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The best enterprise project management software

By Nicole Replogle · February 7, 2023
Hero image with the logos of the best enterprise project management software

As an enterprise project manager, it's your job to keep all the plates spinning at once. Large organizations often have multiple ongoing, complex projects in different departments—and while they sometimes feel disconnected, each project has an impact on the whole company's success. 

The right project management software can help you manage multiple objectives at once and keep your team(s) informed, avoiding wasted effort and unnecessary delays.

I spent several weeks testing dozens of enterprise project management tools to find the solutions that best fit the needs of larger organizations. Based on that experience, here are my picks for the top six project management enterprise software solutions.

The best enterprise project management software

  • Asana for a user-friendly solution

  • ClickUp for fully remote teams

  • Teamwork for a complete suite of tools

  • Nifty for internal and external collaboration

  • ProofHub for working across departments

  • Smartsheet for spreadsheet-based project management

What makes the best enterprise project management software?

How we evaluate and test apps

Our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. Unless explicitly stated, we spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.

Project management looks completely different depending on the team and project manager in charge—and that's without even getting into which project management methodology you use. That makes choosing the "best of" in such a diverse category tricky. Every enterprise team has different priorities and work styles, which means you'll value completely different features in a project management tool. But to narrow it down, I chose a few priorities most teams will have in common:

  • Secure file storage and sharing. Collaborating on projects is much easier when you can attach files to their relevant projects or tasks—but as an enterprise team, you need to be able to trust that your data is secure. Every tool on this list uses data encryption and meets industry standards for security and privacy.

  • Integrations and automation. The best tools take mundane data entry and repetitive workflows out of your hands, freeing up your time to focus on more important tasks. I looked for tools that not only integrate with other popular business apps but include built-in automated workflows within the project management app itself.

  • Customizable views and overall aesthetics. Just because it's enterprise software, it shouldn't be clunky. The best enterprise project management tools have user-friendly interfaces that are customizable enough to work for each user. Team members should be able to filter information easily and see their assigned tasks in a calendar, board, Gantt chart, or table view. I also gave bonus points to apps that provide a "home base" of sorts—like a customizable dashboard or a page showing only that user's tasks across all of their projects. 

  • Ease of use across departments. If your entire organization is using this tool, it needs to be flexible and intuitive enough to work for every department and team. Tools built for specific uses—like IT or web development—didn't make the cut (but they can be great solutions, so don't write them off). And given the sheer number of plates an enterprise organization keeps spinning at once, the app also needs a way to organize projects into different workspaces or categories so that each team can stay on top of their responsibilities.

  • Team collaboration and user permissions. Not every employee should have administrative control over your organization's data. The right enterprise project management tool will let you set user permissions appropriate to each user's needs. It should also have collaboration tools—like chat and comments—to let your team get work done asynchronously.

Modern teams are looking for tools that go beyond traditional project management and into "work management," which is the coordination of workflows, plans, and projects across your entire organization. Because of the scale required, enterprise project management typically involves more aspects of work management in order to run smoothly. That's why the best enterprise project management tools have features like workflow automation, milestone setting, and robust reporting.

However, for this article, I didn't consider project portfolio management (PPM) apps. As opposed to project management, PPM is a top-down approach that begins with setting your overall business strategy and objectives. PPM software can be very useful for setting clear goals and ensuring everything your organization does contributes to your growth objectives—it's just not what we're looking for here.

Instead, I was looking for a tool to help you and your team manage the projects and work you already have. So the focus is on project management apps that include work management features and, as a result, scale well for large teams. Some tools on the list—like Asana, ClickUp, and Nifty—work for teams of all sizes, which is why they appear both here and on our list of the best project management software for small businesses. That kind of flexibility can be a nice asset for a software solution because it's more likely to be accessible to everyone at your company.

And with that, here are the best enterprise project management apps.

Best user-friendly enterprise project management software

Asana (Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android)

Asana, our pick for the best user-friendly enterprise project management software

No matter the size of the team, Asana is one of the most popular project management apps out there—and for good reason. It's extremely easy to use and has a streamlined, modern interface that doesn't overload you with navigation options (while still keeping your team organized). Everything just…works.

Before researching for this article, I was familiar with Asana as a solo user and as a contractor—but this was the first time I'd evaluated it through the eyes of an enterprise team. I already knew that the tool works extremely well for each individual user, with a highly customizable personal dashboard and widget options for things like upcoming tasks, goals, and even a private notepad. 

