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Easy Projects Review

PROS / Easy Projects is affordable, supports unlimited guest users and includes an ample amount of storage. It is also simple to use – even for new users.

CONS / It has fewer project prioritization and risk analysis tools than some of the other products we reviewed, which may not make it suitable for project management offices (PMOs).

 VERDICT / If you are looking for a low-priced, full project management solution, Easy Projects may fit the bill. It is also designed to be easily mastered by those not familiar with formal project management methodologies.

Easy Projects is an easy-to-use, well-priced project management system used by marketing teams and higher education organizations. Customers include Symantec, Ernst & Young, Harvard and UPS. Its customers are located across the globe, and the interface is available in numerous languages, including French, German, Russian and Spanish. The software is suitable for "accidental project managers," meaning it does not use confusing industry jargon and is simple to learn to use, regardless of your project management experience.

This is one of the lowest-priced project management tools we reviewed. It also includes unlimited guest users and generous storage. The Enterprise version also includes unlimited custom fields and portfolios. The software is cross-platform compatible. The project management software is hosted by Microsoft Azure cloud and additional security options are available, or you can host the software on your own servers if desired. Like most project management service contracts, discounts may be available for larger contracts or if you pay in advance. Easy Projects has a handy buying guide on its website with a feature list to help you evaluate the program's features and your specific needs that is well worth downloading.

Ease of Use

We found basic administration functions, such as creating a project, adding and scheduling resources, and adding comments to items, simple to perform. Plus the icons and terminology are easy to understand. When we spoke with an Easy Projects representative, they used the phrase "easier nomenclature" to describe the language used within the software. Since many project managers are not formally trained, the objective of Logic Software, the manufacturer of Easy Projects, was to create software that was easy to use by everyone, regardless of one's past experience or traditional training. While we found this application easy to use, some reviewed products were even easier to use. So while this software application scored lower than others, it shouldn't deter you from considering this product, if you are interested.

Our testers who evaluated the team member tools, without any prior training, found Easy Project relatively simple to use. They were able to perform routine actions, such as managing tasks, adding comments, submitting time worked, quickly and without needing to consult the help files. The time required to complete test tasks was faster than most of the other products they tested.

Our evaluators found the icons, such as the plus symbol and paper clip, obvious and easy to interpret. One item, however, that took longer to figure out was adding time-worked to a specific task, but once they figured it out, it wasn't an issue. They also found the help guide lacking; however, they did like that once you find your help topic, the support material guides you through the process step-by-step, which they found quite helpful.

Project Initiation & Prioritization

Using this software, you can easily manage project requests as they come in, but we found the prioritization and risk analysis tools limited. One standout feature of Easy Projects is it supports up to eight different types of custom fields, including dates, lists and text areas. This means you can track a wide variety of custom data for reporting and tracking purposes. Custom portfolio fields are also supported.

Other project planning tools available include Gantt charts, calendars and resource load simulators. The Gantt chart includes drag-and-drop functions to perform tasks such as modifying schedules, altering dependencies and tracking tasks. Calendars can be filtered by customers, project, date and custom criteria. It supports team and personal calendars.

The resource load simulator can help you forecast resource needs well in advance of the project start date and can help you see whether you have the resources and skill level available for a future project as well as assessing the impact the project may have on existing ones. What we didn't see included in this project management tool are technologies for scoring and rating projects based on custom business alignment criteria.

Project Planning

Easy Projects includes adequate planning tools for creating projects, and we found that we could create new projects within minutes. While this software didn't include as many pre-built project templates as some of the others, once you start building your projects, you can use them as templates and clone them.

The software includes color-coded resource loading reports to help you easily schedule resources without overloading them or scheduling them during company holidays or scheduled days off. It can also schedule generic resources if you do not yet know who to schedule. While this software is intended to be simple to use, even by beginners, it does support traditional methodologies such as Agile, Waterfall and Critical Path.

Execution & Monitoring

After the project is rolled out, you can use collaboration tools and notifications to help you stay abreast. Team members can easily post messages using Easy Projects or by email. Client guest portals are free and allow clients to submit issues and requests or comment on tasks, if permitted.

Employees can easily submit time worked on projects by a single entry, weekly submission or through the built-in timer. To help managers know what is going on by the minute, you can configure Easy Projects to send you notifications when events of interest occur, such as an issue request. Depending on your preference, notifications can be sent as they occur or in an email digest.

Delivery & Closure

As the project reaches its conclusion, you can utilize the program's reporting options to help you successfully deliver and archive your project. Easy Projects provides over 30 pre-configured reports, and you can create your own customized reports.

In terms of closing a project, it is always a good idea to perform an open-item report, which you can configure this software to do. This type of report will reveal if you have outstanding project tasks, issues or requests that you may need to address. This PM software can also run payroll reports, which few systems do. Reports can be displayed in table, bar chart, pie chart or metric form. Reports can be exported as a PDF or Excel for sharing.

Security & Compliance

Easy Projects hosts their software using a secure hosting service, and it includes permissions for managing access. While Microsoft Azure, its hosting service, provides adequate security, Easy Project's Enterprise version includes enhanced security. Enhanced security options include tools for managing passwords, encrypted HTTPS traffic and user lockout policies.

Easy Projects offers more permission options than most of the software we evaluated. Administrators can create permission profiles for user roles and control who can see information specifically related to tasks, issues, requests, time entries and projects, even if they are not a member of the project. Managers can also provide limited access to project information.

Integration & Professional Services

Easy Projects includes integrations to work with MS Project, Outlook and Excel. A QuickBooks connector is also available for exporting time-worked entries and other financial information, or your integrations specialist can use RESTful API to create custom integrations and plugins.

Professional services include product and project management training as well as implementation services. While Easy Projects was created to be simple to use, it is also understood that a certain amount of training is required for long-term success. A company representative told us that they are more interested in creating long-lasting partnerships rather than simply customers. Easy Projects provides a volume of free training materials and maintains and active social media presence for added peer support.

Summary

Easy Projects is well-suited for project managers who may not have a lot of formal past PM training. This online project management software is simple to use and it provides project management training if required. It is also affordably priced and supports guest users free of charge.