- 1. Trello — Best for simple Kanban-style workflows
- 2. Asana — Best software development PM tool for managing complex projects
- 3. Celoxis — Best for client-facing software development teams
- 4. Basecamp — Best for simplicity and ease of use
- 5. Hub Planner — Best for project and resource management in one
- 6. TeamGantt — Best for learning to build Gantt charts
- 7. Jira — Best software development PM tool to connect with Github
- 8. ClickUp — Best all-in-one work management solution
- 9. monday.com — Best software development PM tool for building custom workflows
- 10. Nifty — Best for its focus on team productivity
Developing software without a proper plan behind it can quickly become chaotic, delay the launch date, and stress the hell out of everyone involved. The right project management software can keep software development teams aligned on tasks and priorities, and give stakeholders visibility into the work getting done. But at a glance, many project management tools for software development seem to offer similar functionalities. So how do you know which tool is best suited to the needs of your team?
I’ve researched and reviewed the best project management solutions that cater specifically to software development teams. In this article, you’ll find my overviews of each tool and how it stands out from the rest.
What are Project Management Tools for Software Development?
Software development project management tools are digital platforms that facilitate project planning and task management, and are designed specifically with software developers in mind. Project managers and product development teams use these tools to plan and manage their projects. Some common project management features are Kanban boards and Gantt charts; tasks and subtasks; project timelines, due dates, and milestones; and reporting dashboards to track progress and productivity.
Trello is a well-known Kanban board tool, capable of supporting small and mid-sized teams and organizations in their project management.
Why I picked Trello: One of the main reasons this platform made it onto my list is because of its focus on Kanban, which is the framework most popularly used in DevOps software development teams.
Trello allows you to build simple, straightforward boards to monitor your project progress through the stages of your workflows. You can customize your board with different stages that make sense for you, for example ‘not started’ ‘in progress’ and ‘completed’, or something more complex. Each project card can be customized with different view options, checklists, and comments. Files can also be added to cards to keep project data centralized.
Trello Standout Features and Integrations
Features offered by this software are its large bank of ready-made templates and power-ups. The templates cover different business departments including product development, engineering, design, and more. Each section has plenty of options, helping you create a board quickly and easily. Once you choose a template, you can customize it to suit your workflow perfectly.
Integrations include Jira Cloud, Miro, Toggl, Harvest, Timecamp, Google Calendar, SupportBee, Gantt for Trello, Roblox, and Slack Power-Up.
- Large bank of pre-built templates
- Power-ups for extra functionality
- User-friendly interface
- May not be suitable for larger projects
- Lacks reporting capabilities
Asana is a friendly yet robust project management solution capable of handling complex and dynamic projects and facilitating cross-functional collaboration.
Why I picked Asana: This platform has the standard project management features like creating tasks, subtasks, and customized dashboards. But I picked it because of its smart features that facilitate cross-functional collaboration, which is vital in development teams.
You can assign a single task to multiple projects, helping you avoid duplicate records and supporting more reliable reporting. Goals can be set at multiple levels, making it easier to understand how every project and task contributes to the bigger picture. You can also monitor employee and team workloads to ensure no one’s overworked.
Asana Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include the platform’s automation capabilities. Its rule builder lets you set up smart automations for tasks, workflows, and reporting. This can accomplish things like filling out project and task cards, moving cards through workflows, and more. Another cool feature is the work request form builder. Teams can outline exactly the information they need to take an incoming request and turn it into a project that can be prioritized.
Integrations include Microsoft Teams, Azure Active Directory, Adobe Creative Cloud, Asana for Salesforce, Google Drive, Dropbox, GitHub, Slack, Tableau, and Instagantt. You may also integrate Asana with other apps via the REST API.
- Drag-and-drop system for task management
- Free plan with unlimited projects
- Workflow builder with automated rules
- Doesn’t have a built-in time tracking
- Freemium lacks advanced features
Celoxis is a project management software that’s well suited to software development teams working with clients and other external contributors.
Why I picked Celoxis: What stands out about this platform is its suitability for client-facing teams. In addition to standard project management features, it also has project accounting tools like profit and margin tracking and revenue forecasting. It also allows for external access for clients, freelancers, agencies, or other external collaborators and stakeholders. Discussions, mentions, activity updates, and calendars can all be shared via the customer portals available in the software.
