Top 5 Salesforce Project Management Apps

Salesforce.com has tons of different functions and capabilities, but it does lack one major feature: Project management functionality. You may be able to get by with some custom configurations or code to help you manage projects and people, but if you truly want to have great project management, you should consider getting a Salesforce project management app from the AppExchange.

Project Management Salesforce

However, exploring the AppExchange brings you to your next problem; There are so many different project management apps, how are you going to select the best one for your team? Do you want to spend a little more and get an app with numerous functions, or would you rather pay for an app with just the essential project management features that you truly need?

In our previous article, 5 Essential Features Your Salesforce Project Management App Must Have, we identified 5 very important project management features that you should make sure your new project management app has. As a refresher, the 5 features are:

  1. Resource Allocation
  2. Gantt Chart
  3. Time Tracking
  4. Projects Templates
  5. Team Collaboration Capabilities

All companies are different, which is why we are lucky that there are so many different project management tools on the Salesforce AppExchange. To help, we’ve consolidated a list of what we consider to be the top 5 favorite Salesforce project management apps that include some, if not all of the 5 features listed above.

So, Which App is Best For Your Team?

 

Inspire Planner

Inspire Planner is a powerful yet very easy-to-use Salesforce-native project management app. It was created by a group of experienced application designers and project management professionals who were aggravated by the lack of project management tools in Salesforce that were not expensive or had too many extra features. That is why the Inspire Planner team invests a lot of time and effort into simplicity and user experience of their app. In addition to that, Inspire Planner is also a great choice for the teams who need to involve external partners in the projects such as your customers or suppliers.

Inspire Planner has 5/5 of the essential Project Management features and more, including:

  • Resource allocation views to see available and overallocated resources
  • Gantt chart that seamlessly supports complex task dependencies with multiple predecessors
  • Time Tracking to compare Planned Project Effort vs Actual Effort for accurate project forecasting
  • Project Templates with the ability to link Projects to any Salesforce object, like Contacts and Opportunities
  • Project Task assignment to Users or even Contacts synced with Salesforce Tasks so your team is always aware of what they need to do
  • Easy project files sharing and complete Chatter integration
  • And more!

Pricing:

Inspire Planner Salesforce Project Management

Overall, Inspire Planner is an affordable Salesforce project management app that focuses on the essential features that you need for project management as well as on a great customer support. Inspire Planner is ideal for a team who wants a straightforward project management solution with no extra unneeded frills to work quicker and better in Salesforce. If your team wants more complex functionality, another tool may suit you better.

 

Milestones PM+

Milestones PM+ is a Salesforce-native project management tool that offers both a paid version and free version of their tool. The free version is a great option for those who are new to Salesforce or uncertain that a project management tool will truly help their team be more productive, while the paid version offers a vast amount of features for a team who wants a more complex solution.

Milestones PM+ Free Edition has limited versions of 3/5 of the essential Project Management features and more, including:

  • Customizable project templates (with limitations)
  • Gantt Charts to group related projects together (with limitations)
  • Milestones to group related Tasks together
  • Project Tasks to log time
  • Chatter for team and cross-functional collaboration
  • Risk and issue tracking capabilities for project contingency plans

Pricing:

Free!

 

Milestones PM+ premium version is more robust, includes all of the Free Edition features, 5/5 of the essential Project Management features and more, including:

  • Salesforce Activity Sync to sync project tasks with Salesforce Tasks and Events all in one place so Users have full visibility into seeing everything they need to do for projects
  • Gantt Chart enhancements like email options and drag and drop functionality
  • Resource assignment including assigning any contacts as resources, even if they are not a licensed Salesforce User
  • Custom fields creation options in project templates
  • Email Workflows to alert Users of new Project Task assignments or project updates
  • And many more!

Pricing:

MilestonesPM+ Pricing

Along with a great customer support team, you can’t go wrong with selecting Milestones PM+ Free Edition for your company if you would like to test drive a project management app before fully committing to a paid version. Milestones PM+ is a little more expensive than other Project management tools but offers a large number of features that make it worth the premium price if you are looking for a more robust Project Management tool.

 

Mission Control

Mission Control Logo

Mission Control is a native project management app built on top of Salesforce to take all of your org’s customizations into account. One cool feature of Mission Control is that it uses something called Roles to help keep your team organized. You can define a Salesforce User or Contact’s Role, along with Skills, the Team they belong to, and when they are on Holiday, or not available for projects. You can also track Milestones, Actions with a Time Log and more, all related to the different projects you complete.

