07/07/2023 - Articles

Project management software comparison: 12 popular PM tools

Get an overview: We compare 12 of the most popular and best project management software solutions. Are you looking for project management software for agile working, for agencies or a functional giant for multi-project management in large companies? Start here, discover the market and compare for yourself!

Are you looking for project management software? Comparison and market overview of the 12 best tools

The market for project management software is large and constantly growing. It is not easy to maintain an overview in the thicket of different software products. The available project management software solutions in comparison show that PM tools differ primarily in terms of their range of functions and their focus on different user groups. The broad portfolio of project management software offers users full choice, but also makes for a difficult decision.

Our project management software comparison of the most popular and best 12 tools of 2023 serves to provide you with a brief market overview and to make your own comparison of the available PM tools according to your own requirements. We also address important questions around the topic of project management software:

  • Which project management tools are the best for agencies?
  • Which project management software writes data security and DSGVO compliance the most?
  • Which project management software is best for agile methodologies?
  • Which project management tool is the best choice for task management?
  • Which is the best multi-project management software?
  • Which project management software has the best price-performance ratio?
  • Which project management software shows the best usability?
  • Which PM tool has the greatest range of functions?
  • Is free project management software worth it?

According to which criteria do we judge in the project management software comparison?

Range of functions

Of course, not every software offers every project management function for every method. There are different focuses, specializations and isolated solutions. Nevertheless, functions are an important criterion in the project management software comparison.

User friendliness

Ease of use, short click paths, intuitive user guidance, good usability and positive user experience - all these aspects are essential in project management software comparisons.


Do you have to pay for all the software's functions even though you only need part of it? How adaptable is the software to your company-specific requirements and internal processes?

Data security and data protection

The protection of personal data is an indispensable requirement. For SaaS software solutions, the server location is an important criterion. How exactly can you define read and write permissions, user rights and user roles within the project management software?

Customer service and support

Personal and fast customer service saves you headaches and lost sales in case of emergency, stands by your side with advice and assistance for questions and problems of any kind.

Costs and license model

Does the software come at a standard price? Or do you only pay for required functions? How comprehensible is the licensing structure? Does it offer the necessary flexibility, for example, to be able to flexibly integrate guest users into the project?

The best project management software 2022: market overview & comparison

Let's now take a comparison of the 11 most popular project management software applications. For the ultimate project management software comparison, we have taken a closer look at the most popular tools for project management, namely the PM tools from Asana, Trello, Wrike, InLoox, Jira, MS Project, troi, factro, awork, Monday, OpenProject and Projektron BCS. For your "choosing a project management software" project, here is our 9-step plan. The goal of this article is to provide project managers with a list for step 4 of the selection process as a resource for researching the market:

1. Projektron BCS

Projektron BCS is a multi-project management software for personnel-intensive projects developed in Germany by Projektron GmbH.

Functional giant for all methods, industries and company sizes

The functional scope of BCS is simply gigantic. The software is not only suitable for classic project management methods, but also provides all tools for hybrid and agile project management methods. BCS is the right solution, regardless of whether you plan and implement complex projects according to

Or are you looking for lean and clear task management with ticket system and Kanban board? BCS can also serve you with that.

"For the PMO, Projektron BCS is recommended as a tool that supports the entire project life cycle and enables work to be carried out in accordance with various project management standards such as IPMA (GPM), PMI and PRINCE2 or Scrum. Functions for project proposals and project evaluations are interesting for standardizing PM processes."

 – Dr. Mey Mark Meyer
(Software review in projektmagazin)

The modules fully cover the core functions of project management:

  • Planning including environment and risk analysis,
  • Project execution with precise control and communication tools,
  • Resource planning and management
  • Multi-project management and portfolio management
  • Quality assurance
  • Reporting

In addition, there are other useful modules that save BCS users from having to purchase additional software solutions, as all business processes can be mapped in BCS - from customer acquisition to integrated CRM, quotation generation, time recording and invoicing. This makes BCS the most comprehensive tool in the project management software comparison.

Focus on usability and user experience

BCS has been criticized here and there in the past, especially with regard to two aspects: The usability would be impaired by the sheer density of functions and the design would look dusty. In fact, BCS is not a gimmick. If you consider the long organic development history of more than 20 years, you can see a development towards the best possible user experience.

For several years now, the four releases per year have focused on usability improvements. Views are merged and made more visually appealing, text is replaced by self-explanatory icons, tables of numbers are replaced by interactive and dynamic graphics, drag-and-drop prevails in all functional areas of the software, click paths are shortened, tooltips take the user by the hand, a dark mode was introduced. Almost all views are customizable, the personal dashboard or the project overview, for example, are equipped with various control and evaluation elements that can be shown, hidden or moved as desired.

Projektron remains true to itself and its concept, which has proven itself for decades: continuous and constant improvement as a process, instead of radical upheavals. The impressive and steadily growing portfolio of BCS users proves that the strategy is working.

Interfaces galore

If you do need a function that BCS does not cover itself, Projektron BCS offers a useful range of interfaces (REST) to other applications, such as DATEV, Jira, SAP, Microsoft 365, MS Project, Outlook or Confluence. You can connect your telephone system to BCS via a CTI interface.

