Project management software has become instrumental to the success of brands, businesses, institutions, organizations, and teams of every shape and size worldwide.
In municipal project management, project management software fulfills a similar role to what it fulfills in a business context.
Indeed, many aspects of running a city, town, or other urban areas are similar to running a business.
There are tasks to track and delegate, projects to manage, reports to analyze, and so on and so forth. Project management software breaks down large tasks into bitesize chunks that can be easily accessed by different team members, organized, and most importantly, completed.
Municipal project management software saves both time and money, reducing paperwork costs, streamlining team objectives, and monitoring tasks efficiently from ideation to completion.
Paperwork alone costs businesses, organizations, and institutions millions of dollars each year, wasting valuable working hours in the process.
Project management software erases the need for paperwork whilst strengthening teams, equipping them with the tools they need to crush deadlines and stay ahead of the game.
Municipal project management relates to businesses, institutions, and organizations that operate in both the public and private municipal sectors and industries. Clients include State and County authorities, real-estate developers, retailers, and construction managers. Municipal projects also extend to event management, day-to-day local and areawide admin, and pretty much anything else that involves countywide, citywide, or other areawide planning.
Municipal project management also involves construction and repair, waste management, event planning, and data reporting (e.g. environmental reporting or accidents).
Of course, there are many tiers and scales to municipal project management.
Individual departments may need a way to collaborate their teams together, which is especially important for remote work.
Traditionally, teams might have used a combination of email, Office, and GSuite, relying on spreadsheets and other manual reporting methods.
Now, project management software can empower municipal teams and departments with an effective means to plan and structure their projects.
So what sort of features are useful for municipal project management?
Project management software has 6 main features:
Let’s take a look at 5 of the best options for municipal project management software.
ClickUp is probably the most powerful project management software in the world. Its main strength is its near-infinite customizability. This makes it an excellent choice for municipal project management, as its features can be easily tweaked to suit any task or project.
First and foremost, ClickUp offers multiple ways to break tasks down into manageable and trackable chunks. Set tasks, create task mindmaps to assist in ideation, and then set up task dependencies and pipelines. You can add comments and Wikis to each task, providing teams with vitally relevant information that they’ll need to complete their tasks. Tasks can be structured in Kanban boards, calendars, or Gantt views.
Emails and Communications: ClickUp integrates with Gmail, Outlook, and other email providers. This allows teams to centralize their communications which are perfect for liaising with other departments, authorities or contractors.
Reporting: ClickUp has numerous reporting tools that enable teams to draw up graphs of their progress towards objectives. This makes reporting progress to managers, municipal planners, or other authorities simple.
Advanced Permissions: ClickUp has advanced permissions features, allowing project managers to prohibit access to certain information or materials.
ClickUp offers a quite remarkable fully free version, but it includes just 100Mb of storage space. There are some limits to how many goals you can set in the free version, which could limit municipal project management teams.
The full version costs $5 per user per month when billed annually or $9 per user per month when billed monthly. This is extremely competitive amongst other project management software and it’s tough to beat given the breadth of tools on offer. There are deals available for very large enterprise-level teams.
Monday.com is a much more compact and lean tool than ClickUp. Fundamentally, it’s a project management tool with a nice selection of different views for visualizing projects from ideation to completion.
Tagging users is easy and there’s plenty of in-app communication options. Integrations with apps like Slack and GSuite help plug Monday.com into existing workflows.
Monday.com has a slick and simple interface that doesn’t require intense training or onboarding. Tasks can be broken down into timeline blocks, calendars, and Kanban boards. From there, it’s just a matter of tagging team members on certain tasks, tracking their progress, and reporting on KPIs.
For municipal project management, Monday.com is excellent for managing any linear task, such as ordering street repairs, contacting contractors, and inserting deadlines and important task information. The map view is especially useful for municipal projects, enabling team members to visualize events and projects on a local map.
Project Templates: Monday.com comes with over 200 templates that suit pretty much every industry. There are bound to be some templates that suit the needs of municipal project management and urban planning teams.
Dashboards: Team members can access a personal dashboard that breaks down their tasks and deadlines alongside key information. Project managers can access analytics and reporting tools to track task progression and employee contributions.
Monday.com offers a 14-day free trial. From there, the Basic plan costs $8 per user per month when billed monthly, but it doesn’t include calendar or Gantt views. This severely limits its scope, so most will look to the Standard plan at $10 per user per month. The Pro tier is $15 per user per month and offers advanced automation and multi-board dashboards.
