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Top 10 Alternatives to Microsoft Project: Analysis of Project Management Tools

Planning business endeavors can be tedious. Luckily there are many project management software providers that offer top-of-the-line programs that can simplify the process. One such program is Microsoft Project. Over the years, it has become one of the most common choice for businesses to reinforce their project management needs because of its flexibility, powerful portfolio management modules, and easy-to-use collaboration tools.

However, this does not mean that Microsoft Project is the only solution you can use to boost operations. Whether it is too expensive for your budget or does not offer certain features that you need, don’t fret. There are other options out there that are just as good as this software solution. To help you out, we have compiled the top 10 alternatives to Microsoft Project according to their functionalities, pricing, as well as usability and adaptability.

Top Microsoft Project alternatives

Business endeavors succeed because of one crucial factor: effective project management. However, as an entrepreneur, you know that this process involves a number of tedious tasks that range from planning and budgeting to resource allocation and progress tracking. This is why project management software solutions like Microsoft Project are created to help you simplify the process and alleviate some of the major challenges in the industry.

Villanova University identifies undefined goals, scope changes/scope creep and lack of accountability as the most common challenges of project management teams. When you implement a project management platform, you can easily follow both the big picture and individual contributions by each team member to gauge how you are closing in on the project goals and deadlines. Each task is clearly delineated, so accountability is also clearly spelled out.

With these benefits, there should be nothing stopping you from investing in a project management system. However, before you purchase a platform, you should keep in mind that while almost all PM software can provide you with the tools to tackle the tasks mentioned above, it can be difficult to find which project management platform will suit your business best.

The popularity of a software is not the only factor to consider when choosing a system to manage projects. Managers should also look for functionality (40%), ease of use (24%), and affordable subscription rates (9%). On top of those, you should also take a closer look at a vendor’s’ technical support services as well as the implementation process of their software.

Source: https://www.binfire.com/

You can also check out our guide on how to choose a project management software to get a better grasp of what you should be looking for as you browse through the options that we will be provided in this article. But before we start discussing the top 10 alternatives to Microsoft Project, let us first take a closer look at the features that make this product a top solution for project management.

What is Microsoft Project?

Microsoft Project dashboardMicrosoft Project is a project portfolio management (PPM) software designed to cater to the needs of all types and sizes of businesses. Designed for both cloud-based and on-premise deployments, this platform offers integrated planning tools that let you keep tabs on the tasks, deadlines, and meetings associated with your projects. It consists of three main modules–project management, portfolio management, and resource management–that will help you better understand, plan, and execute your projects more efficiently.

From mapping out project paths and determining tasks to delegating responsibilities and monitoring a project, this platform has everything you need to optimize the project management process. It has a plethora of features including scheduling, IT management, real-time communication, and collaboration tools to streamline your workflow. On top of that, it can even integrate with Power BI Pro, so you can get an in-depth analysis of your data.

Microsoft Project currently offers various sets of payment plans depending on the set of features you will be needing. For their cloud-based solutions, you may choose from three monthly packages: the Project Online Essentials, Project Online Professional, and Project Online Premium priced at $7/user, $30/user, and $55/user. As for their on-premise solutions, you may choose from Project Standard, Project Professional, and Project Server. The first two are priced at $589.99 and $1159.99 respectively while the last option is only available by quote.

Benefits of Microsoft Project

As a product of one of the world’s most trusted technology companies in the world, Microsoft Project is undoubtedly an asset to project managers and entrepreneurs. It offers quality tools that not only speed up your operations but also maximize your resources and optimize the planning process. On top of those, there are plenty of other benefits that you can reap by utilizing this software such as:

