Are you an architecture firm struggling with managing billable utilization, resource scheduling, time tracking and invoicing? If yes, then don't worry, you're not alone! Closing projects on time and within the estimated budget is one of the key challenges reported by most architects and engineers, all over the world.
There is no cookie-cutter solution available when it comes to project management, especially when you’re working for a dynamic and fast-paced industry, like architecture and engineering. Fortunately, thanks to technology, there are different types of project management software for architects, that are designed to help close projects successfully.
It is understandable why many architecture firms still prefer to use Excel or Spreadsheets when it comes to managing resources and time. The focus is usually on picking the right architectural design software for most firms. While we agree that having the right design software is of utmost priority for an architecture firm, it is equally important to have the right project management software if you’re managing multiple projects.
In this post, we have reviewed the best project management software for architects, and have tried to address the following concerns:
- Why use project management software
- Things to keep in mind when selecting a project management tool
- Most popular project management software for architects
- Best project management software for architects
4 reasons why architects need project management software
If you’re an architecture firm, here are the key reasons why you need to replace spreadsheets or outdated software with modern project management tools. Most project management software for architects, help you with four critical things:
Spreadsheets may seem convenient when it comes to managing time and tasks, but you can’t deny the fact that entering data manually can be long and tedious, and there is a high error percentage. Now replace this with a task manager, a resource scheduling software or a reporting tool to manage data and resources. There is less manual intervention, which means less work for you and your team, and of course, the error percentage is way smaller. Not to mention, it’s quick and efficient.
If you have a growing business, you will need more tools to manage different business processes, as your company expands. Investing in good software that scales with your business helps reduce costs in the long run. For example, a platform that has features such as invoicing, expense management and CPQ, can help in maintaining a steady cash flow all the time.
Increase utilization rate
Using outdated software and fragmented tools that do not talk to each other reduces efficiency and adds to the workload. On the other hand, project management tools can be integrated with various productivity apps and automation tools and are shown to improve productivity by a large margin. For example, a timesheet manager can clearly show you your productive and non-productive hours and helps you invest time and resources on the right tasks and projects.
Juggling multiple projects implies collaborating with multiple stakeholders. It can be a client, your team or an external vendor. Imagine the amount of time you can save with a streamlined collaboration tool that lets you share documents, sends reminders, can approve requests, and manage projects on the go.
How to choose the right project management software
Given the complexity of the work involved in architecture companies, it is important to choose the right project management software for your firm. You need to keep the following things in mind before finalizing a software.
- It should be simple and intuitive. You don’t want to spend time learning another complex tool that requires additional resources for training.
- The solution scales as your business grows. There is no point in migrating to a new system every time your business expands.
- The system can be integrated with other applications and software which are critical for your business. For example, integration with accounting and sales automation tools.
- Your work requires you to be on the move, this means, the software should be easily accessible on mobile devices.
- A good project management tool would have most of these features - CRM, resource scheduling, task management, time tracking, sales quotes, invoicing, and real-time collaboration.
- It should provide all the required functionalities at an affordable price. Remember, just because something is expensive, doesn’t mean it’s the best option out there.
8 Best project management software for architects
In this post, we have reviewed the best project management software for architects. Remember that, these are different from architectural design software. If you’re looking for the best architectural design software for architects, you can refer to this article by Techradar.
Taimer is a comprehensive project management tool that offers customized solutions for architects and engineers. If you are looking for a simple and intuitive project management software, then Taimer would be a good platform to explore.
Taimer offers advanced project management functionalities. These include automatic time tracking, customizable CRM, resource scheduling Gantt, Kanban boards, advanced CPQ, sales quotes, and target costing. It also has an intelligent business insights tool that provides in-depth business insights such as profit and loss, sales metrics and company expenditure.
Pricing: They offer a free plan and a free trial is available for all premium versions. The project management solution is priced at €16.00/month/user for unlimited users, and the ERP plan is available for €26.00/month/user for unlimited users.
2. Workflow Max
Workflow Max offers online invoicing and timesheet management. In addition, you can create and send sales quotes digitally and manage tasks and resources using their job management software. It can also be integrated with Xero, to manage purchase orders and sales invoices directly from the tool. While they seem to have a good number of integrations, some key features like collaboration boards and resource scheduling Gantt are not offered currently.
Pricing: There are no free versions, the standard plan starts at $45.00/month for 3 users.
Hubstaff offers advanced timesheet management and billing functionalities that are specially designed for architects. You can set up geofences and keep track of when your employees are leaving certain job sites. Hubstaff's shift planning software makes it easy for the staff to see when they are working next, and clock in their work hours. Payroll and invoicing can also be managed directly in the tool.
Pricing: They offer a free plan and the basic plan starts at $5.00/month/user.
TIP: Here is a free Project Management eGuide that can help you close your projects on time and budget.
This is an integrated project and accounting software, designed especially for architects and engineers. CMAP offers advanced job costing and planning tools that take the time and hassle out of job costing. CMAP's resourcing reports provide you with an accurate view of current and future demand, and if you have the capacity to deliver it.
You can get real-time estimates of expenses and costs, and the projects that are not performing well. You can use the mobile apps to track time on the go and upload receipts for reimbursements. The tool also offers online invoicing and cash flow management functionalities.
Pricing: Pricing is available upon request but you can book a free demo to know more about the software.
5. Deltek Ajera
The Deltek Ajera software is built specifically around engineering and architecture best practices. The solution includes integrated accounting, timesheets, billing, project management, project scheduling, and resource management tools. The project management feature provides instant insights on costs and budget and has comprehensive features to lead a project from start to finish.
The resource scheduling system lets you easily view your projects and resource budget, and instantly see how they are affected as you schedule future work. It also includes marketing projections to help managers understand how their pipeline will affect their workload.
Pricing: Pricing is available upon request.
6. Priority Matrix
Priority Matrix helps architecture firms manage resources and track progress using their simple and user-friendly project management platform. Project managers can enter tasks into Priority Matrix and delegate to their team, or, architects can add tasks to the system as they work. You can generate simple reports using Gantt charts and get complete visibility on utilization and progress. This is primarily a resource management tool for architects and engineers.
Pricing: There is no free version available, however, they offer a free trial on all premium versions. The basic plan starts at $72.00/month for 5 users.
7. Easy Projects
This project management software helps architectural firms manage tasks and deliverables while allowing clients real-time access to project updates. The tool offers interactive Gantt charts to schedule resources and tasks, an online collaboration tool for document management, resource tracking functionality and timesheet management. The tool also consists of Kanban boards that lets you move tasks across stages and automatically notifies all attendees of the updated task status. They have native apps for Android and iOS which means you can manage your projects on the go!
Pricing: They offer two plans - one for smaller teams which starts at $24/month, and the other is for large enterprises with the pricing available by request.
Actitime offers time management and task scheduling functionalities. The timesheet management feature lets you check detailed stats of each employee and see how their hours are distributed across projects and clients and also provides automatic overtime tracking. You can use the task manager to delegate tasks to project teams or individual team members and establish task deadlines. Apart from this, the tool also offers leave management and reporting features.
Pricing: They have a free plan for teams up to 3 users and the premium plans start at $40/month for 5 users.
Project management is not just limited to the software industry or IT firms. Even architects and engineers can benefit immensely from investing in good project management software. As discussed earlier, it is important to pick a solution that offers features relevant for your project and industry. Select the right solution based on your business needs and goals, and you will never miss a project deadline again.
Watch the following short video about Taimer's Project Management software
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