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With so many project management solutions offering similar functionality, choosing the right one to use in software development projects can be tricky. You know you want to keep software development teams aligned on tasks and priorities, work in increments and give stakeholders visibility into the work getting done but need the right tool for it. I've got you! I'll help you make that choice using my experience in project management and as a former engineer working on dozens of projects where development was required to share my pick of the best project management tools for software development.

What are Project Management Tools for Software Development?

Project management software for software development is a specialized tool to help you streamline the planning, execution, and monitoring of software development projects. It supports agile methodologies, enabling your team to work iteratively, respond to changes, and deliver high-quality software efficiently.

Common features include task and sprint planning and backlog management, issue tracking, version control, collaboration tools, documentation management, and client access. It helps software development teams easily report on their progress, keep the client in the loop and inform stakeholder conversations.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Software Development Project Management Tools

Check out my overviews of the best project management software I selected for software development. I’ve included each platform’s best use case, standout features, integrations, and a screenshot of its interface:

1

Hub Planner

Best for project and resource management in one

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.2
16 reviews

30-day free trial

From $7/user/month (billed annually)

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.

Pros

  • Resource management included
  • Well-suited to professional service companies
  • Project budgeting included

Cons

  • Task management capabilities lack depth
  • Project management is not the primary functionality
2

monday.com

Best software development PM tool for building custom workflows

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7
10582 reviews

14-day free trial + free plan available

From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)

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.

Pros

  • Easy workflow and board customization
  • Extensive list of supported integrations
  • Useful visual and color coding customization

Cons

  • Might be too much for smaller teams
  • Gantt view locked to mid-tier plan
3

Zoho Projects

Best team collaboration features

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.2
286 reviews

Free trial available

From $5/user/month

Zoho Projects is a robust project management software that comes with an impressive suite of team collaboration tools. It is equipped with features similar to social networking sites like social feeds, discussions, and forums, and it is available on Android and iOS mobile devices.

Why I picked Zoho Projects: This project management tool is feature-rich and capable of handling projects at scale and varying levels of complexity. But beyond that, I selected it for this list because of its collaboration tools. The software’s features mimic social networking sites, with an interactive social feed that shows real-time updates for all projects in progress. Team members can post comments, upload attachments, and tag their colleagues to keep communication centralized and visible to all relevant parties.

Zoho Projects Standout Features and Integrations

Features include the software’s built-in resource management tools. A resource utilization chart displays each team member's availability and workload, helping project managers avoid overloading anyone. Tasks can also be assigned according to people's skillset or availability. Meanwhile, team members also get an overview of their own workload. This helps everyone stay organized and track the time they spend on each project and task.

Integrations include Box, Chrome Extension, Dropbox, Google Workspace, Microsoft Suite, Slack, and Zendesk. Additional integrations can be configured with Zapier.

Pros

  • Pre-built and custom reports available
  • Customizable layouts, views, and templates
  • Easy to set up and navigate

Cons

  • Limited file-type export options
  • Freemium doesn’t include project templates
4

Trello

Best for simple Kanban-style workflows

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
12692 reviews

Free trial + free plan available

From $6/user/month

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.

Pros

  • Large bank of pre-built templates
  • Power-ups for extra functionality
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • May not be suitable for larger projects
  • Lacks reporting capabilities
5

Asana

Best software development PM tool for managing complex projects

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.3
8328 reviews

30-day free trial + free plan available

From $13.49/user/month

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.

Pros

  • Drag-and-drop system for task management
  • Free plan with unlimited projects
  • Workflow builder with automated rules

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a built-in time tracking
  • Freemium lacks advanced features
6

Planview Clarizen

Best for real-time visibility

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.2
530 reviews

Free trial + free demo available

Pricing upon request

Planview Clarizen is a project management solution tailored for PMOs and professional services delivery teams, offering capabilities to gain real-time visibility into their work and automate workflows.

Why I picked Planview Clarizen: The platform excels for cross-functional teams working on new product development. With features specifically designed to improve collaboration, various teams working through different methods can communicate complex issues with the push of a button.

Planview Clarizen Standout Features & Integrations

Features in the platform integrate with other business systems to provide data crucial to a successful new product launch. Comprehensive reporting capabilities add more visibility to the ROI of new product development and help drive continuous improvements.

Integrations allow organizations to tailor new product development to their specific needs. These include Jira, Slack, Salesforce, Sharepoint, ServiceNow, Procore, and Tableau. You can also connect to thousands of additional apps using a paid account with Zapier.

Pros

  • Strong focus on collaboration
  • Completely customizable fields and panels
  • Variety of ways to customise PM workflows

Cons

  • Higher learning curve
  • Could use better issue tracking
7

Basecamp

Best for simplicity and ease of use

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.1
5037 reviews

30-day free trial

From $15/user/month (billed annually)

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.

Pros

  • Educational and non-profit discount pricing
  • Communication and collaboration tools
  • Customizable alerts and notifications

Cons

  • Limited drag-and-drop UI functionality
  • Limited basic plan features
8

TeamGantt

Best for learning to build Gantt charts

30-day free trial + free plan available

From $24/manager/month

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.

