The project consulting business is booming, with more companies seeking outside expertise to gain a competitive edge. However, juggling multiple client projects while staying organized and efficient can be challenging for consultants. The right project management (PM) tools can make a major difference in productivity.
In this post, we'll compare the top three project management software options tailored specifically for consultants. We'll examine key features to support collaboration, task management, and analytics, helping you deliver excellent work.
Let's dive in and determine the best solutions to boost your consulting productivity.
Comparing the Top 3 Contenders
Numerous PM tools exist in the marketplace. We compared three highly-rated options that stood out for accommodating marketing consultants' unique needs:
- Asana - A flexible platform with extensive integration capabilities.
- Wrike - Feature-rich software with robust analytics and reporting.
- Basecamp - An intuitive system focused on ease of communication.
Below is an overview of how they stack up:
|Ease of use
|Simple, intuitive interface. It can take time to master advanced features.
|Steep learning curve but offers thorough training resources.
|Very user-friendly and quick to get started.
|Flexible boards, lists, calendars, and timelines for tasks. Due dates, reminders, and dependencies.
|Tracks tasks, milestones, and schedules with Gantt charts. Workload management.
|To-do lists, schedules, checklists, and automatic reminders.
|Comments on tasks. Project overviews and progress reporting for clients.
|Real-time activity streams. Approvals and proofing tools. External client access.
|Message boards, docs sharing, and group chats. Some client collaboration.
|Analytics & reporting
|Dashboards with basic task metrics. Powerful with addons like Blocks.
|Custom reports, timesheets, and burndown charts. Resource management insights.
|Light reporting focused on open tasks. Third-party integration for deeper analytics.
|1,000+ app integrations, including Slack, Dropbox, and Salesforce.
|400+ integrations. Plugins for Adobe CC, Office 365, and G Suite.
|Native email, calendar, docs. 100+ integrations with Zapier and Dropbox.
|Pricing (as of January 2024)
|Free for up to 15 users. Paid plans start at $8.25/user/month.
|From $9.80/user/month. Enterprise options.
|From $99/month total. Flat fee, regardless of team size.
Tailored for Consulting Workflows
An effective PM solution needs to sync well with the workflows of a consultant. Here are the key advantages of each platform:
Asana - Collaboration Focused
With its conversation-style task comments and project overviews, Asana makes it easy to discuss work in progress with team members and clients. Status updates are quick, and changes are immediately visible to stakeholders.
Asana also integrates seamlessly with essential marketing tools like Salesforce, Mailchimp, Slack, and Adobe Creative Suite. Smooth data syncing saves time spent on manual data entry.
Wrike - Insights Powerhouse
Wrike offers unparalleled analytics capabilities for monitoring team productivity. Customizable dashboards, reports, and performance metrics provide visibility into workloads, budgets, and resource allocation.
Built-in proofing and approvals facilitate review cycles with clients. Wrike also optimizes repetitive project creation with templates. The extensive integration marketplace connects with marketing-focused apps like Hootsuite and SurveyMonkey.
Basecamp - Streamlined Simplicity
With its intuitive, uncluttered interface, Basecamp simplifies communication across projects. The message board-style feed makes conversations easy to follow. Basecamp also centralizes essential project documents, schedules, and to-do lists in one place.
While light on some advanced project management features, Basecamp excels in its clean UI and ease of onboarding. The all-inclusive pricing works well for cost-sensitive clients with smaller teams and budgets.
Implementing New PM Processes
The most robust project management software can stumble with poor adoption. Here are the best practices for rolling out new project management systems and processes for consulting teams:
- Set expectations - Communicate the benefits of structured PM early. Highlight how it equips teams to do their best work.
- Train thoroughly - Don't just demo the features. Create hands-on training workshops with real examples tailored to team workflows.
- Start small - Roll out the system in phases rather than imposing everything at once. Let teams get comfortable with basic workflows first.
- Clarify processes - Document guidelines for intake, task assignments, client reviews, issue escalation, and more.
- Lead by example - Managers should actively use the new PM tools and processes before expecting team adoption.
- Automate integrations - Leverage native integrations and scripts to reduce manual duplication of data across tools.
- Review metrics - Analyze usage metrics regularly. Target additional training and process refinement opportunities.
The right project management software removes roadblocks to productivity for consultants juggling client work. Asana shines for streamlined collaboration and communication. Wrike takes the lead in providing actionable analytics. Basecamp simplifies with its easy-to-grasp central workspace.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Evaluating the consulting team's maturity, need for customizations, and other tool ecosystems will determine the best fit. Establishing organized PM processes - with the chosen software as the hub - creates the visibility and focus needed for consulting excellence. The result is happy clients and a thriving consulting practice.