When you’re managing projects and teams in different geographies and timezones, it can be daunting to stay on top of tasks and due dates without an established process in place.
It is important to have a remote project management solution in order to accomplish work as nimble as possible, while being able to easily monitor progress and overheads. Timely communication is a crucial component in the whole duration of the project.
Virtual project management collaboration tools help to standardize processes amongst team members from different locations and promote coordination and tracking of their progress on tasks.
If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, it is more likely that you’re looking to create a remote project team or already part of one and are looking for a tool to manage projects.
In this blog post, we’ve rounded up 7 of the finest project management tools which could be an ideal fit for your virtual, distributed teams.
Features to look out for in Project Management tools suited for Remote Teams
With a plethora of project management tools available, it can be hard to find an all-in-one PM tool. To find the best project management software for your remote team, you’d have to consider features that will enable you to manage your projects efficiently and effectively. Good remote project management software features include:
- Project planning and scheduling: Most project management software enables you to create different projects, assign individual/shared tasks to team members, and set priorities and statuses. Adding deadlines to tasks helps your team plan their tasks productively. Features like shared team calendars for scheduling and organizing meetings are also crucial. Most project management tools have different views like List, Board, Timeline, Gantt Chart, or table to visualize the task distribution.
- Team collaboration and communication: Features like Team dashboards, File sharing, Team communication are features you should definitely consider when purchasing the best PM tool. Most tools might integrate with 3rd party providers like Slack or Google Drive for file sharing/collaboration. Integrations with popular help desks (like HappyFox) or CRM software are also essential for cross-team collaboration. Team dashboards will help paint a big picture of the progress of the project as a whole across different functioning teams.
- Time Logging and Tracking: Depending on company practices, you may also need to track the time spent on tasks, add hourly rates to users, and compile invoices according to the work done. If this is the case, you’d require a solid time tracking feature within your PM tool. Most PM tools integrate with 3rd party time tracking tool to compensate for it but make sure essential features like time billing, automated invoicing, and reports on time spent are available.
- Reporting and Analytics: Project management software must include reporting and analytic solutions that transform your project data into data-rich visualization. Generating detailed reports with the tasks worked on, the number of hours worked on each, and the total expenses are crucial metrics you’d want to track in your project teams. Reports enable you to get a quick overview of how the project is doing and you’ll also notice the best/worst performing project teams. If there’s a downward trend evident in your graphs, you can quickly identify it and make data-driven decisions.
Project cost/budget analysis: With a project budgeting feature, you can set time and cost budgets. PM tools should automatically notify you if an employee is about to reach their maximum allowed hours, which allows you to stay on top of your current overheads and make resource re-allocations.
|Top Project Management Software for Virtual Teams|
4. Microsoft Projects
Trello has all the essential features to help you run remote projects smoothly across time and space. Because Trello’s intention is to a team’s work easier, it utilizes boards, lists, and cards that can be used to manage projects in a flexible way. Each of these features serves a distinct purpose, with the boards exhibiting the projects and their information; the lists having the titles; and the cards serving as the fundamental unit.
- Keep tasks organized by statuses to track progress.
- Organize resources through powerful reporting functionalities.
- Assign cards to project team members, add due dates, labels, and Custom Fields to track work by the contributor.
- Use power-ups to bring enhanced features or third-party integrations into Trello.
Trello pricing starts at $9.90 per user seat, per month. Trello offers a free version for small teams. There are free trials available for Trello’s paid plans.
Wrike is a project management tool that is packed with powerful business collaboration and task management features that will take your company to the next level. Using Wrike, project management teams obtain the power to manage multiple projects and tasks at once. Wrike has a user-activity stream that shows updates related to tasks and subtasks as well as updates related to changes made directly to Projects or Folders.
- Easy categorization of tasks into manageable projects or folders.
- Approval management for tasks.`
- Powerful analytics and reporting tools.
- Time Tracking
- Google Docs, Dropbox integrations.
Wrike pricing starts at $9.80 per user seat, per month.There is a free version that is best suited for small teams. Wrike offers a free trial on all of its paid plans.
Monday.com is easy to use and has an intuitive interface that makes it a competitive choice across industries like service or IT teams needing an adaptable task management solution. Monday.com (Formerly Dapulse) offers templates, and numerous column types to help you keep information aggregated in one spot, and multiple display boards to manage and project information.
- Customizable Templates.
- Kanban, timeline views.
- Task forms; task comments; email notifications.
- Mobile Apps.
- Easy File Management.
Monday.com pricing starts at $39.00 for up to 5 users, per month. Wrike offers a free trial on all of its paid plans.
4. Microsoft Projects
Microsoft Project is one of the more sophisticated project management platforms available on the market. It features industry-leading features that allow you to identify the best way to schedule projects and find optimal solutions for distributing workloads across your team.
MS projects isn’t exactly the most user-friendly project management solution on the market and the learning curve is significant. If ease of use is important to you, you can look out for other tools mentioned in this blog.
- Project budget forecasting
- Cloud and on-premise variants
- Advanced Gantt charts
- Supports detailed task descriptions
The most popular variant of MS projects is the cloud-based solution. Pricing starts at $10 per user per month and goes all the way up to $55 per user per month on its highest tier.
Asana offers task management inspired by to-do lists, but also provides core project management features. Instead of having more of a column format that other project management tools have, Asana is formatted in rows.
- Recurring Tasks
- Workload management
- Intuitive task display format with archiving capabilities
- Timeline view with flexible Gantt charts
Asana is free for teams of up to 15 users, with only minor limitations. The paid plans start at $10.99 per user per month. Asana offers free trials on its paid offerings.
Basecamp is one of the best-known project management platforms in the world. Its goal is to help the companies and teams which rely on it to achieve higher levels of productivity through better communication and organization. It’s an excellent PM tool for beginners. Basecamp provides a unified location for company-wide and team communication as well as managing your projects.
- The best free version of all PM tools
- Real-time group chats
- Customer/Client access
- Hill Charts
- Fully-featured mobile application
Basecamp has two offerings. The first is Basecamp Personal, which is a free edition. Basecamp Business, the premium offering, costs $82.50 per month with an annual subscription. It is also worthwhile to note that Basecamp does not have any restrictions on the number of uses you can onboard.
Jira is fundamentally built for software development, but thanks to its Kanban workflow management system, it can be used as a project management solution for remote teams.
Jira also includes essential project management features such as Scrum boards, Kankan boards, Reporting and Analytics, API access, Integrations, and mobile apps, among others.
If you’re development team already uses Jira, why use another platform for Project management?
- Customizable project workflows
- Unlimited custom fields
- Kanban view for tasks
- Customizable dashboards and wallboards
Jira pricing starts at $7.00 per user seat, per month. There is a free version that is best suited for small teams. Jira offers a free trial on all of its paid plans.
Narrowing down on the ideal project management software for virtual teams isn’t easy. With all of the aforementioned tools offering task management solution, powerful collaboration features, and competitive pricing, it is important to consider factors like the size of your company and team, what all features you desire, and which of those features you most value.
For further reading, check out our full-fledged comparison of Monday.com vs Wrike & Asana vs Trello.