Stay up to date
+ and more!
As an engineer, it is important to have effective project management tools and processes in place to stay organized, meet deadlines, and track progress.
There are many project management software options available, including those specifically designed for engineers and those suitable for use in any industry.
In this article, we have compiled a list of 9 project management software options that may be particularly useful for engineers in managing their projects and achieving better results.
It is important to consider the specific needs and goals of your firm when selecting the best software option for your needs.
WHAT IS ENGINEERING PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE?
Engineering project management software is software that helps you manage your projects including budgeting, scheduling, planning, staffing, invoicing, and more.
This is different from engineering design software. Engineering design software usually helps with the design of structures, systems, and products. With it, engineers can draft and build models, and develop plans to send to clients.
When looking for engineering project management software, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
First, software should have time tracking as integral in how it manages projects, resources staff, and does billing. In engineering, time is money and there’s no way to measure performance and profitability without using time as the key metric.
Second, they need to be easy to administrate and use because engineering firms don’t often have an in-house IT expert.
Third, because engineering is unique in many respects, it’s helpful to use software that is verticalized, meaning that it is built for engineers. Using software that is built for lawyers, consultants, and other professional services will not meet the unique workflow challenges you and your firm face every day.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 best project management software systems we found for engineers.
1 - MONOGRAPH
Every part of Monograph was designed by design professionals and with engineers in mind.
We understand that engineers are experts at designing structures, systems, and products—not IT—and so we designed software that is easy to implement and use. We’ve built (and are continuing to build) all of the features that engineers need, while eliminating the complexity that has become characteristic of software in this space.
Monograph was also designed around the concept of time as the key unit of measurement. When employees track time with Monograph, that time is automatically turned into insights in other parts of the platform: profitability, project progress, billing, and more.
"I have downloaded every major software and tried at least 30-40 different platforms. None of them compare to the ease of use, simplicity, graphic style, and overall effectiveness of Monograph."
—Swatchroom | WASHINGTON D.C.
- Get a bird’s-eye view of your projects, budgets, and tasks
- Share project timelines with your clients with a single click
- Keep track and Invoice Consultant Fees by Phase
- Track Employee Compensation
- Set up and manage phases and milestones
- Build a budget and schedule
- Resource your team based on project plans
- Forecast project needs for hiring & staffing
- Track time online easily and efficiently
- Review individual workloads and work distribution
- Log expenses and overhead to inform financial reporting
- Turn timesheets into invoices
- Get insight into the financial status of all your projects
- See real-time reporting on profitability, projects, and billable hours
Monograph offers two pricing plans. Track and Grow are designed to provide firm leaders with options that help them meet their goals.
2 - Deltek Ajera
This combination of project management and accounting software was developed in 2004 specifically for architecture and engineering firms.
Deltek Ajera was developed back in 2004 so some tools can be clunky and outdated.
- Real-time dashboards
- Accounting tools
- Billing tools
- Payroll services
- Mobile app
- Tracking project time and expenses
- Viewing staff data like utilization and forecast workloads
Deltek Ajera doesn’t publicly share its pricing. You will need to reach out to the company directly for an exact cost.
3 - BQE Core
BQE Core, was made with a goal of helping you save time and focus on your architectural duties. It is feature-rich and has several features ported over from ArchiOffice. However, a quick scan of product reviews shows that it can be challenging to implement and manage, especially with the occasional performance issues.
- Easy to use performance metric dashboards
- Time tracking
- Project management
- Document management
- Financial transactions and accounting are merged into one place
- Comprehensive and automated reporting
- HR software
- Mobile app for iOS and Android
- Built-in RFI and ASI integration
You'll need to reach out to their sales rep to get a quote. However, on Capterra, it’s reported that BQE Core starts at $29/user/month, with obvious opportunities to increase that cost with more feature add-ons, usage, and product training.
4 - Newforma
Newforma is the software to use if you are looking for something widely used and well established.
As a project information management tool, Newforma is best for storing records and documents. You can quickly and easily share those files with clients or consultants.
Developed in 2003, Newforma is used by almost 1,500 different architectural firms.
- Project management tools
- Document management tools
- BIM (as an add-on module)
- Integrates with AutoCAD and Revit
Newforma doesn’t list their prices on their website. You will need to contact them directly for a quote. Google tells us it will end up costing around $5,000 per license.
5 - Outplanr
Outplanr is a work management and project planning tool.
You have the option of creating tasks for work and for personal use—the personal ones are kept private.
This one isn’t designed specifically for architects, so you may find some of the tools don’t fit quite right.
- Workload balancing
- Shared events and activity logging
- Create and manage tasks for you and other staff members
- Upload external files
- Use with other apps like Slack and Google Calendar
Outplanr will cost you anywhere from $15-$250 per month – depending on the number of team members.
6 - Archisnapper
ArchiSnapper is dedicated to onsite work management as a construction project management software.
ArchiSnapper is designed specifically for construction and architectural projects.
- Progress observing, note making and report generation
- Template checklists and blueprints
- Create new reports using previous ones
- Uploads all data to the cloud
- Information sharing and working with others
The cost for ArchiSnapper is $29/month per user if billed annually. This increases to $34/month per user if billed monthly.
7 - Xledger
Xledger is a cloud-based ERP system focused on automating tasks and streamlining.
