It was used by our department as a Pilot with the plan to roll out company-wide (at least within IT) if results were positive.
- The overarching theme and power of AtTask lies with its collaboration capabilities. The tool invites and enables everyone involved in a project to stay up to date with changes as they occur. TeamHome, an interface designed for team members, gives employees a sense of ownership because they have input into deadlines and they can easily communicate whenever an obstacle arises. AtTask keeps all project communications in one place and helps project managers eliminate inefficient emails, lost notes and tedious report building.
- Another prominent feature of AtTask is the dashboard. The dashboard fully supports Portfolio-level organization and reporting. You can customize each dashboard, choosing from a list of pre-defined options. When I evaluated LiquidPlanner (see Rating section), while it did have Program-level capabilities, it did not appear to manage the intake process, provide overall statuses (Green, Yellow, Red) or support portfolio-level issues , risks and actions. Copper eludes to Portfolio / PPM capabilities in one of their videos but what I found is that it really just provides a roll up of projects to a client.
- AtTask truly integrates with MS Outlook, MS Project, Mobile Phones, Accounting Software and Salesforce.com (API’s are available). For comparison, when I looked into LiquidPlanner, I found that although it can create exportable reports and data files, it is not designed to integrate directly with prevalent software packages like MS Project.
- Creating the reports is simple because the application has all of the reports built in.
- Issues are separate from Tasks, which is a good thing and not the case with several other tools. Users can utilize workflows for issue creation and automated responses.
- Areas where I feel AtTask could expand capabilities are in the areas of Baselining, Resource Management, Document Management, and Storage.
- Regarding Resource Management, while certainly sufficient for most needs, AtTask does not provide advanced resource management functions; it seemed most suitable for smaller teams that need extensive sideways collaboration.
- I have not had the opportunity to follow up with the client since I was more focused on the evaluation, setting up their Project Portfolio processes, Steering Committee, etc.
- I am currently laying the groundwork at another client to evaluate and hopefully adopt the tool because collaboration is so powerful with the tool. This client has many locations across the U.S. and Canada, so the capabilities for automatic notification of new tasks or upcoming due dates, or of providing updates or suggested new due dates, would be very powerful for a largely remote workforce. And eliminating many of the MS Project licenses would help carry costs!
During the latter half of 2012 I led an evaluation of 3 SaaS/cloud-based project management tools including AtTask, LiquidPlanner and Copper Project for one of my clients. My final conclusion ranked the tools in that order, especially since project portfolio capabilities were important to my client. My team evaluated each tool on 16 categories comprised of: Ease of Use, Collaborative, Issue Mgt, Scheduling, Baselining, PPM, Resource Mgt, Non-project Tasks, Request Mgt, Workflow, Document Mgt, Reporting, Dashboard, Overall Integration, Time Tracking, and Storage. A score of 2 meant Robust capabilities, 1 point for Basic capabilities, and 0 for the capability missing altogether. So the best possible score would have been 32. I arrived at a 28 for AtTask, a 21 for LiquidPlanner, and a 13 for Copper. I gave AtTask a 1 for Baselining, Resource Mgt, Document Mgt, and Storage. It earned a full 2 points for all other categories.
Most companies have their PM's using MS Project in silos. It's often used at the beginning of projects to help establish PMLC and SDLC Phase milestone dates but can quickly become cumbersome to update as the project starts moving. The collaboration capabilities give the ability of key stakeholders or team members to provide input in an online, Facebook or Salesforce-like manner. But the PM still has ultimate control over the plan. Status'ing and executive reporting becomes very easy and real-time.