Clarizen Project Management
| Can import projects from MS Project
|| Navigation can be overwhelming before getting used to it
| The Roadmap is an excellent overview of the project
| Ability to generate reports
| The Gantt chart representation is fantastic
Clarizen is an online project management and collaboration tool that encompasses many elements in order to achieve its main goal: to provide a complete and efficient project management solution. When first logging in to Clarizen and looking at the interface alone, it is evident that the system is comprised of more features and sub-tools that you can poke a stick at.
Although it may not appear this way at first glance, Clarizen is full of features and is simplified nicely on the home page. By accessing the “Quick Actions” panel on the left-hand side of the home screen, users can easily set up tasks, projects, and set deadlines. This is a huge improvement to the web-based system. Additionally, once tasks and projects are set up appropriately, the system becomes easier to use and operates efficiently.
This is where Clarizen shines. There is an abundance of useful features within the system. A complete list of features would require a book to describe, so we present the features that stand out the most and enable quality and successful project management.
The roadmap is a useful tool for high level representation of a project. Milestones and tasks can be created and added to the roadmap, and the following data can be assigned:
– Importance (example: Critical, High, Low)
– Status (example: At Risk, On Track, Off Track)
– Budget Status (example: At Risk, On Track, Off Track)
– Milestone/Task Manager
– Start Date
– Due Date
– Percentage Complete
– Visibility in Roadmap
– Work Plan
As you can see, even a tiny part of the roadmap contains a plethora of options. Not only this, but you can easily add new milestones to the project by clicking the [Add Milestone…] button, share the entire roadmap with anyone via email or widget, and even specify deadlines for this widget.
Furthermore, you can modify the view of the roadmap to show by week, by month, by quarter, and even a simple “Fit” option which fits the roadmap nicely to see the entire overview. If it is in a day view, or something that would zoom quite far into the roadmap, then the system even offers scroll bars to allow users to view all days inside of the roadmap with ease.
Work Plan Grid and Toolbar
The work plan grid and toolbar provide significant details to the project and allows for maximum view customization to ensure that project managers and users are able to specify exactly which part of the project they wish to view and in which manner. The work plan toolbar grants the ability to add documents and notes, assign resources, email users regarding particular work items and more.
To assign resources, project managers can click on the “Add Related…” button to display the Resource Assignment Screen (shown above). It also gives the user an opportunity to add other project-related documentation, such as expenses, time logs, notes, etc.
Furthermore, filters can be applied when selecting users in such a way that it is possible to filter users by skill, or by user group, which increases the overall efficiency of resource management.
Additionally, if you wish to export to MS Project, then you are able to do this as well.
While Clarizen offers many benefits and a plethora of great project management features, the system does take a few seconds to loan and respond. Although this doesn’t seem like a lot, this can add up and impact users over time.
Ease of Use
Overall Clarizen is a lot more user-friendly than prior reviews. Many updates have been made to this system, reducing the “cluttered” look users may have seen before, and response time has also significantly improved.
Once users spend some time with the system, it is fairly easy to use, particularly for those more experienced project managers who are accustomed to using project management systems.
Overall, Clarizen can definitely be considered as a complete package. It offers everything a project manager will need to effectively manage a project. The software even supports report generating of various aspects of the project including a collaboration report. It is obvious to project managers that the ability to review reports and gain a deeper understanding of the status of projects is an integral aspect of the role as a whole. While for some new and/or inexperienced users, the system may be difficult to use at first, most seasoned users and project managers will agree that Clarizen is a one-stop-shop.