When a business scales beyond a point where projects can be organized with a simple mailing list or fifteen-minute weekly meetings, it may be a good idea to implement the best project management (PM) software solutions.
As data becomes paramount to understanding every business, project management software solutions are able to collect data about projects from beginning to end and can help businesses understand their own limitations and apply the right software solutions to combat obstacles to growth.
Why are Project Management Software Solutions Important?
Phased approach project management software implementations can be done at any stage in a company’s growth but the quality of the project after resorting to project management software solutions is immeasurable.
Project management software should be able to simplify your company’s internal communication to help you collaborate with employees, organize notes, stay on track for project deadlines, and make sure tasks are delegated efficiently among team members.
This all sounds great but important to consider whether project management software solutions are within your team’s budget. If you do decide to go for PM software solutions, should you go with one that’s open-source or one that is built on proprietary software?
But should you go with software solutions that are open source, or one that is built on proprietary software?
What is the Difference Between Open Source and Proprietary software solutions?
One thing we’d like to highlight from the get-go is that open-source and proprietary software solutions don’t represent two different types of software solutions in terms of functionality. Nor are open source and proprietary options even necessarily mutually exclusive: some software solutions vendors distribute the open source, license-free software solutions packages and also offer a similar, licensed package for-profit.
The real difference between open-source and proprietary project management software solutions lies in their development. Open-source code is available to all, often accessible in online communities where developers collaborate to create versions of the software solutions, compatible add-ons, and address bugs. In other cases, the code is available but remains copyrighted and trademarked, and the original owner maintains some control over the source code.
Proprietary code, on the other hand, is not available to anyone but the organization or individual that owns it, and contributions to the code are only accepted by employees or contractors hired by the owner.
Pros of Open Source Project Management Software Solutions
With open-source project management software elements and solutions, companies are able to improve the project progression and understand deadlines based on facts. Project tracking tools can help implement a delegated approach to completing projects.
Cost is one of the most frequently listed benefits of open-source PM software solutions. Community-based open-source solutions are completely free from the ground up. Even in cases where the original owner of open-source software solutions maintains some control over the code, there is usually a free version with relatively few restrictions.
Vibrant open-source software solutions communities provide quick fixes for bugs and often have better security than proprietary solutions due to thousands of different coders testing for holes in security.
Cons of Open Source Project Management Software Solutions
While there may be plenty of technical support available in the community, that support is generally not geared toward the inexperienced user.
While there are certain open-source software solutions vendors and distributors that are financially and organizationally stable enough to depend on as a source for corporate software solutions, you also have to be prepared to adapt if support for the software solutions becomes inconsistent or even non-existent.
Ultimately, whether or not the best project management software options for your organization will depend on your company’s resources—not just financial, but in terms of technical know-how. Selecting the right project management software solutions requires taking a closer look at your business to understand what features your business can benefit from.
Top Open Source PM Software Solutions
Project management definition varies from company to company for obvious reasons—no one organization is like another! Your structure, how you lead teams with project management, and the projects themselves aren’t exactly like any other single company’s. So, if you do decide to go for open-source software solutions, you now need to find the right one. Here are a few of the top contenders and some of their defining characteristics.
Monday.com is a project management software solution that is so user-friendly that even the least tech-savvy members of your team can use it without the hassle. Monday.com allows users to toggle back and forth between projects to keep up with multiple projects through a centralized software solutions platform. The workflow automation features of Monday.com software solutions allow users to automate tasks within projects with appropriate triggers and alerts.
Asana project management software solutions system allows businesses to assign, track, and analyze daily operations related to a project. Asana software solutions also allow for multiple project views to keep an eye out on multiple projects simultaneously. Project managers can use software solutions like Asana to stay on top of projects with real-time charges and proactively deal with potential problems within the project. Asana software solutions can be easily integrated with other applications your business already uses to create a frictionless workflow for projects.
Basecamp project management software solutions provide a centralized dashboard to have a broad view of ongoing projects. This software solutions feature shared calendars and automatic scheduling to streamline collaboration within a project. Basecamp is a cloud-based software solutions system to allow collaboration between teams wherever your employees may be while not compromising on accuracy and accountability within teams.
Of course, these are only three of hundreds of PM software solutions available. Don’t make decision-making more difficult than it needs to be. Check out our Project Management Software Buyer's Guide for an easy way to compare your options and to help you select the right software solutions for your business’s unique needs!