Quality standard, data security and protection

Projektron BCS is developed in Berlin and the company is ISO 27001 certified. In addition, Projektron scores with a Tier IV class data center with redundant ISP POP. The transmission of your data is secured with 256-bit SSL encryption according to TLS 1.2 standard. All passwords are stored in a password vault for each installation, so passwords cannot be accessed even if the database is queried. If you opt for the Projektron BCS SaaS solution, hosting is carried out in Germany and is subject to the DSGVO. An ISMS team ensures that the requirements are met.

Thanks to the finely granular rights structure, each user sees only the information and documents that he is authorized to view and that are relevant to his work. The integration of external stakeholders is also no problem.

Personal account managers, excellent support portal

Projektron relies on personal support. BCS users can use the ticket system to consult Projektron support. Of course, the personal account managers can also be reached by phone. In addition, Projektron offers individual training courses and workshops on site and online with various focal points. Users can clarify many questions themselves with the documentation, which has received multiple awards from Tekom, the FAQ and video tutorials.

On Premise or SaaS, tailored to requirements thanks to modular structure

Projektron BCS runs in any modern browser. The software can be installed on own servers or used as Software as a Service (SaaS). Via quick configuration switches and an integrated configuration management, the software is limited to the required functions in a short time.

The license model is based on the number of users with a graduated role model. For example, there are licenses for project management, for team members or just for attendance recording. The licenses are a mixture of named license and concurrent licenses: They allow parallel use by multiple people. If one license is used, however, this blocks the use by another person for the complete day in each case.

The price per license varies depending on the service model selected and the desired range of functions, but with an average license purchase price of 250 to 350 euros, it is surprisingly far below that of some competitors with a significantly smaller range of functions. The monthly price of the SaaS cloud variant is 5% of the license purchase price, i.e. an average of 12.50 to 17.50 euros per user per month.

Conclusion on Projektron BCS: The software offers everything that project teams and project managers want

Projektron BCS is more than just project management software. With modules for time recording, quotation and invoicing, personnel management, CRM, process designer according to BPMN 2.0, it maps all business and organizational processes in medium-sized companies with a focus on services. So you can save yourself a lot of additional tools if you choose BCS. Projektron BCS is software developed by project management professionals for project management professionals worldwide: Why settle for less?

2. factro

factro is a comprehensive project management program with numerous additional functions in the SaaS model from Germany.

Project management and more

Thanks to the flexible and granular assignment of rights, you can assign viewing and editing rights for project and task levels. Since a simplified CRM module is also integrated, collaboration with customers, service providers and other external partners is also possible in factro to an extent that is otherwise only offered by Projektron BCS in comparison. Starting with the Professional tariff, you can perform resource planning for your projects directly in the workload diagram using drag-and-drop.

factro can use Kanban, but other agile methods, such as Scrum, are not supported. The focus is clearly on classic project management methods with project structure tree, Gantt charts for scheduling, to-do lists, workload, time tracking, project calendar, etc. In factro, you create a work breakdown structure right at the start of the project, which serves as a basis for developing a detailed project plan. However, factro cannot provide you with clear diagrams like in Monday or comprehensive reports that can be customized like in Projektron BCS.

Clear but rigid

Despite the large range of functions, getting started with factro is relatively easy. Drag-and-drop operation makes it much easier to use the software in all places and enables even complex operations to be carried out. For example, if you shorten or move a bar in the Gantt chart, the project plan is automatically recalculated.

The user interface appears tidy, the overall look very reduced, but still displays all the important information clearly. Icons and colored areas lighten things up and provide an even better overview, without appearing too playful or unprofessional.

One drawback: There are hardly any individual customization options or user-definable views. For example, there is a lack of

  • user-definable fields
  • customizable column structures in the Kanban board
  • automation of repetitive tasks

It is therefore hardly possible to map individual processes in factro.

However, factro is flexible when it comes to integration into your own system landscape. In addition to CSV export and Outlook synchronization, an open REST API including webhooks is available.

German provider, German server location

factro hosts the user data of the software distributed in the SaaS model on servers located in Frankfurt am Main. The server infrastructure is certified according to ISO 27001 and is monitored around the clock. Daily backups are redundantly stored on servers in Nuremberg. Thus factro acts fully DSGVO compliant.

SaaS pricing model from freemium to enterprise

In addition to the three tariffs Team Cloud (7.99 euros per month and user), Business Cloud (19.99 euros per month and user) and Professional Cloud (29.99 euros per month and user), factro also offers a freemium variant with the Basic Cloud package, which you can use permanently free of charge. Compared to the paid tariffs, this is severely limited in terms of functionality. The Gantt chart with predecessor-successor relationships and milestones, for example, is only available from the Business Cloud tariff, resource planning and performance recording & controlling even from Professional Cloud.

If you would like to benefit from a personal account manager, you should opt for the individually priced Enterprise package. In addition to the full range of functions, you will also receive a personal contact person who you can reach by phone or e-mail. The provider offers individual training courses, webinars and video tutorials for familiarization.

Conclusion on factro: Functionally powerful, lacking flexibility

factro is ideally equipped for the variable conditions of project work. The operating concept and user guidance seem well thought-out, and even complex tasks can be managed with short clicks. However, the system lacks flexibility and adaptability to existing team workflows. Those who value the best possible implementation of their workflows should test the project management software extensively beforehand and check it in this regard.

3. OpenProject

OpenProject is the solution par excellence for all those who are looking for a free project management software. OpenProject has split off from the Redmine project and focuses on a significantly improved ease of use. Can the PM tool as a freeware version keep up with the premium products and industry giants?

