Seventy-five percent of business and IT executives anticipate that their software projects will fail. Mismanagement of time, resources, and project scope negatively impact projects, setting them up for certain failure.

Especially in IT projects, project managers face unique challenges such as:

  • Communication gap between IT and management: If your management and IT aren’t in sync, you’re experiencing delays in product delivery to clients.
  • Dependency conflict: Installing new software slows down organizational productivity, which occurs because of dependency conflicts with the IT team.
  • Agility and midproject adjustments: IT isn’t always agile enough to find, adopt, and execute solutions to problems such as bug tracking, software installations, and training.

Small businesses face even tougher challenges because of limited resources and IT capability. They need a project management tool that includes data synchronization to keep teams in sync. It should help them collaborate and innovate so that their IT projects are successful.

Small business project managers that fail to employ dedicated tools to support their IT projects and project management strategy will see project failure. With a lack of a baseline for the projects, SMBs could see a negative impact on their revenue and business continuity as well.

To help your business tackle project management challenges efficiently, we’ve compiled a list of 5 top-rated apps (as rated on GetApp) for you to consider:


 

top-rated project management apps for data synchronization

For a longer list of IT Project Management solutions to synchronize data, visit our IT project management software catalog page


Basecamp: Be in sync; manage docs on a single interface

Basecamp is a project management tool that integrates message boards, schedules, to-do lists, group chat, and document and file storage on a single interface. It lets teams collaborate and manage projects efficiently by synchronizing data in one place.

Here’s how Basecamp lets your teams stay in sync:

  • Create projects on a dashboard called HQ (Headquarters). Post, centralize, and synchronize all information on the message boards for everyone to see.
  • Share and discuss code samples in real time with your team. Access relevant text conversations that are automatically synchronized and recorded in the tool for reference at a later time.
  • Create to-do lists as well as update documents and files (images, MS Word files, Google Docs, etc.) to manage projects and share relevant information with everyone.
  • Use the documents and file storage feature to keep all versions of data files in one place. You can also color code the files for better navigation.
  • Collaborate on Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive, with data from all sources synced automatically in one place. Control the access rights to these docs for different team members.
  • Take notes during meetings using the text doc feature and add reference material that others can see immediately.
  • Serve IT clients better by sharing work samples and updates. Also, gather all their feedback in one place in real time.

Basecamp docs and files dashboard

Store and sync docs and files in Basecamp

User feedback trends

Based on the analysis of user reviews on GetApp, here’s an overview of the general user sentiment for Basecamp:

  • Reviewers like that Basecamp lets them work even when they’re not connected to the internet, as it synchronizes everything when they get back online.
  • Users also like that Basecamp connects directly with their email provider, such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail. It syncs all their files and communication.
  • Some users expressed that they’d like to customize the data and reports feature, so that reports can be exported in Excel and PDF formats.

Who should consider Basecamp?

IT organizations that cater to clients directly will find Basecamp helpful. They can share files and ask for approvals within the tool itself. It’s especially beneficial if your clients aren’t really tech savvy—Basecamp’s ease of use lets you communicate with all types of users.


Box: Improve content management; sync files on all platforms

Box is a cloud-based solution that enhances content management across projects and even organizations. It lets users sync and share files (through web and mobile), exchange feedback, track changes, and assign content-based tasks to team members.

Here are some of the ways in which Box helps teams stay in sync:

  • Store all data securely in the cloud and let your teams access, edit, share, and comment on it from any device.
  • Organize tasks, discussions, deadlines, and files in a shared online workspace. This workspace helps you reduce the number of update meetings.
  • Co-edit MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents to centralize all project information.
  • Use Box Notes to collaborate with the team in real time (create, edit, and revisit) during brainstorming sessions.
  • Share files via email or directly from Box by creating a secure link; make edits to the document without having to change the original link.
  • Save content, conversations, feedback, and discussions that you need to retrieve at a later date or time.
  • Integrate with other apps, such as Salesforce, DocuSign, DropBox, and Microsoft SharePoint. Also, sync all your data in one place.

Box file manager view

Access and manage files in cloud using Box

User feedback trends

Based on an analysis of user reviews on GetApp, here’s an overview of the general user sentiment about Box:

  • Users like the Microsoft Office plug-in that lets them work on files on their desktop, save them, and synchronize them to their Box account directly, without having to save it on the desktop. Box syncs files from all sources and facilitates remote access.
  • Many users feel that the tool’s user-friendly interface and compatibility with different file types, such as MS Word and Google Docs, makes it a good choice.
  • Some users feel that Box should allow its sync tool to be used on beta OS environments such as a beta version of macOS. This would help software testers identify and resolve compatibility issues between the operating system with Box even before the OS is launched.
  • A few reviewers feel that Box crashes too frequently. This sometimes poses a problem in synchronizing between different users’ folders.

Who should consider Box?

Box suits IT project managers who need a specific content management tool for documentation. It helps organizations stay compliant with the policies, regulations, and litigation requirements of their chosen region. This way, businesses can ensure that sharing any document with their clients or within teams doesn’t cause any legal harm.


Evernote: Capture content on-the-go to be in sync

Evernote lets users collaborate on documents in real time. It stores documents in the cloud for easy sharing with team members. It also lets users create workflows, digitize important documents, and capture images.

Businesses can use Evernote to manage and keep their projects synchronized in the following ways:

  • Store and share all files securely. Auto-sync across all devices, including desktop, smartphone, and tablet, even when you’re working offline.
  • Save entire webpages to the Evernote account using browser extensions. Get the whole page along with all the text, images, and links.
  • Integrate it with Asana, Todoist, Google Drive, Slack, and more to sync all your data at all times.
  • Collaborate in Evernote Spaces—trade ideas with a client and share updates as well as pinned notes.

