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Imagine an easy-to-use tool that allowed you to keep track of your ongoing projects, resources, and timelines.

Well, the good news is you don’t have to use your imagination.

Portfolio project management (PPM) tools allow businesses to remain in control, allowing you to identify returns on projects and when to invest in new ones. They help mitigate risk, enabling you to make an informed decision so things run as smoothly as possible.

Let’s be honest: Few teams manage only one project at a time. That’s why a good PPM tool can be vital for your strategy and success.

The problem is the number of project portfolio management tools out there can be overwhelming at first glance. How do you even choose?

Fret not, we’ve assembled a list of the best PPM software, narrowing it down to our top seven picks for various needs.

Let’s get started.

Oracle Logo

Oracle Primavera P6

Best for Enterprises

Get everything you need to plan, manage, and execute projects with robust graphical workflows and streamlined enterprise-level reporting. Includes multi-user access, risk management, configurable forms, cost coordination, and more. Pricing starts at $2,350.

The Best Project Portfolio Management Tools to Consider: 

  1. Oracle Primavera P6 — The Best PPM for Enterprise Businesses
  2. Asana — The Best PPM for Ease of Use
  3. Monday.com — The Best for Flexibility & Customization
  4. Changepoint — The Best for Strategic Portfolio Management
  5. Hive — The Best Collaboration PPM Software
  6. Smartsheet — The Best PPM for Reporting and Analytics
  7. Proggio — The Best PPM for Jira Fans

When Does It Make Sense to Invest in Project Portfolio Management Software?

Investing in a project portfolio management tool is a significant decision for any business. You will need to be sure it’s necessary, and that now is the right time.

But how do you know when that is?

The answer is to think about your business and upcoming projects and how closely they align for the future.

One of the best features of a PPM tool is that it helps ensure your projects fit within the overall scope of a larger strategic plan.

If keeping track of budgets and timelines is becoming more and more critical for your business and the team is rapidly growing, then now is probably the right time to invest in one.

However, if you’re just starting out, then PPM software may not be essential right now, though there’s a good chance it will be later.

The bottom line: Think carefully about what stage your business is at, the size of your team, and your goals going forward.

#1 – Oracle Primavera P6 — The Best PPM for Enterprise Businesses

Oracle Logo

Oracle Primavera P6

Best for Enterprises

Get everything you need to plan, manage, and execute projects with robust graphical workflows and streamlined enterprise-level reporting. Includes multi-user access, risk management, configurable forms, cost coordination, and more. Pricing starts at $2,350.

Sometimes businesses need powerful software to manage large and ever more complicated projects, and that’s where Oracle Primavera P6 comes in. It’s the ideal choice for enterprise businesses.

While this PPM software isn’t reserved for enterprise business, it’s fair to say that managing smaller and simpler schedules using it may prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. But if you’re a large business with extensive projects, this software is unlikely to disappoint.

Oracle Primavera P6 allows you to plan, manage, and execute programs and portfolios with robust graphical workflows and streamlined enterprise-level reporting for your business.

Features include:

  • Planning, scheduling, and controlling large-scale programs and individual projects
  • Secure multiuser access to schedules
  • Allowing project managers to coordinate costs
  • Opening and scheduling multiple projects simultaneously
  • Adapting and changing your views
  • Powerful risk management
  • Team member interfaces for gathering status updates
  • Gantt charts
  • Real-time reporting and analytics
  • Configurable forms

Oracle Primavera P6 offers cloud access, real-time and adaptable views, and is perfect for considerable project tracking and team collaboration.

The tracking, specifically, allows team leaders to see who is excelling in their area and helps inform them to better delegate tasks out to others, improving efficiency all round.

This is cloud-based software, which means that employees can easily access data wherever they are, and it’s fast to use, too. Always having the physical copies of data available is a thing of the past.

There are few limits regarding the size of the workforce it can support, and even if it’s a team numbering in the thousands based all over the world, Oracle Primavera P6 won’t buckle.

The Oracle Primavera software suite offers more than one product, but the two you will come across the most are:

  1. Primavera P6 Professional Project Portfolio Management (PPM: Windows-based) priced at $2,350.
  2. Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM: Web-based) priced at $3,100.

The Primavera P6 download process gives you a free trial of the Professional PPM software.

A self-guided demo of the Enterprise version is available here.

#2 – Asana — The Best PPM for Ease of Use

Asana Logo

Asana

Best for Ease-of-Use

Asana is the most user-friendly PPM software on the market today. However, it’s far from basic. It includes customizable dashboards, subtasks, prioritization, automated updates, collaboration tools, due dates, and more. A limited free plan is available with paid plans starting at $10.99 per user per month.

