Teamwork.com 2017 review: a flexible project management tool for process minded teams

In 2016 Teamwork rolled out a refreshed user interface. Today we’ll give a full breakdown on the system to see if this could be the project managements system that powers your business through 2017.

Highlights

We’ll start with a few of the stand out point that really distinguish Teamwork from its competitors.

Project progress chart

If you add start date, end date and milestones to your projects then you are rewarded with a really helpful graphical overview of project progress.

Template task lists

This is a wonderfully time saving feature. Often on projects there will be elements that need to be customised for the particular project and other elements that are standard. The template feature allows you to define tasks lists with all of the standard stuff and really quickly add them to the project. As you do this you can change the person to whom they are assigned. This is really useful for building in processes around the setup and completion of projects.

Files attached to tasks

Lots of project management systems offer some kind of file storage system and in general I avoid them and advise others to do likewise. My reasoning is that the versioning quickly becomes confused and it’s better to have one central file repository for all of your company documents. That said, I do find there are occasions where temporary documents need to be discussed and they aren’t important enough to put into the central shared company document system. In these cases, Teamwork’s ability to add files to particular tasks really shines. An example use case here is approving an invoices. There could be a task to send the invoice and in the comments on this task there could be discussion between two colleagues about the details of an invoice with various drafts of that invoice attached. This kind of thing is quick fire and there is no need for these draft docs to be stored elsewhere for future reference.

The nuts and bolts

Structure

Teamwork.com is a project management system based around the following key concepts:

  • A project, which can have one or more tasks lists and one or more milestones.
  • Tasks, which are always part of task lists.
  • Milestones, which can be associated with tasks lists.

Interface

The interface is responsive and fast. It’s a flexible and powerful system but cleverly hides away many task specific options in a drop down menu activated by clicking an arrow next to the task. You can also do inline edits to tasks on most screen which is really handy. In general I found it intuitive and after I got used to the way the interface behaved (e.g. hovering on tasks for more options) I always found it easy to achieve the action I was wanting to do.

Dashboards

There is a company wide dashboard that lists all activity across the system but to be honest I have never found this particularly helpful. Once you get a decent number of projects in there it quickly becomes overwhelmed by small details. The project chart view mentioned above is a much better overview.

I found the most helpful screen for day to day use was my own list of active tasks, found under the ‘everything’ tab. Within this section you can very easily toggle a whole range of filters to see your tasks, a colleagues tasks, etc. It’s very neat and fast.

The bottom line

Teamwork has been around for a while so there aren’t loads of glaring disadvantages. It’s very stable and polished. However, it can be a bit too complicated for some organisations. Alternatives like Basecamp keep things much simpler and this will be attractive to some.

Overall however I found Teamwork to be flexible, fast and fun to use. If you are happy to invest the time to learn its many tricks and if your organisation is quite process minded then this could be a great tool to try.

You can find our more about Teamwork and give it a try here.

And if you’re interested I also wrote a post about how I implemented Teamwork with ‘agile sprints’, a particular project management methodology.

  • http://www.renegade-empire.com Simon Kelly (sk)

    Great write up, I really love Teamwork and always looking for ways to work more efficiently with the team. The first screenshot you showed, is that just a gantt chart view of tasks? Or something else?

    • http://www.business-beginnings.com/ Andy P

      Cheers Simon. That’s actually a project chart. You can find it in the ‘Everything’ section. It’s hidden but super useful as it lists project duration and milestones.