According to leading review site Software Advice, there are over 250 project management systems on the market*.
How do you even begin to price that out?
Should you price out a cheaper tool because you want to dip your toes in without much investment? Should you price out the most expensive software because it HAS to be good?
The Factors That Determine How Much Project Management Software Costs:
- Number of users
- Training/Support Services
- Web-Based vs On-Premise Solution
- Workspaces or Projects Limits
- Custom Branding
- Reporting capabilities (advanced Gantt charts or graphical charts for example)
- Resource Management
- Collaborator and Reviewer Roles
- Single Sign-On Functionality
Each solution offers their own mix on tracking projects whether its through beautiful design, a robust feature set, different project management methodologies, or any mix of other characteristics.
Workzone is a balance of the most common features teams use to get projects done effectively but still being easy to use for all levels of users. We do that by not overloading users with features that might distract or stray from the main goal of doing more in less time. Our unlimited support and training is unmatched in the industry.
For the purposes of clarity, we’re going to focus on web-based project management software, but will comment on hosted solutions at the end.
How Tiers Define the Market and Their Affects on Project Management Software Costs
Tiers are an easy way to visualize the project management software market because there are clear distinctions between a low end, a middle, and high end solutions.
Another way to visualize our comparison is by using a scale. As features are added or removed, the scales tip on one direction. Generally as companies scale features, the learning curve gets steeper and the tool becomes harder to use.
Tier 1: The Task Managers
(higher on usability, lighter on features)
The Task Managers are among the most readily available tools out there because of the nature of their freemium pricing models. What Tier 1 solutions give up in power they gain in ease of use.
The most common characteristics about Tier 1 tools are:
- Solves needs of 1 team
- Usually dead simple to use
- Focus on design and aesthetics
- Reporting and other features leave much to be desired
- Lacks all projects view or inter-departmental view
This tier of software is perfect for smaller teams (up to 15 users) that will remain small in size and scope of work. When teams come from a task management tool to Workzone, they often articulate the need for “something more”. That “something more” is usually better reporting, better views across all their projects, scalable to other departments, or other functionality like task dependencies or personalized to-do lists. Expect to see prices in this tier from Free to $10/user.
Tier 2: The Balanced
(a balanced mix usability and features)
The Balanced tier (and the one Workzone falls into) is a crowded space with very similar pricing tool to tool. The biggest differentiator between these tools are the way projects are managed. The methodologies vary wildly tool to tool so each tool handles usability in their own way.
The most common characteristics about Tier 2 tools are:
- Solves needs of 1-3 teams or departments
- Attempts to keep a short learning curve for most users
- Less of a focus on design and aesthetics
- Reporting includes Gantt Charts and other features Personal To-Do Lists and Task Dependencies are common
- An all projects view aids in a project manager’s view of what’s going on
This tier works really well for teams of 10-15 or higher. The biggest takeaway from this tier is to understand how the tool tracks projects and if that fits your short and long term goals. Every tool will track projects differently so go with the one that you can see yourself growing with. Expect to see prices from $10/user to $40/user with options for onsite implementation or additional fees for training.
Tier 3: The Enterprise
(harder to use/adopt, high on features)
The Enterprise tier stands head and shoulders above the other tiers in pricing and features available to a team. The amount of features adds complexity to the learning curve.
The most common characteristics of Tier 3 tools are:
- Solves needs across 3+ departments
- Higher learning curve and longer implementation
- Focus on functionality over design and aesthetics
- Scale up all the features from Tiers 1 and 2 and add more!
The Enterprise tier is great for a large company or department rollout. Usually if you are that big, you know you are that big and need software as robust as this. Pricing will almost always be discussed as a per year contract not so much per user as the other tiers. Expect to see prices of at least $20,000/year not including a mandatory implementation package.
Why didn’t we cover hosted solutions?
Hosted solutions are usually reserved for larger corporations with much different needs than web based solutions are designed to handle. To compare these web solutions to a hosted one would be wasted time.
Want to talk more about these tiers and figure out where your team needs stand?Book a meeting today and and let’s see if Workzone is right for you and your team.
*Over 250 systems as of 1/10/18 on softwareadvice.com
Steve Pogue is the Marketing Operations Manager at Workzone. He writes about project management tips and the buying process. When not at Workzone, you can find him playing vintage base ball or playing with his daughter.