The Best Project Management Systems for AEC Professionals

As the only project-based DAM for the built world, we understand the needs of AEC professionals. We know it’s not easy to handle complex projects while dealing with multiple collaborators, strict timelines, and large budgets. Navigating this setting requires having access to the best project management tools. From being AEC-specific to more general, there are lots of project management software options available, which can feel overwhelming. However, by understanding your AEC firm’s needs and finding the right tools, you can achieve results for your AEC firm. 

In this blog, we’ll provide steps for choosing the right project management tool for your firm and a list of the top ten project management systems for AEC based on a combination of customer reviews and feature comparisons. By the end of this blog, you’ll have a strong understanding of which project management software will enhance efficiency at your AEC firm. 

What Is Project Management Software? 

Project management systems, often referred to as project management software or tools, are applications designed to assist teams and organizations in planning, monitoring, and completing projects. These systems offer a variety of features to help manage project scope, time, costs, quality, communications, and other critical aspects. Think of it as a central place where tasks are logged, reviewed, and evaluated by the team. 

How Do AEC Professionals Use Project Management Software? 

Given the nature of AEC projects, which often involve numerous employees, tight schedules, strict budgets, and various other constraints, project management software plays a critical role. Here’s how AEC professionals use project management systems: 

Task Management 

AEC projects involve numerous tasks that must be carefully coordinated and organized. Project management software helps with task assignment, scheduling, and tracking. This ensures that everyone knows their responsibilities and due dates. 

Project management tools boost efficiency by automating several tasks and offering team members instant insights into the project’s status. This entails aspects ranging from monitoring project timelines and key milestones to overseeing budgets and funding. By reducing the time and resources spent on these activities, project management tools empower teams to operate more effectively. 

Resource Allocation and Time Tracking  

Given the high costs associated with AEC projects, optimal resource allocation is essential. Project management software helps in assigning personnel, machinery, and materials effectively throughout the project. 

Project management tools also offer real-time insights into project development, allowing teams to find and address potential roadblocks, avoiding potential delays. Furthermore, these tools assist in monitoring project milestones and due dates, ensuring tasks are executed within the designated timeframe and budget.

Communication and Collaboration 

Clear communication and teamwork are essential for the successful completion of AEC projects. By using project management software, teams gain a unified space where they can instantly share and retrieve data. This encompasses everything from schedules and financial plans to architectural blueprints and change orders. Through this software, collaboration is enhanced, ensuring smoother interactions and minimizing the chances of misunderstandings or hold-ups.

Risk Management 

Project management software can help identify, assess, and manage risks, from potential construction delays to budget overruns. Risk management is vital in AEC project management, given the substantial financial stakes and safety implications. Project management tools help companies pinpoint and address potential risks before they escalate. 

Integration With Other Tools 

Many project management software can integrate with other software used in the AEC industry, such as CAD tools, ERP systems, DAM systems, or financial software. This seamless integration allows for smoother operations and data exchange. 

Moreover, tools like Building Information Modeling (BIM) integrate into some project management systems, allowing AEC professionals and other stakeholders to collaboratively design and plan a construction project. Stakeholders can view, modify, and comment on designs in real-time, encouraging collaborative decision-making. 

Choosing the Right Project Management Software for Your AEC Firm

Choosing the right project management software for your AEC firm is crucial to optimize workflow, improve collaboration, and ensure timely project completion. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision:

1. Identify Your Needs 

Before diving into the endless software options, make sure you know the requirements of your firm. This could include:

  • Collaboration capabilities
  • Integration with existing tools or software
  • Budgeting and cost estimation features
  • Task tracking and allocation

2. Set a Budget 

Set a budget for your software purchase. While some tools come with a one-time purchase price, others operate on a subscription model.

3. Ensure User-Friendliness 

The software should be intuitive and easy to navigate, reducing the learning curve for your team.

4. Prepare for the Future

As your firm grows, your software needs may change. Choose software that’s customizable and can scale with your firm’s needs.

5. Seek Real-Time Collaboration 

In the AEC industry, real-time collaboration can be crucial, especially when multiple owners are involved in a project.

6. Focus on Data Security and Backup 

Regular data backup capabilities are essential to prevent data loss and boost security measures. A project management tool should be able to store and manage your data safely.

Best Project Management Software For AEC Professionals 

1. Wrike 

Wrike is a cloud-based collaborative work management platform designed to improve the efficiency of project management. It provides teams with the tools they need to plan, track, and complete projects in a centralized digital workspace. 

Wrike’s project management key features and tools that may stand out to AEC professionals include: 

  • Custom workflows 
  • Custom dashboards 
  • Process streamlining 
  • Real-time collaboration 
  • Discussion boards 
  • Document management 
  • Version control 
  • Built-in time tracking tool 

2. Procore 

Procore is a cloud-based construction management software tailored specifically for the construction industry. It offers a comprehensive set of tools to assist construction professionals in managing their projects more efficiently from beginning to end. The platform is designed to streamline construction processes, enhance collaboration among project managers, and reduce risks.

Procore’s key features that may stand out to AEC professionals include:

  • Real-time collaboration 
  • Task management
  • Document control
  • Time and material tracking
  • Detailed cost tracking 
  • Industry-specific compliance checks
  • Integration with other tools 

3. Basecamp  

Basecamp is a project management and team communication platform that offers project boards, document management, and task updates. The tool claims to help small teams move faster and make more progress. Since its launch, it has been adopted by numerous organizations for its simplicity and unique approach to team communication and task management. 

