightpod ( http://brightpod.com ) a try. A simple app with bunch of collaboration features for marketing teams. Helps you get the bigger picture when you are working on so many different things.

  • Concept.vu says:

    Hi Ben, what a great article with so many different types of project management tools! We’d also love to recommend Trello (https://trello.com) for to-do lists, Slack (https://slack.com) for team discussions, and our very own Concept.vu (http://www.concept.vu) for getting work signed off by clients :)

  • ganaysa says:

    What about Collabtive? is it considered one of them as many people are recommending it.

  • Jodie Byass says:

    Hi Ben,
    I can highly recommending adding admation – http://www.admation.com to this list. Admation ‘s point of difference is that it is fully integrated with online approval workflow and marketing asset management, providing agencies and marketing teams with one central online location to manage their creative projects, plan and track resources, as well as manage the approval and storing of artwork and assets. Its is feature rich and user friendly. Please let me know if you are interested in a demonstration. Cheers,

  • Gaurav Gupta says:

    Here’s another tip- Try Google Calendar + ClipPod. We’ve using it for our own resource scheduling + very basic project planning and it has worked out quite well so far.

  • katrina says:

    Great list and stream of additional ideas… I’d love to know your opinion of Advantage software?

  • Jake Andrews says:

    Our team is using http://hitask.com – We can share task lists make managing team projects simple. As a team member I can create and assign tasks. We can leave comments for each other on tasks to keep track of progress and ask questions. Shared tasks are visible to assigned team members. You can be automatically notified when someone completes a task or makes a change. Aside from that it is very easy to navigate the entire page.

  • Hi Ben,
    I strongly suggest you add this to your list — MSP_LEVELING. This tool can be found at the website: ara-project.com
    It works on Microsoft Project (MSP) applications.
    This tool provides automatic leveling of resources.
    Also provided: schedule quality inspection and various analysis reports which capture key information that the PM can use to review with management for approvals.

  • May I suggest Comidor ( https://www.comidor.com), which is a collaboration platform that provides a wide range of business solutions (Collaboration, Project Management, CRM, Financials and BI). A small overview of Comidor’s functionalities:
    – Collaboration:
    embedded email, chat, messages, video-calls, activity wall, organizational chart, calendar, wikis, personal profiles, contacts, accounts and more.
    – Document Management:
    document sharing, locking, versioning, rating, security levels, embedded viewers and more.
    – Task Assignment:
    tasks, events, discussions, issue tracking, workflows and more.
    – Project Management:
    scheduling, Gantt charts, resources, costs, milestones, deliverables, “Comidor ECHO MODEL” and more.
    – Customer Relationship Management:
    leads, opportunities, campaigns, contracts, accounts, funnel charts and more.
    – Financial:
    incomes, expenses, budgets, balances, cash flows, activity history and more.
    – Business Intelligence:
    reports, advanced filters, query designer, pie charts, line charts, geo analysis
    – Integration:
    MS Office, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Maps, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, PDF, EDIs, custom connections via web services

  • Andrew Paterson says:

    Ok, this is great stuff but what about tools for individual / freelance boutique agencies trying to improve resource / load management – planning and booking projects by client – any apps ??

    Thanks !

  • Check out Dryrun (http://dryrun.com). It’s a great tool for managing your business cash flow, building budgets, and comparing scenarios. Dryrun gives you the ability to make great business decisions quickly and easily without the need for complicated formulas and spreadsheets!

  • ludovic says:

    Iprosh is web base software that gives possibility for small business to easily manage their online presence with help of project management, project planning, website, portfolio, online store, scheduling, time tracking, SEO booster, expense tracking, collaborative tools.

    Iprosh is the best way if you need either or both a front end solution to find clients and sell online and a back end to manage your business and work online with your clients.

    http://www.iprosh.com

    Give it a try for 30 days for FREE

  • […] a review! As I started, this is a big deal, such a big deal in fact, that my article evaluating 12 Project Management Software & Resource Scheduling Tools actually generates more than half the traffic to this site. We are about this topic passionately, […]

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