Asana prides itself on being one of the most user-friendly PPM tools out there, and we have to say, we agree. This is a no-fuss, no-nonsense PPM tool for those who just want to get up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Asana offers far more than just a user-friendly interface, but it’s certainly a defining feature of the software that helps it stand out from the competition. If that’s a key concern for your business (and your team), then look no further.

Asana is a flexible tool with a keen focus on collaboration. In fact, the software is far more about productivity than tracking projects, and as such, it lacks features like built-in time tracking and advanced timelines for your portfolios.

With that said, it makes up for this when it comes to task management, offering a flexible and customizable interface that is intuitive from the very beginning. In this area, it’s hard to beat.

Once you sign up for the web software, you’ll be able to use:

  • Customizable dashboards 
  • Focus mode and individual task lists
  • Subtask assignments
  • Prioritization features
  • Custom calendars
  • Email integration
  • Notifications and reminders
  • Automated updates
  • Setting priorities and due dates
  • Group discussions and meetings

Asana’s focus mode is a feature we particularly like, giving you the ability to focus on specific tasks and excluding those that don’t align with your current strategy. Each task and subtask feature a deadline and name, and these are individually tracked, allowing you to stay on top of things.

We’d like to say that Asana’s pricing is as easy to follow as the software itself, but that, unfortunately, isn’t true. It features four differing plans, including:

  1. Basic: Free.
  2. Premium: $10.99 a month, per user.
  3. Business: $24.99 a month, per user.
  4. Enterprise: Custom pricing is available by contacting Asana directly.

Going up each tier of the pricing structure gives you more features to play with, and we think the Business plan is a must for companies of most sizes.

You can sign up for a free trial of Asana to see if it’s right for you here.

#3 – Monday.com — The Best for Flexibility & Customization

Monday.com Logo

Monday.com

Best for Flexibility

Monday.com is an incredibly flexible and customizable PPM tool that includes customizable workflows, various project views, hundreds of integrations, time tracking capabilities, customizable fields, and tons of industry-specific templates. Get up and running in three simple steps. Paid plans start at $8 per user per month.

Monday.com is one of the best PPM tools for flexibility and the level of customization on offer for your business. Intuitive layouts and a simple visual design complement highly customizable dashboards, allowing you to design the workflow that is right for you and your team.

Flexibility and customization is how Monday.com differentiates itself from the competition. From the start, you’ll have the ability to tweak and adjust the layout to your satisfaction.

In the starting grid-style setup, you can choose what goes into it, define the columns, and choose from a variety of different views.

Monday.com isn’t just about high level of customization, though—it also includes the following useful features:

  • Activity logging
  • Customizable fields
  • Due date tracking
  • Email updates
  • Execution boards
  • Motivational tools
  • Pipedrive integration
  • Relevant updates
  • Time-tracking by project
  • User access controls

Monday.com integrates with over 36 types of applications, from Outlook to Dropbox, Zendesk to Mailchimp, the list continues to grow. You can even move information between the different app integrations, saving you the all-important commodity that is time.

Automations are another nifty feature that helps to complete the fully integrated approach of Monday.com. They allow you to link key processes together—for example, if a project is marked as complete, team leaders will receive an email straight to their inbox. This is very handy and help you stay on top of everything.

There are four different service plans available for Monday.com, as follows:

  1. Basic: $8 a month, per seat. A free trial is available.
  2. Standard: $10 a month, per seat. A free trial is available.
  3. Pro: $16 a month, per seat. You can also try this level for free.
  4. Enterprise: Contact Monday.com for pricing, and no free trial is available.

Each tier naturally offers more features, but of particular note is the difference between Standard and Pro, where automations and integrations increase from 250 (standard) to 25,000 actions (Pro) per month. Think carefully about how important those features are for your business.

Unlike others on this list, Monday.com does not feature a free tier option.

You can get started with Monday.com in three simple steps today.

#4 – Changepoint — The Best for Strategic Portfolio Management

Changepoint Logo

Changepoint

Best for Strategic Portfolio Management

Align your team’s portfolio with an ongoing corporate strategy using features like road mapping, prioritization, resource allocation, knowledge and survey management, custom workflows, advanced analytics, performance management, and more. Contact Changepoint for a free quote today!

Changepoint is a PPM tool best suited for businesses that need to keep their portfolios aligned with ongoing corporate strategy. Strategic portfolio management (SPM) is about deciding where finite resources should be allocated and where and when not to make trade-offs.

Changepoint fully embraces that and enables companies to increase their portfolio velocity with dedicated road-mapping, prioritization, and resource allocation.