Agile only against payment

In terms of functionality, OpenProject is the best free project management software - at least as far as project management in the classic form is concerned. OpenProject also reveals its strengths as a task management and issue tracking tool. The software easily maps project and issue hierarchies in any depth as well as predecessor-successor relationships. Effort tracking is also integrated. In addition, OpenProject:

  • Time planning
  • Budget planning
  • Work breakdown structure planning
  • Goal definition
  • Gantt charts incl. phases, milestones, tasks etc.

If you work according to agile principles, you will quickly realize that you won't get far with the free variant of OpenProject. The freeware variant also does not contain other important features. What only the paid premium variant has to offer:

  • Agile Scrum boards and Kanban boards.
  • Project portfolio management
  • Team planning with resource control
  • Project reports
  • Single Sign-On
  • Full text search in attachments
  • Workflow automation system
  • Free configurability of input forms

So if you want to use the full range of functions, you can't get around the paid version of Open Project. In this respect, the tariff model of OpenProject is ultimately hardly different from project management software providers such as factro or Wrike, which also offer a freemium version with a slim range of functions.

OpenProject's focus on software development projects is particularly noteworthy. Here you simply plan your product roadmap, visualize it and share it with stakeholders and create a detailed release plan. An SVN or GIT repository as well as GitHub can be integrated into OpenProject without any problems.

Clearly arranged and easily accessible

The user interface appears clear and tidy, the navigation structure is self-explanatory, even for beginners. However, if you want to use the rather complex project management functions of the Premium version, you should take advantage of OpenProject's training offer to learn how to use the various views more quickly and take full advantage of the possibilities.

Complex tariff model

OpenProject is maintained by a company in Berlin and continuously developed by an active developer community. The software is written in Ruby on Rails and supports the PostgreSQL database system. Installation is possible on Linux as well as Windows servers, although demanding in the latter case.

The enterprise edition of OpenProject is available as a cloud edition in addition to the on-premise variant. Hosting takes place on servers outside Germany, but still within the European Union and DSGVO-compliant.  

The free community version has a very limited range of functions, but is suitable for a free test of the project management software. The tariff model is subdivided into four further payable tariffs from 5.95 euros per month and user with 5 minimum users to individual pricing in the corporate tariff from 250 minimum users.

Support in strict relay

The functional support is graded according to the tariff model - the larger the customer and the more user licenses they hold, the broader the support offering. All users have access to manuals and videos, Professional customers with at least 25 users receive training for newcomers, and Premium customers with at least 100 users (not to be confused with the Premium functions that are already available in the Basic plan) receive an onboarding project. Corporate users even receive a dedicated customer success manager - in other words, personal customer support.

Conclusion on OpenProject: Free project management software remains a dream

OpenProject is a powerful project management software with which you can basically master all challenges of classic, hybrid and agile project management. However, the software is not free of charge. The tariff model with scaling according to the number of users and range of functions is even comparatively complex.

4. Wrike

One of the oldest tools in the project management software comparison is Wrike. The US web app for project management has been on the market since 2006.

Everything in it for classic project management

Wrike offers all the views you need to carry out projects in the sense of classic project management: List views, Gantt charts, calendar views, task representation in table form. Adherents of agile working methods will find the Kanban board a visually appealing and easy-to-use tool for work organization and task allocation. However, those who want to do software development according to Scrum, for example, should look for an alternative to Wrike, such as Projektron BCS. Wrike does not support the popular agile framework; you cannot map backlogs, epics, user stories and sprints here.

Wrike is based on the concept of three objects: Folders, Projects and Tasks. Projects and folders can be hierarchically structured and nested as you wish, or you can combine them into Spaces. Tasks can also be hierarchized. Plan, execute, adjust projects, prioritize tasks with the workflow manager, track schedules, and collaborate efficiently with team members online in real time - all this is easily possible with Wrike.

Übersichtlich und sachlich

Despite Wrike's large range of functions in the larger tariff packages, the software shines with its clarity and user-friendliness. The emphasis was placed on practicality and sobriety; unlike Asana or Monday, for example, there are no gaudy colors or gamification elements. Particularly noteworthy is the excellent search function, with which users can immediately display objects and elements. Despite the clear design and structure, the rich range of functions requires in-depth analysis, extensive training, and also training.

From free to individual-exchange rate-dependent: The tariff model

Wrike offers its software in the SaaS service model in four different tariff options with different functionalities. The cheapest tariff can be used free of charge for an unlimited period and thus also invites users to test project management software on their own. However, the range of functions and storage capacity are of course severely limited in this tariff option. If you want to use functions such as resource management or time tracking, you have to opt for at least the business tariff for $24.80 per user and month. Depending on the current exchange rate, the monthly costs for European users will therefore vary.

Users only get the full range of functions and the best security standards with two-factor authentication (2FA) and single sign-on (SSO) with the Enterprise plan, for which the price must be negotiated individually.

European server location, American support standard

Although Wrike, like Trello and Asana, is the cloud-based software of an American provider, there is a difference: Wrike operates European servers in Amsterdam and hosts the user data within the European Economic Area. Wrike claims to meet the requirements of DSGVO compliance. In light of the CLOUD Act, however, this is a direct contradiction, as Wrike is an American company and thus affected by the data handover obligation.

The CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) is a US law that has been in place since 2018. It obliges American internet companies and IT service providers to guarantee US authorities access to stored data, even if the storage does not take place in the USA.