Celoxis Standout Features and Integrations
Features include the email scheduling tool, which allows you to send out reports at a predetermined time. The software also has built-in RAID logs, change requests, and bug and issue-tracking tools. These are all particularly useful for software development teams working on multiple projects and products. You can keep track of all these specific updates and notifications right in the project management tool.
Integrations include QuickBooks Online, Google Drive, Microsoft Project, Outlook, Excel, and Salesforce.
- Customizable report widgets
- Percentage of project tasks-per-user feature
- Easy-to-use in-app time tracker
- Menu structure is too complex
- No resource planning automation
Basecamp is a complete project management software with scheduling, planning, and virtual collaboration features.
Why I picked Basecamp: I chose to include this software because of its simplicity and dedication to being user-friendly without sacrificing performance. The company’s ethos is to make work easier and provide a straightforward yet comprehensive toolkit for managing projects. Each project has its own page, where team members can find details about related tasks, to-do lists, updates, files, and deadlines. It also gives you an update on the current status and recent progress of the project.
Basecamp Standout Features and Integrations
Features that stand out include the collaboration tools built into the platform. Each project has a dedicated messaging board where team members can exchange updates, feedback, and questions. The software also sends automated status updates to the team, keeping everyone looped in on progress. Files and documents are also stored in the project page, keeping everything centralized and accessible.
Integrations include Automate.io, CData Clockify, Field Trip, Ganttify, Mr.ToDo, Pleexy, Project Buddy, RSSBus, Retool, TaskClone, Toggl, To-Do Helpers, Unito.io, Zoho, and others. Zapier can also be used to access additional integrations.
- Educational and non-profit discount pricing
- Communication and collaboration tools
- Customizable alerts and notifications
- Limited drag-and-drop UI functionality
- Limited basic plan features
Hub Planner is a resource scheduling, time tracking, and project planning tool that helps software development teams manage their projects more efficiently.
Why I picked Hub Planner: This platform offers both project and resource management features, which is what earned it its spot on my list. The resource scheduling feature lets you see who's working on what, and when. This is super helpful for software development teams where some team members may have specialized skills or need to work on multiple projects at a time. Speaking of skills, the platform has a skill matching tool to help you assign work based on people's specific strengths.
Hub Planner Standout Features & Integrations
Standout features include the time management tools included in the software. The drag-and-drop scheduler is also quite handy and easy to use. Built-in time tracking also allows team members to see how long various tasks take. This is helpful for spotting potential bottlenecks and reporting on team productivity.
Integrations include DIY options via the Hub Planner API and webhooks. Additionally, you can access thousands of apps using a Zapier account.
- Resource management included
- Well-suited to professional service companies
- Project budgeting included
- Task management capabilities lack depth
- Project management is not the primary functionality
TeamGantt specializes in Gantt charts and is designed to be a user-friendly project management tool.
Why I picked TeamGantt: I added this platform to my list because it’s set up to help you get the hang of Gantt charts. It’s a user-friendly tool that offers templates and tutorials to help you get started and learn as you go. This makes it a great platform for new PMs joining a software development organization.
TeamGantt also has built-in error detection, and will automatically correct mistakes in your task dependencies. While it specializes in Gantt charts, the software also provides collaboration tools and workload tracking. The collaboration features include chat and tagging, and customizable alerts to let your team know when action is needed.
TeamGantt Standout Features and Integrations
Features include its view of multiple projects on a single screen. This will help you quickly scan through your open projects and make prioritization easier. Another feature I particularly enjoy is having workloads and timeline side by side. This allows you to see what needs to be done and if your current resources can handle the workload.
Integrations include Trello, Basecamp 2, Slack, and Dropbox. Additional integrations can be configured with Zapier or the platform’s API.
- Automatic error correction for dependencies
- Great tutorial content for beginners
- Easy-to-use and intuitive interface
- Reporting is rudimentary
- Lacks budgeting and invoicing tools
Jira is a project management platform created by Atlassian that is specifically tailored for software development projects.
Why I picked Jira: This platform works well for project teams that use the agile methodology, and has Scrum and Kanban boards, roadmaps, reports, and insights. But the reason I chose it for software development projects is because of its connection with Github. The free connector app syncs up your Github updates with your Jira issues. This means that branches, PRs, commits, and builds are automatically noted in Jira as they’re implemented in Github.
