How to choose the best project management software for consultants

Ellen Darbyshire
April 9, 2024

Love it or hate it, work as a consultant can be demanding, challenging, and sometimes unpredictable. 

Managing multiple projects and clients with varying requirements, deadlines and objectives requires adaptability, meticulous planning, and consistent communication. 

So how can consultants make their lives easier?

Project management software for consultants offers a solution: a digital tool to help consulting firms streamline project workflows, keep timelines on track, and deliver quality outputs that keep your clients happy.

In this guide, we’ll break down the benefits of implementing project management software in your firm, compare some of the best project management software solutions in the market, and go through some of the top project management features you should be looking for.

  1. Why is project management software important for consultants?
  2. Benefits of using project management software for consultants
  3. Essential features to look for in project management software for consultants
  4. Comparison of best project management software for consultants

Key takeaways

  • Benefits of project management software: Consulting firms may see their productivity boosted by up to 50% when they implement a project management solution.
  • Top project management tool features: Reports and dashboards are some of the most sought-after and commonly used features of project management software, while graphs and charts are the most commonly ignored.
  • Comparison of best project management tools: Most project management software for consultants includes features like task management and dashboards, while integration and automation features are less common.
  • User experience: The user experience of top project management tools differs for different industries and business sizes, but most users cite ease of use and flexibility as their favorite features.

Why is project management software important for consultants?

Project management software is important for consultants because it helps facilitate the timely and successful delivery of multiple projects to multiple clients.

If you’re tracking different tasks, activities and timelines within any given project in different places and systems, this can quickly get out of control and become disorganized—especially when your firm is growing.

In fact, 91% of project management professionals say their businesses face project management difficulties—and 54% say they lack the appropriate technology to improve it.

The benefits of managing all of your projects within one system isn’t just handy for reducing time spent jumping around different tools, though. 

With dedicated project management that’s purpose-built for the consulting industry, you’ll be able to get insights into your overall performance, so you can make better business decisions for your firm, not just your individual projects.

Benefits of using project management software for consultants

In a 2021 user study, Capterra found that project management tools provided universal benefits to the firms that adopted them, as well as a clear return on investment (ROI).

Source: Capterra Project Management User Survey 2021

This chart shows that the majority of users of project management software improved their timeline estimation and used project resources more effectively. They also benefited from enhanced team communication, more accurate metrics, and fewer failed projects.

Additional research from PwC also reveals that 77% of businesses with high-performing projects have adopted project management software.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the other benefits of using project management software for consultants.

  • Improved efficiency: Project management software can boost productivity by 50%
  • Enhanced collaboration: 49% of users state that project management software has improved their team communication
  • Increased organization: 60% of users have reported an improvement in the estimation of timelines, increasing the likelihood of meeting project deadlines and reducing the risk of scope creep 
  • Better decision-making: Project management software provides better visibility over your projects, tasks, and timelines, enabling informed decision-making
  • Improved profitability: Project management software can save up to 20% of project costs, but the overall result of the benefits discussed goes directly to your bottom line

With these benefits in mind, let’s find out about the key features you should be looking for in your project management software.

Essential features to look for in project management software for consultants

Before we dive into the essential features that your project management software should provide, let’s take another look at Capterra’s user study to see what other organizations are prioritizing in their project management software.

Source: Capterra Project Management User Survey 2021

In this chart, we can see which project management software features users don’t currently have but wish they did. Gantt charts take the top spot, with burndown charts taking a close second.

Source: Capterra Project Management User Survey 2021

This chart shows which project management software features users actually employ. Interestingly, there’s no crossover with this chart and the ‘desired features’ chart; the functionality people may think they need may not always align with the functionality they actually end up using day-to-day.

Source: Capterra Project Management User Survey 2021

This final chart shows us which project management software features most often go unused by their users. This gives us a similarly interesting finding: despite being the most desired project management feature, Gantt charts are also one of the most ignored.