The My Tasks page also lists all of your upcoming tasks across projects—and from there, you can view them in list, board, or calendar format. If you want your employees and team members to get the most out of your project management tool, it should feel like a home base where they can get a bird's-eye view of their responsibilities, plan their day, and even jot down a few private notes.

From an enterprise project management perspective, Asana offers robust reporting features to give you a quick overview of each project's status and any overdue or at-risk action items to follow up on. You can also set goals and sub-goals—which automatically track your progress based on your chosen criteria—to help guide your team toward success. 

Asana's Teams function helps you organize projects across departments. When you create a new project within that team, you have the option to make it public to all team members—which saves you time manually inviting the right people each time.

The messaging function allows your team to collaborate, including a chat field, without leaving the app. And the team workload manager (available on the Business plan) shows you which of your teammates are overloaded, so you can reassign work more evenly and avoid staff burnout.

Asana comes with powerful native automations, letting you create custom rules like notifying you when a due date is approaching or adding the right collaborators when a task is moved to a specific section. It also integrates natively with dozens of popular work tools like Google Workspace, Slack, and Jira. And for even more flexibility, you can use Asana's Zapier integrations to connect it to your most-used apps. For inspiration, check out how other teams are automating Asana with Zapier. And here are a few workflows to get you started.

Since Asana is already widely used across industries and organizations of all sizes, everyone (including a new hire) is likely already familiar with it—and if they're not, it's easy to learn. This makes it a great choice if you want to hit the ground running with a minimal learning curve.

Asana pricing: Free plan available for up to 15 users; paid plans start at $10.99/user/month for additional views, workflow automations, and advanced security. 

If you go with Asana, take a look at these 5 ways to automate Asana. Or if you're looking for an Asana alternative with even more workflow management tools, you might try monday.com. It has a very similar layout to Asana—and while the home dashboard and user permissions aren't as customizable, monday.com does offer unique features like conditional formatting and a Llama Farm widget to gamify your team's productivity. If you go with monday.com, here are 4 ways to automate monday.com

Best enterprise project management software for remote teams

ClickUp (Web, macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android)

ClickUp, our pick for the best enterprise project management software for remote teams

ClickUp is a powerful and endlessly customizable work management tool for teams of all sizes. Its layout is pretty similar to Asana, with a sidebar navigation menu where you can navigate to different workspaces, project boards, and customizable dashboards with various widgets and reporting tools.

ClickUp offers the widest variety of view options I've seen, going beyond the standard list, board, timeline, and calendar views and into options like matrix, whiteboard, diagram, document, mind map, and chat. They're not all standard "views," but they give you a lot of options for working within the app, instead of having to jump back and forth between tools.

The app itself is intuitive and comes packed with every feature I could think of to make your team's work go smoothly. The built-in docs feature lets you create and store anything from style guides to reports to meeting agendas and blog post drafts. Get started with hundreds of pre-built templates for new spaces, projects, docs, and views—and (this is cool) new project templates can automatically re-map dates based on your chosen start date. The chat and email features make it even easier to cut down on tab-switching.

On top of all that, the interface is extremely customizable, with multiple levels of organization, so your company can differentiate between departments, teams, and individual projects. ClickUp is customizable and usable on a personal level, too. You can open a notepad to scratch down thoughts, use reminders to keep yourself organized, and drag and drop your tasks into a calendar to help you visualize your workday. 

The automated features and thoughtful interface make ClickUp perfect for remote teams who need to get a lot done without being in the same place. The wide variety of Click Apps let you customize how your team gets work done, with tools like email, time tracking, task dependencies, and collaborative editing. And the Pulse feature is great for giving remote teams the feel of working together in the same office; it shows who's online and what they're working on at any given moment—as well as "trending tasks" for the day.

With the web app, desktop and mobile apps, browser extensions, and voice assistant integrations, your remote team can access ClickUp from literally anywhere. ClickUp has a robust automations feature that lets you cut down on repetitive workflows, and you can use ClickUp's Zapier integrations to help augment ClickUp's functionality across your tech stack. 

Create Google Calendar events from new ClickUp tasks

Create Google Calendar events from new ClickUp tasks
  • ClickUp logo
  • Google Calendar logo
ClickUp + Google Calendar

ClickUp pricing: Free plan available, with paid plans starting at $5/member/month for unlimited storage, dashboards, and more customizable views.