  1. Better Project Visibility – Entrepreneurs and project managers should always be in the know of the tasks they need to work on as well as the resources needed to accomplish them. With Microsoft Project’s easy-to-navigate dashboards, you can get full visibility of multiple projects in a single platform. This way, you know who is doing what as well as when you can expect to finish the delegated tasks without having to check on your staff members every now and then.
  2. Makes Adapting to Scenarios Easy – Planning projects is difficult, but it is even more complicated to make sure everything will go according to plan. This is why you need tools that can help you adapt to unexpected scenarios quickly. Microsoft Project has an intuitive interface that offers a great balance of usability and complexity. With it, you can add new tasks and revise plans midway through a project without disrupting your overall workflow.
  3. Faster and More Optimized Workflow – Meeting project deadlines rely heavily on how efficiently you plan your workflow and accomplish your tasks. To make project management faster and more optimized, Microsoft Project is equipped with Gantt charts and prepopulated pulldown menus. This way, you can speed up your planning stage and set timelines before you start to delegate tasks.
  4. Improved Team Collaboration – Good teamwork is a crucial factor when it comes to tackling projects. In order to help you and your staff members work better together, Microsoft Project comes with collaboration tools and communication options. With this, you won’t need to exit the platform in order to message your team members.
  5. Working On the Go Made Easy – Some projects will require you to move from place to place. Because of this, there will be times that you won’t be able to go to the office to meet with your staff or check on the progress of your projects. To remedy that, Microsoft Project can easily be accessed from various desktop and mobile devices. This means you can view your project data anywhere you want and whenever you need as well as manage your projects on-the-fly.

Top 10 Microsoft Project Alternatives

1. monday.com

monday dashboardmonday.com is a leading collaboration and communication application for teams. Formerly known as daPulse, it is an all-in-one platform that synchronizes project details to make it easy for agents and team members to collaborate. This is also equipped with tools that let you streamline your workflow. Among its most notable features are its compact interface, advanced scheduling capabilities, searchable knowledge base, and comment functions. It even offers real-time activity monitoring and budgeting features so you don’t have to rely on multiple platforms to manage your projects. On top of that, the platform has an open API architecture that lets you integrate third-party applications to your system.

This software is currently available in four subscription packages which are priced depending on the storage capacity and the set of features you will be needing for your operations. They have a Basic Plan that costs $49/month, a Standard Plan priced at $59/month, and a Pro Package costing $99/month. If you want to subscribe to their Enterprise plan, you will need to contact the service provider. The vendor also offers a free trial option, so that you can take the product for a test run before committing to a subscription package.

monday.com

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Why Choose monday.com instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. monday.com offers an interface that is both easy to use and track compared to Microsoft Project.
  2. Adding notes and uploading new versions of documents is simpler using monday.com.
  3. monday.com can be integrated with third-party applications.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of monday.com?

  1. Microsoft Project has more affordable pricing plans.
  2. This platform may be deployed on-premise.
  3. The vendor offers quote-based plans that can be customized to your unique needs.

Should you think that this software is not the right fit for your company, you can also take a look at these monday.com alternatives to see if there are other options you can choose from.

Detailed monday.com Review

2. Wrike

Wrike dashboardWrike is an online project management software trusted by reputable companies such as Google, Stanford University, Adobe, and HTC. Serving as a single hub for all your project management tasks, it is designed to improve the speed and efficiency of co-located and distributed groups. The platform offers features that let you schedule deadlines, prioritize tasks, discuss the workflow, and keep track of progress in real-time. It is even equipped with tools for analytics and custom reporting so that you can get actionable insights on your data.

Another great thing about Wrike is that they offer affordable monthly pricing packages as well as a free plan for companies with up to 5 users. You may choose from their Wrike Professional plan, Wrike Business plan, and Wrike for Marketers package which costs $9.80/user, $24.80/user, and $34.60/user respectively. Should you need a customized plan for your operations, they also have a Wrike Enterprise Pricing option which is available by quote.

Wrike

Wrike

Try out Wrike with their free trial

Why Choose Wrike instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. The vendor provides better, more hands-on technical support.
  2. Wrike has a simpler yet more modern interface.
  3. This platform has an extensive list of functionalities compared to Microsoft Project

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Wrike?

  1. Microsoft Project offers better project budgeting capabilities.
  2. This platform has a more advanced portfolio coordination tool.
  3. Microsoft Project’s interface has an interface that is more suited for large companies.

If, in any case, this platform still does not meet your preferences, you should also check out these great Wrike alternatives.

