Team Effect: Visual Project Management

Logo_Small_onWhiteTeam Effect jokingly calls its competition the “the vast swathe of online task lists…and Basecamp clones” that make up the current market for project management solutions. The claim is that, unlike its competitors, Team Effect is “fun to use.” I won’t go that far, but the Team Effect web interface and interactive Gantt-style calendar — the main selling point of the app — are visually appealing and relatively easy to use.

DashBoardLike many similar products, upon login, users are taken to a dashboard where they can see an overview of activity for projects with which they are associated. The “Comments and Messages” area is laid out in a Twitter-like fashion,Actions and users can see more detail, or respond, by clicking an existing message. Oddly, it appears that one needs to go to a different screen to compose a new message.

calendarOther features, such as schedules and tasks, should be appealing to those who prefer visual representations of project plans. Schedules can be changed by dragging the bars in the Gantt-style calendars (which Team Effect has implemented without Flash, thankfully). Team Effect includes some sophisticated reports that web workers should find useful, such as project status and schedules.

The documentation is OK, as far as it goes, but appears to be incomplete. I wasn’t able to find information on whether the product notifies users of changes by email, or whether it has any tools such as RSS feeds that would keep people up-to-date without logging into the web site constantly. Additionally, the web site times out after a fairly short period of inactivity. The system does allow you to export some data to Excel, and this ability is apparently being expanded.

Team Effect is priced depending on the number of users you need. It offers a 30-day free trial, after which the basic package is $15 per month for five users. Other packages are available, all at the same rate of $3 per login per month. For most packages, the fee is only charged if a user actually logs in. All packages include unlimited projects and storage. Team Effect also offers discounts or free service to nonprofit organizations.

Team Effect will appeal to those who like visual representations of their workflow. But people working on projects that change frequently may find logging into the Team Effect web site several times a day to be a hassle.

Have you used Team Effect? How do you manage projects?

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