Some of the highlights of using Changepoint include the following features:

  •  Survey management
  • Greater control over projects
  • Client collaboration
  • Smarter investments
  •  Increased insight
  • Workflow management
  • Knowledge management
  • Improved client satisfaction
  • Uses a single, integrated platform
  • Performance management

Changepoint allows you to monitor and measure performance across the team, too. With detailed performance plans and metrics available, it’s great for those businesses that want to provide targeted mentoring and train up staff in the areas they need for the future.

We did, however, find that scheduling within the software could be a bit more accessible.

When it comes to pricing, it’s simple. Changepoint prefers you to contact them to discuss a price for your specific needs. You can also request a free demo to give you an idea of how the software will work for your company.

You can get started with Changepoint right here.

#5 – Hive — The Best Collaboration PPM Software

Hive Logo

Hive

Best for Collaboration

Collaboration is an important aspect of efficient project management. Hive includes dozens of collaborative features like tagging, commenting, internal chat, and file sharing. Start eliminating untimely bottlenecks and improving project flow today! Paid plans start at $12 per user per month.

If you’re looking for a PPM tool that strongly focuses on collaboration between team members, then Hive is your best bet. It’s a cloud collaborative project management software that allows you to see who is working on what and what’s holding up or delaying projects.

Allowing you to see all documents, updates, and specific project details in one place, and then having the ability to coordinate efforts between team members is essential, and Hive excels here.

Companies such as Uber, IBM, and Starbucks think so as well and are Hive users.

Collaborative prowess aside for one second, Hive also offers the following features:

  • Action templates and cards
  • File sharing
  • Analytics
  • Predictive alerts
  • Time tracking and resourcing
  • Project tracking
  • Gantt charts and direct messages
  • Automatic updates
  • Files and folders
  • Simple, intuitive workflows

We were particularly impressed with Hive’s email integration, which allows you to send and receive Gmail and Outlook emails directly from the app. This helps the PPM software to feel like a complete solution that’s integrated with essential tools you use every day, and it saves time and hassle of switching from one tab to another repeatedly.

The ‘Action Cards’ serve at the core of Hive’s collaborative approach, where you can tag other team members, use the native chat option, or simply attach files to share. When coupled with the previously mentioned email integration, this means all your communication can be centralized and ready to go.

That being said, the Hive mobile application isn’t as slick as it needs to be right now, and the level of customization and options available could be better.

Hive’s pricing is nice and straightforward, and there are effectively only two tiers:

  1. The base package is priced at $12 per month, per user.
  2. The Enterprise edition is a custom price based on your company’s needs. This option includes all the add-ons for more extensive projects.

A free trial of Hive is available to try it out right now.

#6 – Smartsheet — The Best PPM for Reporting and Analytics

Smartsheet Logo

Smartsheet

Best for Analytics

Get a clear picture of project status and progress every step of the way using Smartsheet’s advanced analytics and reporting features. Includes real-time metrics, powerful visualization tools, milestone tracking, project planning, resource management, and more. Paid plans start at $14 per user per month.

Smartsheet is unlikely to win any awards for being the best PPM tool outright, but its reporting features are among the strongest you’ll find. Real-time metrics and powerful visualization tools are ideal for businesses that prioritize data above all else.

From automated workflows to cross-data spreadsheets, Smartsheet is a versatile tool for your business. Still, the learning curve can certainly be steep, and it lacks basic collaboration features you can find elsewhere.

In line with what you might expect, Smartsheet’s other features are primarily data-focused and include the following:

  • Budgeting and change management
  • Basic collaboration features
  • Milestone tracking
  • Portfolio management
  • Functional layouts
  • Project planning
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Requirements management
  • Real-time visibility
  • Resource management

Anyone familiar with Microsoft Excel will feel immediately at home with Smartsheet. The difference is that this is like a version of Microsoft Excel which can quickly create checklists of tasks for projects and then assign them to individual team members.

This is another area where Smartsheet has an advantage over more traditional PPM tools; there’s virtually no limit to the number of custom fields that can be assigned to your tasks. It’s also easy to drag and drop the tasks within the spreadsheets you create.

When it comes to the pricing, Smartsheet isn’t the simplest, and it could be a bit clearer. It comes in four different tiers that are split into two separate groups:

The ‘Standard’ group features the following plans:

  1. Individual: $14 per month for a single user.
  2. Business: $25 per month, per user.

The ‘Enterprise’ group offers these plans:

  1. Enterprise: All of the Business plan features, with a custom price only given upon contact.
  2. Premier: All of the features of the Enterprise plan, along with additional and premium options, including dynamic views and a data uploader. This is also custom pricing given upon contact.

There’s a 30-day free trial available of Smartsheet, and you can sign up for it here.

#7 – Proggio — The Best PPM for Jira Fans

Proggio Logo

Proggio

Best for Jira Users

If you use Jira for project management, Proggio is an excellent tool with built-in integrations. With the two tools combined, project planning and project management have never been easier. Includes backlog management, various project views, real-time status updates, and more. Pricing starts at $19 per user per month.

