By Muhammad Usama Alam on February 15, 2010

10 Free Tools For Effective Project Management

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Project management is the process by which projects are defined, planned, monitored, controlled and delivered such that the agreed benefits are realised. Projects are unique, transient endeavours undertaken to achieve a desired outcome. Projects bring about change and project management is recognised as the most efficient way of managing such change.  It includes the techniques & tools used to describe, control & deliver a series of activities with given deliverables, timeframes & budgets.

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With increased demand of project management in all areas in general and software industry in particular, need for better tools to manage softwares effectively is also increasing.
A good and effective project management should be fast and robust and should contain features like:

  • Scheduling
  • Cost Control
  • Budget Management
  • Resource Allocation
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Documentation

In this article, we will specifically discuss 10 tools that are free and you can choose among them as your project management tool.

OpenProj

OpenProj is a free, open source desktop alternative to Microsoft Project. The OpenProj solution is ideal for desktop project management and is available on Linux, Unix, Mac or Windows. OpenProj is a complete desktop replacement of Microsoft Project and even opens existing native Project files. OpenProj shares the most advanced scheduling engine in the industry with Projects On Demand. The OpenProj solution has Gantt Charts, Network Diagrams (PERT Charts), WBS and RBS charts, Earned Value costing and more.

dotProject

dotProject is a web-based, multi-user, multi-language Project Management application. It is an open-source software and free for any uses and is maintained by an open community of volunteer programmers. Key features include:

  • Projects and Tasks
  • Companies, Departments and Contacts
  • ToDo lists
  • Resource Allocation
  • Forums
  • Gantt Charts
  • Reporting
  • Calendar

GanttProject

GanttProject is a free and easy to use Gantt chart based project scheduling and management tool. Major features include Task hierarchy and dependencies, Gantt chart, Resource load chart, Generation of PERT chart, PDF and HTML reports, MS Project import/export and WebDAV based groupwork management.

PHProjekt

PHProjekt is a free open source modular application for the coordination of group activities and to share informations and document via the web.
Components of PHProjekt include Group Calendar, Project Management, Time Card System, File Management, Contact Manager, Mail Client and many other.

ConsultComm

ConsultComm is a small, lightweight, platform-independent program written in Java that allows anyone managing multiple projects, clients or tasks to effectively keep track of exactly how long they’ve worked on each project. Key features include:

  • Easily integrated into your existing time management or billing system; JDBC support is included so you can instantly upload all your times and projects into most JDBC and ODBC compliant databases
  • Platform-independent, so you can unify all your OS X, Windows, Linux and Solaris workstations with a single application
  • Released as open source, so you don’t have to worry about vendor lock-in or customization problems.
  • Quickly extensible by utilizing plugins created using the standard JavaBeans framework. Users and other developers can easily create their own plugins to quickly add custom functionality to ConsultComm
  • Customizeable to uniquely fit your own personal style preferences

TaskJuggler

TaskJuggler is a modern and powerful, Open Source project management tool. Its new approach to project planing and tracking is more flexible and superior to the commonly used Gantt chart editing tools. It has already been successfully used in many projects and scales easily to projects with hundreds of resources and thousands of tasks.

TaskJuggler is project management software for serious project managers. It covers the complete spectrum of project management tasks from the first idea to the completion of the project. It assists you during project scoping, resource assignment, cost and revenue planing, risk and communication management.

TaskJuggler provides an optimizing scheduler that computes your project time lines and resource assignments based on the project outline and the constraints that you have provided. The built-in resource balancer and consistency checker offload you from having to worry about irrelevant details and ring the alarm if the project gets out of hand. The flexible “as many details as necessary”-approach allows you to still plan your project as you go, making it also ideal for new management strategies such as Extreme Programming and Agile Project Management.

Collabtive

Collabtive is a modern Web application that allows teams to collaborate on projects, manage tasks, milestones, and files, and send instant messages to each other. It is multilanguage capable, supporting more than 20 languages. Collabtive integrates with other webservices via an XML API. It also provides importing functionality for data from other applications.

OpenGoo

It is a complete online solution focused on improving productivity, collaboration, communication and management of your teams. Key features include:

  • Mange tasks, documents, contacts, e-mail, calendar
  • Manage project progress, track time, and bill your customers.
  • Access all information from a single and elegant dashboard.
  • Communicate with co-workers, clients and vendors.

ProjectPier

ProjectPier is a Free, Open-Source, self-hosted PHP application for managing tasks, projects and teams through an intuitive web interface. ProjectPier will help your organization communicate, collaborate and get things done. Its function is similar to commercial groupware/project management products, but allows the freedom and scalability of self-hosting.

Redmine

Redmine is a flexible open source project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. Key features include:

  • Multiple projects support
  • Flexible role based access control
  • Flexible issue tracking system
  • Gantt chart and calendar
  • News, documents & files management
  • Feeds & email notifications
  • Per project wiki
  • Per project forums
  • Time tracking
  • Custom fields for issues, time-entries, projects and users
  • SCM integration (SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and Darcs)
  • Issue creation via email
  • Multiple LDAP authentication support
  • User self-registration support
  • Multilanguage support
  • Multiple databases support

Conclusion

Project Management is one of the most important processes in designing and development of any project and selection of project management tool is sometimes critical. It entirely depends on your requirements as to whether you want to go for a web-based solution or a desktop one. Hence you need to consider the tool that is providing enough functionalities to cater your needs of project management.

Guest post by Muhammad Usama Alam, who is a software engineer and web developer with over 8 years of experience in designing and developing business solutions for enterprise. You can follow him on twitter.