Basecamp’s key features and functionalities that may stand out to AEC professionals include: 

  • Collaboration with team members 
  • Task management 
  • To-do lists 
  • Message boards 
  • Automate reminders 
  • Calendars and schedules 
  • File and document storage 
  • Client access options 
  • Hill charts for visualizing project progress and noting issues or risks 

4. Contractor Foreman 

Contractor Foreman is a construction management software designed specifically for contractors and construction businesses. This tool helps contractors and architects oversee their construction projects. The software offers a comprehensive suite of tools intended to simplify the daily operations and management of construction projects. Its features cater to the unique needs of construction professionals, ensuring that all aspects of a project, from the initial bid to the final invoice, are covered.

Contractor Foreman’s key features and functionalities that assist AEC professionals include: 

  • Team collaboration 
  • File management 
  • Scheduling tool to create a detailed project timeline 
  • Create personalized project cost estimates 
  • Invoicing to track project expenses and generate invoices 
  • Various integrations 

5. Birdview PSA 

Birdview PSA offers a unified platform to oversee projects, allocate resources, and handle finances. Tailored for the unique demands of architectural and engineering firms, it facilitates the planning, monitoring, and execution of numerous projects. With features like project blueprints, milestone setting, and visualization tools like Gantt charts and Kanban boards, managing progress becomes seamless.

Birdview PSA’s key features and functionalities that benefit AEC professionals include:

  • Customizable project and task cards 
  • Relevant information and data for task or project
  • built-in messaging and file-sharing tools to plan and collaborate 
  • Resource planning tools 
  • Assign team members to projects or tasks based on their availability, workload, and skill sets 
  • Employees can track their time in the system
  • Track billable hours and use data for more accurate client invoicing 

6. BQE Core

BQE Core is a cloud-based business management software designed for professionals and firms in the service sector, including architects, engineers, accountants, attorneys, IT consultants, and more. The platform integrates project management, time and expense tracking, billing, accounting, and reporting into one unified system. It was developed by BQE Software, a company known for producing software solutions tailored for professionals. 

BQE Core key features and functionalities that help AEC professionals include:

  • Easy-to-use performance metric dashboards 
  • Time tracking 
  • Invoicing
  • Project management
  • Document management
  • Billing 
  • Financial transactions and accounting are merged into one place 
  • Comprehensive and automated reporting 

7., often referred to simply as “Monday”, is a cloud-based Work Operating System (Work OS) that empowers teams to run projects and workflows with confidence. It’s a versatile platform that provides a centralized place for work, connecting people to processes and systems, improving clarity, and boosting productivity.’s key features that can help AEC professionals include: 

  • Visual project tracking
  • Document and blueprint management
  • Team collaboration
  • Budget tracking
  • Automation
  • Integration with popular AEC tools
  • Time tracking
  • Safety and compliance checklists
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Client portals 

8. Deltek Ajera 

Deltek Ajera is a project management and accounting solution tailored specifically for architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. This cloud platform is a robust project-based ERP, to manage the entire project lifecycle. Unlike general project management software, Ajera focuses on the unique challenges and needs of A/E businesses, integrating project management and financial accounting into a unified system.

Deltek Ajera’s key features and functionalities that benefit AEC professionals include:

  • Project planning 
  • Project management 
  • Business Intelligence (BI) 
  • Track time and expenses 
  • Invoicing and accounting solution 

9. Oracle Aconex 

Oracle Aconex is a cloud-based construction project management software designed specifically for the needs of the construction, infrastructure, and energy sectors. It allows you to oversee teams with a unified platform for document management, process control, and collaboration across all stages of a project. Aconex helps your projects stay on track for timely and successful fulfillment.

Oracle Aconex’s key features that stand out for AEC professionals include:

  • Complete project delivery solution
  • Built-in model coordination connects teams, models, and data 
  • Collaborative Platform
  • Unalterable audit trail
  • Project data and insights
  • rigorous security protocols 
  • Complete design-build solution 

10. Asana 

Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work. While it’s essentially a task and project management tool, it can be used in multiple ways, from planning company goals to tracking specific work tasks. 

Asana empowers lead architects to craft detailed visual roadmaps for complex projects. This tool has all the important project management features for keeping projects on track, including tasks and subtasks, due dates, approvals, dependencies, and project templates. 

Asana’s key features and functionalities that can benefit AEC professionals include: 

  • A suite of admin tools for security, access, and team management 
  • Creates visual and Kanban-style project plans 
  • Keep track of your project portfolio in Asana 
  • Project management
  • Task management
  • Set and track goals
  • Manage team workloads
  • Connect to other tools like Slack and Dropbox 

How a DAM Can Help 

Taking the time to search for a project management software that fits your AEC firm’s needs is worth exploring, as top project management software can improve productivity and streamline project management. And if you’re an AEC and real estate professional, you will also see improvements to your workflows by choosing a DAM solution, specifically for AEC. With OpenAsset, AEC and real estate firms can create quality RFP responses quickly and easily. 

Additionally, you can explore our integration partnerships with the best tools in the built world, including project-based ERP and CRM, Construction Project Management, and Document Creation platforms.  
For more information and to discuss your team’s unique needs, reach out to our asset management experts to schedule a demo. We’ll show you how a DAM can elevate your everyday workflows to take your AEC firm further.

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