Salesforce Project Management Software Portal

Salesforce project management software knowledge gateway

Portal for all Salesforce project management software topics: reviews, evaluation tools, and how-tos. Find your best Salesforce project management software. It is primarily intended to help someone evaluating whether to use Salesforce for project management, and if so, find the best Salesforce project management software for their company. You will find:

  • individual reviews of Salesforce project management apps available on the AppExchange
  • a comparison of the Salesforce project management apps by type
  • an Excel project management tool evaluation template with over 150 requirements for download
  • how-to instructions for selecting the right Salesforce project management software
  • plenty of links to the best the web has to offer

Does Salesforce Have Project Management Software?

Yes. Salesforce has three types of project management software:

1) Standard Salesforce Project Management Tools

There are tools built within the standard Salesforce solution which will support project management. None of these will provide a total solution, but can be incorporated into third-party apps or your own custom build. These tools are:

  • Chatter – Chatter is Salesforce’s standard collaboration tool for direct messaging. You can create groups for individual projects to track conversations and share information.
  • DevOps – If you do a lot of development customizing your instance of Salesforce, DevOps integrates with GitHub to provide a version control and packaging solution for building Salesforce applications.
  • Kanban Board – The ability to view and manage tasks on a Kanban board.
  • Service Cloud – This is Salesforce’s customer service solution. It comes with the ability to record incidents (i.e. bugs) and issues. Thus, it can also be leveraged to manage project-related bugs and issues.
  • Tasks – The ability to create and assign a task comes as a standard feature. However, you cannot relate the tasks to build a project schedule. These would be more ad hoc tasks that arise during a project.

2) Free Salesforce-Built Project Management Applications

Salesforce applications are free add-on tools that can be installed from the Salesforce AppExchange and are published under ‘Salesforce Labs’. Salesforce has published several project management tools they use internally for download. These internal Salesforce project management apps are:

  • Agile Accelerator – A tool focused on managing scrum teams and agile sprints. A nice tool for this specific purpose. Here is a detailed review: Agile Accelerator Review.
  • Gantt Chart Lightning Web Component – A sample component that demonstrates what can be built with Lightning Web Components (LWC). Displays resource allocations across a timeline.
  • Professional Services Automation 2009 – A PSA tool focused on managing project resources, time and expenses. There is also a second outdated app called “Professional Services Automation”.
  • Project Management Tool (PMT) – A PMO-type tool, it has pretty limited functionality but could serve as the starting point for a custom build. Here is a detailed review: PMT Review.
  • Resource Availability Checker – Lightweight solution for scheduling events in Salesforce calendar (either a meeting or onsite visit). You can choose skills required and the date/time to find all available resources and assign events to them.
  • Scheduler Live App for Quip – A collaborative meeting scheduler where participants can propose and vote on meeting times.

3) Third-Party Salesforce Project Management Applications

Third-party firms partner with Salesforce to offer applications on the Salesforce AppExchange. All apps offered on the AppExchange are built natively within the Salesforce platform and go through a rigorous security review. Most apps offer free trials and can be loaded directly from the AppExchange. There are currently 96 total apps listed under the ‘Project Management’ category on AppExchange.

Here is a page which is an ongoing effort to review and score all of the Salesforce project management software: Salesforce Project Management Software Comparison

Can Salesforce do project management?

Yes. Salesforce has standard project management functionality and there are numerous add-on apps which provide scheduling functionality.

When using Salesforce for project management there are some limitations to consider:

  • Single Consolidated View of a Person’s Tasks – Ultimately, it would be nice for a Salesforce user to be able to see all the tasks assigned to them in one place, whether the task comes from a project schedule or is an ad hoc task assigned by their manager. To achieve this, will require building some custom flows. This is because there can be multiple ‘task’ objects. Salesforce itself, has created at least three separate task objects: Standard ‘task’ activities, Service Cloud tickets, and the PMT app uses a another task object. Then, any third-party project management app may have its own task object. Some third-party apps come with custom flows that synchronize the tasks on their schedules with the standard Salesforce task activity object (Inspire Planner is an example).
  • Report All Project Tasks – A project manager is going to want to see the status of all tasks associated with a project. This can require custom flows because when a user creates a task, it is associated with the currently open record. So if the project management software has a project object and then related children objects (like milestones, costs, benefits, etc.) a user can end up assigning a task to one of the child records. To support consolidated reporting, a field must be added to the task to record the master project value. This field can be populated manually by the user or automatically using a flow. Project Lifecycle Pro comes with automation to address this issue.