All of this to say: to get the most out of your project management software investment, you need to evaluate your own company’s needs and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current project management tool before you make your decision. 

Task management

One of the core features of any project management software should be task management. Task management is the ability to create, assign, and track tasks and activities within your projects, so you can keep on top of your projects’ progress. 

Collaboration tools

Named as both one of the most used and most beneficial tools by users, collaboration functionality is a must-have for your project management software. After all, a successful project relies on clear communication between project members, project managers, and clients, so tools to facilitate collaboration—such as instant messaging and file sharing—are crucial. 

Charts and timelines

Whether it’s Gantt charts, burndown charts, or velocity charts, being able to see your critical project data visualized on one screen will give you an at-a-glance view over your project’s progression. Project timelines are also useful for not just seeing what needs to be done, but when.

Customization options

To have the most success with your project, it’s best to find project management software that allows you to customize your workflows, task lists and dashboards to the unique needs of your sector, business and niche.

Reporting and analytics 

In order to get the most out of your project management tool, look for solutions that offer reporting functionality. By analyzing the performance of your projects and tracking performance metrics, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions about your projects.

Ease of use

It’s all well and good having project management software filled to the brim with complex features and extravagant tools, but if your chosen solution isn’t easy to use, then you’re not going to get the ROI. Make sure to seek out a solution that is user-friendly, intuitive, and quick to learn.

Integration capabilities

It’s important to find project management software that can integrate with other business tools used by consulting firms, such as CRMs and accounting systems. This empowers your firm to streamline workflows and data.

Data and security

As with any software, it’s always good to keep safety, security and compliance in mind. Look for a project management tool that shows a commitment to compliance with industry standards.


Most consulting firms decide to adopt a project management system to help them scale their operations, output and overall business, so it’s important to find project management software dedicated to long-term scalability and adaptability.

Comparison of best project management software for consultants

Now that you know which features and functionality to look for, it’s time to go through some of the best project management software solutions for consultants and compare their functionality. 

We’ll be taking a look at:

  1. CMap
  2. Asana
  3. ClickUp
  5. Trello

1) CMap - overall best project management software for consultants

Source: CMap

CMap is a cloud-based operations platform or PSA (Professional Services Automation) tool for consulting firms that facilitates project management, resource management, project accounting, CRM, and more.

What makes CMap the best project management software solution on this list is its operations-centric approach to project management. 

Many consulting firms find themselves fixated on task management and their ‘in the weeds’ stuff, ticking off completed activities without stepping back to look at the bigger picture.

Rather than focusing on delivery, CMap’s consulting management software gives you insights into how your projects play into the overall health of your consulting firm, with all of your company data connected in one centralized platform.

CMap delivers on key features like ease of use, reporting and analytics, and collaboration integrations—and these things will ultimately add the most value to your consulting firm and deliver the ultimate ROI.

Additionally, CMap is actually built for consulting firms—its functionality was designed to cater to the unique demands of the consulting industry, rather than an all-size-fits-one solution.

Top features of CMap project management software

  • Gantt charts
Source: CMap

In CMap, the project deliverables you budget for automatically translate into Gantt chart items. This view allows you to see not just ‘what’ needs to be done, but also ‘when’.

  • Task management
Source: CMap

CMap also allows you to seamlessly create project management tasks using customizable templates and categories, allowing you to delegate, schedule, and monitor tasks with confidence.

  • Dashboards and reports
Source: CMap

Rather than leaving your data buried within your project management system, CMap brings it to life with custom reports and dashboards, so you can get the project information you need, right where you need it.

  • Documents
Source: CMap

CMap allows users to directly store client and project documents within the system. And with the Microsoft Teams add-on, you can surface Sharepoint documents within CMap.

  • Integrations 

CMap offers a host of different integrations throughout its system, from HubSpot to QuickBooks, but the Microsoft Teams add-on enables you to automatically create teams and channels to keep your staff communicating and collaborating. 

