Teamwork lives up to its name as a project management software designed with team management top of mind. Considered one of the top PM solutions, I found Teamwork had a deep range of features that compete with the best in the market.
SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)
The PM platform hailing from Ireland excels in features like workload management and time tracking to give project leaders robust visibility into team member tasks, expected versus actual progress, and billable work hours.
- Review methodology
- Teamwork alternatives & competitors
- What is Teamwork?
- Teamwork overview
- Teamwork features and capabilities
- Teamwork use cases and audience
- Pros & cons of Teamwork
This review is based on my experience registering, configuring, and executing a project in Teamwork. The sample project I built in the tool is a three-month application development timeline with six sprints and over 20 core tasks.
Below is the sample project (Figure A). The columns listed include task name, start and end dates, assigned contact, status, duration, completion percentage, and notes. Meanwhile, rows organize sprint tasks and subtasks into sprints. Two sprints contain multiple subtasks.
To add additional context, I familiarized myself with Teamwork’s product documentation, demos, industry reviews and recognition and a comparative analysis with alternative software applications. I ran a free trial of the Grow plan to test this tool.
Teamwork alternatives & competitors
What is Teamwork?
Teamwork is a company and project management software developer that builds tools for team management, help desks, communication, customer relationship management (CRM), and content collaboration workspaces.
Out of frustration using existing project management tools, website developers Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger founded Teamwork in 2007. The same year, the company—then under the URL TeamworkPM.net—released its flagship software Teamwork Project Manager before later acquiring the rights to Teamwork.com and changing it to Teamwork Projects in 2015.
Teamwork experienced slow growth alongside the boom in cloud computing, but the last decade has catapulted the team management platform into the top PM solutions available. In 2021, the Cork, Ireland-based company agreed to a first round of funding valued at almost $70 million. Fifteen years after its launch, Teamwork boasts a clientele of more than 4 million users and 20,000 teams.
Teamwork is available as a free trial, free plan, or business SaaS subscription for different sized teams. Teams can access the Teamwork platform through the company’s website, desktop application, or mobile application on the Apple and Google Play stores for iOS and Android devices.
Start with the Teamwork desktop or mobile application
From the Teamwork homepage (Figure B), users can register with a business email address, full name, and password. New registrants must choose between 21 industry sectors, team size, role, company name, and phone number. Finally, the last round of prompts address platform objectives like managing projects, team capacity, and clients, and getting started with a first project, adding tasks, and selecting different views.
Teamwork features and capabilities
Import existing project data
From the project administrative menu, users can select “import tasks” to open the import engine. Users are then prompted to choose from departmental or project-based templates, including client services, user onboarding and product management. These templates ensure uploaded data meets Teamwork’s project parameters.
The “Managers” template best fit my project, so I rearranged columns in the initial Google Sheet (Figure A) to fit the project parameters and uploaded the new edition (Figure C).
The only issue noticed in the import preview (Figure D) was with team member names; the program prompted me to enter a valid email address instead. Almost all project management platforms require the same, but it remains cumbersome for teams simply trying—instead of committing to—a PM solution.
Upon import finalization, the Teamwork platform initially hid a few columns that were easy to toggle to visible. The imported results also failed to capture the column values I changed from “Duration” to “Estimated Time.” In my spreadsheet, this column noted the number of days between start and end dates, but it’s evident Teamwork uses the “Estimated Time” column to track tasks down to the hours and minutes.
Collect and visualize data and collaborate across project perspective
The first view of imported project data is the familiar, spreadsheet-like Table view (Figure E). This view groups tasks into sprints, and each task (row) contains values according to the imported fields.
While users can choose from 16 built-in column values, the option to “Add Custom Field” limits users to five value types: text, number, date, status, and dropdown. This is a good selection, but other platforms offer more flexibility by offering unique field values.
For rows, users can drag-and-drop tasks between sections (sprints), open the task’s details, or mark the task complete via the checkmark. From the task profile, teams can create subtasks and dependencies or add comments and files for collaboration purposes. Initially, I couldn’t find a way to make existing tasks a subtask of another row, however, by creating a subtask under the parent task in question, users can then drag other tasks beneath the newly dubbed parent task.
