The cost of aerospace and defense projects going wrong can be astronomical, which is why companies in the aerospace and defense sector must closely track all project components and promote collaboration and communication between project stakeholders using project management software.
What Is Project Management Software?
Project management software offers a broad range of features to help project managers and teams achieve their objectives and complete projects on time and within budget. Today, there are many different project management software tools from which companies large and small can choose, and they all accomplish several primary functions:
- Scheduling and project planning: Arguably the main function of project management software is to define a project schedule and map project tasks to make it absolutely clear what should be accomplished by who and when.
- Collaboration: From document sharing to instant messaging, project management software promotes collaboration in many different ways, ensuring everyone is on the same page and knows what needs to be done next.
- Resource management: Material costs in the aerospace and defense industry tend to be very high, so it’s paramount to ensure their efficient utilization.
- Documentation: Project management software guarantees accurate data-based documentation and provides an audit trail for compliance purposes. Comprehensive documentation makes it possible to identify any problems and find solutions before they become too serious.
Main Features of Project Management Software
Modern project management software applications have many features, including:
- Instant file-sharing
- Interactive dashboards
- Customizable reports
- Automatic invoicing
- Central data storage
- Billing & quotes
- Project budgeting
- Third-party integrations
- Native mobile applications
- Gantt Charts
Some project management software tools even provide open APIs, allowing users to adjust components to suit your specific business needs and integrate other business software applications.
Project Management Software and the Aerospace & Defense Industry
Facing many difficult challenges, such as globalization and budget cuts, the aerospace and defense industry cannot afford to undertake complex projects without a capable project management software solution.
In order to compete globally and achieve better performance, aerospace and defense companies must select a project management software tool that can meet their unique needs and support the long-term and large-scale projects typical of the industry.
To be suitable for the aerospace and defense industry, project management software must also be developed with security and compliance in mind because aerospace and defense companies face some of the most complex compliance requirements in an environment where a single mistake could have fatal consequences.
How to Select Project Management Software
When selecting project management software, the first step is to outline your needs and make a list of all features your team needs, ranking them according to their importance. Don’t forget to decide what project management methodology the project management software should be compatible with.
Next, research the available project management software and compare how they meet your needs. Pay attention to the features they offer, their ease of use, security, customizability, integrations, cost, and support. It’s always a good idea to ask your fellow project managers for recommendations, and there’s plenty of useful information that can be found online.
With a couple of candidates selected, it’s time to try them to see how well they work in practice. Most vendors offer demo versions or free trials of their products, allowing you to see for yourself if it really delivers on its promises.
Finally, carefully evaluate how much it would cost to implement and use the tool and decide if it’s worth it.
Top 20 Project Management Software for Aerospace and Defense
Listed below are the top 20 best project management software tools that meet the complex requirements of the aerospace and defense industry. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it covers the most important project management software tools currently available, providing a comprehensive overview of the available options.
Oracle’s Primavera is a robust cloud-based project management software tool backed by one of the biggest software vendors in the aerospace and defense industry. Primavera helps companies plan, schedule, and control both large-scale programs and individual projects. It fosters team collaboration and improves communication between team members and project managers by making information sharing simpler, faster, and more secure. Primavera’s mobile interface provides a convenient way how to check project status and identify problems on the go, which is just one of many reasons why users enjoy this project management software tool.
Workzone positions itself right between entry-level project management tools like Basecamp and enterprise-grade solutions like Microsoft Project by combining a clean, intuitive user interface with advanced features that help companies know where every project stands without forcing a particular project management methodology upon them. With Workzone, it’s easy to create custom templates to standardize processes and save valuable hours, visualize projects from start to finish using auto-generated, editable Gantt charts, or automatically create and email personalized to-do lists to each user.
First released in 1984, Microsoft Project is a grandfather of project management software applications. Despite its old age, the product is still as relevant today as it was in the 1980s because Microsoft has never stopped improving it. The latest version of Microsoft Project has everything companies could ask for to keep track of projects, gain insight into how resources are used, and prioritize initiatives with business objectives, among other things. Despite being part of the Office family, Microsoft Project isn’t included in any of the Office suites, but that doesn’t change anything about the fact that it’s an easy choice for all companies that use Office 365.
To complete projects on time and meet all goals, it’s important to maximize the output from each team member. Workfront helps boost team productivity by providing a single work platform that increases transparency and encourages collaboration. It enables collaboration in real-time, from anywhere while maintaining brand and industry standards. This project management software tool is used by over 3,000 companies worldwide, including large players in the aerospace and defense industry.
Wrike stands out with its ability to scale from small teams to large enterprises, helping them increase productivity, enhance team collaboration, and do transformational work. Its interactive Gantt Chart gives full project scope, while advanced Reporting and Workload simplifies the monitoring of project progress and resource utilization. Wrike helps project managers tackle even the most complex projects with its drag-and-drop interface, making it very simple to reprioritize tasks and create templates to standardize project processes, among other things.
While targeted primarily toward agile software development, JIRA is so customizable and there are so many add-ons available that it can easily meet the needs of virtually all companies. Being a proper enterprise-grade solution, JIRA is designed for security and scale, featuring SAML SSO, enforced 2-step verification, automated user provisioning, and more. Enterprises can expect 99.9% uptime SLAs, compliance with SOC2, SOC3, ISO 27001, ISO 27018, PCI DSS, and EU’s GDPR.
Aimed primarily at companies that have reached the enterprise level, Sciforma is a project and portfolio management software with enough flexibility to integrate all processes and methodologies, such as Agile, Waterfall, Critical Chain, and Prince2, and automate project and portfolio management. It can be deployed either in the cloud or on-site, and its redesigned user interface follows the latest user experience guidelines to remove friction and increase team productivity. The latest version of Sciforma can be configured in a matter of days, including in-depth tailoring of functionality and methodologies.
Packed with powerful features, Clarizen is a complete project management solution that helps drive focus, increase effectiveness, and promote purposeful collaboration and real-time information sharing. From strategy to planning to execution, it empowers project teams to move faster with better data, achieve results with automated workflows, and eliminate chaos and inefficiency. Its polished design makes complex simple and tedious effortless.
This project management software tool started as an internal tool in Israeli company Wix.com, but it now serves 80,000 organizations from around 200 vertical markets, including aerospace and defense. Project management with Monday.com starts with customizable templates that address different workflows. From there, teams can capture and visualize all the info you need, track time to see who’s in charge of what, assign tasks, and seamlessly collaborate and share files, briefs, checklists, and sheets in one place.
10. Liquid Planner
Liquid Planner is a smart project management software that helps companies respond to change with its smart scheduling functionality, which constantly updates projects to help teams do their best work and achieve their goals with confidence. Liquid Planner accurately shows how much work individual team members have left, and its customizable dashboards and card views ensure real-time visibility into project schedules, financials, and trends.
13. Planview PPM Pro
20. Zoho Projects
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