Quickly compare the best project management software for startups with pricing, main use case, and evaluation criteria to consider.
In this post, I’ll speak to the specific tools useful for any startup project manager. Startup project management requires that you keep your finger on the pulse of an organization that’s not really established yet—roles shift, products change often from MVP to final version as you work to more agile/scrum methodologies, and your org has to be ready to scale at any moment.
Startups are different from small businesses, as team members are often working across many areas of the business and rely on transparency and quick access to updates happening anywhere in the organization in real-time.
Project management for startup companies tends to need speed, reliability, flexibility, and interconnectivity with other useful apps. Startup projects don’t have time to waste and tend to need software that can keep up with them. Here’s our pick of the best project management software for startups in 2021.
Startup Project Management Software Comparison Criteria
What are we looking for when we select project management software for startups for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is the interface modern, simple, and easy to understand and navigate?
- Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training to reduce the learning curve?
- Integrations: Does it connect with software you most likely already use, like Slack, G Suite, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Dropbox, JIRA, Evernote, Excel, Salesforce, Proofhub, and so on? If it doesn’t have file sharing built-in, you’ll definitely want to make sure it integrates with a file management tool to keep all of your file versions for different projects in a central location. Software development teams will probably want a pre-built integration with Jira.
- Value for $: Is the price accessible for small teams and startups? Does it offer a free plan to start, or any free trials or freemium subscriptions?
Key Features Small Business Task Management Tools
Here are some of the features I look for when evaluating a project management system for startups and small businesses.
- Streamlined work management features: Most startups don’t have a lot of resources to dedicate to training and onboarding, so the tool must offer simplified “get-up-and-go” project planning with a manageable learning curve.
- Team collaboration software and file-sharing: Communication and distribution of limited (but expanding) assets are critical to getting any startup off its feet.
- Real-time updates between team members: Things are moving fast and changing often so it’s imperative that different team members are getting the most current information as soon as possible.
- Roadmap with automated follow-ups: Not only will your startup squad need a crystal clear roadmap for where they are going but you will want some way to ping team leaders if a project or task requires follow up or course correction.
- Collaboration tool that can span different projects: Startups are juggling many projects at once, from social media upkeep to product development to hiring; you’ll need an app that unifies collaboration for all branches in a central location.
- Scrum boards for backlog visibility: This helps busy teams visualize what needs to be done for each sprint and put a pin in items that are lower priorities. It also helps startup PMs keep track of great ideas for their product roadmap and future vision.
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Overviews Of The Best Project Management Software For Startups
Here’s a brief description of each of the best project management tools for startup companies.
Forecast is a project management software for startups that unites your projects, resources, and financials in one AI-powered platform. Project managers can leverage Forecast’s workflow automation capabilities to create smart schedules, estimate timeframes and budgets, and populate timesheets instantly. Forecast is currently used in over 40 countries by an assortment of agencies, consulting companies, SMBs, and enterprises.
PMs can control the workflow by building out detailed task lists and flagging clear priorities. Task cards allow every team member to easily comment, share files, and register time spent. Everything related to the specific task appears in one place, including dependencies and subtasks. You can put together projects for any type of work: fixed price, time and material, or retainer.
Forecast’s AI learns from previous work and suggests the number of hours you normally register on similar tasks to help you log time faster. You can monitor time registrations from a team perspective and notify each member if they forget to enter something in. Time tracking utilization on a company-wide level is calculated for you for easy alerts, estimates, and reporting.
Forecast integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams, iCloud Calendar, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Outlook, Harvest, Trello, Asana, GitLab, Github, and dozens more using a paid plan through Zapier. Higher-tier subscriptions include native integrations with Timelog, Xero, QuickBooks Online, JIRA, Azure DevOps, Salesforce, Okta, OneLogin, and Azure Active Directory.
Forecast cost from $29/user/month with a minimum of 10 users and offers a 14-day free trial.
- Projects, resources and financials connected in one platform
- AI powered auto-scheduling and time entry suggestions
- Excellent iOS and Android apps
- Automated cost and budget estimations
- No browser extension for time tracking
- No asset management
- Minimum of 10 seats
The Best Project Management Software For Startups Summary Chart
|monday.com||Read monday.com features & functionality|| |
14 day free trial
|From $17/month for 2 users||Check out monday.com|
|Forecast.app||Read Forecast.app features & functionality|| |
14 days free trial
|From $29/user/month||Check out Forecast.app|
|Kissflow Project||Read Kissflow Project features & functionality|| Freemium version |
15 days free trial
|From $35/month (Includes 5 users)||Check out Kissflow Project|
|Freedcamp||Read Freedcamp features & functionality|| Freemium version |
14 day free trial period
|From 1.49/month/user||Check out Freedcamp|
|Trello||Read Trello features & functionality||Freemium version||From $9.99/user/month||Check out Trello|
|Wrike||Read Wrike features & functionality|| |
14 day free trial
|From $9.80/user/month and has a freemium version for up to 5 users||Check out Wrike|
|Teamwork||Read Teamwork features & functionality|| Freemium version |
30 day free trial. No credit card required.
|From $9/user/month (starting from 5 users)||Check out Teamwork|
|TeamGantt||Read TeamGantt features & functionality|| Freemium version |
14 day free trial
|From $24.95/month||Check out TeamGantt|
|Basecamp||Read Basecamp features & functionality|| Freemium version |
30 day free trial
|From $99/month unlimited users||Check out Basecamp|
|Asana||Read Asana features & functionality|| Freemium version |
Free 30 day trial
|From $10.99/user/month||Check out Asana|
Other Project Management Software For Startups Options
Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for handy project management software for startups, check these out.
What Do You Think About This Startup Management Software?
Have you tried out any of the above tools for startup companies? What do you think are the best project management tools for startups and small businesses? Is there any project management software for entrepreneurs that you would recommend be added to this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.