Today project managers have a number of software as a service (SaaS) options for project management support. Although the options have many similarities, each service has its strengths, weaknesses and unique features. We help you make sense of several SaaS project management solutions so you can make a better purchasing decision.
In an earlier article on SaaS project management services we outlined the main features and key considerations of four SaaS solutions: Clarizen, GroupCamp, Planzone, and Zoho Projects. Each of these services has distinguishing characteristics and some may be better options for you than others. In this article, we consider these options from the perspective of a potential project management service customer who has to choose among them.
The first step in any service evaluation is to understand your own requirements. Of course detailed requirements are needed in some cases. When evaluating SaaS options, it may be faster to identify high level requirements and evaluate a promising service instead of drilling down into the minutia of requirements before working with an actual project management service. For example, you may be able to identify candidate services based on the scope of your project management needs, such as: project specific, department level, enterprise or multi-client management.
Project specific needs are limited to a single project involving one team. These typically have narrow reporting requirements and access is limited to project team members. Department level project management involves multiple projects, but it still has basic reporting requirements and a limited group of potential users. Department level projects may need more reports than a project specific use case; such as by employees showing the breakdown of time allocated to multiple projects.
About the Author
Dan Sullivan is an author, systems architect, and consultant with over 20 years of IT experience in systems architecture, enterprise security, advanced analytics and business intelligence.
Enterprise project management requirements are the most complex requiring advanced reporting as well as support for multiple projects and portfolio management. Consultants and others that support multiple clients often need to work with project teams comprised of client staff, consultants and third parties. This can create the need for substantial flexibility with regards to collaboration. Consulting firms often need specialized reports, such as client specific and consultant utilization reports.
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