Selecting Project Management Software

This post is not a review or rating of software.

The first PM software I used was Microsoft Project.  I haven’t used Project in several years but it’s still one of my favorites due to its features.  I’ve used Smartsheet, Instagantt, and Orchestra most recently.  Like any software, each has pros and cons that have to be evaluated. 

Key factors for consideration include cost per user, functionality, and scalability.

Cost Per User

Several companies offer free accounts but limit the functionality so you can test the waters.  The size of your team will affect cost.  I’ve passed on software since they require the same license for each member of the team.  This adds cost if you need premium features such as portfolio and resource management.    


This is the most important criteria for me.  It requires an analysis of your team’s needs. 

-Do you only need Gantt charts? 

-Do you need to assign tasks to team members? 

-Are communication tools important such as chats and posts? 

-Does the software need to integrate with other apps such as Office 365?

-Are custom workflows needed for document and gate approvals?


As your team grows, does the software have the ability to scale to future needs?  I rolled out Instagantt with one of my teams with the intention of switching to Asana in the future.  I didn’t want to start with Asana due to its higher costs plus I wanted to give the team time to adopt cloud software.  Some companies offer enterprise level software with customization so you should be able to find software that meets the majority of your needs. 

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