1) Standard Salesforce Project Management Functionality

  • Kanban Board – Salesforce offers a standard Kanban Board view of tasks, which can be used by Agile teams. Or, by any team that likes the Kanban Board format.
  • Service Cloud – This is Salesforce’s customer service solution. It comes with the ability to record incidents (i.e. bugs) and issues. Thus, it can also be leveraged to manage project-related bugs and issues.
  • Tasks – The ability to create and assign a task comes as a standard feature. However, you cannot relate the tasks to build a project schedule. These would be more ad hoc tasks that arise during a project.

2) Salesforce-Built Project Management Applications

3) Third-Party Salesforce Project Management Applications

There are several project scheduling, professional services administration (PSA), project management office (PMO), and project portfolio management (PPM) apps on the AppExchange that provide basic task management functionality.

If you are looking for advanced scheduling capabilities that would be needed for a complex construction project and that are provided by tools like Primavera, none of the current Salesforce scheduling apps will meet your needs.

If you are looking for a Salesforce equivalent to a mid-range scheduling tool like MS Project, there are a few that come close. This reviewer has not found any with the ability to perform automatic resource load leveling. Another key differentiator between the scheduling apps is the ability to plan task dependencies and to reschedule when task dates change. An example that comes close to MS Project functionality is Inspire Planner.

Here is a page which is an ongoing effort to review and score all of the Salesforce project management software. See the ‘scheduling tool’ section: Salesforce Project Management Software Comparison. The page includes links to individual reviews of the apps, with specific scores for the scheduling process. There is also a downloadable spreadsheet on each review page which scores the app on specific scheduling requirements.

Who should use Salesforce for project management?

No one should rush out and buy Salesforce just to manage projects. However, if someone already owns Salesforce for other purposes, they should seriously consider also leveraging it for project management.

If you answer ‘Yes’ to most of the questions below, you will benefit from exploring Salesforce project management software.

  • Are you an existing Salesforce customer?
  • Are you interested in building custom cloud-based solutions using no-code tools?
  • Do you want to leverage your existing Salesforce licenses for more than just Sales and Marketing?
  • Are you currently struggling to get consolidated management views of your active projects?
  • Are you struggling to implement a standard project management process?
  • Do your projects require custom processes and information capture, yet you want to avoid custom coding?
  • Do you want to be able to automate your project management process without having to code?

Construction Companies or Other Complex Schedules

If you are a construction company or other company with very complex project scheduling and estimating requirements, you may want to consider a blended solution using a best-of-breed scheduling and estimating tool like Primavera interfaced with Salesforce for managing project data, reporting and automation. Here is why:

  • You don’t want to buy Primavera licenses just for someone to view basic project data and reporting.
  • You want a cloud-based solution but as of 2022, Primavera’s cloud solution doesn’t have the full functionality of the self-hosted version.
  • You want to automate the business processes associated with projects. As of 2022, Salesforce’s workflow automation tool (Flow) is far superior to Primavera’s tool.

Want a Fully Automated Project Process

A solar farm developer was able to fully automate their project development process (everything but construction) using an integrated process and systems built around Salesforce. The ease of customizing Salesforce without code and the Salesforce Flow tool to build automated workflows were critical to this solution.

Standard project templates were built in a Salesforce scheduling app. The standard project templates could be fully customized while maintaining the automation. The tasks on the standard project templates linked to standard workflows. When a user opened an assigned task:

  • They were given a link to a detailed procedure on how to complete the task.
  • They launched an automated workflow which collected the required information.
  • They were presented with the supporting documentation required to complete the task.
  • They were given links to standard document templates that needed to be completed for the task.
  • They were able to upload documentation which was automatically associated with the project and the standard document types.