Mission Control has 5/5 of the essential Project Management features and more, including:

  • Resource Allocation across all projects through a Scheduler of up to 12 weeks with filter capabilities based on Teams and Skills
  • Interactive Gantt Chart(s) with Milestones, Actions & Checklist Items
  • Track time with the Salesforce1 Time Logger, including Start and Stop functionality
  • Project Template including a “Deep Clone” feature
  • A Kanban Whiteboard feature to give Users visualizations of their actions based on the current status
  • Chatter Integration and Collaboration Timesheets
  • And more!

Pricing:

If you’re looking for a tool that offers more than just project management, such as expense management, Mission Control may be the tool for you. Mission Control gives you great financial tracking capabilities for projects, including revenue, staff costs, and expenses. If you are only looking for a straightforward project management tool, you may want to pick another option. But, if you’re looking for an all-around robust tool with more capabilities than just project management, Mission Control may be a great choice for you!

 

TaskRay

TaskRay is not only a full suite project management app but also it provides robust customer onboarding functionality in Salesforce. Their mentality of “Plan, Work, Report, Repeat” is seen through their various project management features, with some listed below, and they have also been known as “the Leader in Customer Onboarding in Salesforce”.

TaskRay has 4/5 of the essential Project Management features and more, including:

  • The ability to plan schedules, create dependencies, and re-assign team members through Gantt chart drag and drop functionality
  • Time Tracking features with the use of task cards, checklists, and task details with viewable timesheets
  • Project Templates including the ability to copy Tasks, checklists, and associated files
  • Chatter Conversation functions with task card notifications enabling project collaboration.
  • A Kanban View to manage Tasks similar to sticky notes
  • A weekly Agenda feature viewable right in TaskRay
  • And many more!

Pricing:

TaskRay is priced similarly to Milestones PM+ and Mission Control, but also offer more than just project management. Although their Resource Allocation capabilities are not as built out as other apps, TaskRay has great reviews as far as being easy to use goes, and also offers many other exciting features such as a Daily Planner for email reminders. These reminders can contain summaries of recent activities and lists of tasks that need to be done. They also have an Email to Task function where you are able to forward emails that will actually create new Tasks!

 

Taskfeed

taskfeed logo

Taskfeed is another Salesforce app that focuses primarily on customer onboarding, but we’ve included it in our list because it also has completely built-out project management functionality. Also, for many businesses, projects only start after a customer has been successfully onboarded to a service. Customer onboarding is step one of successful project management for many companies.

Taskfeed has 4/5 of the essential Project Management features and more, including:

  • Drag-and-drop Gantt Chart feature to schedule tasks, define durations of tasks and define dependencies
  • Track progress and time spent on projects without leaving Salesforce
  • Taskfeed Templates, like Project Templates, from onboarding playbooks to re-use with future customers
  • Collaborate with your team through Chatter and share onboarding plans with external customers or partners
  • Set baselines for each project to see how well your team has delivered in comparison to customer expectations
  • And more!

Pricing:

taskfeed pricing

So, Which App Is Best For You?

The 5 apps we showcased above all have their own sets of pros and cons. For a simple yet powerful Salesforce project management app at a great price, Inspire Planner may be the app for you. To accomplish more than just project management and utilize many robust features at a higher price, Milestones PM+ Premium or Mission Control would make a great fit. And finally, if customer onboarding is your first step to starting projects, Taskray or Taskfeed would be good apps to look into getting. Overall, your company and team has unique to be taken into account while selecting the best Salesforce project management app for your team.

 

Inspire Planner - Project Management in Salesforce Simplified

5 Key Features Your Salesforce Project Management Tool Must Have

The Salesforce platform is great for holding customer information, tracking and making new sales, and automating business processes. However, Salesforce comes up short in one major way: it does not support project managers in the best way possible. There are only a few if any, built-in Salesforce project management tools and functions.

Fortunately, project managers can get the tools and functionality they need by installing a project management app from the Salesforce AppExchange. There are tons of options and picking one that meets the specific needs of your company or team can be tough. To help, we’ve identified 5 essential features that your Salesforce project management tool must have if you want to increase productivity and complete projects better than ever before.