It helps small businesses avoid integration issues and unnecessary costs by bringing together into one app:
- Business management
- Project planning
This app wasn’t designed with engineers in mind but has the customizability and scalability to fit most businesses.
- Handles billing and payroll
- Expense Tracking
- Integrates with existing systems
- Integrates with third party vendors with web services, JSON data exchanges, and GraphQL
Unfortunately, you will need to contact the company directly to get an exact cost.
8 - Taimer
Taimer is a solid option for project management. It has most of the typical project management features that the average architect could need.
Taimer’s goal is to simplify your work. They estimate they can replace 10+ apps with Taimer.
Taimer is great for customer relationship management (CRM). Download their software to improve your communication with your clients.
Taimer isn’t created specifically for architects. They do have a free eGuide to using their software as an architect.
- Project management tools
- Time tracking and resourcing
- Task management
- Team collaboration tools like project messenger
- Invoicing tools
- Billing and expenses
- Real-time dashboards
- Integrates with over 15 different platforms like Google Calendar and Quickbooks
Taimer costs anywhere from $15-$30/month per user.
9 - ASANA
Asana is a commonly used software for architects, but rather calling it a project management tool, we see Asana as more of a task management tool.
Asana is great at creating visual task list. This helps your whole team quickly understand what their to-do lists are every day.
- Kanban boards and visual project plans
- Project management
- Task management
- Set and track goals
- Manage team workloads
- Desktop and Mobile Apps
- Connect to other tools like Slack and Dropbox
Pricing for Asana is anywhere from $0-$24.99/month per user.
4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD USE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
There are a lot of benefits for architects to start adopting project management software.
1 - REDUCE NON-BILLABLE WORK TO BE MORE PROFITABLE
Project management tasks can often take a long time and give you a headache. How many Excel spreadsheets can you manage at one time?
Project management software helps make it all easier.
You also get done with your project management tasks sooner.
PMI’s Pulse of the Profession report found that project management software saves the average employee 498 hours per year.
Instead of clicking through emails and spreadsheets to track timesheets, you just click a few buttons and get a nicely detailed report.
Instead of asking everyone what they’re working on, you can see exactly how much time each employee is spending on every project.
In fact, Monograph customers like Verdant Studio reported an 80% reduction in staffing time by using RESOURCE.
“Previously, I would sift through emails and use project staffing sheets to plan out the week for teams––that would take me nearly 4-5 hours to complete, but now it only takes me an hour, if that.”
—Jessica Hester, CEO, Principal Architect at Verdant Studio
2 - KEEP TRACK OF PROJECTS TO STAY ON TIME AND ON BUDGET
Engineers use project management software for the same reason we use other apps – to stay organized in our complicated world.
Think of project management software for architects as a daily planner.
See if projects are starting to veer off track before it's too late.
Know if your team is running out of budget or if the schedule is running behind.
When companies used project management software, 66% of them completed projects within their original budget (Pulse of the Profession report.)
In comparison, only 47% of businesses that didn’t use project management software completed projects on budget.
That means your team is 40.2% more likely to stay on budget if they use project management software.
In order to stay on time and on budget, you need a way to see where your budget is in comparison with your timeline.
That’s why Monograph created the MoneyGantt. The simple dollar sign indicator on our Gantt chart helps you visualize if you’re staying on budget so you can course-correct before you run out of fee.
“Every week, the team also uses the MoneyGantt to look at how much is owed to them, and how much time they have billed per project per phase to make sure they’re not going over budget.”
—Brad Mallette, Founder at AMBL Studios
3 - USE REPORTS TO GET REAL-TIME VISIBILITY INTO COSTS
In AIA’s 2021 Tech Culture Report, architects (similar to engineers) were asked how they would grade their firm's ability for real-time visibility into costs, budgets, and profitability of projects.
Of the firms that use project management software, 68% reported that their firm is very/extremely capable with strong solutions in place.
For the firms who don’t use project management software, this number of very/extremely capable firms dropped to 41%.
The Monograph Projects Report pulls insights from your project budgets and hour allocations to give you a forecast of your revenue in addition to what's already been logged.
For each project, you can keep track of its status (proposed, active, paused, canceled, completed), and compare the planned fee vs the consumed fee, and the planned hours vs consumed hours.
4 - FORECAST PIPELINE TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS
According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession report , 54% of project management software users reported they were very/extremely capable of understanding their holistic pipeline of potential projects.
However, only 35% of the firms that don’t use project management software were able to say the same (Tech Culture Report.)
Why should you care about being able to understand your project pipeline? It helps you make better decisions on hiring and project pursuits.
If you use Monograph as your project management software, you can keep track of your project pipelines inside our Planned Profit Report.
You can see how much profits you’re making down the line and get insights into your profitability based on all of your projects across your firm in a month-by-month view.
“Planned Profit Report is so useful for us in our monthly meeting to look forward for the next 3 months. Being able to look at what’s coming down the pipeline and to see what we think we’re going to be making is extremely helpful."
—Dawn Zuber, FAIA, Principal at Studio Z Architecture
WHAT PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE IS BEST FOR YOUR FIRM?
Setting yourself up with the best project management software will help:
- Stay on track and on budget
- Make the people working for you happier
- Save you time and energy for the tasks you enjoy
- Gain repeat clients
Have you tried any of the software we listed?
Do you have a favorite? How have they helped you in managing projects?
Let us know.