Track and manage critical data with Project Drive

Takeaway: Brad Egeland highlights the pros and cons of Project Drive, a customizable web-based project management software tool.

The web-based Project Drive is targeted for medium to large companies that need a customizable, safe, secure, and easy to use project management software tool. The software also adapts well to users’ growing needs and demands.

Product details

  • Product: Project Drive
  • Website: www.project-drive.net
  • Company: TGMT Systems Inc.
  • Requirements: Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, 9; All versions of Firefox; All versions of Google Chrome; All versions of Safari; All versions of Opera
  • Packages: Hosted or Licensed
  • Cost: For 26-50 users, $25.00 USD per user/month or $250.00 USD per user/year. Learn about all of the pricing options. You can also request a free 30-day trial.

What problem does it solve?

The ability to track and manage critical project data, including task information, resource assignments, and financials so you can communicate these key points to the appropriate stakeholder is paramount. Based on my experience with Project Drive, the tool handles this project task as expected.

Special features

  • Project Management: Project Drive offers various ways of managing projects, from a formal, structured approach for larger projects to a simple less involved approach for smaller projects.
  • Expense and Budget Management: Set your project budget and track your tasks and project expenses (including human resources costs) via the Timesheet Module.
  • Status Report: I really like this reporting feature. On the same report, I was able to see the project’s progress, the cost breakdown, the progress on milestones, and the tasks that are late or ahead. This report can also be generated and emailed automatically on a pre-defined schedule.
  • Reporting Module: Project Drive comes with a variety of built-in reports, though users can also create and brand their own reports. These reports can be auto-generated and emailed on a schedule.
  • Timesheet Module: Track and manage your human resource costs with this module. Each resource is a cost and billable rate that allows for the calculation of revenue and expense for each project.
  • Document Management: Documents can be uploaded, versioned, and locked. You can also tag documents for easy searching.
  • Communication Collaboration: Project Drive offers email notifications, reminders, and automated reports.
  • Customizable Dashboard: Each user can build their own dashboard to see and track the information that is important to them. Project managers can chart project progress over time in various formats and view project portfolio information, all in real-time.
  • Support: It was relatively easy to access support, and the knowledgeable staff person was able to answer my questions. The person seemed genuinely interested in understanding my needs and offering answers.
  • Project Drive also offers a Gantt, Calendar, and tabular view of your tasks, extensive searching capabilities, reminders, history, and more. Learn about more of Project Drive’s key features.

What I like

  • Easy to use: As soon as I logged into Project Drive, I felt comfortable with the tool. The product seemed easy to use, and I was able to create and input project information quickly. Key functions of the application are separated in tabs, which I found easy to maneuver.
  • Ways to manage and track project information: I found all of the usual project management features, but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the ways the user can manage and track project information. For example in my trial account, I was able to create a Clients database and a Shared Calendar, and I found that it is also possible to track forms, contracts, estimates, and proposals and link all of this information. I was able to link several projects to one client in the Clients database. The ability to incorporate these additional forms and documents and link them all to a specific client gave me the impression during my trial that this tool was able to give a bigger picture of everything going on for each client.

What I don’t like

  • Integration with other systems: The system allows for the export of data to Excel, but I would like to have seen integration options with other systems to make it stand out from other offerings.
  • Application branding: Reports can be branded, but I would have liked the ability to brand Project Drive with a company logo. This is not a big deal, but it is available in some project management tools, and it’s a nice feature to show a client. I was told by support that this feature is scheduled to be added in 2012.

Business bottom line

Project Drive’s flexibility and ability to adapt to individual needs makes it a great tool. As a company’s project management needs change and grow, a project management tool must be able to keep up, and I believe that Project Drive is up to that task.

Competitor products

Article source: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/project-management/track-and-manage-critical-data-with-project-drive/3891

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