Read more about this type of solution here: Build a Remarkable Salesforce Project Management Platform

Professional Services Organizations

The most popular Salesforce project management solutions are professional services administration (PSA) tools. A PSA tool offers a seamless process to turn a sales lead into an opportunity and then a project. It also provides the ability to manage the ongoing project and billable hours. If you are a professional services organization, you should seriously consider a PSA tool. Here is the list of AppExchange PSA Tools.

Have a Unique Project Management Process

Salesforce is incredibly easy to customize without any code. If you have a unique project management process and you may want to automate the process in the future, Salesforce will provide this flexibility. You should consider building a custom solution on Salesforce while leveraging some existing apps, rather than purchasing a stand-alone project management solution and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Here are some examples of why Salesforce is a great no-code platform for customization:

  • Custom product data fields can be added to existing objects in a matter of seconds.
  • Advanced automated workflows can be built and tested in a few hours using Flow.
  • Reports and dashboards can be built and maintained by end users.
  • The solution is built on the Salesforce cloud-based platform with full security controls.

What are the types of Salesforce project management tools?

Project Management Office (PMO) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Tools

These apps are focused on the integration management process to capture project data and foster visibility and collaboration, while instilling a standard project management process. Think of enabling an executive to open a dashboard to see the status of all projects. Or, an app that facilitates rolling up all project costs to a department budget. Or an app that facilitates the annual process of evaluating and selecting capital improvement projects.

Scheduling Tools

These apps are focused on the schedule management process and are most easily identified by containing a Gantt chart to perform detailed task planning. These tools are what most people think of when thinking about project management. But the project schedule is typically the sole purview of the project manager, and these tools don’t address the full project management process or the collaboration requirements with the project team. Microsoft Project and Primavera would fall into this category, but of course, they aren’t Salesforce apps.

Professional Services Automation (PSA) Tools

These apps are focused on supporting professional services firms which turn Salesforce opportunities into projects once a contract is awarded. The key functionality is to create a standard project schedule based on the type of opportunity and to manage the project resources. Thus, they are primarily focused on the resource management process. Tasks are assigned labor hours and then resources are assigned to avoid overallocations and to ensure on-time delivery of the project. Actual time is then recorded against the project so that the customer can be billed.

Specialized Tools

This is a miscellaneous category which consists of small, highly-specialized apps which would serve as addons to a comprehensive project management solution.

Which is the best Salesforce project management app for my company?

Professional Services Companies

If you are a professional services company (i.e. software development, accounting, architects, etc.) you should research professional services automation (PSA) tools. All other companies will probably find PSA tools cost prohibitive so you should consider more generic solutions. But if you are not a professional services company and require very detailed resource and cost management, you may also want to consider a PSA tool.

There are more than eight PSA tools available on the Salesforce AppExchange. A PSA tool is built to support a professional service company’s key requirements:

  • Have a seamless transition from sales opportunity to onboarding and managing a project.
  • Forecast resource demand and track actual hours.
  • Invoice customers based on hours worked.
  • Forecast and track project costs and profit.
  • Communicate and collaborate with the customer.

A detailed evaluation of the four best Salesforce PSA tools can be found here.

A comparison of the scores of all the Salesforce PSA tools can be found here, with links to individual review pages.

Construction and Other Companies with Very Complex Projects

If your company is in the construction industry or runs very complex projects as part of your core business (i.e. Fluor Daniel, NASA, etc.), you will need to look outside Salesforce for your schedule and procurement management solutions. You may want to build a hybrid solution using a best-of-breed project management tool (Primavera) integrated with Salesforce for project automation, metadata and reporting, but there isn’t a schedule management or procurement management tool within Salesforce which will meet your needs.