Learn why ClickUp users love Zapier. Or, if you're in the market for more tools for remote and hybrid teams, check out Hive or monday.com.

Best enterprise project management software for a complete suite of tools

Teamwork (Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android)

Teamwork, our pick for the best enterprise project management software for a complete suite of tools

If you're looking for a project management solution that integrates with a larger suite of tools, Teamwork is a great option. It offers additional apps—like a CRM and customer helpdesk—that you can add to your foundational work management platform when your team is ready. 

Beyond its use as a larger suite of tools, Teamwork's project management features are nothing to sneeze at. It comes with a customizable navigation pane, granular user permission settings, and custom templates. Project managers can easily organize projects and lists, either by client or category. 

Given all the features, the interface is surprisingly intuitive—and as I was testing, I appreciated the small touches, like letting you interact with tasks (changing their status or priority, for example) without needing to click into them. I'm also always a sucker for customizable personal views, which is why I loved Teamwork's custom "My Boards" feature, where you can create flexible boards of your assigned tasks across projects.

Teamwork's milestones feature is also more helpful than most other project management apps. Many apps let you set milestones to measure progress throughout a project, but most of them feel abstract and disconnected from the concrete tasks involved in completing it. But Teamwork's milestones work by attaching task lists, which feel much more functional and useful for a team.

The app comes with plenty of bonus features, including a Slack-like chat tool, time tracking, and invoicing (but alas, no payment processing). And the built-in automations let you set up custom actions to trigger when you add a task to a board or column. You can also use Teamwork's Zapier integrations to connect it with your other most-used tools, like Google Calendar or Toggl.

Teamwork pricing: Free plan available, with paid plans starting at $9.99/user/month for more reports, templates, and automations.

If you're looking for a tool that fits into your existing tech ecosystem, you also might want to consider Microsoft Project (if you use Microsoft Office tools) or Zoho Projects (if you use Zoho apps).  

Best enterprise project management software for collaboration

Nifty (Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, browser extensions)

Nifty, our pick for the best enterprise project management software for collaboration

One challenging aspect of managing an enterprise team is finding a way to collaborate on tasks and projects—especially when everyone isn't in the same room, or even the same company. Nifty keeps these struggles in mind and provides plenty of features to make both internal and external collaboration easier.

Nifty integrates natively with Google Drive and OneDrive for easy document uploading and linking. And it makes it easy to collaborate with clients or external partners by inviting them as guests to specific projects. These guests have limited access to your project views, but they can still collaborate meaningfully by uploading files, completing tasks assigned to them, and engaging in discussions with the project. 

And if you want to add or limit additional access, you can adjust guest permissions in the settings menu. Many project management tools allow guest access, but Nifty lets you customize granular guest access permissions to find a balance between security and productivity that works for you and your external partners.

Many project management apps I tested have chat and messaging capabilities, but usually, discussions must be connected to a specific project or task. Nifty is one of the few tools (along with Teamwork, above) that models its chat feature after Slack. Easily create 1:1 channels and group chats where you can have ongoing discussions and send a GIF or two. The chat feature is essentially a place for your team to collaborate and build rapport across projects and tasks—without having to leave Nifty. 

Nifty's navigation and interface are intuitive and familiar if you've used a tool like Asana before. You can create projects from built-in templates, set customized roles and permissions for your teams, and use the Portfolios feature to organize projects across departments.

Another small feature I appreciated as I was testing is the calendar view. It shows a list of unscheduled tasks by default, making it easy to schedule upcoming to-dos by dragging and dropping them into the calendar.

Nifty works well as a home base from both an individual and a PM standpoint. Project managers can use the Overview tab to get a bird's-eye view of each project's status, while individual users can visit the My Work tab to view upcoming tasks with a variety of views and filters—as well as their personal timesheet.

Nifty does have a limited workflow builder within the app, and it integrates natively with nine tools, including Zoom, Slack, and Google Drive. But if you want to do more with automation, you'll love that it has Zapier built right into the app—meaning you can set up your own custom Nifty integrations without ever leaving the tool.

Nifty pricing: Free plan available, with paid plans starting at $5/member/month for advanced features like time tracking and reporting.