The other pre-set tabs included on first glance include:
- List view: View all tasks in a simple, collapsible list.
- Board view: View tasks as cards scattered across lanes in a Kanban-style board.
- Dashboard: Track project data with widgets displaying pertinent metrics.
- Files: Upload and organize files for project use, or import files from a third-party application.
- Time: View, add, and change time entries for tasks (see section on Time tracking).
- Milestones: Designate target dates as milestones for project objectives.
- Forms: Create and customize forms for data collection sent to project tables.
Teams have additional options to add tabs for messages or comments, a Gantt chart, notebooks, links, people, settings, and finance.
Boards: Build out lanes and cards
I found the Board view to be less intuitive than competitor Kanban-style tools, which usually allow users to configure columns automatically by condition like task status. Without this option I made my own columns and used the “Show backlog” button to drag-and-drop existing tasks into their respective lanes.
While an easy fix for me, teams importing an extensive amount of tasks will have a harder time. Teamwork does ease the effort with the ability to select multiple tasks for placement in custom columns.
Time tracking: Measure every second
The time tracking feature is a righteous feature for managers working with contractors and teams trying to record, analyze, and optimize time-driven tasks. As seen below (Figure I), the Time Tracking engine allows users to set task metadata like expected hours, a description, and whether it’s billable.
After adding times for one or a series of tasks, users can return to their “All Time” page (Figure J), which features any time entries under their associated project task. At page top and between each section, Teamwork offers helpful totals of logged, non-billable, billable, and estimated hours. Once I add all expected time entries, the estimated hours should come close to the “Logged” or “Total” hours for tasks.
Planning: Manage team and project workloads
Through the Workload Planner, managers can get an overview of workloads across team members, and evaluate allocated time and resources.
As I’m testing this tool before inviting teammates, it was difficult to fully experience the planner’s capabilities. Otherwise, the Workload Planner (Figure K) gives project managers a clean list of teammates and their workloads across a timescale, with options to filter workload views by condition (e.g., user, team, project) or drag-and-drop tasks between users to distribute effort expected for a task.
While I am assigned the full workload for project tasks now, I can reallocate items to users once they’ve been added. Moving forward, I’ll be able to see where teammates have availability and optimize available resources. For larger organizations with multiple departments using Teamwork, the Workload Planner is a convenient way to visualize workloads across company teams.
Reporting: Visualize and share project data
Through the Reports button, users can view overall project health, utilization metrics, and how planned tasks stand up to their deadlines and actual completion date.
The Project Health tab offers a comprehensive look at how multiple projects fare, and the Utilization tab breaks down expected and actual effort between team members. Finally, the Planned vs. Actual tab is similar to the Table view with select columns displaying differences between deadlines and completion dates.
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All three of these views can be exported into a PDF, Excel, or CSV, allowing teams to take Teamwork data offline or share with stakeholders in an universally accessible format. Below (Figure L) is the PDF version of my Planned vs. Actual Tasks Report, currently showing upcoming tasks for the month.
Other Teamwork features
The Teamwork platform includes several more features and tools to help teams make the most of team and project management.
Banner menu: Accessing platform tools
On the left-hand side of the platform, the banner menu offers users access to pages mentioned above like Projects, Time, Planning, and Reports pages. Other options within this menu include:
- Quick Add: Create tasks, timers, projects, people, messages, events, milestones, or log time.
- Search: Navigate to select items by searching the entire platform, tasks, or projects.
- My Work: View personal tasks for today, upcoming, tasks without dates, and overdue tasks.
- Calendar: Visualize tasks on a standard calendar and create events for project stakeholders.
- People: View details and progress for multiple companies, teams, users, and projects.
- Everything: Encapsulates tasks, milestones, messages, files, risks, and links.
A unique feature within the Everything page was the “Risks” tab. While I was unable to choose my project in the below prompt (Figure M), users have the ability to create project risks and set a probability, impact, and a mitigation plan. In real-time, users can record, track, and close risks pertinent to team processes.
