Developers looking at a whiteboard to plan their roadmap.

3 things that matter most for a project management tool


Our daily professional lives involve recognizing, prioritizing, and completing tasks. These tasks comprise the larger projects and initiatives that drive company and business success. When you think about it this way, the project management tool and system you choose at work, for yourself or your team, is critical.

These are the top considerations when choosing a project management tool for yourself, your team, or your company.


Many professionals and teams seek features and support matching the latest tech. When choosing a project management tool and system, it takes time and effort to onboard data and users, learn the technology, and use it consistently. For these reasons, teams don’t want to switch tools very often. They want to find something smart, useful, and effective that will last a while or permanently.

Therefore, the features of the project management tool will need to match or be better than other options on the market.

The features users request and use consistently relate to the ability to:

  • Assign owners and collaborators
  • Set deadlines
  • Construct timelines
  • See a project overview
  • Track cost and time
  • See and operate from a calendar view
  • Organize tasks by style (for example, Kanban boards and Gantt charts)
  • Set and track meetings
  • Integrate with other tools


Users often try out new project management tools to see what they’re like before taking them to a colleague or their team for further review and investigation.

Project management tools and systems are easier to understand once you open and use them, so a free option or tier is essential.

When you determine a tool to be a good fit for your team, you may need to purchase a membership tier that fits the number of seats or users you need and the features you need to get your work done well.

For non-profit organizations and academic institutes, a low-cost option can be vital to moving forward with the right tool.

Security and privacy

Most government and healthcare groups choose a project management tool because they need a secure environment to hold and protect their private information, so open source and on-prem become non-negotiable requirements.

An additional requirement for choosing an open source system is that it should be actively developed and maintained to ensure access to fixes and improvements. Not only that, but this increases the likelihood that the project management system will endure as it continues to meet customer needs.

How to choose the best project management tool

Modern and robust features, pricing tiers from free to enterprise, and options allowing for proper security from the user’s end are the top three considerations for choosing the best project management tool 2024.

What matters to you? What would you add to this list?

Jen is the customer and community manager at OpenProject.