Microsoft Challenge vs. Smartsheet (2024): Which Software Is Higher?


Microsoft Challenge and Smartsheet are two common undertaking administration software program platforms which have a extra conventional person interface design. Whereas they could appear related at first look, as soon as I began reviewing each software program, the variations turned obvious:

  • Microsoft Project is a more sensible choice for energy customers who’re snug with extremely superior options. It principally integrates with different Microsoft merchandise and depends on a few of them for key performance, so it’s greatest utilized by groups which can be already dedicated to the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Smartsheet is an efficient choice for groups which can be managing their tasks in spreadsheets and want an improve to devoted undertaking administration software program. It additionally affords greater than 100 integrations with third-party software program, making it a more sensible choice for groups with a extra various software program stack.

Microsoft Challenge vs. Smartsheet: Comparability desk

Microsoft Challenge
Smartsheet
Doc administration
No
Sure
Communication instruments
No
Sure
Time monitoring
Sure
Sure
Reporting
Sure
Sure
On-premises deployment
Sure
No
Pricing
Begins at $10 per person per 30 days
Begins at $7 per person per 30 days

Microsoft Challenge vs. Smartsheet pricing

Microsoft affords much more pricing plans to select from than Smartsheet, in addition to on-premises choices. Nonetheless, Smartsheet is extra reasonably priced than Microsoft Challenge total. Each software program supply a 30-day free trial for sure plans.

Microsoft Challenge pricing

Cloud-based subscriptions:

  • Microsoft Planner: A part of Microsoft 365, which begins at $8 per person per 30 days.
  • Planner Plan 1 (previously Challenge Plan 1): $10 per person per 30 days.
  • Challenge Plan 3: $30 per person per 30 days.
  • Challenge Plan 5: $55 per person per 30 days.

On-premises options:

  • Challenge Commonplace 2021: $679.99 for a license for one PC.
  • Challenge Skilled 2021: $1,129.99.
  • Challenge Server Plan: Contact for customized pricing quote.

For extra data, learn the full Microsoft Project review and consider our record of Microsoft Project alternatives.

Smartsheet pricing

  • Free: $0 for one person and as much as two editors.
  • Professional: $7 per person per 30 days, billed yearly, or $9 per person per 30 days, billed month-to-month.
  • Enterprise: $25 per person per 30 days, billed yearly, or $32 per person per 30 days, billed month-to-month.
  • Enterprise: Quotes can be found upon request.

For extra data, learn the full Smartsheet review and consider our record of Smartsheet alternatives.

Function comparability: Microsoft Challenge vs. Smartsheet

Challenge administration

Winner: Smartsheet

Microsoft Challenge ranked 3.9/5 for options total on our scoring rubric. It affords three important undertaking views: grid, board and timeline (Gantt) view. The design is just like different Microsoft merchandise, however I didn’t discover the interface notably intuitive to make use of, and the sheer variety of options will be overwhelming and make it tough to search out what you want. The software offers you the choice to get very detailed with useful resource administration, similar to monitoring prices of supplies over the course of a undertaking or seeing how a lot time a person has spent on a activity.

The timeline view in Microsoft Project.
Determine A: The timeline view in Microsoft Challenge. Picture: Microsoft

Smartsheet ranked considerably higher, scoring 4.6/5 for options total. It affords 4 undertaking views: grid, card (kanban), calendar and Gantt. It’s not essentially the most colourful or interesting interface, however it’s simpler to navigate than Microsoft Challenge, in my view. You possibly can both begin with a clean sheet or use a template to assist information the method. Conditional formatting guidelines pace up the method even additional, and you may also create automation guidelines to chop down on handbook work. Smartsheet does supply a paid add-on for useful resource administration, nevertheless it’s not as sturdy as Microsoft Challenge.

An example of a Gantt chart in Smartsheet.
Determine B: An instance of a Gantt chart in Smartsheet. Picture: Smartsheet

Doc administration

Winner: Tie

You possibly can add paperwork to a website in Microsoft Challenge, however modifying and updating capabilities are restricted as a result of the belief is that you’re already utilizing SharePoint or OneDrive for doc storage and administration. Microsoft Challenge additionally doesn’t actually combine with different apps, so you may’t use an out of doors platform like Google Docs both. This is without doubt one of the the reason why Microsoft Challenge is greatest utilized by groups which can be already dedicated to the Microsoft ecosystem.

Smartsheet additionally means that you can add recordsdata to a undertaking, and it hyperlinks to a number of common doc administration options, together with Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive. The Enterprise and Enterprise plans additionally supply a proofing function that permits groups to visually mark up content material, together with movies, throughout the Smartsheet software to maintain every part centralized in a single place. In case you’re not already utilizing SharePoint or OneDrive, then I’d advocate Smartsheet as the higher selection for doc administration.