The verdict is also not very positive in terms of support: Video tutorials are available for getting started, but only a few in German. There is also a help page and an English chat support with a friendly bot. Those who need personal and individual support have to rely on a contact form, where you can enter your phone number for a callback. We searched in vain for a direct hotline or a personal account manager, as offered by German providers like Projektron, at Wrike.

Conclusion on Wrike: functionally powerful, but also reliable?

Comprehensive tool for classic project management. However, due to the lack of Scrum support, it is not recommended for agile or hybrid project management. The functions are quite suitable for the management of complex projects. However, the lack of a direct line and the fact that Wrike is an American company that is subject to the CLOUD Act can be a risk in our view, especially for larger companies.

Das seit 2012 am Markt vertretene Projektmanagement Tool Stackfield hebt sich durch seine robusten Sicherheitsmerkmale und Anpassungsfähigkeit hervor, was es zu einer vielversprechenden Plattform für moderne Team-Zusammenarbeit macht. Der Hersteller bezeichnet die Software als All-in-One Collaboration Tool. Der Fokus liegt also ohne Frage auf der Integration von Features, die die Zusammenarbeit im Team verbessern sollen. Enthalten sind jedoch auch typische Projektmanagement-Tools. Dennoch sind einige kritische Aspekte zu beachten, insbesondere im Kontext klassischer Projektmanagementansätze.

Sicherheit im Fokus

Ein herausragendes Merkmal von Stackfield ist zweifellos die allerorten auf der Website des Unternehmens betonte Sicherheit, insbesondere im Kontext der Datenschutzgrundverordnung (DSGVO). Der Serverstandort in Deutschland stellt sicher, dass Stackfield den strengen Vorgaben der DSGVO entspricht. Die Einhaltung dieser Richtlinien wird vom Anbieter strikt durch die ISO-Zertifizierung 27001 unterstützt.

Die Sicherheitsinfrastruktur umfasst auch eine SSL-Verschlüsselung mit einem starken 256-Bit-Schlüssel nach dem TLS 1.3-Standard. Dies stellt sicher, dass die Daten während der Übertragung sicher sind. Zusätzlich zum Schutz vor unbefugtem Zugriff können Mitarbeiter die Zwei-Faktor-Authentifizierung nutzen. Dies trägt dazu bei, die Integrität der Konten zu gewährleisten und schützt vor unautorisierten Zugriffen.

Der Anbieter versichert, die Plattform implementiere eine Ende-zu-Ende-Verschlüsselung und nutze deutsche Serverstandorte, was eine solide Datenschutzgrundlage schafft. Dies ist besonders für Unternehmen mit sensiblen Daten von entscheidender Bedeutung.

Stackfield überzeugt mit intuitiven Features und Bedienelementen, die eine flüssige Steuerung ermöglichen. Allerdings können bei der Nutzung kleinere Fehler auftreten, wie beispielsweise das Versperren des Ziels durch ein Infokästchen bei einem geraden Zug mit Abhängigkeitspfeilen nach unten. Dies mag ärgerlich sein, ist jedoch kein entscheidendes Hindernis.

Ein deutliches Plus von Stackfield liegt im ansprechenden Design. Die Benutzeroberfläche ist ansprechend gestaltet, weder überladen noch langweilig. Bunte Labels, einstellbare Projektfarben und ein wählbares Design des linken Hauptmenüs verleihen dem Gesamtbild eine angenehme Auflockerung. Die Menüs sind sinnvoll strukturiert und nahezu selbsterklärend, was einen schnellen Einstieg für Neulinge begünstigt.

Stackfield bietet nicht nur eine Webanwendung und On-Premise-Option, sondern auch Apps für Windows, Mac OS, Android und iOS. Dies ermöglicht eine flexible Projektplanung, ob am Bürocomputer oder unterwegs.

Herausforderungen im klassischen Projektmanagement und Ressourcenmanagement

Trotz dieser Stärken stehen Unternehmen, die stark auf klassisches Projektmanagement setzen, vor Herausforderungen. Die Vielfalt der Funktionen kann zu einer Lernkurve führen, und die Plattform mag möglicherweise nicht alle spezifischen Anforderungen traditioneller Projektmanagementansätze erfüllen.

Insbesondere die Abwesenheit von spezialisierten Funktionen zur Projektstrukturplanung, dem Risikomanagement oder Kosten-Nutzen-Rechnungen führt zu negativen Punkten in Bewertungen. Einige Nutzer haben in Reviews Schwächen im Ressourcenmanagement von Stackfield hervorgehoben. Die Plattform könnte in diesem Bereich weiterentwickelt werden, um den spezifischen Anforderungen von Unternehmen gerecht zu werden, die stark auf effizientes Ressourcenmanagement angewiesen sind.

Stackfield Support: Vielfältige Optionen und Ressourcen

Stackfield zeichnet sich durch eine breite Palette von Supportoptionen aus. Der direkte Kontakt zum Supportteam ist über Live-Chat, Telefon und E-Mail möglich, was eine schnelle Problemlösung gewährleistet. Das Learning Center innerhalb des Management Tools bietet eine umfassende Dokumentation für Selbsthilfe, während eine kurze Einführung per Video auf YouTube vorhanden ist, wenn auch ohne detaillierte Einblicke.