If you're looking for a tool that lets you collaborate with clients, you may also want to consider ActiveCollab. The app lets you choose between two levels of client permissions: standard client or "Client+", which lets guests add, edit, and complete tasks.

Best enterprise project management software for organization across departments

ProofHub (Web, iOS, Android)

ProofHub, our pick for the best enterprise project management software for organization across departments

If your entire organization is using the same project management tool, you need a way to categorize and organize projects across multiple departments. ProofHub offers several levels of organization—from categories to projects to task lists to tasks—that let you customize how you sort information. 

From there, each user can filter project views by stage, task status, assignee, and dates—which is more customizable than many other tools I tested. The granular level of organization and views makes this tool a powerful resource for not only organizing project info, but also preventing your team members from getting information overload.

Project managers can easily get a bird's-eye view of progress across all projects in the Everything tab. You can choose to view all tasks, calendars, time tracking, Gantt charts, and activities across a selection of projects or categories. 

As its name suggests, another of ProofHub's strengths is its use as a way to review, proof, and collaborate on designs and files. The markup tools let users annotate files easily from within ProofHub itself.

I also really appreciated the extra features that make this tool easy to use as a home base. The sidebar—which stays put no matter where you navigate across the app—displays a personal agenda of upcoming tasks, a "stickies" tool to jot down notes, a bookmarks tab, and an announcements feature. The Me page is also a customizable dashboard where users can choose widgets to display their most-used views, like an agenda, task list, or time log.

Perhaps the biggest downside of ProofHub is its lack of integrations. While users can connect natively to nine tools, including Slack, Google Calendar, iCalendar, file storage apps, and QuickBooks, ProofHub is lacking the automation features of other tools on this list.

ProofHub pricing: No free plan available. The Essentials plan is a flat fee of $45/month billed annually, and the Ultimate Control is a flat fee of $89/month billed annually for unlimited projects and users, custom roles and workflows, and more.

Wrike is another tool that works well for organizing projects across multiple departments and categories. While Wrike has a steep learning curve, it's extremely customizable and comes with several automations and integrations to cut down on repetitive tasks.

Best enterprise project management software for  spreadsheet-based project management

Smartsheet (Web, iOS, Android)

Smartsheet, our pick for the best enterprise project management software for  spreadsheet-based project management

Sometimes, a spreadsheet is the best way to get things done—and for many project managers, it's hard to move away from a spreadsheet-based system. That's where Smartsheet comes in.

Smartsheet is lacking a few of the important features I looked for during this testing journey, like intuitive navigation, use as a "home base," and various bonus features. But what it lacks, it makes up for by adding plenty of functionality to a spreadsheet foundation—and for some enterprises, that's enough.

Unlike other tools that are based on projects, Smartsheet's foundational element is the sheet. Users input important data and tasks into sheets, which they can then view as a Gantt chart, grid, calendar, or cards. Use hierarchy and smart columns to further organize data, and like Google Sheets, you can set up formulas and conditional formatting rules to visualize your data.

Many enterprise teams rely on Smartsheet because it has the versatility of Excel or Google Sheets—but with more views, collaboration tools, and automations. It might have a steep learning curve and a few UI drawbacks, but if your team thinks in spreadsheets, you'll get a lot out of this tool. 

Smartsheet also has native integrations with tools like Google Workspace, Slack, and Jira—and it also connects to Zapier, meaning you can unlock powerful automations with the rest of your tech stack. For example, you might want to add new Smartsheet rows directly from your Gmail account, or keep your team updated in Slack when a new Smartsheet row is created.

Smartsheet pricing: No free plan available. Paid plans start at $7/user/month for unlimited sheets, viewers, multiple views, and 250 automations per month.  

How to pick the best work management software

The best work management tool for your enterprise team depends on your priorities. Are you looking for a ubiquitous and user-friendly app that can easily scale with you? Asana might fit the bill. Or if you want something that's built for remote teams and collaboration, ClickUp and Nifty are worth exploring. On the other hand, Teamwork is a great choice if you're looking for a tool that comes with its own larger suite of tools. And ProofHub and Smartsheet are solid if you need robust, complex database management. 

Effective enterprise project management means staying on top of multiple complex, seemingly disconnected projects at once. Choosing the right project management platform is just the first step; you also need streamlined processes, employee buy-in, andautomated workflows that reduce human error and keep important tasks from falling through the cracks. 

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