Essential Salesforce Project Management Tool Features:

 

1. Resource Allocation

When picking a Salesforce project management tool, you should definitely consider one that gives you the ability to clearly see what projects your resources are being used for, and how you can allocate tasks amongst them for the best results. You may have employees or coworkers who are completely overloaded with tasks, while others may not be busy enough. With a tool that gives you visual insight into how your resources are being used, you will be able to spread tasks around more evenly to fully utilize all of your resources.

2. GANTT Chart

Gantt Charts are a project manager’s best friend. If you are unfamiliar with them, a Gantt Chart allows you to easily visualize all tasks within a project, understand project timelines and task dependencies, and identify what work needs to be completed by what deadline in order to keep the project on track. Salesforce currently does not offer a Gantt Chart type resource for project managers, but luckily, many apps do.

GANTT Chart Project Management Inspire Planner

3. Time Tracking

A time tracking feature will come in handy when you are forecasting project timelines. You want to look for a time tracking feature that you can use to compare “Actual” time spent on projects with “Estimated” and see the difference. A feature like this will help you see where potential project bottlenecks are and understand what types of tasks may take your team longer than others. Then, you will be able to create a realistic project or task deadlines to set your team up for success!

4. Projects Templates

If you often have similar or repetitive projects, you should consider a tool that has a project template feature. Just like Salesforce Email Templates that save you time from writing the same type of email over and over, you want to consider picking a Salesforce project management tool that offers pre-loaded project templates so you don’t have to create new projects from scratch every time. This will save you countless hours of project setup so you can instead focus on managing your team and helping them succeed.

5. Team Collaboration Capabilities

Every project manager knows how important collaboration is for a successful project. Communicating the right information at the right time is vital to make sure every team member has what they need to succeed. Your Salesforce project management app must have the capabilities for you to share your project with people both in and out of Salesforce, especially since some of your clients may not use Salesforce themselves. Additionally, you should look for a tool that is completely integrated with Chatter if your team uses it for communication so they don’t have to learn a completely new communication method.

Learn more about 6 Awesome Chatter Features You Need to Start Using Today in our article!

Team Collaboration Inspire Planner

So, Which Tool Should You Pick For Your Team?

When it comes to picking the right Salesforce project management tool for your company or team, you should definitely consider choosing one that has the 5 essential features above. These 5 features will not only help you gain more visibility into projects and how your resources are being used, but they will also make working together much easier as a team, saving time overall. We’ve created a list of our Top 5 Favorite Project Management Apps in Salesforce that have some of, if not all of the features listed above to help.  If you want to use Salesforce to its fullest capabilities but also have successful project management, getting a project management tool should definitely be a consideration in your near future!

Inspire Planner - Project Management in Salesforce Simplified

Salesforce Influencer Spotlight: Tiffani Bova

In our previous issues of Salesforce Influencer Spotlight, we’ve talked with some of the most outstanding members of the Salesforce community: Eric Dreshfield, Ben McCarthy and Fabrice Cathala. These guys have spent a big chunk of their lives working with the Salesforce ecosystem and they know how it works from the inside. The whole community wins when there are such people sincerely supporting and contributing to it.

However, our new guest is not just an active member of the Salesforce community, she is one of the front-runners of Salesforce. This time we put our Salesforce Influencer Spotlight on Tiffani Bova! Tiffani is the Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce and author of Growth IQ: Get Smarter About The Choices That Will Make Or Break Your Business. Prior to that, she was also a VP, Distinguished Analyst and Research Fellow at Gartner. She has interviewed guests ranging from Dan Pink to Arianna Huffington on her “What’s Next!” podcast and her insights have helped such companies as Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Dell, and Amazon-AWS to expand their market share and grow their revenues.

In the following interview, Tiffani tells about her amazing experience with Salesforce, discusses the importance of innovation and growth in the companies of today and shares some details about her conversations with industry champions.


Tiffani, first, we would like to thank you for taking the time for this interview. We are really honored to talk to you as a part of our Salesforce Influencer Spotlight series. Let’s begin with your truly outstanding professional experience – you have been an integral part of many organizations including Gartner and now Salesforce. What were the key lessons that you learned throughout your career that helped you to shape up as a professional?

Tiffani Bova: It was all about learning for me. As a ‘practitioner’ who ran sales, marketing, and customer service before joining Gartner I can tell you that the hands-on experience I gathered prior to advising companies now for the past 13 years has helped tremendously as I have furthered my career.

Can you please tell us the story of how you joined Salesforce? Did you have experience with Salesforce products before joining the company?