Proggio is the top choice for those of you that use Jira as a project management tool. Jira is popular in the agile domain because of its workflow capabilities and issue tracking abilities. Proggio integrates directly with Jira almost effortlessly, and the two combined make for a powerful team.

Using Jira with the rest of the software results in an easy-to-use tool that makes planning and project management a breeze. You can certainly expect a boost to productivity and your strategic planning.

With Proggio, you’ll be able to create plans for your projects and much more, and this includes the following helpful features:

  • Backlog management
  • Gantt and timeline view
  • Kanban boards
  • Negative feedback management
  • Prioritization features
  • Request management
  • Resource management
  • Real-time status updates
  • Project timelines
  • Visual resource management

The project manager within the software can assign team members to specific tasks, allowing you to watch their progress, and it also provides updates via handy color-coded statuses so you can easily keep track of everything. The visual elements help give clarity and boost the overall ease of use.

The project mapping capabilities are generally excellent, too. You can assign tasks to members, allocate resources, and prioritize events with just a few simple clicks. Percentage completion clocks are another little extra that helps you to track projects without fuss.

It’s hard to fault such a clever piece of software, but Proggio’s customer support options could be better as they are quite limited compared to some of the others. Again, though, we’re nitpicking here more than anything.

Proggio comes in three distinct plans:

  1. Starter: Free to use but with limited options. Jira integration is available for 30 days on this plan.
  2. Business: $19 per month, per user. Jira integration is included.
  3. Premium: Custom pricing, fully-featured, and available for over 20 users.

You can create an account with Proggio right here.

Methodology For Choosing The Best Project Portfolio Management Software

Now you know our top picks for the best project portfolio management tools. But a key question you may have is: How did we go about deciding which of them made our list?

This is the methodology we used to make the final decisions, and these are the essential features you should be looking at before making your decision.

Resource Management

You might be a business that needs to make every project count due to limited resources. If so, it’s important to think about your overall capacity and how many projects you can move forward with before setting off.

A good PPM tool will help here—making sure you don’t take on more than you can realistically achieve—by allowing you to see critical data to stay on top of things. In essence, it’s about improving your efficiency as a business, and every PPM software worth talking about will help you to do just that. This is an essential factor, so think carefully.

Financial Planning

It almost goes without saying how vital financial planning is for a business. It’s one of the key parts of project management and, as such, needs great consideration. Frequently going over budget could set in motion a series of events that will leave your business struggling to survive.

PPM software will help to stop that from becoming a reality. You’ll be able to allocate your finances where they are needed, ensuring projects get completed without breaking your budget in the process.

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools allow you to work with your team and potential clients without barriers. Each tool will have something different to offer in this category, so it’s worth thinking about what exactly you need to function properly. A lack of communication can hamper a business.

For example, is the ability to talk with your team in real-time essential? What about comments and documentation? Do you require extensive communication features within the software, or is that already taken care of elsewhere? You do need to spend time considering this, even if it might not be quite as crucial as managing your resources.

Number of Users

Don’t forget that most PPM software will charge you per user every month. Some even have a maximum number of users, so you need to consider how many users your business will need before moving forward.

If you don’t, you could end up with certain team members being unable to use the same software as everyone else—this is the last thing you want in your everyday operations.

Automation/Integrations

Automation and available integrations are an area that can vary significantly between different PPM software. Some will offer basic features, while others make them a key part of their offering. The question is how important they are for your company.

Automations help you to save time you could be using elsewhere, thereby increasing your overall output. Integrations centralize everything and make your life much easier.

Are business rules/logic essential to your daily operations? How about automated task management or the ability to receive an email to your inbox when each project is updated? Do you need invoicing tools or CRM solutions integrated within the software?

In other words, what specifically do you and don’t you need? You need to think carefully about this.

Oracle Logo

Oracle Primavera P6

Best for Enterprises

Get everything you need to plan, manage, and execute projects with robust graphical workflows and streamlined enterprise-level reporting. Includes multi-user access, risk management, configurable forms, cost coordination, and more. Pricing starts at $2,350.

Summary

There is no single best PPM tool because it entirely depends on your business’s and individual needs.

Enterprise businesses will favor Primavera P6, while Smartsheet is all about analytics and reports. Likewise, being user-friendly is crucial for some, and Asana has you covered there.

If you’re a Jira fan, you’ll prefer Proggio, and Changepoint is ideal for strategic portfolio management.

Maybe collaboration features are key for you like Hive offers, or perhaps what you want is customization and flexibility; if so, opt for Monday.com.

Be sure to think carefully and use our methodology to work out the most suitable PPM tool for you.

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