Projects don’t get much bigger than those in construction. Whether you’re into real estate or infrastructure, organization is key to getting things right.
The best project management software for construction companies can help ensure everything gets done on time and minimize the time wasted on delays.
We’ve looked through our best project management software selection to find the tools that can help you most if you’re in the construction industry.
Best Project Management Software for Construction Companies 2019
What Makes Project Management Software Good for Construction Companies
Construction companies may make their plans in the office, but those implementing them often won’t be. We’ll look for tools that have mobile applications and report-creating abilities, in addition to working well in the browser. The ability to control notifications will also help let you keep people informed without overwhelming them with messages.
Our most secure browser article will show you how to keep your project data private if you’re using the web version of project management software.
Construction projects include many stages that rely on having equipment delivered on time and other work being completed. Dependency management will be especially important. In addition to being able to create dependencies, tools will need the capacity to adjust to schedule changes.
Construction projects are complicated, but there’s likely to be a lot that can be carried over from project to project. Companies will appreciate software that allows them to create and refine templates over time, saving them set up work when a new project comes along.
Delays in the construction industry can cost huge amounts of money. Using the right tools to stop that from happening can be a great way to improve your business. Let’s look through what’s available.
Specialized Software for Construction Companies
We regularly cover project management software here at Cloudwards.net, but the tools we look at tend to be for general use. There’s a lot of dedicated software for the construction industry that we haven’t looked at.
Most of what we found in the specialized category is more expensive than the tools we cover. Procore, for example costs $333 per month for its cheapest plan. Buildertrend costs $299 per month for just three users.
We may look at some of that software in the future, but for now we’re going to look at which of our usual favorites are suitable for use in construction.
If you have the cash to spare, though, there are plenty of specialized tools. If you’re building skyscrapers, a few hundred dollars won’t throw you into a panic, but smaller companies that are getting into organizational software for the first time can benefit from the cheaper, general purpose software.
Let’s take a look at that now, starting with one of our favorite platforms, Wrike.
Wrike is a top-quality, feature-rich tool that lets you create and assign tasks easily. You can also set a duration for each task and log time spent doing it.
Wrike’s dependency management lets you create relationships between tasks and ensure you have a workable schedule, as well as adjust to changes and delays. The interface isn’t as easy to figure out as some tools, but once you get the hang of it, it does a great job of helping you organize complex projects.
In addition to the Gantt chart showing you how your tasks fit together, there’s a table view, a time log, a board view and an analytics view that shows you all kinds of task-related information, including any scheduling conflicts.
Wrike’s work progress chart shows you how things are coming along and its baseline system allows you to monitor slippages to help you figure out why things went wrong. That can help you improve your processes from one project to the next.
Wrike has a useful selection of templates, letting you get started on projects quickly. There are several, including one for project scheduling and another for complex projects with multiple phases. You can also contact Wrike if you want help getting set up.
It lets you create reports, enabling you to update people outside of the software. You can let people know what tasks need to be done, for example.
Wrike takes time to figure out. You can get lost in its navigation, but it has an excellent support team that responded quickly to all our queries when testing it.
It has great security, with two-factor authentication available to help prevent anyone’s account from being compromised. You get a lot of control over security settings. If you want tighter password controls or to restrict access to specific IP addresses, you can do that with Wrike.
It has a free plan for up to five users, and its paid plans start at $9.80 per user per month. You can also negotiate a lifetime payment plan if you contact its sales team.
Team members can get daily to-do lists emailed to them. That makes it great for use outside the office. Overall, Wrike is an excellent choice for construction projects. It does almost everything well. Read more about it in our Wrike review.
- Excellent security
- Strong report generation
- Fast support
- Has a learning curve
- Navigation can be tricky
- Two-factor authentication needs Google app
Each task can be given an hourly rate, and you can track time spent on each one. That means you can not only manage your costs, but keep an ongoing tally of what you’re spending.
You can create invoices automatically and receive payments via Paypal. That can be a great help when paying contractors or buying supplies. However, it’s more a shortcut than an actual accounting solution; check our best accounting software article for products with a bit more oomph.
Mavenlink includes a Gantt chart, allowing you to move tasks around on your schedule, so if the builders take too long to finish their tea, you’ll be able to calculate the impact that has.
