Top 10 Most Talked About Project Tools for IT Teams

By Anine Burger | Operational IT Leadership

Sep 29

So you have probably seen some (if not all) of the blog articles we have been writing within our project management series. At the time of publishing this article, we have progressed from mindset change via project identification to project coordination and although this blog article does not form part of the sequence, it is still very much related. 

In the main series we are using Excel templates to illustrate principles and provide you with usable sample tools, but you know there has to be a better alternative!

And there is!

But for this I need to stretch your imagination.  Are you ready?

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Ok, great, now picture yourself in the following scenario…You were tasked with the responsibility of finding the perfect project management software for your company. You literally feel as if you have the universe at your fingertips! You know that there are many project management tools sparkling in your dark night sky, but you are completely unaware of the habitability or feasibility of these tools.

Yes, that was me comparing your journey of finding the right project management tool to discovering a new habitable planet in space.

There are literally thousands of project management tools out there and would you know which one to choose or even which direction to head into from just a glance at the universe? Unless you have a trusted advisor on project management or a co-pilot knowing where to go, you will have a good chance of being led astray by a particularly shiny one or even flying in circles hopping from option to option, and wasting time and resources, whilst trying to find that perfect tool.

Finding the Right Project Tools

We, at Xuviate, have found a way in which you can win back a lot of the time that you otherwise might lose on your journey to find the perfect tool. We are excellent at co-piloting with IT Leaders; and we even have a vehicle to point you in the right direction to have a good chance to find those sought after tools you are so eagerly searching for. We have done a lot of work on finding the right project management tools and we call it a meta-study. 

Our meta-study process, which (according to me) looks a lot like a X-wing Starfighter, had three major steps:

  1. Gather information (number of reviews / website’s own rating of tool / visibility) from 10 different software review websites to compile two lists of ranked tools. One for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and one for Project Management (PM).
  2. Use these two lists to identify tools that are considered as both a PPM and a PM tool and calculate a combined ranking based on the ranking from both lists.
  3. Evaluate results of top 10 list and filter out those not specific enough to our target market.

We used our X-wing process to guide us through the many obstacles along the way, a few being quite challenging. We especially had to make a few assumptions and major decisions regarding step one above:

  • We eventually settled on using the number of reviews / website’s own rating of tool / visibility of the tool on the software review site as criteria. This means that we are actually not gathering quantitative information regarding the quality of the tool, but rather its popularity, hence the title of this article. 
  • Our premise is that the number of reviews will be a proper estimate concerning how many people use the tool, which, if you think about it, does tell you something about how the tool’s features, cost, support and accessibility compare to other tools.

These are our guiding principles and only provide a starting point and a direction for your journey. Ultimately you will need to make your own decision on which tool is most "habitable" for you.

The Top Tools

Enough about the process, let us reflect back on our findings because the X-wing has landed several times! Here are Xuviate’s top ranked project tools gathered from all corners of the universe!

1. Wrike

We are actually quite surprised that Wrike came out as number one on our list because we use this within our company (and we did not have our meta-study to guide us when making this decision quite a while ago, but used a much more time consuming brute-force, sample-many approach). We can therefore agree that Wrike is definitely a great tool to use within your company. It is a great tool for PM, PPM and some even regard it as a tool for:

  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Professional Services Automation
  • Campaign Management
  • Product Roadmap
  • Document Management
  • Workflow Management
  • Resource Management
  • Forms Automation
  • Product Management
  • Business Process Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Collaboration
  • Event Management
  • Task Management 

2. JIRA

JIRA is the first tool we came across that has a customized solution for IT teams and we find this quite impressive. Apart from JIRA’s PM and PPM capabilities, the tool is also considered a good fit for:

  • Help Desk
  • ITSM
  • IT Service
  • IT Management
  • Issue Tracking
  • Workflow Management
  • Product Management
  • Application Development
  • Task Management
  • Bug Tracking

3. Workfront

Workfront also has a customised solution for IT teams and it came third in our search for the best project tools. Workfront is, above and beyond PM and PPM, also used for:

  • Business Management
  • Campaign Management
  • Task Management
  • Resource Management
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Collaboration
  • Marketing Automation
  • Workflow Management

4. Targetprocess

Targetprocess solved the IT department’s problem and provides a custom solution for the IT team and we totally agree that this feeds a real need. Targetprocess is quite well known for its PM and PPM capabilities.

5. Mavenlink

With Mavenlink coming in at number five, you might want to use their custom IT team solution and free up some time, because Mavelink is also a great tool to use for:

  • Time and Expense
  • Task Management
  • Resource Management
  • Workflow Management
  • Collaboration
  • Job Costing
  • Professional Services Automation
  • Time Tracking

6. Asana

We found Asana as a bright glimmer on our journey as it caters for a wide range of individuals. It is probably most well known as a Task Management tool. It does not have a custom IT solution, but it’s got PM, PPM and the following capabilities covered:

  • Workflow Management
  • Collaboration
  • Resource Management
  • Product Roadmap
  • Product Management

7. Genius Project

Genius Project might not be one of the shiniest tools out there (yet), but we are extremely satisfied with it being in our top 10 list. We were very surprised to see that they also offer a solution made just for IT teams.

8. Clarizen

We found Clarizen sparkling in the dark night sky on our journey because it showed us it’s custom IT solution, PM and PPM capabilities and many other characteristics including:

  • Professional Services Automation
  • Workflow Management
  • Task Management
  • Time Tracking
  • IT Service

9. Projectplace

Projectplace is the last tool we came across that offers a custom solution for IT departments. Apart from Projectplace’s PM and PPM capabilities, it is also great for:

  • Task Management
  • Collaboration

10. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is just one of the many products of Zoho and their PM and PPM capabilities are two of the three things Zoho Projects excel at, here is the last one:

  • Bug Tracking

So whether you chose us as your co-pilot on your journey to find the right project tool for your company or you just came along for the ride, it sure was an exciting trip.

If you did not find what you were looking for or you would like to take the journey further and delve deeper, you can download our galaxy map (an Excel file with all our findings about more than 1100 project tools in the universe).

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog in order to follow through on your project management journey.

If you use one of these tools in your business or have experienced them somewhere, please do help your fellow travelers and leave a comment below!

About the Author

Anine has been working as a Systems and Innovation Agent at Xuviate.

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