Evernote Spaces dashboard view

Collect, organize, and share in Evernote Spaces

User feedback trends

Based on an analysis of user reviews on GetApp, here’s an overview of the general user sentiment about Evernote:

  • Users like that Evernote synchronizes to multiple devices and is suitable for sharing notes with others.
  • Reviewers like that they can auto-sync between devices to find anything they need. However, they feel that the sync is sometimes slow.
  • Users would like Evernote to allow more than two synced devices under its freemium plan. Currently, they can access their notes from the web, but can’t sync them on laptop, mobile, and tablet.

Who should consider Evernote?

Evernote is suitable for teams that are highly mobile or working remotely. It can be used by organizations of any size as it offers scalable pricing plans. It’s also useful for teams that need a solution to digitize their data for the first time.


Jira: Track bugs and issues to manage IT projects

Jira offers issue and bug tracking capabilities that make it suitable for IT project management. It also helps small businesses improve their project planning and management by allowing advanced code integration and scrum and kanban boards.

Here are some ways in which Jira helps teams by synchronizing information about their projects:

  • Create scrum boards and kanban boards to keep teams in sync on information related to tasks, workflows, deliverables, etc., at all times.
  • Get and share burndown/burnup charts, sprint reports, velocity charts, etc., with data about real-time performance to help teams plan and forecast roadmaps for projects.
  • Review software bugs and take assignments from shared dashboards, with access to all data in a single place.
  • Connect test results back to the issue with version control systems, such as Git or Mercurial, to synchronize everything without leaving Jira.
  • Integrate with Github, Affinity Live, Salesforce CRM, AtTask, and Clarizen development tools to stay updated about code changes, builds, and issues with full context.
  • Create recurring tasks for automation and bulk edit all tasks. Track and log the time for billable and nonbillable tasks.

JIRA code integration feature

Code integration in Jira

User feedback trends

Based on the analysis of user reviews on GetApp, here’s an overview of the general user sentiment about Jira:

  • Reviewers like that the data stored in Jira can be queried easily and exported into multiple formats, i.e., Excel or Word for non-Jira users.
  • Users feel that Jira offers powerful features that allow communication and planning to be in sync between teams.
  • Some users feel that Jira isn’t really user-friendly. For them, it’s easy to lose track of the created tickets and difficult to configure data from the boards to create burndown charts and other reports.
  • Users would like Jira’s synchronization time with Git to improve. They feel that it consumes a lot of data and slows down the tool overall, restricting their
    ability to use the tool.

Who should consider Jira?

Jira is suitable for businesses of all sizes that prefer agile project management. Its issue and bug tracking capabilities as well as project management features make it useful for businesses involved in software development, online services, and automobile and aerospace engineering.


Trello: Synchronize with visual task management

Trello is a cloud-based tool that features visual task management, activity and task tracking, project management, and time tracking. It helps teams stay in sync across time and location.

Here’s a brief overview of how Trello synchronizes data and centralizes information for efficient IT project management:

  • Add cards (which represent tasks) to the Trello board and upload files from your computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox to sync them with the tasks; this allows efficient collaboration with the team.
  • Back up your data automatically to avoid data loss in case a card or board gets deleted.
  • Discuss topics using comments; add quick or detailed notes for reference in real time and notify team members by mentioning them (@mention).
  • Archive cards and find them later using the synchronized files and data capability. Glance through the “aging cards” that haven’t been looked at in a while to avoid missing out on important information.

Trello dashboard

Dashboard in Trello

User feedback trends

Based on an analysis of user reviews on GetApp, here’s an overview of the general user sentiment about Trello:

  • Users like that Trello allows them to share different boards with many people and synchronizes the boards automatically.
  • Reviewers like that Trello synchronizes with SEMrush, allowing everyone to access the insights at all times in a central place. Users don’t have to manually copy and paste the information to share it, saving time.
  • Some users feel that it’s an efficient productivity tool and synchronizes well with other tools such as Slack.
  • Others feel that Trello is difficult to use, specifically the data export feature intended for tracking.

Who should consider Trello?

Trello is specifically suited for teams that use agile project management. IT project managers can keep the scrum board and use kanban methodology with Trello. The software offers time tracking on cards, which is useful for freelancers and time-bound projects.


Next steps

Your project’s success depends on which tool you choose and how well you use it. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind to choose the right tool:

  • Understand your business requirements and invest in a project management tool that meets all your business needs.
  • Check out the pricing plans of each solution and ensure that it’s scalable. This will allow you to continue using the tool as your business grows.
  • Understand the integrations and ask whether the vendor offers legal compliance for all kinds of data storage and sharing.
  • Go for the solution that fits your budget and offers free trials, demos, training, and support for your small business.

METHODOLOGY

The solutions highlighted in this article are the project management software systems that offer data synchronization capabilities and had the highest overall user rating from among the most reviewed products at the time of writing (the week of 20th August, 2018). Here’s an overview of our method for choosing this list of top-rated apps:

  • We filtered project management products that offered features facilitating data synchronization capabilities. The list of 50 products was then arranged in descending order, with those having the highest average customer review at the top. From among the top 10 products with the highest number of reviews, the five having the highest user ratings were shortlisted.
  • The “User feedback trends” section for each product is based on the analysis of feedback for the feature discussed, from users who left reviews on GetApp.
  • Additional information in the article is compiled from vendor websites and other secondary sources, wherever mentioned.