Zoho Projects Review

Zoho
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Zoho Projects
Zoho
1996
Pleasanton, CA
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
50 million users
Cloud
Yes
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Zoho Projects At A Glance

Good: Collaboration features, ability to break down complex projects into sub tasks, Issue Tracker module for software teams.
Bad: Learning curve in getting used to all the features, reporting functionality is limited unless integrated to Zoho Reports, mobile app is not always user friendly.
Bottom Line: Cloud-based robust project management solution to help teams successfully manage simple and complex projects.

Product Overview

Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management solution that helps businesses and teams manage both simple and complex projects. Users can assign projects, track milestones, share comments and files, and monitor billable hours.

Zoho Projects recently debuted its Projects 7.0 version with newer enhancements, including an upgraded interface. The features (e.g., Feed, Report, Dashboard, Milestones) are displayed on the left hand side or at the top navigation bar, so users can quickly access them. Users can also choose from six different images or themes to personalize the background of their interface, and they can also choose the day or night mode to easily see the screen at any time of the day. Additional new features include advanced search and filter functionality, a project portfolio dashboard and a Discuss module for separate work conversations.

Zoho Projects includes a free plan for up to three users. It includes basic features, such as 10 MB file attachments, a Gantt chart viewer, task tracking and a mobile app. There are two paid plans: Premium and Enterprise. We’ve listed the features of each plan here, and the pricing information can be found in our Pricing section below.

Premium – The Premium plan includes the features of the free plan, plus

  • 100 GB file attachments
  • Unlimited projects
  • Up to 20 templates
  • Subtasks and reminders
  • Task duration in hours
  • Task automation with Blueprint
  • Project resource allocation
  • Planned versus actual data
  • Time tracking
  • Budget tracking
  • Customizable business hours
  • Business rules and automation for issues
  • Task rollup

Enterprise – The Enterprise plan includes the following features:

  • 120 GB file attachments
  • The ability to create up to 30 project templates
  • The ability to create custom fields for projects and tasks
  • Custom roles and profiles
  • Global Gantt charts
  • Global resource allocation
  • Global planned versus actual data
  • Inter-project dependencies
  • SLAs for issue module
  • Personalized web domains
  • Portfolio dashboards
  • Critical paths
  • Baseline
  • Custom user groups

Zoho Projects offers a module called Issue Tracker for software companies to track issues and bugs within their projects. Users can track and organize issues by lists or Kanban methods, and rank them by deadlines, status or issue severity. It includes customizable workflows and issue severity, notifications, and a My Issues view for users to track all assigned projects in a consolidated view.

There is also another project management tool called Zoho Sprints. It’s intended to help agile teams manage their projects. Teams can track projects on a scrum board, log billable and non-billable hours, and plan for any possible changes within a project. Zoho Sprints has a free plan and two paid plans that are based on the number of users.

Features

Users can efficiently and easily track complex projects in a variety of ways: milestones, tasks lists, and bigger tasks that breaks down into sub tasks. The milestone feature helps users track various deadlines within a project. Users can further manage tasks in Classic, Plain, Dependencies and Kanban (visualizing workflows by cards) views.

Zoho Projects include built-in Gantt charts that show milestone and dependencies within a project or task. Each milestone or dependency has its own color codes, and users can change schedules with a drag-and-drop interface. Gantt charts can also be printed or exported to a PDF.

Zoho Projects includes several collaboration features. First there’s the Feed, a feature that resembles a social network where users can get updates or comment on specific tasks or milestones. Users can also track timelines of specific discussions via the activity stream, as well as share images and files.

Another collaboration feature is Project Chat, a built-in chat room. Users can chat either one-on-one or within a group. There’s no limit on the amount of people within a single chat room.

There is also the Project Pages feature that works as a company’s intranet system. Information and files that are relevant to a project can be stored as a repository. A variety of files can be attached to each page, such as images, audio, video and charts.

In addition, Zoho Projects offers time-tracking tools via the Timesheet feature. Users record the amount of time dedicated to a task with a built-in timer. They can also track time by task or project, as well as record billable and non-billable hours. Timesheets can be exported in Excel, PDF or CSV and sent to payroll, managers or clients. Managers can also create invoices for clients with the integrated Zoho Invoice solution.

There is also the resource utilization chart that helps managers better allocate staffing resources within a project. It has a see-saw design that shows an employee’s allocated work time on one end and free time on the other. There is also a color code design that represents the employee’s availability. Managers can also use the at-a-glance schedule chart to assess each employee’s availability, and add, change or re-assign a task.

For users that want to analyze and run reports on project data, Zoho Projects integrates with Zoho Reports for business intelligence functionality. Users can build reports and dashboards via a drag-and-drop interface or use any of the 50 standard templates. Reports can be emailed, exported, printed out or even embedded within blogs and websites.

Finally, Zoho Projects offers dedicated mobile apps so users can access their projects away from their office. The apps are available for Android and iPhone devices.

Target Market

Zoho Projects targets small and large teams from any industry. We’ve listed several of its customers below.

  • Dell
  • BigBasket
  • HDFC Securities
  • Stanford University
  • TATA Chemicals Limited
  • Vodafone

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Implementation/Integration

Companies that select any of the paid plans will get a 10-day free trial. After the trial period, they can purchase the plan via credit card. Companies simply sign up and can begin navigating Zoho Projects within minutes.

Zoho Projects integrates with Zoho’s other apps, such as Zoho Docs, Zoho CRM, Zoho People and Zoho Mail. It also integrates with third-party apps, such as Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Box, Slack and GitHub. Users can also import data from Jira and Basecamp.

Customer Service & Support

Users can refer to Zoho Projects resources, such as a user guide, an API guide, webinars, help videos and a knowledge base. They can also connect with other users within the community forum or contact Zoho Projects by email if they need additional support.

Pricing

As mentioned, there is a free plan for up to three users. The Premium plan costs $5 per user, per month for up to 50 users, while the Enterprise plan costs $10 per user, per month for unlimited users (prices for both is based on monthly billing). For external users, there’s an additional cost of $3 per client user, per month.

Each plan is pay-as-you-go, so users can upgrade, downgrade or cancel their plans at any time.

Shortcomings

Some users have mentioned that it can take some time getting used to all of the features. However, Zoho Projects has several resources to help users adjust to the learning curve.

Users have also reported the mobile app is not always user friendly.

And finally, aside from the advanced task reports, the reporting features are limited, unless it’s integrated with Zoho Reports. To integrate Zoho Projects and Zoho Reports, users are required to sign up for a paid plan with both Zoho Projects and Zoho Reports.

Screenshots

Zoho Screenshot 1
Zoho Screenshot 2
Zoho Screenshot 3

About

Zoho began in 1996 as a network management company called AdventNet. In 2009, it rebranded itself as Zoho Corporation. In addition to Zoho apps, the company has two divisions: IT management and network management.

Over the years, it has added more solutions, such as Zoho CRM (2005), Zoho People (2008), and Zoho Connect (2013). Zoho One, an all-in-one suite of more than 35 integrated applications, was introduced in 2017. The company reached the 50 million mark in number of users and rolled out the Zoho MarketingHub, a marketing automation software, in 2019.

Zoho has offices in Pleasanton (CA) and Austin (TX) and in other countries, such as India, China and Japan.

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