Software development requires a lot of moving parts for it to succeed. Being able to do this with project management tools improves efficiency and ultimately allows businesses to create a more streamlined approach to how projects are both run and managed.
In this article, we’re going to look at the best project management for software development. To do this we’ve tested and reviewed dozens of project management tools to see which are the best fit for software development businesses.
Our Pick for the Best Project Management for Software Development – Monday.com
Monday.com is our number one pick for the best project management for software development tool.
It’s superb for improving workflow, which is essential when businesses are working on new software types due to the many moving parts.
Its standout features include the integrations with third-party apps, roadmap planning, bug tracking software and ease of use.
It’s also highly affordable on the low end, but easily scalable for larger/growing businesses.
The Best Project Management for Software Development 2023
Here’s our pick of the best project management tools for software development.
We rate all these tools highly, but they each offer something a little different in terms of features and usability.
- Monday.com – Best Project Management for Software Development
- Clickup – Easy to Use Project Management Tool
- Smartsheet – Highly Versatile Project Management Tools for Software Development
- Resource Guru – Best for Resource Scheduling and Mobile Access
- Wrike – Great for Workflow in Planning and Development Stage
- Teamwork – Best for Small Business Software development
- Workotter – Best for Problem Solving and “What If” Planning
- Zoho Projects – Project Management for Software Development 2023
- Trello – Best Project Management Tool for Usability
- Jira – Ideal for a Dedicated Software Development Team
Best Project Management for Software Development – Reviewed
That’s the list, now let’s dive into the in-depth reviews of each tool.
1) Monday.com – Best Project Management for Software Development
Monday.com takes the top spot as our best project management tool for software development.
The platform concentrates on workflow and one of the biggest benefits of using Monday.com is the ability to link all aspects of the business into one single workflow for the same project.
For software development specifically, this could include coders, marketing teams and sales, for example.
We were impressed with the range of third-party apps that you can integrate with Monday.com. This allows developers to work on external programs and then link into the main user base for the rest of the team to sign off on.
Other excellent features for software development include roadmap planning, features backlog, scrum software management, retrospective planning, big tracking, project planning and software release plan.
Monday.com offers a free platform that allows up to 2 team members to get limited access to the platform.
The basic platform that allows unlimited team members starts from around $30/month, and Monday.com also offers an Enterprise plan that will create a bespoke package based on your needs and the number of people who will need access.
- Huge range of third-party apps that can be integrated
- Roadmap planning is brilliant for software development
- Bug tracking is another great feature of the software
- Very affordable and can be used as the business/teams grow
- Very easy to use
- Jack of all trades, master of none
2) ClickUp – Easy to Use Project Management Tool
ClickUp is about as easy to use as any project management for software development tool that we’ve tested so far.
It looks great, allows for growth within the business and can integrated with a range of third-party apps.
You’re able to control who sees each part of the project. This is ideal for companies that need to show overviews to investors or shareholders, but don’t need to give them access to every moving part.
Finally, we were impressed with how easy it was to use features for costing and setting up custom permission.
With software, costs can spiral quickly, so this is likely going to save money in the long term, but also make the process a lot more streamlined.
ClickUp has a free version, but it’s best for personal use and not really designed for companies that need multi-access.
Paid plans start from just $5 per month, per user.
The top package (Business Plus) is just $19 per month and gives you everything that ClickUp has to offer.
- Very affordable project management tool for software development
- Easy to use for those new to these types of tools
- Great for custom permissions and limited access for shareholders etc.
- Fantastic customer support accessible 24/7
- Base packages are a little thin when it comes to added security features
3) Smartsheet – One of the Most Versatile Project Management Tools
Smartsheet is one of the more dynamic project management tools on the market right now. It creates a core tool and then you assign platforms to it to suit your workflow.
This can include things like data visualization shuffle, control center, professionals’ services, and premium add-ons.
The package is incredibly flexible, and therefore it works so well for software development.
You can choose your goal for the project, such as growth and impact, and then it will streamline a list of processes that you need to undertake to achieve this.
You can even add in existing projects or older products to give them a refresh from the design stage through to sales.
Prices start from as little as $7/month per user. This works with a max of 10 users.
You can upgrade that to $25/month per user and this unlocks all the features plus additional storage for things like file transfers.
- Best for creating a bespoke project management tool
- No waste, only use the features that you need for each project
- Very easy to grow as the business grows
- Used by brands such as Uber, Lego and American Express
- No free trial
- Not the best design we’ve tested
4) Resource Guru – Best for Resource Scheduling and Mobile Acces
Resource Guru works brilliantly with other apps and can link to over 1,500 apps to create a bespoke project management tool. These include the likes of Outlook Calendar, Gmail, Sheets, Docs, Teams, Zoom and many more.
We were most impressed with the resource scheduling feature. This allows the business to move tasks and the time allocated with each task to create a more streamlined approach. For software development, projects are often overrun, so the ability to move or increase time spent working on a project allows all other areas of the project to adjust as well.
Finally, the inclusion of their dedicated app for both iOS and Android means access when on the go. This works great for teams that work remotely or spend a lot of time out of the office to keep up to date with what’s going on.