Es ist zu beachten, dass der Supportumfang je nach Abonnement variieren kann. Diese Vielfalt an Supportoptionen und Ressourcen ermöglicht es den Nutzern, die für sie passende Unterstützung zu finden und das Beste aus der Plattform herauszuholen.

5. awork

The young PM tool awork is just getting ready to conquer larger market shares. Who can the product threaten and for which target group is awork suitable?

Expandable range of functions

awork is a new PM software originally developed by HQLabs GmbH from Hamburg. The vendor names the focus and purpose of its software product as "smooth work management for creative teams."

Both the target group and the functional focus are clearly evident. However, in terms of the available functions, awork is also quite a bit behind the statement "work management". In addition to a functional task management, awork also offers functions for resource planning and time recording.

Gantt charts, Kanban boards, to-do lists, timelines - these views are available to users in awork. For task allocation in small project teams, this is completely sufficient. However, when it comes to planning large and complex projects, portfolio management or multi-project management, awork proves to be unsuitable or only suitable to a limited extent. Work breakdown structures or networks, for example, cannot be mapped here. Although awork does not yet offer its own chat function for fast and uncomplicated communication within the project team, users can easily integrate Slack.

User-friendliness as the focus

The young and lively look immediately catches the eye. The bright colors and strong contrasts are strongly reminiscent of PM tools such as Monday or Asana, to which awork also positions itself as a direct competitor. Not only because of the relatively small range of functions and the limited number of views, awork proves to be enormously easy and intuitive to use. However, customization options are limited. A visually very appealing Dark Mode should be emphasized.

Nothing goes under premium

The tariff options are clear: Interested parties can choose between Premium and Enterprise for 10.99 or 15.99 euros per user and month with a one-year contract term. Although awork does not offer a freemium version, as its American competitors do, it does have a 14-day trial period. The premium version is aimed at beginners and teams of up to 50 users. The full range of functions is reserved for the Enterprise variant.

SaaS with server location in Germany

awork is pure cloud software. Unlike most foreign providers, awork offers the German market the decisive advantage that it operates its servers in Germany and is therefore also DSGVO-compliant. Another plus: personal and German-speaking support via phone, chat or email. Tooltips in the software make it easier for beginners to use.

Conclusion on awork: Competitive, German alternative for young, agile teams

For agencies with project teams of small to medium size, the task management software awork is already an option and a reasonable alternative to US providers such as Asana or Trello or the Israeli provider Monday. Although the best basics are available with Kanban boards, automation tools and a functional timeline, awork is not designed for comprehensive project planning in the classic sense.

6. InLoox

InLoox feels like a Microsoft product due to its excellent integration with Microsoft applications, but it comes from a Munich-based software manufacturer. InLoox offers InLoox PM and InLoox now! InLoox PM is the on-premise version, aimed at medium-sized companies up to corporate size, and upgrades your Outlook to project management software. InLoox now! is a SaaS-based PM tool that is equally suitable for SMEs up to corporate size.

Everything that classic project management needs

In InLoox, you can manage an unlimited number of projects. The options for multi-project management include all functions and views that are needed in terms of classic project management: from Gantt charts to planning resources and budgets to controlling tools and reporting.

InLoox also offers numerous additional functions, for example:

  • Contact management
  • Document management
  • Chat
  • Kanban boards
  • Mindmapping

Usability requires deeper insights

Given the contemporary external presentation as a smart and modern project management tool, it is somewhat surprising that the usability proves to be relatively bulky and difficult. Quickly changing the project status or creating a new task - this can take a while in InLoox.

At first glance, the design also looks rather dusty compared to other tools, or - to put it positively - traditional. As an add-on for Outlook, InLoox further complicates the handling of both programs by adding numerous additional options and buttons. The web interface of InLoox now!, on the other hand, appears much clearer and is therefore more intuitive to use. Those who make the effort and familiarize themselves with the management tool will be rewarded with a wide range of functions in any case. InLoox is flexible and customizable in any case. For example, you have the option to add an unlimited number of user-defined fields.

On Premise or Saas with German location

With InLoox, as with Projektron BCS, customers can choose between using the SaaS model and purchasing licenses on premise when operating on their own server. This means that both users with an affinity for cloud computing and fans of installed software solutions can benefit. InLoox now! was recently ported to the new German Microsoft data centers in the "Microsoft Azure Cloud". The locations of these data centers are in Frankfurt am Main and in Berlin, i.e. in Germany. Thus, InLoox offers full DSGVO compliance.

Complex terms

Not only because of the different products InLoox PM and InLoox now! and the service models SaaS and on-premise, the license and tariff structure of InLoox is remarkably complex. The provider's web store additionally differentiates between team size and offers many different product options for the on-premise variant, without being able to transparently see in detail what exactly is hidden behind each individual offer. However, with a base price of 490.00 Euros for InLoox PM Personal for a single user license, we are in the very high-priced segment with InLoox. The winner in the project management software comparison, Projektron BCS, is available at a lower price with an even greater range of functions. However, it is worth noting that InLoox users benefit from free support via e-mail and telephone starting with the freemium version.

For the SaaS version InLoox now! there is the feature-reduced freemium version InLoox now! Starter, the Professional and Enterprise versions are priced from 24.95 euros and 44.95 euros per user and month, respectively.

Conclusion on InLoox: Specific target group, light and shadow

The concept of a project management software as an extension for Outlook is a unique selling point. Thus, InLoox is especially suitable for those users who already use Outlook and other applications from the Microsoft cosmos, but for whom MS Project is too complex. The functional range of InLoox is large and able to comprehensively cover the requirements of classic project management. However, the rather bulky handling takes some getting used to.