Mavenlink has a template system. It doesn’t have any ready-made setups, but it lets you create your own to use with multiple projects. If you have a lot of similar tasks that carry over from one project to the next, that can save you a huge amount of time.
You get 10GB of storage on Mavenlink’s cheapest plan, which increases to 1TB further up the scale. That’s a generous amount, but if you need more, read our best cloud storage for large files article.
There are a few customization options that let you use your own logo, icon and color scheme, too. That way, your team can feel confident they’re in the right place when accessing your system.
Mavenlink uses strong encryption for both data in transit and storage, has SOC1 and SOC2 certificates and complies with the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. privacy shields and the General Data Protection Regulation, which you can read about in our GDPR article.
As for support, it has a decent knowledgebase, along with live chat and a contact form. Support responded quickly to us, but it was awkward to use.
Mavenlink is inexpensive compared to specialist construction software, starting at just $19 per month for up to five users. Apps are available for Android and iOS and there’s a browser version. To learn more about it, take a look at our Mavenlink review.
- Great at tracking finances
- Automatically create invoices
- Excellent planning features
- Tricky to use
- Dependencies are fiddly
Easy Projects is serious about saving you money and provides a return on investment calculator to help you work out how much it can save you.
Dependency management is easy with Easy Projects’ Gantt view. Tasks are updated automatically to fit in with each other, so you can manage your schedule more dynamically than you can with tools that force you to do everything manually.
Dependencies can also be added from the tasks view, and there are multiple types to use. If you want to set relationships between tasks, Easy Projects doesn’t just make it easy, it gives you an unusually tight level of control over them.
Time tracking and costs are easy to use and built in to projects from the start. Many platforms that include those features make them feel like an afterthought, but they are central to Easy Projects.
There’s also an excellent report generator that allows you to create charts and metrics of all kinds. That’s useful for visualizing how things are coming along.
Easy Projects includes an “audit trail,” so you can see what everyone has done. It’s a great way to make sure everyone has done everything they should’ve done at the right time, and it makes it easier to spot errors and pinpoint improvements.
Using Easy Projects
Getting started with Easy Projects is easy. There’s a helpful sample project with tasks that work as a guide, showing you many of its features. That’s an effective trick used by several tools and is a far more effective introduction to a new platform than a video.
There’s plenty of in-app guidance, such as tips and videos covering most of the platform. Easy Projects’ support wasn’t responsive when we contacted it, though, so if you like having help on-call, it might not be the platform for you.
There are plenty of security features, such as geo-redundant backups, a choice of data centers for those of you with compliance issues to think about and a broad selection of security settings. You can make sure everyone with project access uses an effective password, for example.
Easy Projects costs $24 per user per month on its standard plan, but you should contact its sales team for enterprise pricing. There’s a compulsory training program at around $100 per user, which makes it more expensive but ensures your team will be able to use it effectively. Read our Easy Projects review for more.
- Effective, nuanced dependency management
- Good time tracking & costing features
- Excellent report generator
- Compulsory training program
- Lack of support response
- Heavy-handed sales
Gantt charts let you create relationships between tasks and see how everything fits together. That’s tricky enough when you have a handful of tasks, but when you’ve got hundreds of them, getting help from software can be invaluable. TeamGantt is built around that view and does it well.
Gantt charts are powerful, but they’re not the easiest feature to get your head around. If you’re new to them, our how to use a Gantt chart guide will bring you up to speed.
In addition to the Gantt view, TeamGantt has list and calendar views to help you stay organized. It lets you create milestones, which are mid-project targets you can use to track progress. There’s also a history view, which you can filter. That lets you see what everyone has done.
TeamGantt also has baseline features, so you can compare your progress to your original estimates and see where delays are occurring. Heading off problems before they happen is great, but with baselining, you can prevent issues from happening again.
TeamGantt lets you export to .pdf, so you can create paper handouts for people to show them what they need to do.
TeamGantt doesn’t have many security features. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s insecure, but it doesn’t provide much information about what it does under the hood. You don’t get many security options to play with, either.
It does better with support, though. There’s a project template that shows you its features, along with a good selection of videos and live classes that you can attend to learn how to use the software.
