Suzie Blaszkiewicz, market analyst and content editor at GetApp, a website offering comparisons of project management software, just released a new report on 2016’s Top 25 Project Management Apps. We asked Suzie share some highlights of the findings:
GetApp’s new report ranks the 25 Top Project Management apps in the marketplace right now. What exactly were the ranking factors that you identified to determine the list? And why did you choose those ones in particular?
“The ranking factors that we use to identify the Top 25 project management software apps are: reviews, integrations, mobile availability, media presence and security. Reviews are based on the number and rating of reviews on GetApp, while integrations are related to the number of integrations that an app has. Mobile availability is based on the presence of an iOS and Android app in the App Store and Google play, as well as their related ratings, while media presence is based on the number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans that a vendor has. Security is based on a vendor completed survey which is derived from the Cloud Security Alliance’s Self-Assessment form. The CSA form and authentication has become the industry standard for Fortune 500 companies to achieve in order to assure their customers their data is secure.
We chose these data points as they relate to important considerations for businesses when making a first assessment of a piece of software. Knowing what others think about the software (reviews), how well it connects with other software that they’re already using (integrations), if it’s available for their mobile device, how ‘known’ the company is (media presence), and whether or not their company’s data would be safe in this company’s hands, are great starting points when looking for PM software.”
It’s interesting that you chose integrations and security… How do you see those two factors playing an important role for project managers or PMOs this year?
“Being able to effectively use a piece of software to its full potential can only be realized if it does not operate in a silo. Project management often involves contributions from a variety of different departments responsible for various parts of the project. Being able to integrate with those departments and the specific software they use will not only help expedite processes, but can also eliminate duplicated work. If you’re using time-tracking, you’ll want to integrate with a billing and invoicing solution to be able to easily make those payments. If you’re collaborating or sharing documents among members, you’ll want access to cloud storage services like Dropbox or communication tools like Slack to enhance collaboration.
Security should always be a concern when it comes to choosing software, whether for project management, accounting, or CRM. Using software as part of your project management efforts means that you’ll have a lot of sensitive data in one place (especially if it integrates with other software), and you’ll want to ensure that your data is safe from potential internal or external breaches. This is particularly the case if you have sensitive client or employee data accessible by project leaders. This not only includes data storage considerations, but also being able to provide different levels of access for different user roles.”
Why do you think this kind of ranking is important for the PM industry right now?
“The landscape of PM software is continually expanding, and it’s becoming a more popular form of project management delivery. Be that as it may, a recent study found about 60 percent of project managers are still using manual methods, such as pen and paper or tedious spreadsheets, to complete projects on time. This means that more than half of PMs are still doing things with time consuming and laborious processes, which are prone to human error. As huge as that number seems, the good news is that the number of PMs adopting software is on the rise, with a 14 percent increase over the previous year.
For those first-time buyers who have little to no knowledge about the PM software marketplace, having this type of ranking —giving them the top players in the industry— is an essential first-step to get an objective overview of the important PM software vendors on the market. It’s important to decision makers to be able to compare project management software before making a purchasing decision, and have a place where they can do that all in one place.”
What do you think are the biggest motivators for PMs to move to dedicated software?
“Project managers are beginning to see the value of using software to help organize, streamline, and increase transparency on projects, factors that are missing with the manual PM methods still being used by many PMs. Specifically, PM software buyers are looking first and foremost, for Automation. This makes sense considering so many are migrating from doing things manually. They want to be able to free themselves up from time-consuming tasks and spend that new-found time simple getting more done. Automation leads to increased organization, which is an especially important motivator for project managers, and with systems in place to discern project maturity, organize tasks, and assign importance to items, PMs have the potential to see huge positive impacts on their business.
Tied up with all of this is simply the feeling that they’ve outgrown their current system. As a business grows, this is a natural state to be in, so it’s important for PMs to look into software that can scale and grow with them. Similarly, once processes are already in place, having a software that can help further streamline them and give transparency about progress allows for better oversight and provide additional benefits to PMs.”