Packages start from just $2.50 per user per money.
However, the top (Master Plan) package is just $6.65 per user per month, and includes all reporting, data input and phone support, which is well worth the extra money.
- Over 1,500 app integrations
- Resource scheduling tool is the best we’ve tested
- Brilliant mobile app for access on iOS and Android
- Great value for money with the top package costing just $6.65 per user per month
- Not the best looking project management tool we’ve tested
5) Wrike – Great for Workflow in Planning and Development Stage
Wrike has a dedicated function that works with product development, but you can easily adapt this to work with software, which is why it ranks as one of our best project management tools for software development.
We were impressed with the ability to break down each section of the planning and development stage. All users can see the timeline of where the project sits and the estimated time it will hit the next department.
It allows users to jump in to help with potential delays and unlocks insights about processes that can be improved through planning and development.
Wrike is all about streamlining processes and is one of the best at it. It’s very easy to use with one of the lowest learning curves that we’ve come across to date.
Wrike comes with a free plan that you can use as more of a taster.
Paid platforms start from $9.80 per user per month, which is on the high side.
For all the bells and whistles, you’re looking at around $25/month per user.
- Dedicated to software development
- Easy to break down planning and development stages
- Can spot potential snags and delays very quickly
- One of the easiest tools to use for new users to project management tools
- Expensive for the cheaper paid packages (does include a free package, however)
6) Teamwork – Best Project Management Tool for Software Development with Small Businesses
Teamwork is another tool that concentrates on workflow. It’s been designed to pull different aspects of the business together so that for each project they can all have an input.
Tools such as Sprint Cycle, Roadmap and Bugs & Fixes allow all employees not only to see at what stage the project is but also to troubleshoot potential issues with the software before they become major problems.
We were impressed to see that Teamwork has teams that are based in North America, Europe and Australia. The platform is the same on each, but the teams have been designed to cater to the needs of a range of territories.
Teamwork has a free-to-use platform that is ideal for small businesses or those that might be working alone.
The paid profiles start from $10 per user per month.
You’re also able to access a “Scale” program that allows you to cater to a dedicated plan, which is usually targeted more toward larger organizations.
- Easy to use and low learning curve
- Ideal for smaller organizations
- Lots of features for all aspects of software development
- Great customer support available 24/7
- Lacks a little when it comes to the range of features on offer
7) Work Otter – Best for Problem Solving and “What If” Planning
Work Otter is an easy-to-use alternative to project management that has won several awards for its work in improving SaaS management.
Its goal is to remove the need for complex spreadsheets and instead create a cloud-based solution that all areas of the business can access.
One of the standout features for us was the addition of the “What If Scenario” section. This allows people to input scenarios that may occur with the software as it’s being developed.
It’s also possible to foresee issues later down the line, even after sales.
Pricing at Work Otter is all based on the size of the company and what features are needed to be included. There are no set prices as these will be based on the company’s needs.
They include three areas which are Limited Access (mainly used for testing), Team Member and Managers.
You can create a bespoke package based on the type and number of users that are needed.
- Ability to create bespoke packages from the off meaning you only pay for what you need
- Great for “What If” planning
- Easy-to-use platform
- 24/7 customer care
- Suitable for more established brands rather than startups
8) Zoho Projects – Project Management for Software Development 2023
Zoho has been designed to be most effective with software development. They aren’t exclusive in this field but offer more features that are linked to development than most.
These include progress tracking, projections, debugging, automation, advanced reporting, and collaboration.
It works closely around SCRUM development and allows the business to both plan and track developer sprints.
You can also link this with CRM tracking, milestone and bug tracking, dependency management and third-party integration with other project management tools.
Zoho is a fantastic value-for-money project management for software development tool, starting with a free platform that up to 3 users can access.
The paid levels then include a $5 per user per month Premium package plus an $8 per user per month Enterprise package as the business continues to grow.
- Great value for money
- Dedicated project management for software development tool
- Excels with sprint tracking
- Built-in CRM
- Slightly steeper learning curve than some
9) Trello – Best Project Management Tool for Usability
Trello has evolved massively over the last few years and has moved from simply a workflow platform to a full project management tool for software development.
It’s very easy to use and employees can set up their own accounts and simply be added to each board.
You can hide and show boards to individuals, and create totally new boards for each project.
The platform is cloud-based and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. You get an easy-to-follow timeline for each project and can see which are ahead or behind schedule.
Plus, you get the ability to sync to a range of third-party apps and email clients.
For loads more info on Trello, check out our full Trello review.
Trello starts with a free account and for a lot of small businesses or teams, this will suffice.
The paid accounts kick off from $5 per user per month and with this, you get unlimited access to boards and checklists.
Larger enterprises can get a discount the more people they add.
- Very easy to use
- Accessible both online and on mobile, ideal for remote working
- Drag and drop features
- Lots of scope to grow with the business
- Lacks dedicated features for software development
10) Jira – Ideal for a Dedicated Software Development Team
Jira excels when it comes to the app development lifecycle. This includes things like product reporting, task management and file sharing, three key elements when it comes to software development.