When I say ‘very complex’, I mean very complex. These would be project schedules with thousands of tasks and hundreds of suppliers. Unless you’re building bridges, skyscrapers or lunar landers you should be able to build a project management solution in Salesforce. A Salesforce solution should be able to handle most IT projects, including large ERP installations.

A solar farm developer used Salesforce as part of a hybrid solution. They built utility-scale solar farms with hundreds of acres. The construction arm of the company used Primavera to manage the actual construction of the farm. However, Salesforce was used to manage the projects from concept through the regulatory process, design and financing before construction began. Salesforce was also used as the corporate reporting platform for the entire project lifecycle. Salesforce was ideal for this solution because the pre-construction project schedules were only a few hundred tasks and involved many handoffs and documents that could be automated using Salesforce Flow. See this post for details on such a hybrid solution.

All Other Companies

For a comprehensive project management solution, you will probably need to install several Salesforce apps and perform some custom configuration. Here is a page which is an ongoing effort to review and score all of the Salesforce project management software: Salesforce Project Management Software Comparison

The comparison page also contains links to specific detailed reviews for each app. The detailed review pages also contain a link to the evaluation spreadsheet used to score the app. This spreadsheet contains over 150 requirements which you can rank to generate your own personalized score. Identify a short list of apps from the comparison page and then download the evaluation spreadsheets to perform your own detailed scoring.

If you are only interested in a native Salesforce scheduling tool, here is detailed evaluation of the best scheduling tools.

Where do I find Salesforce project management software?

All Salesforce-approved applications built by Salesforce partners will be listed on the Salesforce AppExchange. Project management apps will be listed under the Collaboration/Project Management category. As of December 2023, there are 96 apps in this category. If you search ‘project management’ in the AppExchange search bar, it returns over 300 apps!

How do I evaluate Salesforce project management software?

1) Determine the most important project management processes

Determine if you want a comprehensive solution which would be provided by PMO/PPM software or you want a specialized solution like a scheduling tool. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines ten project management processes which can be used to categorize the project management functionality:

  • Communications Management
  • Cost Management
  • Integration Management
  • Procurement Management
  • Quality Management
  • Resource Management
  • Risk Management
  • Schedule Management
  • Scope Management
  • Stakeholder Management

2) Develop a short list of tools

Develop a short list of 3-4 tools by performing basic research on the AppExchange. You should be able to create a short list fairly quickly by just reading AppExchange listing and reviews. You want to develop a short list so you don’t waste time performing detailed analysis of every possible project management tool.

Here is a page which is an ongoing effort to review and score all of the Salesforce project management software: Salesforce Project Management Software Comparison

3) Build an evaluation spreadsheet with detailed requirements

Create a list of key requirements the project management software should meet. Then you can score each of the tools on your short list against these requirements. Here is a free downloadable evaluation spreadsheet with nearly 200 project management requirements to get you started: Project Management Software Selection Spreadsheet

4) Score the project management software short list

You have two choices, you can score the software yourself or you can issue a formal RFP and ask the software vendors to score the software against the requirements. In most cases, you’ll want to do a little of both.

Most Salesforce apps provide a free trial or test drive where you can actually put your hands on the software to assess if it meets your requirements. Links to the free trial or test drive will be on the app’s AppExchange listing. Performing you own detailed review will help you identify new requirements to include on your evaluation spreadsheet.

You can get a jump start using the evaluations of specific Salesforce project management apps provided on this website. Start at the comparison page: Salesforce Project Management Software Comparison. Navigate to the specific detailed reviews for each app using the links on the comparison page or find them on the blog page. The detailed review pages contain a link to the evaluation spreadsheet used to score the app.

5) Consider other factors

Once you’ve scored the short list software based on functionality and you understand the key differentiators, you need to assess other factors. The number one factor is cost. How much will licenses cost? Will professional services be required to install the app?

You also want to consider the level of support provided and take into account any customer recommendations.

Normally, you would assess security risks and security standard compliance for each app. However, since the apps reside on the Salesforce cloud, this should not be a factor. The app’s security risk should not be any greater than that of Salesforce.

Related Information

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