ProjectManager Review: Introduction
Project Manager is a hard program to like. It feels like a streamlined, updated MS Project. The overwhelming feeling I got from attempting to try them out was “they just want my money.” Firstly, the 30 day free trial is a misnomer. Rather than allowing you to use the software for free, they have you enter your payment details ahead of time – and bill you after thirty days, if you don’t cancel first. You can’t cancel within the program – you need to email or call them. I did not come across a single other instance of this practice in the project management software space.
Putting that aside, though, the money grabbing didn’t end there. When it comes to project portfolio management tools, Project Manager only makes them available for the “Business” package – for an extra $5 per user per month. This is a shame! Wringing money out of customers by forcing them to pay more for functionality as an add on is something I expected from online games, not project management software.
Projectmanager is a Gantt chart system. The dashboard has other views, which help with visual presentation and reduce your need to run your project from the Gantt. In particular, the progress and workload dashboard views help with project planning and project management. The meat and potatoes of the platform remains the Gantt, though. The Gantt view in Projectmanager has drag and drop functionality for moving project bars. It also allows you to import projects from Excel, although this does not always work correctly.
Pro Tip: You can create PDFs of your Gantt chart.
Task management is straightforward and simple – perhaps overly simple. Your team will stay on task and on track, but the task system requires a lot of manual data entry. The percentages for measuring progress are manual input – and it isn’t hard to foresee problems arising from subjective percentage measurement. This creates a problem with relying on progress data for project management.
Pro Tip: You can set up email alerts for task changes, ensuring you don’t miss any status updates.
Project Portfolio Management
Again, basic functionality, and nothing special here. The analysis tools are limited, though reports can be generated in a variety of formats. It doesn’t even autosave changes! That is a disaster waiting to happen in PPM – forget to save one time, and you’ll wreck multiple projects. For a project management tool, this is egregious and a deal killer.
Pro Tip: The time tracking tool is entirely self reported – there is no timer. When you get into PPM level management, you’ll be entirely reliant on your team’s honesty when trying to develop timelines and project end dates.
Ease of Use – Clarity
Projectmanager is not the most intuitive platform out there, but it is clear and simple. You’ll need some time to acclimate to the system, especially as a project manager, though the team tools are simpler and more intuitive. Collaboration ability exists but is not a highlight. The customizable dashboard is a good feature, too, and helps you shape the program to reflect the use you need from it.
Pro Tip: All documents can be found in one place. For a project manager managing multiple projects, being able to have this kind of repository is helpful.
You can create stand alone private tasks in Projectmanager, unattached to projects. This is helpful for employees tracking their own to do lists while working on things, especially when they’re part of multiple project teams. Projectmanager has apps for both Android and Apple that allow team members to use their mobile phones to update the project – useful for quick input of data.
Pro Tip: Projectmanager integrates with Jira, DropBox, and OneDrive.
ProjectManager Review: Summary
Overall score: 7.2
This is a tired program, with little to be excited about. There is a basic level of functionality, and the learning curve is not as steep as other platforms on this list. But those are negatives avoided, not positives gained – and there is little on offer here. If you’re looking for simple Gantt chart software for project management, you can do worse – but you can also do much better with options like TeamGantt.