There’s no shortage of project management software for mid-size and large businesses. Startups, though, have limited budgets and simply can’t afford high-priced project management tools. Here are seven affordable options.
The time has never been better for startups to access well-tested, feature-rich, affordable project management product previously offered only to larger companies. Here are just some of the web-based options that a startup can license to manage its activities right out of the gate.
If your startup is considering making the leap to a project management tools, these affordable options can make light work of collaboration and manual tracking of project tasks, time and budgets.
It’s important to note that many of these per-month-per-user pricing models are based on companies making one annual payment.
Criteria to identify PM tools for startups
- Start-up size: two – 10 employees
- Pricing: Less than $50/month
- Some of the key features/functionality:
- Scalable to any number of users
- Employee/team time and tracking
- Gantt charts
- Task management
- User permissions customization
- Team communication/collaboration/file sharing
- Budgeting capabilities
- Standardized workflows/processes
- Centralize data storage/document management
- Other apps integration
- Company branding
Seven affordable project management tools (listed by price)
Trello (acquired by Atlassian in 2017) has been around since 2011 and offers a web-based PM solution that works for companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Their affordable business-class solution costs $9 a month per user and allows companies a free trial of the software. Trello also has a free but basic account, as well as an enterprise-class account that is available. The business class account can easily fit within any startup’s budget and offers features like collaboration, digital whiteboards, data import/export, milestone tracking, prioritization of work, and workflow management. It also has easy to use drag and drop capabilities for even the most inexperienced users. Trello integrates with many other solutions like Evernote, Gmail, Harvest, Scrum, Zendesk, Dropbox and more. To see the full list visit their site (trello.com).
Mavenlink, founded in 2008, provides project management solutions for smaller startup business teams at $19 a month per-user for up to five users, a professional PM solution at $39 a month per-user, and two other pricing tiers including one for large enterprises. They too offer users the option of a free trial. Mavenlink’s PM tools can provide business intelligence, capacity management, data visualization, demand forecasting, employee scheduling, filtered searches, resource allocation, skills tracking and utilization management. Integrations include Google apps, Intacct accounting & financial management system, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Jira, and others. Visit their site for the full list of integrations.
Wrike, founded in 2007, gives startups a few options starting with a free basic account, a professional account for teams of five, 10 or 15 users at $9.80 a month per user. Their business account is affordable even for a startup, at $24.80 a month per user, and comes with a free trial offer. From there, Wrike also has a PM solution for marketers and large enterprises. Their PM product is capable of handling approval process control, configurable workflow, customizable dashboards, document management, forms management, resource management. Wrike currently offers 38 integrations including Google Drive, DropBox, Box. Visit Wrike to see the full list of integrations.
ProjectManager got their start in 2008 with the goal of “helping project managers find out whether their projects are on track.” They now have three PM pricing options, with their first starting at $25a month per user for up to three users, $20 a month per user for four-10 users, and $15 a month per user for 11-20 users. Each of these comes with a free trial option. Projectmanager.com provides collaboration, Gantt charts, percent-complete tracking, progress tracking, recurring tasks, task planning, task scheduling, task tracking and time tracking. This solution also integrates with Google Docs, MS exchange, Office 365, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Xero, Dropbox, Desk, Slack, Jira, Evernote and many others. See their site for the complete list of integrations.
Smartsheet, first introduced in 2006, has a PM solution with four monthly per-user pricing options: $14 for individuals, $15 for small business teams (minimum of three users), $25 a month per user for businesses (minimum of three users) and an enterprise solution, each with an available free trial. Smartsheet PM plans can include commercial, contract management, contractors, document/photo management, incident reporting, job scheduling, lead management, permit management, residential and subcontractor management and task management. Smartsheet integrates with Google Docs, MS Outlook, Azure, Office, Salesforce, Onedrive, Box, Jira, Evernote and many others. Visit its website for the full list of apps that are compatible.
Zoho Projects, founded in 1996, provides a project management solution with four-pricing options. The first one is free but only works for one project. The second option is a start-up friendly $25 a month per user, for up to 20 projects. To move beyond 20 projects, the monthly per user cost increases to $50. Each solution also comes with a free trial. Zoho Projects features project planning, Gantt charts, project coordination, time tracking, document management, reporting, bug tracking and mobile apps. Integrations include Google apps, Jira, MS Project, Dropbox, Box, MS Outlook, Slack, and others. See their site for the complete list of integrations.
Teamwork, launched in 2007 and offers four PM pricing options including a small office solution at $49 a month per user with a free trial. Their PM solutions feature budget tracking, collaboration, file sharing, Gantt chart’s, idea and issue management, milestone tracking, percent-complete tracking, project planning, requirements management, status and expense tracking, and much more. Their solution integrates with Onedrive, Zendesk, Xero, StickynotesPM, Hubstaff, Gmail, Freshbooks, Quickbooks, Google Drive and others. Go to their site for the full list.
Update: Another highly affordable project management tool that I recently came across is Nuvro, check their website for a complete list of their features and pricing.
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Moira Alexander, PMP, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P, is a recognized project management influencer, thought leader, a regular correspondent for PMI’s Projectified podcast, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PMWorld 360 Magazine, Founder of Lead-Her-Ship Group, and author of “LEAD or LAG: Linking Strategic Project Management & Thought Leadership”. Moira has over 25 years of experience in business (IS&T) and project management for small to large businesses in the US and Canada and has been quoted in various publications including Forbes. She writes thought leadership content for top-tier publications and business blogs and oversees or writes sponsored content and software reviews on PMWorld 360 Magazine.