Best Software for Innovative IT Project Managers

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 03/07/2023

Despite the market brimming with top-tier solutions for IT project managers, tight budgets force us to be very selective. In this article, we will be covering what type of software is non-negotiable when it comes to delivering IT projects and why you should prioritise getting it first. 

We are blessed to live in an era when our technology is advanced enough to take over more complicated tasks than simple Excel spreadsheet calculations. While the demands for projects have never been higher, the project managers of today have many choices of solutions available to aid them in meeting them. However, having too many choices isn’t great either, especially when projects continue being restrained by the usual offenders such as tight budgets. It is very easy to make a wrong and costly choice. Hence why we are writing this article - to save you some grief. 

In the article below, we will point out the type of solutions that go in a foundation of a tech stack and briefly explain their importance to the overall success. We will also look into different variations of the same tool and discuss how to choose the one that works best for you, when is the best time to make an investment and how excluding these tools can affect your business in the long run.

What Software Do Project Managers Use?

Project managers use a variety of digital tools, mostly referred to as a tech stack. While each project will likely have a different setup, there are solutions that are essential for every IT project manager. Such are:

  • Project management software 

  • Time tracking tool

  • Budget management tool

  • Communication channel

  • Document sharing platform

The Foundation of a Tech Stack

Just like when building a house, you need to start building your tech stack from a foundation and up. There are two key types of solutions IT project managers need to have: a project management tool and a time tracking tool. Let’s have a closer look at each to understand their role and importance. 

Project Management Tool

The hint lies in the very name. A project management tool is the bread and butter when it comes to ensuring everything runs smoothly. It’s a centralised hub that grants you visibility of how the project is progressing overall, as well as how each member of the team is getting along with their tasks. These are the basic parameters found in every solution. Based on what the developer has to offer, however, there will be additional features, different interfaces, or industry-specific add-ons one may need. But ultimately, this is the tool needed to control the flow of the project and the use of available resources. 

Due to the core functionality being relatively simple, there are many free tools available online. However, if you are working with bigger teams, especially involving full-time staff and temporary workers, you want to invest in a more intuitive and flexible tool. In other words, project management tools are easily accessible to everyone, no matter the budget. But, naturally, the more advanced solutions will cost accordingly. 

Time Tracking Tool

In a sense, it is similar to what the project management tool does as it also tracks the process of your team tackling tasks. However, it’s more granular and is focused on the time spent on specific activities. The reason it matters is that it highlights where your project might be stalling, letting you make decisions such as allocating more resources to speed the process up. Additionally, it can help identify general gaps in the flow: inefficient processes, lack of communication and alignment, and many more. 

Another important thing to note is that most projects need to know the exact hours the team spends delivering to bill the client correctly. Sometimes, different tasks or the worker executing them specifically will have different rates attached to them. Meaning they should not be lumped together with the overall amount of time spent on the project. That said, a time-tracking tool is pretty crucial for both, the quality of the project and the communication with the client. 

Other Essentials

The next tier of adding tools to the stack would be that of essentials. Unlike the above-spoken-about solutions, these aren’t the cornerstone of the setup but are still vital for smooth project delivery. The list of essentials is actually longer, but our focus today is IT project management specifically, so we are focusing on just two.

Invoicing Automation

In its essence, invoicing isn’t difficult. Many companies still choose to do it manually, especially when they don’t have many clients. It’s a pretty manageable and quick process when it comes in small volumes. However, as the company scales, it can become a point of friction. Simply put, no matter how small the task is, once it starts stacking up, it can become a major time waster. Invoicing is one of them. That said, even if you don’t have many clients at this point in time, we still recommend getting an invoice automation solution. It’s best to be used to one from the start than scrambling to get one when the need arises.

Very often its processes deemed as easily tackled manually that stump the scaling as companies simply don’t pay attention to how much time they actually consume. Not to mention, there’s always the risk of human error when data insertion is done manually. Given invoicing is one of the matters that touch on finances, just one mistake is all it can take to lose your client’s trust permanently. 

Communication and Document Sharing Channels

One of the key things in ensuring your project runs smoothly is establishing smooth communication between the teams. It can be rather challenging as the project team isn’t always sitting across from one another in the office. Sometimes, they are parts of different departments, sometimes the workers are remote, sometimes there are a couple of freelancers present, and sometimes the team is fully built using contractors that never worked with each other.

There are many scenarios and one way to prepare yourself for any of them: ensuring you have a channel any and every team member can access. SaaS platforms fit the mould as they are browser-based, secure and often enable document sharing and editing in real-time. Meaning no matter where your workers are, as long as they have internet access, they can collaborate and share insights within one platform. Some solutions will also let you add the client, authorising them visibility and communication on certain channels/projects too. 

Anything Else?

The short answer is yes. There are many options for tools IT project managers can utilise. But there is no point in putting that elaborate list together. Not only will it be long, but it will also lack in-depth and offer little to no use other than a general idea. So what’s the point of publishing this article if we won’t complete it? Let us explain.

Every Project is Unique

Needless to say, no project is the same. Even if it’s similar in its nature and even goals, you will most likely have different parameters, budgets, timeframes and so on. That said it’s impossible to determine what sort of software will be required unless you know all ins and outs of the project. Hence mapping your tools out is a step in coming up with a strategy, one you shouldn’t skip either.

Although we have outlined what core software for IT project managers is, different vendors will offer different packages of features and general capacity. That said, a tool that worked perfectly on one project, may be completely unusable for the next. Despite the functionality being, in its essence, the same. For this reason, we recommend using solutions that can be easily upgraded and downgraded, depending on what you need. For example, at Timesheet Portal you can either add or remove additional modules to shape the platform to accommodate a diverse range of different projects.


A project management tool and a time-tracking tool are the most important tools for an IT project manager. They are the very foundation of the tech stack one requires to deliver a project efficiently, quickly and with as few hiccups as possible. However, to choose the right solution you need to know the ins and outs of your project.

It’s also worth considering investing in invoicing automation platform early on, even if you can still easily manage to put invoices together manually. In the long run, it will give you an advantage when scaling your business as you will be ready to take on bigger volumes of work without straining your team. Speaking of the team - successful projects are delivered by teams that communicate and collaborate. It’s your responsibility to give them a space to do so, regardless of their physical location and whether it’s made of full-time workers or contractors. Thankfully, a good SaaS platform will easily meet all these needs. 

Not sure where to start looking for one? You’re at the right place already.

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