Asana is one of the new kids on the block when it comes to project management. At its core, it’s pretty simple with just 3 main views; List, Calendar, and Boards. These are all very customizable and are easy to tweak and optimize for municipal workflows.
Project managers can create projects, organize them with objectives, goals, and deadlines, provide critical information to team members and then delegate and track tasks. Reporting on progress is easy and the in-app comms are excellent, enabling teams to discuss tasks readily even when working remotely.
With Asana, you can build product roadmaps and plan launches – applicable to construction projects and town/city events planning. Tag team members in and organize sprints – bite-size micro objectives that can be delegated to different people. For example, a city event like a fireworks celebration could be broken down into different tasks – hiring a pyrotechnics team, sound team, and security, cordoning off the street, alerting people of the plans via social media events, etc. This sort of project is really easy to organize with Asana.
With tons of integrations, Asana is easily integrated into existing project management workflows. Excellent GSuite integration makes document sharing and email syncing easy.
Team Management Features: Asana is very team-focussed and they’ve put a lot of effort into team networking and management. For project managers, tracking team contribution is simple, allowing tasks to be redirected if necessary, say if a task is proving too difficult for a single person to handle.
Asana has a solid free version that includes unlimited access to a good deal of its features, but there are some important ones missing, particularly when it comes to the team management side of things. The paid versions start at a reasonable $11.99 per user per month when billed monthly. The Business Plan is $23.99 per user per month when billed monthly and provides all team management features and automation.
Fieldwire differs slightly from the aforementioned software in the list. Whilst other software is focused on project management in a more general sense, providing strength in flexibility, Fieldwire is specifically oriented towards construction and job management.
For the construction wing of a municipal department, Fieldwire is an excellent tool for managing public construction projects, repairs, and maintenance. Its project view is designed specifically for these sorts of projects, allowing project managers to tag in team members, contractors, and other key project stakeholders.
There are some familiar tools here, like Kanban, Gantt, and calendar views that break tasks down into manageable logical chunks. Inspection, reporting, and compliance tools are all perfectly suited for municipal construction projects where reporting progress to regulators is necessary. The building inspector tool is particularly useful for logging inspections and site visits.
BIM Viewer: Specific features include the BIM Viewer, which enables teams to access technical information; measurements, metadata, and other project specifications. 3D building plans can be integrated into the app, allowing users to digitally assess worksites.
Fieldwire offers conventional pricing per user per month. There is a free version with a 5 user limit and limited functionality. The Pro tier is $29 per user per month when billed annually, rising to $49 for the Business tier that adds the BIM Viewer and some other features, and then $89 for Premier. Premier contains everything including a dedicated account manager. As you’d expect, it’s more expensive than the aforementioned three more commercial software (ClickUp, Monday.com, and Asana).
Projectmates has been in use by US institutions for some 20+ years, including across the States of Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, and Nevada. At its core, it’s a construction planning software aimed towards high-level construction projects.
Therefore, it’s strictly limited to this niche area, and doesn’t quite include the breadth of project management tools that other contenders offer.
The upshot is, it’s specifically tailored for the US construction industry and contains many native functions for organizing construction bidding and granted management, escalation scenarios, and regulated financial reporting.
Projectmates is a pre-approved vendor for TIPS, which makes it an easy swap for legacy systems. It’s worth mentioning that Projectmates isn’t solely designed for governmental institutions, it’s trusted by some 55,000 retailers, real-estate developers and pretty much anyone else that requires construction management solutions in the public or private sector.
The software itself does offer solid project management that allows project managers to tab in various team members, stakeholders, and contractors. The permissions tiering here is particularly in-depth, preventing unwanted access to sensitive or sanctioned information.
RFI Management: RFIs, requests for information, are an intrinsic feature of construction project management. Projectmates has an excellent RFI center that eliminates the need for paper documents. Document management is one of Projectmates’ strong suits.
There is no pricing information available on the site – all pricing is customized to the institution purchasing.
It’s a tough call.
ClickUp, Monday.com, and Asana clearly differ from Fieldwire and Projectmates, but they’re all capable of similar results.
For construction projects, Fieldwire and Projectmates are the likely choices. They offer plenty of niche features like building planning, inspection management, bidding management, compliance, and EHS.
ClickUp bridges the gap between more commercial (and cheaper) project management software and these more niche offerings. Asana and Monday.com are leaner and more streamlined to smaller teams and are more than worthy of their place in this lineup.
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