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Comments

This is a great list! There seem to be a lot of great project management tools available. Another strong small business project management solution is OnePlace. It has hierarchical projects and supports agile development. If you want to check it out, the URL is http://www.oneplacehome.com – maybe some other readers would find it beneficial as well.

Great tools for project management

[...] 10 Free Tools For Effective Project Management Submitted by Nirhana [...]

Thanks for this awesome list! I feel that project management solutions like Taroby http://www.taroby.com could easily feature in this list, with its amazing set of features. Do check it out!

[...] Smashing Apps: 10 Free Tools For Effective Project Management. [...]

Nice list. I specially prefer to use Open Atrium(http://openatrium.com/), which is based on Drupal and easy to install and tracks(http://www.getontracks.org/), which is based on Getting Things Done.

I would also suggest DeskAway, we have a basic free plan with no expiry. It can be a good free tool for freelancers or small teams.

Opengoo isn’t called Opengoo anymore. Now it’s Feng Office – just like the commercial version… although it is still possible to download it as open source.
This is a real underdog… IMO it’s a great web app that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

This’s good list apps for project management. I’m used PHProjekt, it’s easy programm for work of my projects.

[...] 译自:10 Free Tools For Effective Project Management Tags: learning Posted by Vash at 21:58   我要学习   Permalink   Comments (0) [...]

Our company has been using Doolphy http://www.doolphy.com for some time now and we’re very happy with it. The application is in Beta version and can be used for free. There is no limit in the number of users or the number of reports that can be created. It is helping us a lot with the management of our tasks. I recommend it.

Our company has been using Doolphy http://www.doolphy.com for some time now and we’re very happy with it. The application is in Beta version and can be used for free. There is no limit in the number of users or the number of reports that can be created. It is helping us a lot with the management of our tasks. I recommend it.

Best regards.

In the desktop arena you misssed Open Workbench, excellent app. In the web based arena NetOffice Dwins is a good old app based in phpCollab. And in the development project management like RedMine and Opengoo, it is worth mentioning Code Spaces and Unfuddle…

These tools might work for freelancers wishing to manage projects on their own, but companies should looks elsewhere. If I’m not mistaken, none of these products offer reliable customer support (either by phone, web, etc…).

[...] 10 Free Tools For Effective Project Management via Free and Useful Online Resources for Designers and Developers by AN Jay on 2/15/10 [...]

Agencies/Companies should check out Stacks. It’s by far the most visually pleasing and easy-to-use group task management app I’ve ever used. It excels in a group setting.

I am one of the developers for freedcamp.com which will be an online free project management solution that competes with basecamp for every inch of features plus much more!

Excellent list! Thanks for sharing.

Great post, very useful, I didn’t know Collabtive and it looks great with a clean interface, I will probably use it if features are nice too.

I use Redmine and like this so much !

You should also add jxProject to the list.

And a freeware to schedule MS-project files automatically http://www.planningforce-express.com/free-scheduling-software.html

[...] 10 Free Tools For Effective Project Management – anyone use any of these? [...]

[...] Shared 10 Free Tools For Effective Project Management @ SmashingApps. [...]

[...] 10 Free Tools For Effective Project Management @ SmashingApps – [...]

great. i never though like this

[...] Read more… [...]

If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

http://www.Gtdagenda.com

You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
Comes with a mobile version too, and with an Android app.

[...] 10 herramientas gratis para gestionar proyectos de forma eficiente. vía: Smahs!ng Apps [...]

I have chosen http://kanbantool.com -best project management tool ever!

Here’s a free tool: knowledge! The right software will only take you so far, so it’s important to know how to apply a little common sense. We’ve discussed it in detail here: http://blog.bitzesty.com/5-ways-to-keep-a-web-project-on-the-rails-0

Managing a project plays crucial role in any process and its worth even to pay for project management software , i am sharing here one more web based project management tool which can help you a lot , http://www.project-drive.net/

Another great online project management tool is SantexQ. It’s great for task and time management. Basic accounts are free.

Always hard to do a blog post like this when there are just so many good project management systems out there now, one of which I would like to think is our one http://www.teamworkpm.net

As much as I would love to say ours is the best, each tool has it’s strengths and weaknesses. It really come down to how you operate your business and trying to find the system the works the best for you and is the best fit your business.

Blog posts like this are great because it puts a lot of links in one place which helps to make finding a system which suits just a small bit easier.

is the great tool and free. thanks.

This’s good list apps for project management. I’m used PHProjekt, it’s easy programm for work of my projects.

this was helpful, thank you very much !!

Ow…. what about http://www.tomsplanner.com ??

Hello

I use Moonlite for project management. It runs as software as a service, you pay as you go. It is really simple and easy to use. You can add as many users and customers as you like.

It also has some basic time management with reporting, chat and e-mail notifications.

They also have a 30 day trial version here: http://moonlitepro.com

Best,
Dave

I wanted to give my preferred PM tool a mention here. Dooster brilliantly combines all your PM tasks as well as email. Again as with those mentioned above you can increase and decrease users at any time too. http://www.dooster.net

[...] Die Liste der PM Tools verlängert sich: Free tools for effektive project management [...]

[...] Means of monitoring and controlling project objectives and deliverables [...]

Hi All!..have a look at Contrich.com

It is an issue tracker for marketing content writers with features like inline content editing, content review, content verification and many more built into it and can prove to be an effective content collaboration tool for the teams in a web project.

Hi, great list but over a year old. Looking at all the comments could do with a rework? Suggest to include http://unifiedinbox.com as well – a great tool for the communication part of project management as it lets you share email accounts, folders and directly connects to project management web apps like Basecamp.

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