MS Project vs Smartsheet: Which one is the better project management tool?
When it comes to selecting a project management tool, there are many options available in the market. Two popular tools are MS Project and Smartsheet, both of which offer different features and benefits. In this article, we will compare these two tools to help you decide which one is the better fit for your project management needs.
Microsoft Project is a software application used for managing projects and portfolios. It has been around for over 30 years and is widely used in industries such as construction, engineering, and manufacturing. It is a desktop-based tool that allows users to create Gantt charts and track progress on various tasks. On the other hand, Smartsheet is a cloud-based platform that offers a range of collaborative tools for project management. It is designed for teams who work together online and need to communicate and share information in real-time.
Let’s start by comparing the features of these two tools.
MS Project Features:
- Gantt Charts: MS Project allows users to create Gantt charts that show the timeline of a project, including start and end dates, dependencies, and critical path.
- Resource Management: Users can allocate resources, such as people or equipment, to specific tasks and track their availability and utilization.
- Budget Tracking: MS Project enables users to set budgets for each task and track actual costs against those budgets.
- Reporting: The tool provides customizable reports that allow users to track progress, identify issues, and communicate with stakeholders.
- Collaboration: Smartsheet is designed for collaboration, allowing team members to work together on tasks, share files, and communicate in real-time.
- Kanban Boards: It offers Kanban boards that allow users to visualize their workflow and move tasks across different stages.
- Forms: Smartsheet enables users to create forms that can be shared with others to collect data and feedback.
- Dashboards: Users can create dashboards to get an overview of their projects, including key metrics, progress, and status updates.
Both MS Project and Smartsheet offer different pricing plans depending on the needs of the user. Here’s a comparison of their pricing models:
MS Project Pricing:
- Desktop Version: The desktop version of MS Project costs $620, which includes one-time payment and lifetime use.
- Online Subscription: The online subscription plan starts at $15 per month per user.
- Individual Plan: The individual plan costs $14 per month and includes basic features such as Gantt charts and collaboration tools.
- Business Plan: The business plan costs $25 per month per user and includes advanced features such as automation and reporting tools.
- Enterprise Plan: The enterprise plan offers custom pricing based on individual requirements and includes dedicated support and enhanced security features.
Ease of Use Comparison
When it comes to ease of use, both MS Project and Smartsheet have different approaches. MS Project is a more complex tool that requires some training and experience to use effectively. It has a steep learning curve and can be overwhelming for new users. On the other hand, Smartsheet is designed to be more intuitive and user-friendly. It has a simple interface that makes it easy for new users to get started quickly.
Both MS Project and Smartsheet integrate with other tools to enhance their functionality. Here’s a comparison of their integrations:
MS Project Integrations:
- Microsoft Office Suite: MS Project integrates with other Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
- SharePoint: It also integrates with SharePoint, allowing users to share information and collaborate on projects.
- Google Drive: Smartsheet integrates with Google Drive, allowing users to import and export files.
- Salesforce: It also integrates with Salesforce, enabling users to manage customer data and projects in one place.
Pros and Cons Comparison
Finally, let’s discuss the pros and cons of each tool.
MS Project Pros:
- Robust feature set
- Detailed reporting options
- Integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft Office applications
MS Project Cons:
- Steep learning curve
- Expensive compared to other tools
- Desktop-based, so not as flexible for remote work
- User-friendly interface
- Collaboration features
- Cloud-based platform accessible from anywhere
- Limited budget tracking options
- Kanban boards are not as advanced as those in other tools
- Limited customization options
MS Project and Smartsheet are both great project management tools, but they cater to different needs. If you require a tool that offers robust budget tracking and detailed reporting, then MS Project might be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you need a tool that is morecollaborative, and offers features such as Kanban boards and real-time communication, then Smartsheet might be the better fit. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your specific needs and preferences.
When selecting a project management tool, it’s important to consider factors such as features, pricing, ease of use, integrations, and pros and cons. By comparing these factors for MS Project and Smartsheet, you can make an informed decision about which tool to choose for your next project.