Operational Excellence

The Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Best Project Tracking Tools in 2024

Written By: Ray Waldron
March 15, 2024
11 min read

What do messy whiteboards, lengthy to-do lists, and sticky note reminders have in common? They’re all traditional tools for organizing the chaos of project tracking. But with larger, more complex projects, traditional tools can actually be a barrier, making project management more complicated.

Project management solutions simplify project management. They increase productivity, aid in time tracking, and provide structure and organization to manage tasks. They also improve communication and collaboration. Teams can share information, discuss project details, and coordinate tasks in real time.

But how do you choose the right project tracking solution for your business?

Keep reading! We’ve created this helpful guide to help you explore your options and find a solution that fits your needs.

The Evolution of Project Tracking Tools

Project tracking tools date back to the 1950s. After the United States Department of Defense introduced the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Approach, the Dupont Corporation coined the Critical Path Method (CPM). Dupont used the CPM to estimate project duration and handle the complexities of shutting down and restarting chemical plants for maintenance.

In the 1980s and 1990s, information management paved the way for low-cost project management software for PCs. By the mid-1990s, internet connectivity allowed teams to collaborate and provide real-time updates. Project management continued to evolve with advancements in mobile apps in 2012. Teams could manage projects remotely from any device.

Complex projects now require more advanced project-tracking tools. Sixty-three percent of teams using collaboration software report improvements in how they manage projects. As teams bring on more user-friendly solutions to improve efficiency, integration with their existing tech stack is a key factor. Many companies are looking for project-tracking solutions to keep pace with innovation and the everyday demands of their work.

Understanding Your Project Management Needs

No two organizations have the same project management needs. This is why it can be hard to choose the best project-tracking tool. Before you weigh your options, start by identifying the scale and scope of your projects. Does your team regularly work on large projects involving various stakeholders and complex tasks? Are your project managers constantly juggling work between project phases?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may need a project-tracking tool with more robust capabilities.

Even if your current needs seem minimal, it’s still a good idea to plan ahead. Say your company experiences rapid growth or project teams keep hitting the same roadblocks. With a project-tracking tool that can scale and adapt to your needs, it’s easier to make pivots and keep projects moving. Your project-tracking solution should have the versatility to manage your workload without costly customizations.

So what are the key features you should consider? The answer to this question will depend on your team’s day-to-day needs and project requirements.

Here are some of the features you’ll want on your wishlist:

  • Project Planning: This feature will allow your team to set project goals, milestones, and objectives. With visual tools like Gantt charts, you can outline tasks, due dates, and dependencies.

  • Task Management: Assign, monitor, and track tasks while ensuring team members are clear on their responsibilities and deadlines.

  • Communication: When a question comes up or teams need clarification, this feature helps teams collaborate through in-app messaging, comments on tasks, and notifications on project progress.

  • Resource Management: It’s not always clear who’s working on what, when, and for how long. Project-tracking tools can help teams divvy up resources and accelerate project completion.

  • Time and Budget Tracking: By tracking time and costs spent on the project or task, you can prevent budget overages, ensure effective resource utilization, and hold team members accountable.

  • Project Dashboards: With a project reporting dashboard, you can see how each project is tracking in a visual format. You’ll also be able to see how teams are spending their time, what work they’re completing, and what areas might need attention.

  • Workflow Management: This feature streamlines workflows through automations that speed up repetitive tasks like updating statuses, assigning tasks, and sending emails.

A Deep Dive into Project Reporting Tools

Reporting plays a critical role in project management. Without it, project team members may be unsure of where a project stands. As stakeholders have questions about project scope, time, budget, and progress, project managers can quickly generate a report to keep them informed.

Data visualization provides clarity to project reporting. Even those unfamiliar with the project-tracking tool can interpret the data and the story it tells. Many project management software solutions offer intuitive designs, interactive reports, and inclusive features to simplify data interpretation. With these tools, users can create visual representations of complex data sets. This makes it easier to create dashboards, reports, and presentations.

Some of the most popular project-tracking tools like Wrike, Jira Software, Monday.com, and ClickUp offer customizable project reporting dashboards. With access to real-time project data, project managers and teams can monitor project status and make informed decisions. Each tool includes a variety of features for tracking progress, deadlines, budgets, and resource allocation.

But how do you ensure your dashboard fits your project needs? When customizing your dashboard, you’ll want a solution that’s easily scannable. Can you find the information you need right away? Your dashboard should also be user-friendly. If the interface doesn’t fit seamlessly into your team’s day-to-day workflow, users will be less likely to use it.

Flexibility is also important. You’ll want to make sure the project-tracking tool you choose allows you to modify and save customizations as needed. For example, one day you may want to see data related to a specific goal. The next day you may need data to support your long-term planning needs.