Its ease of use is another reason why it’s made our top picks of the best project management for software development.
The range of features that are included with Jira has been impressive to see, with tracked releases, Agile design for development teams, Scrum boards, Kanban boards, Gantt Charts, product roadmap software, and technical documentation all accessible.
Standard packages start from $7.50 per month per user.
You can pay $14.50 per month per user for the Premium account which gives you access to all the features on offer from Jira.
There is a free account, but this is limited to 10 users and lacks access to some of the main tools that are needed for software development.
- Best for app development lifecycles
- Excels when it comes to reports
- Lots of features to choose from
- Scrum boards and Kanban boards play a big role
- Can be overwhelming for smaller businesses/teams
Best Project Management for Software Development – Comparison Table
Use the table below to see how the best project management for software development tools compare.
|Software||Best For||Top Benefits||Pricing||Free Trial/ Plan||Mobile App|
|Monday.com||Best overall||1) Gantt Charts
2) Kanban Boards
3) Bug Tracking
|Starts from $16 per seat||Free plan||Available|
|ClickUp||Process and task management||1) Agile compatible
2) Manage sprints
3) Team workload
|Smartsheet||Core tool to work around||1) Highly customizable
2) Lots of app integrations
3) Low learning curve
|Resource Guru||App integrations||1) 1,500+ apps linked
2) Resource schedule
3) Mobile app
|Wrike||Cloud-based project management||1) Assign multiple tasks
2) Time tracking
3) Calendar views
|Teamwork||Best for power users||1) Flexible app
2) Task management
|WorkOtter||SaaS management||1) Easy to use
2) What If scenarios
|Zoho Projects||Designed for software development teams||1) Sprint tracking
2) Built in CRM
3) Bug tracking
|Trello||Workflow in larger teams||1) Easy to use boards
2) Drag and drop
3) Scalability for larger businesses
|Jira||Ideal for Agile development teams||1) Scrum boards
2) Sprint planning
What is Project Management for Software Development?
Project management for software development is all about creating and controlling workflow for a specific piece of software that’s being designed and created.
Its principles are to streamline the process from start to finish to save both time and money.
One of the main benefits is the ability for managers to see potential areas that are either going to slow the process or to spot potential issues before they become costly.
Most programs allow the process to be linked with a range of teams within the company, meaning that the software that is going to be developed can be tracked at each point.
Why do I Need a Project Management for Software Development Tool?
Project management tools for software development are a must. Here are the key reasons why.
One of the key areas for these types of platforms is to set goals.
At the very start of the project, the company needs to outline what the software is going to do and how it’s going to be developed to achieve these goals.
The best project management for software development tools will allow goals to be broken down into sections. This might start with planning, before going through to design, manufacture, marketing agency project management, sales and even troubleshooting.
Doing this allows each section of the organization to see clearly what is expected of them at each stage.
Following on from the goal setting above, accountability can be outlined with these tools.
It will highlight which teams are hitting goals and then also highlight which teams aren’t.
This is not a case of pointing out employees who are weak (although this may be the case), but more processes that require additional resources.
It can improve output from team members knowing that their workflow software will be on show and all cogs need to be turned to make the project work.
Workflow is huge when it comes to software development and there are many different stages to any project. Being able to organize when and where work needs to be undertaken can save time and money.
This also allows each team to know when they are expected to kick into gear.
For example, if there are delays in the development stage, team project management software means other employees can work on other tasks until the product is ready to go.
How to Choose the Right Project Management for Software Development?
We wanted to include more information on aspects to consider when comparing the best project management tools for software development.
You can use these when making your final decision as triggers to see which are best suited to your company.
You will notice that a lot of these factors are key areas that we’ve outlined in the review section above, so there should be plenty of crossovers there in terms of products that will suit.
Planning and Scheduling
Even from the very start of any project, you need to be able to plan and schedule what process is going to be undertaken to reach the goal. This is where you can sync tools like calendars and chat functions to create a schedule that all team members are on board with.
The best products will allow you to change and edit these, while also moving other aspects to accommodate.
For example, this might be things like task hours booked, team member availability, deadlines, and productivity.
Team members need to be able to work together, regardless of them being in different sectors. A developer will need to be in touch with sales, for example, to highlight when the project is going to be available to the market.
This should allow different teams to work together, but ultimately it should aid smaller teams to get their work done to the best of their ability.
When it comes to software development there are going to be a lot of files that are linked to a single project. The project management tool needs to be able to store these files, but also have it so they can be both uploaded and downloaded efficiently.
Spreadsheets are a great example of this in that, there are likely dozens that are used for each bit of software, but ideally, you want them stored in one place, where users can quickly get access.
Conclusion – What is the Best Project Management for Software Development Tool?
We’ve taken the time to test and review dozens of tools to bring you the top 10 best project management for software development tools.
All of the products that we’ve mentioned on this page are worthy of being the “best” but the reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all option.
However, Monday.com excelled in our testing and is our No. 1 overall pick.
The ability to access features such as Gantt charts, workflow options, third-party apps, Scrum software and release plans makes it a must-try for software developers.