Through half a dozen reviews, I’ve yet to see this feature on other top PM platforms. Perhaps it’s a niche feature, but teams looking for granularity in task and risk management will appreciate the additional flexibility.
Activity log: Track team activity and change management
A must-have feature for me is the overarching activity log (Figure N) for changes made to project data. While the below example only shows my initial imports, this page would typically feature various users, interactions, and modifications, with the ability to filter by activity type. When working with sensitive data, multiple tasks and projects, and business critical processes, visibility is invaluable to tracking change management.
Apps and integrations: Teamwork and third-party vendors
On the banner menu, users can click on the “Other Apps” button to enable, disable, and open the core Teamwork apps:
- Teamwork (the base project management platform)
- Teamwork Desk for helpdesk teams
- Teamwork Chat for instant messaging
- Teamwork CRM for managing leads, pipelines, and the sales lifecycle
- Teamwork Spaces for collaborative content containers for teams
Users can manage these and other third-party integrations like Hubspot, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive from the administrative Settings menu. Prospective customers can view Teamwork’s full integration ecosystem here.
Chat: Establish a communication medium
By enabling Teamwork Chat, teams can start using the platform’s instant messaging service. With a familiar feel to Slack or Microsoft Teams, the Chat app offers teams a separate platform app for team communications. From the Chat homepage (Figure O), users can create new channels for groups of users, share files, or try Teamwork’s beta video conferencing feature.
Teamwork use cases and audience
Teamwork’s client base includes over 4 million users and 20,000 companies across 183 countries. Notable customers of the project management platform include Cisco, Disney, GE, HP, Netflix, Oracle, Panasonic, PayPal, Samsung and Spotify.
Co-founder Peter Coppinger explained Teamwork’s initial entry into serving enterprise organizations, recalling:
“One day somebody walked into my office and they said, Disney are holding on line 2 for you. And it turns out Disney had been using Teamwork in stealth for months and they absolutely loved it. And they asked us, ‘Guys, could we have an enterprise version of your product?’ We jumped through a few hoops and Disney became our first enterprise client.”
While the platform includes a wide range of tools applicable across industries, some of the cited use cases and clientele include:
- Client management and CRM software
- Product development
- Project planning, management, and collaboration
- Remote work and work management
- Resource management
- Task management
Teams and clients
- Creative teams and agencies
- Human resources
- Marketing teams
- Product teams
- Professional services
- Project management offices (PMO)
- SEO teams
While the above are Teamwork’s core audience, the platform’s range also offers plenty for:
- Banking, insurance, and financial services
- Electronics, technology, software and web development teams
- Higher education and non-profit organizations
- Manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and energy companies
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Pros & cons of Teamwork
Teamwork advantages and benefits
- Free 30-day trial for Deliver and Grow subscriptions, and an unlimited free plan.
- Platform emphasis and dedicated tools for time tracking and workload management.
- Visualize project data and metrics, configure reports, and share via PDF, CSV, or Excel.
- Bulk edit sections and selected tasks to ease assigning pertinent details and docs.
- Access to a handful of built-in Teamwork apps and critical third-party tools.
- Must invite team members to the platform before incorporating into tasks.
- Modifications can take a few moments to change before becoming visible.
- Some platform processes require additional learning and could be more intuitive.
- Edit user notifications settings or get ready for a barrage of emails.
- Growing project management platform with a powerful feature stack.
- Extensive team management and contract work tracking capabilities.
- Affordable plans for capabilities that compete with the best in PM software.
While Teamwork shares many of the same capabilities as competitors, the Ireland-based project management platform’s emphasis on time and workload management makes it a stand-out. The granularity provided to set expected time, track efforts, and analyze the differences is unique to Teamwork in a crowded solution marketplace.
Teamwork’s subscriptions are in the middle to high price range relative to other top PM tools, and I would say its capabilities more than justify the price level.
The platform may not explicitly speak to Agile teams, but it offers much of the same tools offered by competitors that do market to software development teams. Teamwork’s range means a multitude of teams across industries and functions can recognize its value.