Top Project Tracking Tools of 2024

Looking to explore some of the best project-tracking tools on the market? Here are project reporting dashboard examples to compare:



  • Suitable for simple use cases

  • Unified platform app for less complex workflows

  • Available on the Android and iOS app


  • Not ideal for managing and running large projects

  • Limited customization options

  • Limited ability to set up role-based access control capabilities



  • Dynamic, role-based reports, charts, and dashboards for real-time visibility into project performance

  • Native integration features and APIs to bring project data together

  • Drag-and-drop workflow automation to optimize tasks and processes


  • Some users report limited dashboard customization options



  • Integrations with many platforms and services

  • One platform for streamlining your projects, people, and processes

  • Eliminate repetitive, manual processes with automation


  • Limited user permissions and controls for managing data

  • Limited integrations with third-party tools and services

  • Limited reporting capabilities for analyzing data



  • User-friendly interface

  • Real-time dashboards for displaying the specific information you need

  • No-code building blocks allow you to create custom workflows


  • Limited dashboard feature and task filtering tools

  • Mobile app includes limited functionality

  • Users report the interface can be limited and confusing

Best Practices for Implementing Project-Tracking Tools

With the right planning, transitioning to a new project-tracking tool can be a relatively painless process. Here are a few steps to ease the transition:

  1. Prepare Your Team. Call a team meeting to make sure your organization is ready to adopt a new tool. Communicate the reasons for the change and address any potential resistance.

  2. Get Leadership on Board. Identify the key leaders involved in the transition process. Ask them to express their reservations early on so your team can come up with potential solutions. If key leaders aren’t on board with the change, it will be harder to get users to adopt and use the tool.

  3. Create a Plan for Integrating the New Tool with Existing Tools. To avoid losing essential functions of your current tools, make sure you have a plan for integrating your new tool with the tools you’re already using.

  4. Provide Tutorials and Establish Guidelines. Showcase the tool’s simplicity through a visual demo and demonstrate how it will make everyday tasks easier. Once you’ve created company workflows and use cases with leadership, provide how-to documents and FAQs to help teams get acquainted with the tool.

  5. Transition in Phases. If you want to ensure greater adoption, it’s a good idea to phase out the transition. It’s often easier for teams to implement a gradual change than one that’s sudden and overwhelming. Break down the implementation into stages and schedule training and onboarding throughout the implementation.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Like many companies, ProjectsForce experienced rapid growth and needed a better way to manage projects. A top management tool for construction and project management, ProjectsForce relied on a Microsoft Access database on the SharePoint platform. However, this solution made it difficult to synchronize new data sources and slowed the company’s momentum.

ProjectsForce transitioned to a new project-tracking tool to reduce their manual efforts. Built-in automations simplified repetitive tasks and workflows, saving ProjectsForce hundreds of hours of manual work. The company saw 98 percent year-over-year growth in customer projects.

Within Procter & Gamble’s Global Business Services (GBS) organization, silos of data contributed to information inconsistencies. Teams were unable to access common data, which led to duplicated efforts, projects, and reports. Time-consuming administrative work also diverted teams and resources from strategic initiatives.

To address the challenges of their growing business unit, P&G turned to a new project-tracking tool. This new tool enabled them to streamline and standardize processes and methodologies, giving service-line managers real-time, global visibility to common data. As a result, P&G eliminated 18-24 days of meetings per person per year. The company increased cost savings from operational efficiency and rapid deployment, with no programming resources required.

The Future of Project-Tracking Tools

Several key trends have already begun shaping project management technology in 2024 including:


Hailed for its ability to give managers the freedom to focus on high-level tasks, automation is quickly becoming a must-have for teams. Automation allows organizations to spend less time on manual tasks and allocate their resources to the areas that will drive the most value for their business.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Eighty-one percent of professionals say AI is impacting their organizations. That number will continue to grow in 2024 and beyond. For project management, Generative AI has the potential to help project managers identify risks and scenarios. They may be able to use it to proactively monitor project progress and allocate resources based on project goals.

Hybrid Work

The post-pandemic shift to hybrid work continues to drive the demand for cloud-based project management software. Project managers are pursuing strategies to manage a more distributed workforce, and many project-tracking tools can help them simplify this task.

How to Stay a Step Ahead

As new technologies hit the market, how can your organization maintain a competitive edge?

Start by identifying which features and functionalities are critical to your organization. Many companies adopt new technologies for the sake of innovation. However, not all of these technologies fit their business, their projects, or their teams. Project tracking and management tools should always be complementary.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new tools and platforms. Explore how project management software can help you manage your projects more efficiently. Ask your teams and stakeholders to weigh in with their experiences and pain points. You’ll often learn the most from the team members with the most pressing needs.

A Final Note

Project tracking tools can revolutionize how your team manages projects. But before you narrow down your options, you’ll need to get specific about your project needs and which features best fit your business. Hopefully this guide helps make your decision-making process a little easier!

Want to stay in the loop about the latest technologies and listen in on conversations with industry experts? Check out the Age of Agility podcast, and be sure to follow Quickbase on Facebook, X, andLinkedIn.

Picture of Associate Content Marketing Manager Ray Waldron set against a lochinvar background
Written By: Ray Waldron

Ray Waldron is an Associate Content Marketing Manager at Quickbase.