7. Troi

According to Troi GmbH from Munich, more than 13,400 users in agencies, film studios and management consultancies are already using the AI-based project management software Troi for their project business. Troi is a solution for the entire project lifecycle and for digitizing business processes, from contact management, project management and project controlling to time recording and accounting. "Project management redefined" is the claim on the company website. Has the definition succeeded?

Impressive range of functions

Troi is undoubtedly an agency software with an impressive feature set, especially designed for medium to large companies. With its numerous modules and tariffs, it offers a wide range of tools that can be beneficial for PR and marketing agencies, as well as for companies in the photo and video sector. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of Troi that lead to a mixed experience.

One of the main advantages of Troi is its extensive feature set. It offers basic features such as contact and project management, hours tracking, budget calculation, and invoicing and quoting. Contact management allows you to create a comprehensive people file, and project planning is done through schedules, spreadsheets and to-do lists. The Troi Live app also offers mobile use on the go.

However, the extensive feature set also comes with some challenges. Familiarizing yourself with Troi requires time and patience, as the menu navigation is occasionally complex and it can take some time to become familiar with the various functions. Navigation can be cumbersome at times and the controls are not always intuitive. Longer-term onboarding and training are recommended in order to exploit the full potential of the software.

Focus on optics

Another aspect that affects the user experience is the user interface. Although Troi has a sleek design, the visuals are small and the font is sometimes difficult to decipher. Operating the software requires adapting to certain conventions that may not be present in other tools. It can take some time to navigate the software and find the features you want. The user interface could be improved to provide a more intuitive and user-friendly experience.


Although a helpdesk and FAQ section are available, many a user lacks fast and effective support from customer service. The demos and demo versions offer a first insight, but for larger companies a paid training is recommended, the price of which is calculated individually according to the hourly effort. Better communication and support from the support team would be desirable.

Safe is safe

Despite some challenges, Troi also offers many positives. Security and privacy are solid, with ISO 27001 certification and secure SSL encryption for data transfer. The wide range of interfaces via the Connect module facilitates integration with other tools and applications, allowing for some flexibility.

Conclusion on Troi: beautifully packaged

Troi is a comprehensive agency software that comes with specialized functions and an appealing design. With its specialized functions and an attractive design, it is especially well suited for PR and marketing agencies, as well as for companies in the photo and video sectors. It offers numerous tools for contact management, project planning and accounting. However, learning the ropes takes time and patience, and the user experience could be improved. Customer service could be more efficient, and the user interface is not always optimal. Nevertheless, for companies that are willing to take an intensive look at the software, Troi can be a solid solution.

8. Trello

Probably the simplest and clearest project management tool in the comparison is Trello.

Kanban all the way!

Trello is colorful and open. However, you will search in vain for diversity, because Trello basically knows only one project view. The Kanban board view can be used as a digital notepad or to map a workflow. It is about tasks, appointments and other content, which can be specified with detailed information on the cards and populated with file attachments.

Trello cannot offer the views and tools necessary for traditional project management, such as a schedule, a Gantt chart, a task list or a work breakdown structure. As a project management software, Trello is therefore only suitable to a very limited extent. Rather, it is a pure work organization tool.

Easy to use

The limited functionality and clear focus on Kanban functionality allows Trello to offer probably the best user experience in the project management software comparison. The boards are very clear, as long as there are not too many tickets on the board. Operation is almost exclusively drag-and-drop.

American server location

Similar to Asana, Trello is also a software provider from the USA, is subject to the Cloud Act as a web-based application. Trello hosts all data on servers in the USA. This means that there is no conformity with the Federal Data Protection Act. For companies and project environments where the protection of personal data is important, this is a knock-out criterion.

Support via form

Trello does not offer German-language customer support. The offer of help is largely limited to a forum, video tutorials and tooltips directly in the software. If you are looking for personal help, you have to make do with a contact form and hope for a quick and competent answer from Trello support.

Conclusion on Trello: Efficient tool for small, agile teams

Trello primarily benefits small project teams or agencies that are looking for a simple, streamlined, and easy-to-use tool for agile work organization and task allocation. Trello was not designed for planning complex projects or coordinating larger project teams.

9. Jira

Jira is a web application used primarily in software development for error management, problem handling and operational project management, which is developed by the British software manufacturer Atlassian.

The tool for agile software development

All of Jira's features are designed for agile software development. Issue tracking and Scrum tools can therefore be found here in great detail. Jira is largely freely configurable and offers a wealth of interfaces to wikis, source code repositories and continuous integration systems, as well as other useful tools for software development. Jira can be extended at will via a range of APIs.

The orientation of Jira as agile project management software for software development according to Scrum is reflected in the fact that it contains standard workflows such as the creation and processing of sprints in an optimized version.

Project hierarchies, as they appear in classic project management, are not supported by Jira. Task hierarchies can also only be mapped up to one level, which makes it impossible to create a work breakdown structure or a work breakdown structure. Neither for resource planning nor for time planning are corresponding views, for example a Gantt chart, provided.

This means that Jira is in no way suitable for project management according to classic or hybrid methods. Even distinctions that actually make sense for development projects, such as a concept of different project types for software subprojects in an embedded system, are also not provided by Jira.