Jira Standout Features and Integrations
Features that stand out include the platform’s built-in bug tracking template. You can use this tool to centralize your bug reports and prioritize them based on urgency. Your team can also create custom workflows for addressing bugs, ensuring a standardized process is followed to resolve issues. This means spotting, addressing, and resolving bugs more efficiently.
Integrations include Github, Gitlab, Microsoft 365, Google Drive, Google Docs, Intercom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello, Notion, and over 1000 more in the Atlassian marketplace.
- Unlimited project boards for freemium
- Robust reporting and insights
- Agile work management compatible
- Lacks a native communication tool
- Setup process can be cumbersome
ClickUp is an all-in-one work management solution with project management, document management, goal setting, team collaboration, time tracking, and reporting capabilities.
Why I picked ClickUp: I added this tool to my list because of its all-in-one approach to managing how work gets done and how it lets you create processes for any backlog and automate them. It has everything you need to plan and track projects (task management, timelines, multiple views, etc.). But beyond that, it also has a built-in document management module and time tracking capabilities. You can link tasks and projects with relevant docs, and create an internal Wiki with all of your processes and procedures. Live chat, commenting, and even a whiteboard are also included, helping your team collaborate within the platform.
ClickUp Standout Features and Integrations
Features that standout include the multiple custom individual views. Team members can set up their own workspace to show their tasks, projects, comments, etc. in a way that makes the most sense to them. Another thing worth noting is how robust the reporting tool is. You can build dashboards to track real-time metrics for your projects, goals, and team workloads. Activity reports can also be automated to give you updates when statuses change or milestones are reached.
Integrations include Dropbox, Figma, GitHub, Google Suite, HubSpot, Slack, Toggl Track, and more. Zapier also unlocks additional integrations.
- 50+ widgets to customize your dashboard
- Unlimited file storage on all paid account tiers
- Centralized inbox for project tracking
- Freemium plan limits use of storage, projects, and custom fields
- Reporting suite is paywall restricted
monday.com is a well-known work management tool that can be used to manage various types of projects, including software development.
Why I picked monday.com: This platform helps software development teams manage projects effectively with time tracking, reporting, and team collaboration tools. But I chose it specifically because of its workflow management and automation capabilities. You can build out custom workflows to match your product development process, and automate key stages to keep things running smoothly and reduce your team’s manual workload. Automations include things like task assignments, notifications, and workflow integrations with other tools.
monday.com Standout Features and Integrations
Features include the built-in resource management tools. These features let you assign the best people to the right tasks, and ensure the proper tech and other physical resources are available for specific projects. Another cool feature is the goal setting tool, which can be used to set company- and team-level goals that can then inform project plans.
Integrations include 400+ pre-built native integrations, including the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.
- Easy workflow and board customization
- Extensive list of supported integrations
- Useful visual and color coding customization
- Might be too much for smaller teams
- Gantt view locked to mid-tier plan
Nifty is a comprehensive work management software that covers roadmapping, task management, time tracking, file management, reporting, and more.
Why I picked Nifty: The reason this tool made it onto my list is because of its robust capabilities. The project and task management tools offer Kanban, timeline, list, and calendar views, and you can sync it with your Outlook or Google accounts. But beyond project management, it also has a built-in team communication tool as well as time tracking, helping you manage your team more effectively. Employees can log their hours directly through the platform, and live chat, custom forms, and file management help keep teamwork in the same system as well.
Nifty Standout Features and Integrations
A standout feature of the software is its automated reporting capabilities. As your team completes tasks, your reports will run automatically to keep up-to-date records of what’s been accomplished. These automations can be customized with if/then rules, so you can feel confident that reports are accurate and reflective of your work processes. You can also establish custom workflows in the software, which come with automation capabilities, too.
Integrations include Slack, Zoom, Harvest, Github, Miro, Typeform, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Microsoft Suite, and Webex. You can import existing project data from Jira, Asana, Basecamp, Clickup, Wrike, Trello, or a .csv file. Additional integrations can be configured with Zapier.
