Five cloud-based PM solutions for all kinds of projects
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ntThese days, a huge selection of cloud-based solutions is available for project management. Shopping the cloud for PM tools lets you save money and find the right features to suit a particular client’s culture and needs. Here are five cloud-based products that reflect the wide range of options in the market.
ntNote: If you’d prefer to view this information as a blog post, check out this entry in our IT Consultant blog.
ntUsers are unlimited on all Zoho Projects plans, which are fairly a la carte in their options. Pricing runs from $20 a month for 20 projects for the extremely limited Express plan — no task reminders to team members, for example. For about $95 a month, you get more punch across all categories, including an integrated bug-tracking platform and the ability to edit tasks in Gantt view. The monthly subscription prices are higher.
ntPlanbox is a business-centric tool that’s a good fit for anyone (say, a consultant) who wants to track the cost benefit of an effort. You can assign dollar values and weighting points, in addition to standard importance rating for tasks. File attachments (another must for almost any PM software) are a tad hidden, but they are there.
ntAn iteration model allows you to replicate work frameworks and tasks over multiple time periods. Reports include planned vs. unplanned work and iteration burndown — again, very business-centric.
ntPricing for Planbox is on a per-user model, at about $4 a seat monthly.
ntIf you are into reporting, ProWorkflow is well worth a look. The basic task-based metaphor feeds a text-heavy UI that is reminiscent of a home-grown DB query dashboard; admin tools let you simplify the look a bit by dropping columns and such. A ton of reporting options come built-in, along with invoicing and time-tracking features in most subscription models.
ntPricing is based on a per-seat model, starting at $10 per user per month for the standard version. This package does not allow clients to access your projects, so it will be of limited use unless you want to dig in on your internal metrics. It’s $20 a seat per month for a package that includes client access, file storage, and a mobile app. Invoicing and quote management are an additional $10 per seat per month.
ntBasecamp’s Central UI is based around discussions, which most closely resemble blog posts with attachments in the comments section. You add events to what can best be described as a calendar view, not unlike Outlook or other common messaging applications. There are to-do lists, an activity log, and other basic reporting.
ntPricing is based on number of projects and storage, with 10 projects and 3 GB of file storage running $20 a month, up to $150 a month for unlimited use.
ntThe visual interface in Milestone Planner is completely intuitive, right down to a nifty mouse-over spinner for setting task status. You can add multiple workstreams for projects, so the net result is not as daunting as an overarching Gantt chart can become. And of course you can export a plan to CSV format.
ntThe Professional version, which runs about $8.50 per user a month, offers RSS feeds and calendar program export, as well as full SSL encryption and PDF export. Read about all of Milestone Planner’s pricing plans.