Tiffani Bova: As an analyst, I had the pleasure of working with Salesforce for many years and had attended 10 Dreamforce conferences prior to joining the company. When I made the decision to start exploring the possibility of leaving Gartner I began to think about where I would want to work next. While I had many companies I admired and would have loved to join, it was the fact that every time I would leave a Dreamforce event I wanted to be a better person. For me, for this phase of my career, I knew that was the deciding factor for me. The good news is, they were excited to have me join the company.

Photo Credit: Tiffani Bova

Being the Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, can you please tell our readers how Salesforce encourages product innovation internally? 

Tiffani Bova: It is not a coincidence that Salesforce ranks as a leader in ‘best places to work’ and ‘innovation’ – culture is a huge piece of our success especially when it comes to innovating. We have a culture of innovation that starts with creating an environment in which a diverse group of people can collaborate and do the best work of their lives, and having what Marc Benioff calls a “beginner’s mind,” a concept from Zen Buddhism. We have to be open to multiple viewpoints and not hang onto the past, which is how many great companies end up losing their way.

In your work, you claim to be looking out to the future for disruptive trends. What are the main disruptive trends that Salesforce users should be ready for in the next 3 years?

Tiffani Bova: There are a few we have been talking about for some time now. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and all that the 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing to companies around the world. Einstein, in particular, is transforming the way we work. By building AI into existing tasks, Einstein is reducing employees’ routine work, allowing them to focus on higher value work and make better decisions. Along the way, humans and machines are working together and are both acquiring new skills to be more productive.

In addition, the focus of many companies is now how to use technology for the greater good of companies, people and societies. The opportunities are endless but need to be well thought out to ensure we use tech for good not evil.

In your opinion, what are the reasons for Salesforce being such an outstanding and recognized company all around the world? In other words, what does Salesforce have that other tech giants don’t?

Tiffani Bova: Our culture is what makes working at Salesforce so special. It isn’t that other companies don’t have amazing cultures, I just feel like Salesforce is really something unique. We foster, encourage and support diversity and inclusion. We give back as a company and as employees. We invest in preparing and training the next generation of Trailblazers with our free, online training platform – Trailhead. We have a leadership team that is committed to our core values (trust, customer success, innovation, and equality) and they use them as the guiding force on all the decisions they make which affect the Salesforce Ohana.

Tiffani Bova’s Speech at Dreamforce ’16

What are some of the tips or tricks that help you out on a daily basis when you use Salesforce?

Tiffani Bova: My first piece of advice is to use it! While that seems obvious and simple, there is so much power to the platform that you can take advantage of if you are willing to take the time and learn. This is where Trailhead is such an amazing way to help everyone continue to learn and increase their own capabilities. I always say we don’t have a ‘technology problem’ when it comes to usage, we have a people and process problem. We all have to be better at embracing change.

Do you have any favorite Salesforce apps from the AppExchange that you could recommend to our readers?

Tiffani Bova: There are literally too many to choose from – but I like any app that helps companies deliver compelling and meaningful experiences.

Apart from your job at Salesforce, you are also hosting a podcast “What’s Next! with Tiffani Bova”. Can you please share what it’s like to have such people as Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington, Guy Kawasaki and other notable industry professionals as your guests? What was one of the most interesting conversations that you had during the podcast and why?

Tiffani Bova: The podcast has been amazing thus far. I wanted to capture these great conversations I have on my travels meeting fascinating people and share them with others, What’s Next was the best way for me to do this. There is no one conversation that stands out, all of them do in their own way. I know one thing for sure, I learn something new every time I do one – about myself, about the other person and more importantly about things that I am interested in.

You have recently published a book “Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices That Will Make or Break Your Business” which was recently named a Wall Street Journal Bestseller. What kind of insights should people expect when they get their hands on your book?

Tiffani Bova: This was all about helping companies navigate the thinking process of how best to grow their business. It includes 30 stories of companies that had reached a crossroad and what they did when they faced either a growth opportunity or challenge. It is the perfect resource for anyone who is looking to become much more intentional in their decision making.

Thanks for the great interview, Tiffani! Just to wrap up our conversation, if you could ask Marc Benioff just one question, what would it be?

Tiffani Bova: What’s Next?


What’s next? We have an answer to this! Look out for our upcoming interview with Tom Blamire (Salesforce Tom) on Inspire Planner!

Inspire Planner - Project Management in Salesforce Simplified