CMap also features finance capabilities, resourcing, timesheets, CRM & marketing, a mobile app, and more. You can find out more about CMap here.

2) Asana

Source: Asana

Asana is a cloud-based task and project management tool that helps consulting firms track, assign, and schedule tasks, activities, and projects. 

Top features of Asana project management software*

  • Task management: Asana enables users to assign, schedule, and track project progress, allowing them to meet project deadlines and goals.
  • Mobile app: Asana is available via your browser, desktop app, or mobile app, so it can be accessed anywhere, at any time.
  • Dashboards: Asana offers multiple views of project dashboards, including lists, calendars and Kanban boards.
  • Collaboration: Users of Asana can message and react to messages from their team members in the app, boosting collaboration.

*Information correct at time of writing in April 2024. Functionality is subject to change.

3) ClickUp

Source: ClickUp

ClickUp is a cloud-based productivity and enterprise project management software designed to help consulting firms manage their projects, people, and time. 

Top features of ClickUp project management software*

  • Task management: ClickUp’s functionality helps users schedule tasks, keep track of deadlines, and get an overview of project progress.
  • Resource management: ClickUp offers resource management tools such as timesheets, workload views, and dashboards.
  • Mobile app: As well as via browser or desktop app, ClickUp is also available via mobile app to be used on-the-go.
  • Collaboration: Teams can collaborate using ClickUp’s chat functionality, whiteboards, and documents.

*Information correct at time of writing in April 2024. Functionality is subject to change.


Source: is cloud-based project management software designed to help consulting firms manage their tasks and goals and collaborate. 

Top features of project management software*

  • Task management: Project progress, tasks and activities can be managed within, along with defining goals and objectives.
  • Resource management: Resources can be allocated and managed within to help maximize the efficiency of your teams.
  • Portfolio management:’s portfolio management features offer a high-level overview of active projects and their status.
  • Requests & approvals: has built-in custom forms and project approval processes to streamline data collection.

*Information correct at time of writing in April 2024. Functionality is subject to change.

5) Trello

Source: Trello

Trello is a cloud-based teamwork and project management tool that helps teams collaborate, delegate, and organize tasks.

Top features of Trello project management software

  • Task management: Trello offers multiple different views of projects to help users tick off tasks and check progress statuses.
  • Automation tools: Trello offers in-built automation tools that allow teams to create rules, buttons and commands.
  • Integrations: Trello integrates with a wide range of tools, from HR & operations to product & design

*Information correct at time of writing in April 2024. Functionality is subject to change.

Comparison of user experience across different project management software

Getting an understanding of the specific features and functionality that the best project management software for consultants offer should help you choose the right solution for your consulting firm.

But what do the end users actually think?

We’ve compared reviews and feedback from customers to determine which project management tool offers the best user experience. This data has been pulled from G2, the host of the world’s largest collection of software reviews.

1) CMap - 4.5/5 - overall best project management software user experience

CMap has consistently been ranked at #1 for ‘Ease of Use’ by G2. CMap has also consistently ranked at #1 for ‘Likelihood to Recommend’, ‘Quality of Support’ and ‘Meets Requirements’.

Here’s what users have to say about CMap:

“CMap is super easy to use, and the real-time data is fantastic for project management, including the finance side. I love the system—they’re always making improvements.”

- Gillian Murphy, Consulting Operations Manager, Clarivate

“CMap is very user-friendly and intuitive, requiring minimal explanation for using it. It saves a lot of time and helps keep track of the projects. It enables users with no previous project management experience to effectively manage their projects.”

- Lora Stoeva, Facade Engineer, Patrick Ryan Associates

“I’ve been using CMap for over ten years—I loved it then and love it now. It can transform the effectiveness of your business, and you can understand things in real-time. It has a good range of project management, business development and CRM tools, all in one system.”

- Kim Price, Consultant Director, Gatehouse

Read more user experiences from CMap’s case study library.

2) Asana - 4.3/5

Asana is ranked among the top fifty project management programs on G2, as well as ranking highly among other G2 grids like Work management and Objectives.

Here’s what users have to say about Asana:

“I like how Asana allows me to plan, organize and manage my workload. It's great for keeping track of what needs to be done by when, as it provides reminders to help me stay on top of things. Project tracking is easy from start to finish."

- Dhaval Katira, Manager, Deloitte India

“Asana is a great tool to organize and prioritize my tasks and projects. It is a very user-friendly tool, with a great interface to navigate around easily. It allows me to see in an easy and orderly way, my pending tasks, and arrange them according to their priority.”

- Claudia Walls, Salesforce Solution Manager, IZEI Consulting Group

“Asana is really intuitive and easy to use, it can adapt to many different workflows and makes project communication simple. It helps to centralize communication and manage tasks in a much more efficient way.”

- Guillem Gomez, Research & innovation Lead, KingEclient

3) ClickUp - 4.7/5

ClickUp is also in G2’s list of top fifty project management platforms and ranking #1 in G2’s list of collaboration products.

Here’s what users have to say about ClickUp:

“ClickUp is very useful and user friendly. I really like the fact I can communicate clearly about the tasks me and my team have to do. We have tool to prioritize them, attach files, mention colleagues and share the boards or tables or timelines with other people to make them understand our projects.”

- Bianca Gomes Gagliano

“I love that ClickUp is so customizable in terms of what you can add in the columns and how many different ways you can use it. They also have a great learning platform that's super helpful. I like being able to add users to very specific areas too.”

- Kirsty Waugh

“ClickUp is great. It is super personalizable and very user friendly. The learning curve at the beginning is rather steep, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature!”

- Fay Sahyoun

4) - 4.7/5 was voted as one of the top global software companies by G2 in 2023, and named a ‘Leader’ in their market size in G2’s 2024 winter report.

Here’s what users have to say about

“ allows our team to move work from one group to another with the click of a button. We spend less time documenting the statuses of various tasks and composing emails. It is an integral part of our workflow that we use every day, all day!”

- Joy Stelring-White

“On the whole, is a logical system and easy to navigate. It's an incredibly flexible software. There are lots of different ways to organize, and lots of automations that flow between boards to help.”

- Shell Feda

“ works great for small teams. It has been relatively easy to implement processes, and we’ve also been able to integrate it with Gmail and Slack to advance our automatizations.”

- Naiki Olivas Gaspas

5) Trello - 4.4/5

Trello's project management platform was ranked among the top 100 software products by G2.

Here’s what users have to say about Trello:

“I love how easy it is to organize tasks into boards, lists and cards. I also like that I can visualize all my work in a clear and orderly manner. It also facilitates team collaboration, as everyone can see progress and assign tasks to each other easily.”

- Gustavo Cardona, Head of Digital Services, Telefónica

“What I like best about this Trello is its simplicity and effectiveness in organizing tasks. And the most helpful aspect is that it has a user-friendly interface, and the upsides include streamlined task management and easy collaboration.”

- Jeffrey B

“Trello is a great tool for project management, for tracking activity of team members and provides scope for collaboration. The progress of each individual task can be tracked on a regular basis and it also provides features such as attaching documents, linking with SharePoint, and generating reports.”

- Verified User in Hospital & Healthcare

Information collated from G2 correct at time of writing in 2024.

Final thoughts

For project management to be effective, it’s important to understand exactly what you want to get out of your project management software before you make any purchases.

Some of the best project management software solutions mentioned in this article are more suitable for small-scale consulting firms with smaller staff sizes to help them with everyday activities like task management and collaboration. 

Others are better suited to consulting firms looking to scale their operations and get more in-depth insight from their project management tool.

With the best project management software for your consulting business, you’ll save time on tasks, increase communication across teams, and get better visibility over your operations.

Happy project managing!