Detailed Wrike Review

3. ConnectWise Manage

ConnectWise Manage dashboard

ConnectWise Manage takes the third spot on our list of Microsoft Project alternatives. Unlike other project management solutions, ConnectWise Manage is a module that serves as a single platform for integrating core business solutions, such as sales, procurement, marketing, and help desk. ConnectWise Manage streamlines operations, which help businesses efficiently optimize their resources and reduce operational costs. ConnectWise Manage also utilizes advanced communication technology that supports error-proof ticketing and establishes clear lines of communication, thus making it suitable for collaboration, especially for large and decentralized teams.

ConnectWise Manage

ConnectWise Manage

Try out ConnectWise Manage with their free trial

Why use ConnectWise Manage instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. An all-in-one business solution
  2. OS-agnostic
  3. Native help desk functionality

Why use Microsoft Project instead of ConnectWise Manage?

  1. Free trial and transparent pricing
  2. Seamless integration with Microsoft products
  3. Better scheduling function

Detailed ConnectWise Manage Review

4. ProjectManager

projectmanager dashboard exampleProjectManager is a cloud-based project management system that combines powerful planning and scheduling features. It offers a unique team manager tool that lets you compare a project’s actual progress to its planned progress. Equipped with Gantt charts, resource management options, real-time dashboards, and tons of team collaboration tools, ProjectManager is utilized by more than 10,000 teams worldwide. Notable users of this software solution include NASA, Volvo, and the United Nations.

This vendor also offers reasonably priced payment packages according to the number of users who will be enrolled in the system. You can choose from their Personal plan, Team plan, and Business plan, which cost $15/user/month, $20/user/month, and $25/user/month respectively. They also have an Enterprise plan that is available by quote.

Why Choose ProjectManager instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. ProjectManager has open API capabilities that let users customize their system.
  2. The vendor offers more technical support options, including video tutorials, a forum, and a knowledge base.
  3. The platform is HIPAA, PCI, and SOC certified.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of ProjectManager?

  1. Microsoft Project offers IT management options.
  2. The vendor offers more competitive subscription rates.
  3. This platform is easier to navigate and maintain compared to ProjectManager.

While this product may be a good enough option for you, you should also consider these ProjectManager alternatives. You might find choices that are better suited to your needs.

Detailed ProjectManager Review

5. Zoho Projects

Trello dashboardZoho Projects is Zoho Corporation’s offering for project management. It is known for being highly flexible and highly customizable. In fact, it is being used in a wide variety of industries and business functions. Enterprise users range from business consultants to construction firms. This just shows how it is easily configurable for your needs.

Key project management features include reporting and collaboration tools. These include dashboards, Gantt charts, kanban boards, group chat, forum, discussion, commenting, and file sharing. Other features include modules for budgeting, expense tracking, time logging, and user permission controls.

Zoho Projects also has native mobile applications for Android and iOS. So, you can be on top of your project even when you are outside the office. Also, as it is completely web-based, you don’t need to install anything on your personal computer. You can just access it via your browser. Lastly, the product has a free version but premium plans start at $25 per month.

Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects

Try out Zoho Projects with their free trial

Why Choose Zoho Projects instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Zoho Projects is a highly flexible platform, which makes it usable for any kind of task.
  2. It has a rich repository of visualizations for project tracking and reports .
  3. The interface is clean and is simple to use.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Zoho Projects?

  1. Microsoft Project offers a larger array of subscription options.
  2. This system offers a more robust resource management tool.
  3. Microsoft Project comes from a pioneer in technological systems so you can be sure that it offers no less than high-quality functionalities.

The innovative design and robust capabilities of this solution are truly attractive. But before you decide to use it for your project management needs, why not check out these Zoho Projects alternatives first?

Detailed Zoho Projects Review

6. Smartsheet

Smartsheet dashboardSmartsheet is a leading web-based collaboration tool for project management. It is designed to help agents facilitate team task management, crowdsourcing, sales pipeline tracking needs, and more. This software solution is equipped with discussion boards, brainstorming tools, version control options, and project roadmapping features. You may even choose to use the custom branding feature to personalize the aesthetic of your system. On top of that, the entire system is mobile-ready, making it easy to monitor projects even when you’re out of the office.