- Freemium supports unlimited members
- Built-in team collaboration features
- Easy migration from other PM platforms
- Limited storage with some plans
- Advanced features lacking in freemium
Best for simple Kanban-style workflows
Free trial + free plan available
|From $6/user/month||Visit Website|
Best software development PM tool for managing complex projects
Free plan available
|From $10.99/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for client-facing software development teams
30-day free trial
|From $25/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for simplicity and ease of use
30-day free trial
|From $15/user/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best for project and resource management in one
30-day free trial
|From $7/user/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best for learning to build Gantt charts
30-day free trial + free plan available
|From $24/manager/month||Visit Website|
Best software development PM tool to connect with Github
7-day free trial
|From $7.75 per user/month||Visit Website|
Best all-in-one work management solution
|Freemium plan available||Visit Website|
Best software development PM tool for building custom workflows
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Visit Website|
Best for its focus on team productivity
14-day free trial
|From $9 /user/month||Visit Website|
Best for spreadsheet-style project management
- Zoho Projects
Best team collaboration features
Best for creating cross-team alignment
Best for building project databases
Best for tracking and connecting complicated projects
Best for agencies and consultants
Best open-source project management tool
Selection Criteria for the Best Software Development Project Management Tools
Perhaps you're wondering how I selected the best project management tools for software development for this list? To build this list, I evaluated and compared a wide range of project management software for software development with positive user ratings.
After determining my long list of top choices, I further honed my list by using the selection criteria below to see how each platform stacked up against the next one. I also drew on my years of project management experience to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value.
Here’s a summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best project management software for software development for this article:
Before I looked any further into the project management tools I evaluated for this list, I first confirmed they offered the following functionalities:
- Project planning: The ability to outline your project. This might include setting project objectives, creating a project timeline, developing a task list, entering custom fields, or establishing milestones.
- Task management: The ability to break projects down into clear tasks. This could mean creating subtasks or to-do lists, setting task dependencies, or assigning tasks to specific team members.
Here are some of the core features to look for when choosing software development project and task management tools:
- View types: Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendar views, spreadsheet views, checklist views, sprints, and other ways of viewing project progress.
- Workflow automation: The ability to outline clear processes and methodologies for how work gets done, and automate certain steps within those project workflows.
- Templates: Pre-built templates may be available for workflows, projects, or tasks. Some tools also let you build your own templates for future use.
- Project roadmaps: Being able to see your complete project planning from a higher level view, such as a quarterly or annual overview. This usually also means maintaining a backlog of future projects and initiatives.
- Collaboration features: Real-time interactive team collaboration tools like messaging, proofing, and shared workspaces. This might also include inviting external collaborators like clients, freelancers, or agencies.
- Resource management: Resource allocation and tracking features as well as customizable access permissions.
- Time tracking tools: Employee timesheets, task timeframes, and other time management features to keep an eye on how long tasks and projects take. This is also sometimes connected with invoicing for client-facing work.
- File sharing: The ability to upload, download, and store docs and other important files related to your projects. This can also be an integration with digital asset management (DAM) software.
- Notifications: Some platforms send automated messages to team members through email or Slack to let them know when a task or project they’re working on is updated.
- Reporting: Dashboards are typically included to track your team’s productivity and forecast future time, resource, and budget needs.
Your team is building a software product, so they understand the importance of a user-friendly interface. Jokes aside, it’s important to have a project management tool that’s easy to use and intuitive to navigate. I looked for usability features like drag-and-drop project boards, pre-built templates, and mobile apps.
It’s important that your project management software connects with the other cloud-based tools your software development team relies on. Key integrations I kept an eye out for were Github, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Dropbox, and popular CRMs. APIs are also commonly available so you can build custom integrations as needed.
For small teams and startups on tighter budgets, a free plan is often available with certain feature limitations. I’ve noted pricing and free trial or freemium plan information for every platform in my overviews and comparison chart. Additionally, I’ve tried to mention the price per month (on a monthly payment plan).
Why use a project management tool for software development?
How do you track software development projects?
Is agile project management effective for software development projects?
What’s the most popular project management software?
The Best Software for Managing Software Projects
Teams that build software need the proper tools to help them work more efficiently. And a good project management tool goes a long way in creating exceptional products. The platforms outlined in this list are all well-suited to the needs of software development teams, and come with certain strengths for specific use cases. Hopefully you found one that matches your needs! And if not, hopefully you have a better idea of what exactly you’re looking for.
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