Software Buying Tips

Category Compare: Business Management vs. Project Management

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In this report, we define and compare business management and project management software to help you decide which one aligns with your business goals.

Both business management software and project management software help improve internal operations and processes such as business administration, product development, and project tracking, but in different capacities. While they may seem similar, business management and project management tools are distinct in functionality. This report will identify the similarities and differences between the two software categories to help you understand which one is better suited to your needs.

What is business management software?

Business management software is an integrated suite that includes several separate but related applications such as human resources (HR), customer relationship management (CRM), and project management within one solution. It helps streamline and manage core business functions such as billing and invoicing, client contact management, employee management, order and inventory management, and task and time tracking. It also streamlines administrative procedures such as onboarding, payroll, data entry, and scheduling.

Business management software integrates and stores data from various departments on a central system, ensuring seamless data sharing and transfer across teams. It assists in workflow management and improves business decision-making.

What is project management software?

Project management software helps project managers plan, monitor, and control project costs, schedules, and resources. It automates resource allocation, budget tracking, scheduling, time management, process management, and other operational tasks, allowing the project team more time to brainstorm new project ideas. Some key features of project management software include task/work management, reporting, project tracking, and project planning (i.e., defining the project scope, timeline, and resources).

Project management software facilitates collaboration between cross-functional teams and allows them to keep track of project progress while defining project tasks and workflows. It also helps save time by reducing the time spent on manually updating the project plan and workflows.

What do they have in common?

There are a few similarities between business management software and project management software. Both allow businesses to streamline operations and plan projects. They also help manage employees or resources by facilitating workflow tracking, scheduling, task assignment, time tracking, and cost monitoring. In addition, both function around project timelines, resources, budget, and forecasting.

Business management software features

Project management software features

Which tool is right for you?

The answer to this question depends on your organizational goals and use cases. If you are a project manager looking for a tool to plan and schedule projects, streamline workflows, allocate resources, identify dependencies, and enhance productivity, then project management software would be the right choice.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a tool to streamline core business operations such as billing and invoicing, client management, and CRM, then consider investing in business management software.

Once you’ve decided which software to use, head to our business management software and project management software category pages where you can find a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.

If you wish to narrow down your search to only the most popular and highest-rated solutions, visit Capterra’s Shortlist reports for the top business management software and project management software tools—our reports are based on an analysis of thousands of user reviews.

2 top-rated business management and project management software

These two products, listed in alphabetical order, are among the top rated in both software categories.

Note: Reviews and ratings data in the product cards is as of March 15, 2022. New reviews may have been added since the publication of this article, so the reviews data in this piece may not reflect current conditions.
The products in the category comparison images are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations by Capterra. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.


To be included in the list, the products must:

  1. Be listed under Capterra’s 2022 Shortlist reports for business management and project management software. Learn more about the Capterra Shortlist methodology here.
  2. Meet our software market definition for business management and project management software:
    • Business management: “Business management software is an integrated solution that helps businesses automate their core processes such as administration, procurement, marketing, and sales. This type of software works as a single interface for various functionalities such as customer relationship management (CRM), product development, and sales activities tracking.”
    • Project management: “Project management software automates task assignment, resource allocation and milestone tracking for all phases of a project.”

About the Author

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali is a writer at Capterra, providing expert insights to help small businesses identify the right software for their needs by analyzing user reviews data for the highest rated products in relevant software categories. She has worked in finance, lifestyle, education, and medical. With expertise in marketing and content strategy, Barkha’s work has been featured in Medium and educational websites. When not working, she can be found re-watching “The Office” or “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

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