Ease of use for optimized functionality

Jira's user interface appears tidy, colorful, friendly and yet not playful, but highly functional. Task boards and lists are freely configurable by the user, all views are easily accessible. Appropriate areas and views are already provided for the usual elements in Scrum, such as epics, tasks and user stories.

The path leads to the cloud

Jira is offered both as a cloud solution and as a self-managed data center variant. The latter is not an on-premise solution in the classic sense, but is also based on a subscription model. The concept is confusing and it is becoming apparent that this variant will also soon move entirely to the cloud. However, the data center variant costs at least 42,000 DU dollars per year, which makes this variant uninteresting for smaller developer teams and is only offered from a team size of 500 users anyway. Plug-ins will also be developed primarily for the cloud variant in the future. On-premise is thus apparently a discontinued model for Jira.

Jira is based on Java and JavaScript technology and supports all major database systems. It is easy to install on both Windows servers and Linux servers.

The cloud solution, however, shines with intransparency regarding the server location. It is only intended to support customers in becoming DSGVO-compliant. This wording is very revealing and gives rise to doubts.

The cloud variant is available in a freemium version for up to 10 users. In addition, there are 3 tariff levels, which differ in terms of the range of functions. The price varies depending on the number of users and the billing period. For example, with 50 users and monthly billing, the price per user is $7.50 per month for the Standard plan, $14.50 for the Premium plan. Atlassian only provides the costs for the Enterprise variant on individual request. Since billing is exclusively in US dollars, EU customers are at the mercy of the fluctuations of the currency market.

Conclusion on Jira: Standard for agile software development, but not unrivaled

Those who do not want Jira to dictate the processes, possibilities and limits of their development work are better off with alternatives such as Projektron BCS, which not only fully supports agile project management, but also classic methods and hybrid methods.

10. Asana

Asana is a cloud-based project management software from the USA and available in the SaaS model.

Focus on teamwork and organization

Asana sees itself as a work organization tool that supports teams in organizing and managing their work processes. In addition to visually appealing to-do lists, the software offers kanban boards, timelines and calendar views. Asana also comes with controlling tools, such as a workload manager and target definitions. Thanks to the portfolio function, multiple projects can be managed in parallel without losing track of them. A plus for agile Scrum project teams: Tasks can be set as repetitive with a definable time interval.  

Those who want to map more complex task sequences, sub-projects and hierarchically arranged tasks are better off with more comprehensive tools from the project management software comparison, such as OpenProject, factro, Wrike or Projektron BCS. Tools for process automation, time recording, quotation and invoice generation, contact databases - the slim tool Asana cannot serve with all this.

Clear and tidy - too tidy?

Asana appears clear and tidy. Functions and views appear reduced to the most necessary everywhere. This is another reason why Asana is particularly recommended for use on the smartphone. However, important information and options, such as the visualization of dependencies and predecessor-successor relationships, are sometimes missing, especially with regard to classic project management. In the case of larger and complex projects, the rather space-consuming display mode in Asana quickly becomes too confusing. Asana is ideal for organizing work and managing smaller projects in agencies and SMEs.

The handling is simple and intuitive, and it is easy to get started without prior knowledge. A testament to playfulness: By default, a mythical creature flitting across the screen rewards every success, for example the completion of a task, as a gamification element. If you find this annoying, you can easily deactivate the feature.

Data on American servers

As a software provider from the USA, Asana is subject to the Cloud Act and hosts all data on servers in the USA. The provider is compliant with the EU-US Privacy Shield, but the Cloud Act is in stark contrast to the GDPR. If data protection and DSGVO compliance are important to you, you should look for an alternative from the project management software comparison. The Enterprise license model alone offers the option of storing data on European servers in order to comply with European data protection guidelines.

Free basic version

If you are just starting out and are looking for free project management software, you can use Asana's basic tariff permanently. The downside: The functional scope of this basic version is severely limited and only allows collaboration with a maximum of 15 team members. Milestones are only available with the premium version from €10.99 per month per user, portfolios, goals, workload management and other functions only from the business tariff from €24.99 per user and month. For extended admin functions, a quote for the Enterprise tariff must be obtained.

Service exclusive

You won't find a support portal or even customer support by phone at Asana. Users have to rely on the swarm knowledge of a user community, introductory notes in the software and video tutorials. In addition, paying users are allowed to send an e-mail to Asana in case of an emergency.

Conclusion on Asana: Too simple for complex things

As things stand, if you are a project manager looking for software, you should only choose Asana if you:

  • do not need a work-breakdown structure.
  • do not have task hierarchies.
  • do not need sub-projects.
  • do not need an earned value analysis.
  • do not want to perform a target/actual comparison.

11. Monday projects

Monday is probably already known to all readers through their media presence. Monday advertises aggressively on all channels and is obviously successful with this strategy. Can the product deliver what the advertising promises?

Project management without projects

If you are looking for a project management software and decide to use Monday, you will first have to realize to your confusion that there are no projects in Monday at all. Instead there are boards. A board can be a calendar view, a timeline, a Kanban board, a Gantt chart or a table. For all these boards there are already templates that can be further configured.

Colorful and playful, flexible and complex

Monday's user interface is defined by bold colors. Colorful tiles. Icons and large buttons dominate the picture and make it easy to use at first glance, but might seem too funky for one or the other user. Particularly whimsical: The Llama Farm widget allows users to view the status distribution of their tasks as colorful animated llamas. Usability is simple and intuitive. Buttons are large, colorful, and thus eye-catching. Drag-and-drop operation is ubiquitous.