There’s also phone support on its top plans, as well as a contact form that everyone can use. It responded to our queries in six to eight hours, which isn’t bad, but it isn’t as good as Wrike or Basecamp, which you can read about in our Basecamp review.
You can’t beat TeamGantt on price, though, with its free plan letting up to three users run a single project. Its standard plan is just $39.50 per month for five people, making it excellent value.
It has apps for Android and iOS, so you can take it on the go. For more about it, read our TeamGantt review.
- Easy to use
- Excellent at tasks & dependencies
- Few integrations
- Lack of security features
- Average support response speed
LeanKit is a kanban-based tool, but it takes an unusual approach, making it more advanced than that suggests. You can divide your workspace into multiple kanban boards and assign each one to a different person or team.
The individual items on boards have a mini-kanban board of their own, containing subtasks. You can set dependencies by assigning a parent and child to each card.
LeanKit allows some people to focus on the project as a whole, while others focus on particular areas or just handling the tasks they’re assigned. That makes it a good choice for small to medium-sized teams where everyone has their own thing to focus on but can benefit from staying aware of the big picture.
LeanKit allows you to limit how much is assigned to different parts of the board and warns you if those limits are exceeded. There are several integrations that allow you to share data with other platforms, too.
There’s also unlimited storage, but with a file-size limit of 75MB, you may prefer to consult our best cloud storage guide.
LeanKit uses TLS to encrypt data in transit and encrypts stored user data, except for attachments. Read our description of encryption for more on that. It doesn’t have many security features, but you get to control what users can do and how they access the platform. You can change password settings and your account lock policy and block files by extension.
It offers support via phone and a contact form. It got back to us in five hours when we asked it a question. There’s also an excellent free e-book, which is well worth looking for on its website. There’s an FAQ, several tutorials and a well-documented API, too.
Though LeanKit doesn’t have mobile apps, it offers mobile-friendly browser support, so you can still use it on the go.
It starts at $19 per user per month, which isn’t the cheapest available. It has a free 30-day trial if you want to check it out, though. It’s a great choice for small companies looking to get organized and keep everyone informed.
- Great for people at different management levels
- Simple, unusual approach
- Strong range of templates
- Unappealing design
- Few security features
Alternative Project Management Software for Construction Companies
While the five above are our top picks, these three might work for some companies.
Smartsheet is a versatile tool, with a selection of views that lets you create dependencies between tasks using its Gantt chart.
You usually create tasks using its spreadsheet-like view, so the workflow will be familiar to most people. It looks intimidating to use at first, but it’s simple to work with.
There’s a strong range of templates, and you can generate reports easily. It has tight security and an active community to offer help if you get stuck.
Smartsheet has apps for Android and iOS and starts at $14 per month. Read our Smartsheet review for more.
ClickUp, which you can read about in our ClickUp review, gives you detailed control over tasks. You can assign them to people, give them priorities and create dependency relationships between them. It has a Gantt view and calendar to make organizing easier.
It also has a helpful box view that can help show you who’s doing what. It does reports well and offers time tracking features. It integrates with many platforms and includes a note-taking system. If that sounds useful, but you’re using a different platform, read our article on the best note-taking apps.
ClickUp is a great choice if you need to deploy it to multiple devices. In addition to running on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, it has extensions for Google Chrome and Amazon Fire TV. If you’re using Chrome, you may want to check out our Chrome review, which highlights a few privacy issues.
Projectplace is a straightforward-looking, kanban-based tool, but it squeezes in neat features. You can set tasks as waiting on others, which allows you to create dependency relationships.
It has team chat features to allow you to communicate with everyone. People can mark themselves as comfortable or under pressure, which is a great way to let others know there might be problems with whatever they’re responsible for.
At $29 per month, it isn’t the cheapest platform, but it has a free two-week trial. Read more in our Projectplace review.
Construction is a challenging industry, and any software that can give you an edge is worth exploring. Fortunately, there are many tools to help you respond to issues as they arise.
All the tools we’ve looked at here bring something to the table, and they all have a free trial if you want to check them out.
If you’re working in construction, we’d love to hear your feedback on our criteria and the tools we’ve picked. Please share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading.