If you’re juggling multiple projects and trying to keep track of who’s doing what and when, or whether one person is waiting on a second person before to complete a task before getting to work, you need project management software. More specifically, you probably want something with Gantt charts so you can see how all the work is expected to play out and what potential roadblocks there are on your timeline. GanttPro, which only launched in 2015, is a relative newcomer to the space and has tailored its platform to small businesses that need a fully capable and interactive Gantt chart but not extras like reporting or invoicing tools.
GanttPro is off to a strong start. Its core features work well, and its online interface runs with ease. It reminds me a lot of TeamGantt, but with a little more zip. What holds it back are the features it’s missing. If you need a bit of everything, try instead Zoho Projects or Teamwork Projects, our Editors’ Choices for small teams. Larger organizations will find that LiquidPlanner, another Editors’ Choice, is built to handle the biggest and most complex jobs, and it adds a lot of rich resource management tools to boot.
What Is a Gantt Chart?
Gantt charts help project managers and project teams see their tasks plotted on a timeline. With a Gantt chart, you see when every task is due and how much time is needed to complete each one, as well as any dependencies that exist among them. For example, if Task A must be done before Task B, which must be completed before Task C, you’re able to see all those relationships on a chart.
Many project management applications include Gantt charts as an option, but only some make them the primary view. GanttPro falls into this latter category, alongside TeamGantt and LiquidPlanner. A benefit of using Gantt charts is that they give project leads a broader view of tasks, timelines, and resources all at once, which lets them manage resources effectively.
GanttPro Pricing and Plans
GanttPro does not offer a free account, although it used to. If you signed up for a free account before September 23, 2015, you’re grandfathered in and can continue using the account for free. If this is your first time with GanttPro, you can try the software free for 15 days with no credit card required.
Pricing is listed in set groups, for example up to 15 people, so you pay the same price for a group of 12 as a group of 14. All billing is done annually. If you’re just one person, you can get an Individual GanttPro account for $180 per year. For teams of up to 5 people, the price is $474 per year (which breaks down to $7.90 per person per month—if you fill all 5 seats). For teams of up to 10, the price goes down to $828 per year (which would be $6.90 per person per month if you fill all 10 seats). For groups of up to 15, it’s $1,062 per year (equivalent to $5.90 per person per month, assuming you fill all 15 seats). If you have a larger group, you can contact the company for an estimate. For all plans you get 25GB of storage to start, and if you need more, you can contact the support team and ask for it. A representative told me they give it out handily, no questions asked.
Compared with other project management apps, GanttPro’s prices are reasonable, even if you don’t use every seat you pay for. Keep in mind, though, that you’re locked into annual payments with GanttPro, whereas many other apps give you an option to pay monthly. Some other competitors also offer a totally free version of their software, though usually with strict limitations, such as only being able to manage one or two projects at a time.
It’s difficult to directly compare the costs of project management apps because companies calculate their prices differently. When you break it down, however, a ballpark figure for the most competitively priced services is anywhere from less than $5 to $12 per person per month. For mid to high tiers of service, which are often better for larger businesses, you’re looking at $30-$45 per person per month. In other words, GanttPro’s prices are right in the middle of the competitive bunch vying for small businesses.
Setup and Interface
GanttPro makes it easy to create an account, set up a project, and start exploring how to use the app. When you first get into your account, the app prompts you to create a project. You can choose to start from scratch or select a template. The templates cover a range of options, from web design to construction.
From there, you go right into the app and see a Gantt chart view of your project. As you begin adding detail or making changes, the app suggests video tutorials to guide you. For example, if you start fiddling around with the feature for creating baselines or comparing your project to a previous set baseline, GanttPro recommends a video that not only shows you how to use the tool but also explains what baselines are and why they’re useful in project management.
GanttPro’s interface has an up-to-date look and feels smooth when you interact with it. There are a few places in the app where I clicked and expected an additional detail panel to open and it didn’t, but within a day I felt like I could navigate the app with ease.
Another key part of getting started is inviting people to join your project, which you do through an email invite sent from the app. When you invite collaborators to join you, you can designate them as a project owner or an admin to give them more permission levels. By default, people you invite are team members with some limitations on what they can edit in the project.
If you work with external clients, you might want to give them some insight into the status of a project without revealing everything. GanttPro lets you do this by generating a filtered view of your Gantt chart and then generating a public URL to it. Anyone who reaches the link gets view-only access to an interactive display of information.
Like any project management app, GanttPro helps you track the progress of projects and keep them on deadline. When you create a project, you give it a start date, end date, and description, at the very least. You probably also want to add milestones, tasks, subtasks, and other details.
As you fill in your project and map out how it will go, GanttPro plots it onto a Gantt chart. Additionally, the app lets you switch to a kanban board view if you prefer to see tasks laid out differently. Kanban is a method of managing work. You have a board with a series of vertical columns, and you have cards. Each card is a task. You label the columns however you like, although often people use them to represent a workflow, such as To Do, Doing, Done. In GanttPro, the columns are Open, In Progress, Done, and Closed, and you can’t change them. You move each card across the columns as it advances through the workflow.
GanttPro isn’t the only project management app to offer a kanban option. Zoho Projects and Teamwork Projects both do as well. Teamwork Projects has a better implementation because it allows you to customize the columns. In fact, you can track things that are completely unrelated to what you’re tracking in the Gantt view.
The level of detail you can add to tasks is more than adequate. Every task can have a start date and end date, optionally with a time added to each one. You can also have add assignee, progress (as a percent), status (same as the kanban columns), deadline, priority level, estimation, type (task, milestone), time log, duration, description, attachments, dependencies, and comments. You have the option to create a custom field, too. GanttPro has a critical path feature as well, which highlights in red the sequence of tasks that must get done in order for the project to not stall and move forward as expected.
The time log is new. GanttPro recently added this time-tracking feature, and currently, you can only add time spent on task manually. There’s no timer widget you can run while you work to keep track of your time. Zoho Projects and Teamwork Projects have in-app timers, as do a few other project management apps.
GanttPro lets you customize quite a bit of the app—everything from the level of detail you see on your Gantt chart to the timing of lunch breaks in your team’s day. For example, you can set the workweek to be Sunday to Thursday or Monday to Friday, and the hours 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an hour-long break in the middle of the day.
A few design details stood out to me as adding a spoonful of sugar to the experience of managing projects. One of them is a mini dashboard showing a high-level overview of your projects. You see it when you click All Projects from the left side menu bar. As much as I like this view, I should note that there are no other dashboards in the app. Another sweetener is being able to adjust details on the Gantt chart that make it more pleasing to the eye, such as choosing whether the avatar of the assigned person shows up next to tasks or to print the task name next to the spanner bar rather than on top of it. Simple and maybe even a little silly, sure, but who would ever argue with that level of attention to detail?
Other features worth noting include a resource management summary that appears at the bottom of the Gantt chart, baselines for comparing the current state of the project against previous projections, and a saved history so you can revert the project to a previous state at any time.
What’s missing at the moment? GanttPro could certainly stand to offer more integration options with other business apps. You can connect to Jira, and Google Drive was just added to make it easier to attach files. A representative told me the company is working on offering more soon. GanttPro doesn’t have any invoicing or billing features, so integration with accounting software should probably take priority.
The app doesn’t really have any reporting tools to speak of at this time either. You can generate a list of tasks and filter it using different criteria, but that’s not the same as getting an overarching report about the state of work, overdue work, deadlines that have slipped, and so forth.
Off to a Strong Start
If you were to judge GanttPro purely on the quality of everything it contains right now, it would score exceptionally high. The meat of it is top-notch. All the room for improvement lies in what it’s missing: dashboards, reporting tools, in-app timers, and invoicing or at least a way to track billable versus non-billable hours. Adding those features would make it highly competitive. As it stands, it’s still an excellent project management option for any small team that doesn’t need those pieces that are yet to come.