However, this simplicity hides a great deal of complexity. Since Monday wants to offer the greatest possible flexibility and be adaptable to all methods and ways of working, the software is based on the modular principle. If you want to use Monday to map complex project structures, you will have to spend some time to set up and continuously adapt the software according to your ideas. Almost all columns, lists and checkboxes can be individually labeled. Combine available elements on the boards to individual views.

The wealth of functions that can be mapped with this can be discovered by users themselves over time - playfully. If you try to manage more than 40 tasks on a single board, you will find that you no longer have a clear overview. Configurable dashboards that provide overviews of the most important key figures of the various boards are helpful here. As with Trello, however, there is no well-designed task hierarchy, so a work-breakdown structure is also not possible.

Data centers in the Amazon and Google network

Monday is available exclusively in the Software-as-a-Service model. The software is operated on servers of the global network of Google Cloud and Amazon Web Service. These servers are located in Virginia in the USA. Thus, DSGVO compliance is not given by default, although Monday assures to comply with the relevant standards of data protection. However, customers from the EU can also opt for Germany as the sole server location. For companies that handle sensitive customer and user data in Germany, caution is still advisable in our view.

Tariff jungle

Monday is available in five different tariff options, which differ in terms of the range of functions. However, the prices per user and month vary with the number of users and the selected billing period. From a team size of 50 users, prices are apparently only announced as part of an individual offer, regardless of which rate plan is chosen. In addition to the freemium version "Single" for up to two users (!), there is the Basic tariff for about 8 euros per month and user - but only with annual billing. With monthly billing it becomes more expensive. Monday does not specify the price for the largest tariff, "Enterprise".

It gets even more complex when users want to use automation functions. If they want to automate a process, it will cost them an "action". Depending on the selected tariff, a limited quota of these actions is available to them. Once these are used up and they still do not want to switch their workflows to manual management, they have to switch to a higher tariff. 

Conclusion on Monday: Clear design, opaque options

For small teams in agencies or for small project teams in smaller companies that like it colorful, funky and uncluttered, Monday can be a good option. Monday is not the right choice for you if:

  • You work according to methodological standards, whether classic or hybrid or Scrum.
  • The scope of your project includes more than 100 individual tasks.
  • Your project consists of tasks of different hierarchies.

12. MS Project

MS Project offers absolutely everything that an experienced project planner can expect from a software to comprehensively plan, control and evaluate even the most complex projects. However, in order to involve an entire team in the project work and to be able to implement a project efficiently together, not only corresponding collaboration functions and possibilities for project-related communication are required, but also role-based, appropriately reduced views in the software, so that each team member immediately receives only relevant information. But this is exactly what MS Project lacks. If you like to implement your projects in teamwork, you should reach for other software solutions in the PMS comparison.

Is MS Project too complex, are you too weak?

Practice shows: Enthusiastic about MS Project and long-time users are mainly experienced project managers and project teams. In fact: The software requires profound knowledge in the field of project management to be able to use it sensibly. Newcomers and first-time users in particular are confronted with an immense learning effort that is unlikely to be profitable for any company - especially in view of the attractive alternatives for complex project management on the market - for example Wrike, InLoox, factro or Projektron BCS.

Challenging support situation

Complex application, complex administration, highly complex and fine-grained rights structure. Given these hurdles, reliable and competent customer support would be expected. Unfortunately, this expectation is not fulfilled. Microsoft does not provide a personal contact person. Users have to make do with a help center.

Actually, only on-premise comes into question

In the SaaS version, MS Project, as a US software product, is quite problematic for German users. Similar to Asana or Trello, Microsoft hosts all data on servers in the USA. Although there is a Privacy Shield certification, there is no conformity with the Federal Data Protection Act. For companies and project environments that value the protection of personal data, this is a knockout criterion. However, those remain to purchase the on-premise version of MS-Project. This way, they host the data and run the software on their own server.


  • Windows Server
  • solid system administrator skills
  • Time, patience and know-how to configure the software yourself

Conclusion on MS Project: Challenging expert tool

High learning curve, high price, bulky handling: MS Project is really only an option for experienced project teams that take on enormously complex projects and are willing to invest a lot of time in working with MS Project.

The winner: Projektron BCS wins project management software comparison

Winner in the project management software comparison: Projektron BCS. Of course, this may seem unsurprising - after all, you are reading this PM software comparison on the Projektron blog. Nevertheless, we clearly stand up for our result, because we know exactly:

Projektron BCS is customizable like no other project management software.
We have been developing BCS in-house in Berlin for over 20 years, directly and continuously implementing the wishes of BCS users.
BCS stands for Business Coordination Software - Starting with pure project management functions, BCS has long since evolved into a comprehensive and holistic ERP system.
From Internet agencies to IT service providers, SMEs in a wide range of industries and hospitals to global corporations: BCS is freely scalable and you only pay for the modules you really need.

We are so convinced of BCS that our employees use it themselves as the sole company software and map all our work, organizational and business processes including software development according to Scrum in it.

Convince yourself and test Projektron BCS right now for free! We don't shy away from any project management software test or comparison!


Test Projektron BCS free of charge!


About the author

Like all other departments at Projektron GmbH, Marketing also uses the possibilities of project management software to implement projects efficiently. Kai Sulkowski is an editor in the marketing department and is always informed about current developments and innovations from the world of project management.


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