Pros

  • Automatic error correction for dependencies
  • Great tutorial content for beginners
  • Easy-to-use and intuitive interface

Cons

  • Reporting is rudimentary
  • Lacks budgeting and invoicing tools
9

ClickUp

Best all-in-one work management solution

From $9/user/month

Freemium plan available

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.

Pros

  • 50+ widgets to customize your dashboard
  • Unlimited file storage on all paid account tiers
  • Centralized inbox for project tracking

Cons

  • Freemium plan limits use of storage, projects, and custom fields
  • Reporting suite is paywall restricted
10

Jira

Best software development PM tool to connect with Github

7-day free trial

From $7.75 per user/month

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.

Pros

  • Unlimited project boards for freemium
  • Robust reporting and insights
  • Agile work management compatible

Cons

  • Lacks a native communication tool
  • Setup process can be cumbersome
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Other Project Management Tools for Software Development

Here are a few more options that didn’t make the shortlist, but are worth checking out:

  1. Nifty

    Best for its focus on team productivity

  2. Smartsheet

    Best for spreadsheet-style project management

  3. Productive

    Best for software development agencies

  4. Wrike

    Best for creating cross-team alignment

  5. Celoxis

    Best for client-facing software development teams

  6. Office Timeline

    Best for visual project slides

  7. Airtable

    Best for building project databases

  8. QuickBase

    Best for tracking and connecting complicated projects

  9. Scoro

    Best for agencies and consultants

  10. Redmine

    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:

Core Functionality

Before I looked any further into the project management tools I evaluated for this list, I first confirmed they offered the following functionalities:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Key Features

Here are some of the core features to look for when choosing software development project and task management tools:

  1. View types: Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendar views, spreadsheet views, checklist views, sprints, and other ways of viewing project progress.
  2. Workflow automation: The ability to outline clear processes and methodologies for how work gets done, and automate certain steps within those project workflows.
  3. Templates: Pre-built templates may be available for workflows, projects, or tasks. Some tools also let you build your own templates for future use.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Resource management: Resource allocation and tracking features as well as customizable access permissions.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Reporting: Dashboards are typically included to track your team’s productivity and forecast future time, resource, and budget needs.

Usability

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.

Integrations

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.

Pricing

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).

Software Development Project Management Tools FAQs

Still have some questions about project management tools and software development? You’re in the right place!

Why use a project management tool for software development?

Software development projects can be complex. They might include dozens of tasks, both big and small, with dependencies and due dates that need to be kept track of. Not only that but resources and files also need to be managed and accounted for. And the best way to keep everything organized is with a good project management software.

Your software development team’s project management tool will become their source of truth. It’s the go-to space for work management. You can use them to streamline your workflows, facilitate teamwork and collaboration, and track your team’s progress. This also makes it much easier to report to stakeholders and keep them in the loop.

How do you track software development projects?

Tracking software development projects is an essential part of your product development process. It’s how you determine if projects are successful and ensure your outputs are aligned with your goals. Here are some steps you can follow for tracking your projects effectively:

  1. Define objectives: Clearly outline project goals and objectives. From there, you can also define the ultimate output or deliverable.
  2. Plan tasks: Break down the project into manageable tasks and subtasks. Define dependencies and estimate effort.
  3. Set milestones: Identify key checkpoints and deadlines for when you’ll complete specific tasks or outputs.
  4. Assign responsibilities: Allocate tasks to team members using a RACI chart or another accountability framework.
  5. Check in: Hold frequent status update and retrospective meetings to discuss how work is progressing, challenges, and adjustments needed.
  6. Run tests: Run usability testing, bug tracking, issue tracking, and other tests to ensure your software product works well.
  7. Adjust and iterate: Adapt the project plan based on feedback and issues that arise. Add new updates to your backlog that can be addressed in the future.
  8. Repeat: Follow these steps again and again, and keep your software development process iterative.

Is agile project management effective for software development projects?

Agile project management methodologies are popular among software developers. This is because these methodologies (such as scrum and Kanban) are more iterative and flexible compared to traditional methods such as a waterfall approach. With an agile approach, you work on your software development projects one piece at a time. Rather than plan and map out your entire app or website, you start with one functionality or element. This way, you build the complete product incrementally. And for these reasons, an agile approach is more conducive to user testing and product-led growth. So to sum up, yes, agile project management is usually an effective way to manage software development projects. It allows you to continuously reevaluate and shift your efforts as needed. This is an excellent way to ensure real users can try out your product and provide you with feedback along the way.

What’s the most popular project management software?

There are tons of project management platforms on the market. Each has its own strengths, weaknesses, and unique feature sets. And for this reason there’s no single best project management tool. Some are better for certain use cases, while others are better for others.

That said, of course there are some market leaders that are more popular than others. Keep in mind that just because one platform has more users, it doesn’t mean it will work better for you. Some of the most popular project management software are Trello, Asana, Wrike, Zoho Projects, Jira, ClickUp, and Basecamp.

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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By Hermann Fink

Hermann Fink is a technology enthusiast and the co-founder of Rünna Advertising, a multinational digital agency that has been active for over a decade and served clients like Ford, AstraZeneca, Disney, and Didi. In addition to being a business owner, Hermann gathered corporate experience in project management during his time at Hewlett Packard in the mid-2010s.