As a long time business, IT, and project management professional, I'm looking for tools that the real PM world will use. Meaning it has to be adaptable, scalable, user friendly and easily adoptable, and effective for what you are doing now. Does Clarizen measure up to my real world PM standards? Let's see...
Easy drill down from dashboard. I'm used to the Apple way. To me, the way you can logically move through the Clarizen product and drill down through the dashboard feels more logical, more Apple, and that works for me. That means I can see something I want to explore and make it happen. Clarizen delivers on that through their dashboards.
Nice and easy navigation. For me, navigation is important. A PM tool with easy, logical navigation means I read less and explore – productively – more. And since I tend to like to jump in and use rather than study and learn...and I think many early adopters feel the same way...then this is important for me. If you want a tool to be adopted by the enterprise, this is usually a must and Clarizen has it.
80 OOTB dashboards and reports plus customer views and reports. In the past, dashboards were reportedly a weakness for the Clarizen offering. No more, the latest version of Clarizen has an abundance of out of the box dashboards so finding what you want quickly for your own reporting needs should be easy. It was for me.
Ability to track many different KPIs. To ensure that projects get completed on time, project managers need to monitor and understand their team’s work process and lead the project towards long-term goals. With Clarizen, the ability to track many different KPIs is built right into the project dashboard, making information on these trackers easy to access and quick to report on.
Multiple pivots within reports – not all projects can do this. The ability to pivot within the reporting structure itself and get more information is an extremely useful element of the Clarizen tool. Not all PM software tools can do this...my finding so far is that less than 50% can do anything like this as of this writing. With the Clarizen tool you can get better and more project status information this way and works well for the curious mind. Again, this means a lot for early adopters who need to get information fast and who don't want to spend hours learning how to extract the information needed from a given tool. Your enterprise end user population will thank you for this one.
Integrate with business critical applications. Clarizen goes beyond the normal PM functionality and allows you to integrate it with so many of today's top enterprise productivity tools such as Salesforce, Box, JIRA, Google Drive, Intaact, and Intuit Quickbooks and MuleSoft SSO.
Create and automate workflows. I found that the Clarizen offering allows you to create and automate workflows and triggers – not something other PM solutions tend to offer so painlessly and seamlessly. For example, after a task is completed an email notification will fire off automatically. Simple, but important.
Communicate and collaborate in real-time. With Clarizen, I was able to communicate and collaborate in real-time with my test project team. I could capture conversations, create tasks and assign projects right in the context of the work we were performing and conversations we were having.
Price. The price for Clarizen is a bit higher than some others, but in the end you get what you pay for. There are cheaper options out there...no doubt...and I've tested those out. They will meet basic needs for smaller shops, but if you need some power, easy navigation and a tool that is going to give your end user population the ability to get the information they need quicker then you will end up paying a little more. I've seen many organizations go the cheaper route, but end up wasting money and moving on because no one wanted to use the tool that had the high learning curve. It means nothing if no one is using it.
Small businesses need not apply. The Clarizen solution is mainly intended for large and mid-market customers. If you're looking for a small company or simpler solution then your money is probably going to be better spent on a lighter weight solution. That said, you'll give up the features of this type of offering, but it is probably more than is needed for the small companies looking for the free or low cost solutions to manage their growing PM infrastructure.
After a good test drive, I give Clarizen two thumbs up. I can definitely overlook any price cons because a company that really wants a powerful PM software solution that their end users will actually use and learn quickly know they are going to pay for it. And still, it's not outrageous. The pros definitely outweigh any cons I could really find – and I found no functionality cons (and that's most important to me). The scalability, flexibility, and ability to easily customize features sold me quickly...and I was looking at all features with enterprise adoptability in mind. The greatest solution in the world is no good if no one uses it. Your end users will adopt and learn and use Clarizen...and love it. Trust me.