Smartsheet uploading documents from multiple services.
Determine C: Smartsheet makes it attainable to add paperwork from a number of companies. Picture: Smartsheet

Communication instruments

Winner: Tie

Much like doc administration, Microsoft Challenge doesn’t include any native options for communication or collaboration. As an alternative, customers will likely be prompted to attach with colleagues utilizing certainly one of Microsoft’s many different communication instruments, together with Groups, Outlook and Skype. In case you aren’t already a part of the Microsoft ecosystem, then you will want to spend money on different software program that may take over this perform — and it received’t combine with Microsoft Challenge.

Then again, Smartsheet permits groups to have conversations through feedback on sheets and rows: People can tag one another in feedback to ship a notification. Feedback may also be accessed through the cellular app so you may learn and reply on the go. Whereas it doesn’t supply a extra sturdy native chat perform, it does combine with some messaging platforms, similar to Slack, to complement the built-in remark function.

The comments function in Smartsheet.
Determine D: The feedback perform in Smartsheet. Picture: Smartsheet

Ease of use

Winner: Smartsheet

Smartsheet ranked considerably higher than Microsoft Challenge relating to ease of use. Smartsheet rated 3.5/5, whereas Microsoft solely received 1.8/5, which is absolutely low! Smartsheet isn’t essentially the most intuitive undertaking administration software program I’ve examined, nevertheless it was far simpler to determine issues out in comparison with Microsoft Challenge for the reason that structure is extra logical. It was additionally a lot quicker to create and cargo new tasks in Smartsheet, and the bigger variety of template choices helped pace up that course of additional.

The interface in Microsoft Project can be difficult to navigate.
Determine E: The interface in Microsoft Challenge will be tough to navigate. Picture: Microsoft

Buyer assist

Winner: Microsoft Challenge

Then again, Microsoft Challenge scored a bit higher than Smartsheet on the customer support entrance: Microsoft Challenge received 4.2/5 and Smartsheet received 3.8/5. The explanation for that is that Smartsheet paywalls sure assist options (similar to 24/7 cellphone assist and a chat bot app) both to the costlier plans or to a paid assist add-on that prices a further payment. Microsoft Challenge doesn’t cost further for assist, although some customers do say that the customer support may very well be improved.

Integrations

Winner: Smartsheet

In terms of integrations, Smartsheet beats Microsoft Challenge by a landslide. Not solely does Smartsheet supply 100+ native integrations, it additionally connects to 1000’s of extra platforms via Zapier. In distinction, Microsoft Challenge’s native integrations are principally restricted to different Microsoft merchandise, and it doesn’t hook up with Zapier (in contrast to another Microsoft merchandise), so there isn’t even a workaround.

Microsoft Challenge professionals and cons

Microsoft Challenge professionals

  • Very detailed undertaking planning instruments.
  • Integrates properly with different Microsoft merchandise.
  • Many useful resource administration instruments are constructed into the software program.

Microsoft Challenge cons

  • Very lengthy studying curve resulting from all of the complicated options.
  • Lack of integrations for non-Microsoft instruments.
  • No native communication instruments.

Smartsheet professionals and cons

Smartsheet professionals

  • Acquainted person interface as a result of spreadsheet base.
  • Excessive degree of customization obtainable.
  • A number of documentation and coaching sources.

Smartsheet cons

  • Not as user-friendly and intuitive as different undertaking administration apps.
  • No auto-saving modifications or loading undertaking updates in actual time.
  • Should improve to Marketing strategy for time monitoring and analysis administration.

Ought to what you are promoting use Microsoft Challenge or Smartsheet?

Select Microsoft Challenge if …

  • You want extremely superior undertaking administration software program.
  • Your workforce is made up of energy customers who aren’t intimidated by the upper studying curve.
  • Your organization is already dedicated to the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • You don’t want integrations with third-party software program.
  • You need or want an on-premises deployment choice.

Select Smartsheet if …

  • You need a cheaper software program platform.
  • You might be searching for an improve from spreadsheets and need a familiar-looking interface.
  • You need a decrease studying curve than Microsoft Challenge.
  • You want integrations with third-party software program.
  • You don’t want on-premises deployment.

If neither Microsoft Challenge nor Smartsheet sounds best for you, don’t fear. There are many different undertaking administration options on the market, together with some with ceaselessly free plans. Try our picks for the top project management software of 2024 to see what your choices are.

Evaluation methodology

To check these undertaking administration instruments, I signed up totally free trials along with viewing demo movies, consulting undertaking documentation and studying person opinions. I thought-about options similar to activity administration, portfolio administration, doc administration and communication instruments. I additionally weighed different elements similar to ease of use, buyer assist, integrations and pricing.



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