As for pricing, Smartsheet currently offers four pricing packages according to the size of your business and the amount of workload you expect to process. You may choose from their Individual plan which costs $14/user/month, Team plan priced at $15/user/month, and Business plan which is available at $25/user/month. They also have an Enterprise plan which is only available by quote.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet

Try out Smartsheet with their free trial

Why Choose Smartsheet instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Smartsheet can support more integrations compared to Microsoft Project.
  2. The Smartsheet dashboard supports multiple project planning layouts such as Gantt charts and Kanban boards.
  3. This platform has collaboration tools that let you view the change history as well as give you real-time notifications.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Smartsheet?

  1. Microsoft Project is more reasonably priced compared to Smartsheet.
  2. This platform has a straightforward interface that is ideal for first-time project management software users.
  3. Microsoft Project offers only the essential tools, so you can expect a system that is not cluttered.

Of course, before you invest in this software solution, you should also try to take a look at these Smartsheet alternatives to check out similar options that might work better for you and your team.

Detailed Smartsheet Review

7. Celoxis

celoxis dashboard example

Celoxis is a business management solution with a unique blend of project management tools and resource management features. It does not only allow users to plan and manage multiple projects at once but also provides them with tools for efficient resource allocation in terms of both human resources and finance. Key modules include project request tracking, portfolio management, capacity planning, reporting and analytics, and collaboration tools.

It is also fitted with useful tracking features such as inbuilt timers, timesheets, and expense trackers. This way, users will be able to know how much time and money have been spent on projects and by whom. On top of these, Celoxis’ analytics and reporting capabilities are very robust. It has drill-down charts and an array of customizable dashboards with visualization options. These allow users not just to track real-time progress but also be on the same page all the time. Users can have multiple dashboards assigned to them at once and these can even be shared with other collaborators and stakeholders via a free client portal.

Celoxis also provides automation tools that organizations can tweak to fit their particular requirements. They can even create their own workflow automation using custom fields, routing rules, and escalation procedures. Moreover, the platform is mobile optimized. Thus, one can access it via mobile devices.

The product is made available in two versions: Cloud and On-Premise. The web-based version is $25 per user billed monthly. The On-Premise version is available via one-time payment. Both integrate with other business software tools including Slack, Google Drive, and Salesforce. However, there is a minimum of five users per subscription.

Celoxis

Celoxis

Try out Celoxis with their free trial

Why choose Celoxis instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Celoxis provides better reporting and analytics tools complete with shareable real-time dashboards.
  2. It provides more collaboration tools and options including a client portal for third-party stakeholders.
  3. The software is more of a complete business solution thanks to customizable automation.

Why choose Microsoft Project instead of Celoxis?

  1. Microsoft Project is a more popular tool and is the legacy framework of project management.
  2. For smaller operations, Microsoft Project is cheaper than Celoxis.
  3. For Windows power users, it integrates better with tried and tested tools like PowerPoint and Excel.

[product-read-m0re name=”celoxis”]

8. elapseit

Elapseit dashboard

elapseit combines project management and resource management in one platform. Equipped with tools lie task tracking, workflow automation, time tracking, invoicing, and real-time reporting, it aims to not only help reinforce collaboration and communication but also allow managers to make the most out of their resources. This way, they can optimize operations as well as maximize profits.

And with tools like charts, boards, and document sharing, elapseit is a cost-effective alternative to Microsoft Project. It even comes with more advanced tools such as resource profitability, backlog allocations, and workload balancing. Furthermore, they have Enterprise plans for bigger teams that will unlock personalized integrations as well as custom toolsets.

elapseit

elapseit

Try out elapseit with their free trial

Why Choose elapseit instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. It combines project management with resource management, finance tracking, and employee productivity monitoring.
  2. It supports various project visualization options for more seamless progress tracking.
  3. elapseit provides highly customizable functionalities, allowing you to use the platform in a way that makes sense for your workflow.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of elapseit?

