gears synching up with project management engraved on them
The right project management software can help put you on the right path PHOTO: Shutterstock

An enterprise-level company can be a juggernaut. With head offices dotted around the world, countless departments and enough projects to justify working with multiple agencies at once, there’s a ton of progress, files, conversations and agreements to keep track of. That’s why companies on the larger side deploy enterprise project management software or EPMs or even enterprise portfolio management software. As you may have guessed, these solutions help to manage projects and portfolios.

What Is Enterprise Project Management Software?

While tools like Trello and MeisterTask are ideal for leaner teams, an enterprise project management tool offers a myriad of features to help large brands manage and organize both simple and extremely complex projects. Enterprise project management software also helps align projects with wider company objectives, giving a 360 view of the organization’s collective efforts.

Key Features of an Enterprise Project Management System

You might expect an enterprise project management tool to be like Trello with a few extra bells and whistles, but in actual fact, EPMs are generally feature-packed. On top of typical features like enhanced security, single sign-on and mobile access, here’s what you can expect from your average enterprise project management software.

  • Project Portfolio Management (PPM): This is an EPM’s bread and butter. This feature (or integrated set of features) organizes company projects and presents them in ways that are easy to glance at, manage and collaborate on.
  • User Dashboards: An enterprise project management software should also allow brands to give each users a personalized and customizable dashboard to analyze important project information and easily access vital information.
  • File Sharing: Most EPMs offer some level of sophisticated file sharing. Beyond simply sharing files, the feature may include audit trails, content versioning and user permission settings to ensure only authorized personnel get access to the data they need.
  • Internal Communications: Instant messaging or private messaging is a typical feature of EPMs, which can help to cut down the reliance on email as well as the need for users to leave the application in order to discuss a project with a colleague or partner. Some EPM vendors go a step further and throw in video conferencing in their EPM, too.
  • Calendars: A strong EPM serves up should give each project its own calendar, and also produces one central calendar that amalgamates all active project deadlines and milestones. Some EPM tools allow users to create individual calendars for each team member, which typically integrates with their personalized dashboard.
  • Gantt Charts: While not all EPMs make use of Gantt charts, most do. They are essentially horizontal bar charts that graphically illustrate a schedule in regards to a project. They have become commonplace in project management software.
  • Kanban Boards: If you aren’t familiar with Kanban boards, just think of Trello’s interface. That’s pretty much it.
  • Integrations: Last but certainly not least, a good enterprise project management software should be able to integrate with other popular enterprise-grade software like Salesforce, Dropbox and Microsoft Office.

1. Microsoft Project

Kicking off this list is a familiar name. With 880,000 customers, you could argue that Microsoft Project is the industry standard — although that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best EPM in town. It serves up built-in customizable templates, Gantt chart creation, report creation and sharing, real-time communication, project search functionality and naturally, a seamless Microsoft Office integration.

2. Clarizen

Clarizen delivers templates, document management, task management budget and expenses tracking, version controlling, user roles and project hierarchy. Plus, they have an iPhone and Android app, templates, and has won awards for its outstanding customer service. They also have an app marketplace that helps integrate the platform with apps like Slack and Microsoft Excel.

3. Targetprocess

Targetprocess places a lot of emphasis on the visual representation of projects. Their PPM interface showcases timelines, collaboration boards and lists that can be controlled by dragging-and-dropping elements into place. It also boasts custom reports and integrations with more than 60 apps. Enterprise users can also make use of Agile frameworks such as SAFe, LeSS, NEXUS, and SoS.

4. Wrike

Wrike is an enterprise work management solution that enables users to produce real-time reports and statuses for team’s projects. It also boasts Gantt charts, cross-team collaboration, custom workflows, real-time status updates and visual dashboards

5. Zoho Projects

Zoho’s mobile-friendly project management solution delivers features such as task lists and milestones, Gantt charts, projects feeds, document management, billable hours logging and collaboration tools. Zoho Projects also integrates with a wide range of third-party apps.

6. Monday

Formerly known as Dapulse, Monday promises businesses that they can “manage everything from a single board”. A Monday board lets users track everything a team is working on. Tasks, projects, missions, and to-dos can be added, and teammates can be assigned. You can also @mention other users, like updates, drag-and-drop files into boards and of course, visualize everything with Gantt charts.

7. Asana

Individual users can customize their Asana dashboard to view tasks, projects, due dates and attachments. Asana also facilitates communication through task commenting, project discussions, team pages and private messaging. Calendars, document management, custom fields, and private projects are also supported.

8. Azendoo

Azendoo is another product that blurs the line between project management and all-out collaboration. It supports customizable dashboards, boards, calendars, time tracking, file sharing, private messaging, polls and team profiles. When it comes to tasks, they can be organized in lists, commented on, tagged, searched, exported and even printed.

9. Jira

Built by Sydney-based Atlassian, JIRA is a software-specific EPM tool that helps software vendors plan and track projects and new releases. It serves up real-time collaboration, native mobile apps, knowledge management, development workflows, Gantt charts, Kanban boards and SCRUM boards.

10. Celoxis

Celoxis is a cloud or on-premise EPM solution that boasts project tracking, resource management, financial management, collaboration, expense tracking, analytics and custom fields. The product also integrates with a number of apps including Salesforce, Microsoft Project, and Quickbooks, so project managers can localize all their information on one system.

11. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a freemium multi-dimensional software. It’s  CRM, collaboration and project management platform, all in one. As far as the EPM dimension goes, Bitrix24 serves up Gantt charts, task dependencies, Kanban boards, employee workload management, checklists and workgroups where colleagues can collaborate.

12. Freedcamp

On top of native apps, Freedcamp’s features include task lists, sub-tasks, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and private projects. It also boasts time tracking, a built-in invoicing tool, a CRM and a social communication wall where colleagues can exchange ideas and comment on projects.

13. LiquidPlanner

Liquid Planner helps brands assign tasks and resources to employees through Kanban boards, estimate the effort through hours spent and set deadlines. Dashboards showcase project progress, collaboration tools help keep employees engaged and integrated budget tracking and analytics.

14. Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management and team collaboration software. It gives each brand a “HQ” made up of six core tools: To-do lists, a message board, Project scheduling, document management, instant chat, and automatic check-ins.

15. MavenLink

MavenLink integrates with Google’s G Suite and delivers Gantt charts, file sharing, task management and milestone and time tracking. The freemium project management software also boasts project templates, allows for online invoicing and supports expense tracking.

16. Projectplace

With Gantt charts, Kanban boards and document management, Projectplace ticks all the relevant boxes of an enterprise project management tool. It also boasts single sign-on functionality, an API, real-time communication, video calls, project templates and project portfolios.

Considering an enterprise project management software? Let us know which vendors are catching your eye in the comments below.