  1. Microsoft Project interfaces better with other Microsoft programs, which you may already be using for your operations.
  2. The vendor offers customer training, so you can make the most out of your investment
  3. Microsoft Project has a wide breadth of integrations.

If you think there are certain requirements that you have that this software was unable to meet, then you should also check out these elapseit alternatives.

Detailed elapseit Review

9. Easy Projects

Easy Projects

Easy Projects offers a complete suite of project management tools designed to help teams efficiently plan projects and workflow. Aside from assisting teams in delivering projects, it also helps keep clients engaged and informed. Easy Projects also doubles as a business intelligence tool, so managers can better visualize, assess, and utilize data to better ensure the success of their projects.

As an all-in-one project management software, Easy Projects supports project calendars, Gantt charts, and Kanban boards. It also facilitates collaboration and communication at the project or task level. Furthermore, this comprehensive program also features financial tools that aid in efficient expense tracking and billing.

Easy Projects comes with a free trial, while full subscriptions start at $24/user/month. The by-quote Enterprise and Professional plans can be customized based on the user’s specific requirements.

Easy Projects

Easy Projects

Try out Easy Projects with their free trial

Why Choose Easy Projects instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. It supports integration with more business tools and platforms.
  2. It has an integrated employee and task time tracker.
  3. It does more than just project management; it has tools for business intelligence and financial management.

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Easy Projects?

  1. Its interface can be easier to get familiar with.
  2. It seamlessly integrates with Microsoft business tools.
  3. It is ideal even for small businesses.

Detailed Easy Projects Review

10. Atlassian Confluence

Atlassian-Confluence dashboard
Atlassian Confluence is a project management tool that’s designed to streamline the sharing of information to improve team collaboration. It enables users to build a dedicated workspace where teams can work together online, making it a good choice for project teams with distributed members.

The vendor offers a free trial, while paid plans start from $5 per user per month. Confluence also offers a Data Center plan at $15,000 per year for a maximum of 500 users. Finally, this solution can seamlessly integrate with other Atlassian solutions and other apps available at the Atlassian Marketplace.

Why Choose Atlassian Confluence instead of Microsoft Project?

  1. Atlassian Confluence enables project teams to easily build and manage an organized workspace
  2. It offers a self-managed platform that offers more configuration options
  3. Aside from enforcing more stringent security protocols, Confluence allows Admin to manage user permissions on a more granular level

Why Choose Microsoft Project instead of Atlassian Confluence?

  1. Microsoft Project has more affordable pricing plans, making it great for small companies.
  2. This platform offers a no-fuss interface that is easy to learn and use.
  3. Microsoft Project has been tried and tested by tons of companies worldwide, so you can be sure about its reliability.

Detailed Atlassian Confluence Review

What’s the best Microsoft Project alternative for you?

Microsoft Project may be well known in the industry, and it offers some of the best project management tools on the market. However, having quality features and a good reputation is not an assurance that it is the best platform for your operations. It is still better for you to first analyze the needs of your business and determine the software functionalities that your workflow requires before you purchase a particular software–no matter how popular the platform may be. This way, you can be sure that you are investing in a system that you can actually maximize.

Hopefully, with our list of top 10 alternatives to Microsoft Project, you were able to get a better look at other project management systems with features that may be better suited to your business. In case you are still unsure of which one you should pick, we highly suggest that you try out monday.com. The platform offers powerful project management functionalities alongside an easy-to-use interface that makes it the perfect option for agile teams.

Keep in mind, though, that the products mentioned in this article are not the only platforms available out there. You should also check out our compilation of the top 20 project management tools to widen your options.

Stephanie Seymour

By Stephanie Seymour

Stephanie Seymour is a senior business analyst and one of the crucial members of the FinancesOnline research team. She is a leading expert in the field of business intelligence and data science. She specializes in visual data discovery, cloud-based BI solutions, and big data analytics. She’s fascinated by how companies dealing with big data are increasingly embracing cloud business intelligence. In her software reviews, she always focuses on the aspects that let users share analytics and enhance findings with context.

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