Are you looking for a project management tool with advanced features to help your development team reach its potential? Then LiquidPlanner may be right up your alley, provided you have time to learn how to unlock everything the software offers. To help you decide if LiquidPlanner is the right fit for your team’s needs, we will dissect the software in terms of its features, pricing, and pros and cons.
According to LiquidPlanner, only 16 percent of teams claim that they meet their project deadlines. The project management software offers several basic and advanced features that can take your software development team’s productivity and efficiency to the next level to well surpass that 16 percent mark. Here are some of LiquidPlanner’s highlights that are worth mentioning.
LiquidPlanner is not a project management tool that most people will get used to right from the jump. Onboarding takes time, and unless you get help from support with setting up your workspace and training your team, project managers and developers will need to watch some lengthy tutorials to get the hang of things. While the software’s extensive features could make the time investment worthwhile, it is not the most user-friendly solution on the market. On the plus side, it does offer templates to accelerate the startup process, plus you can make your own if you desire.
There are multiple views in LiquidPlanner that let project managers visualize work to your liking. Unfortunately, the Gantt charts are view-only, so you will not get the opportunity to drag and drop tasks and change their dates directly in the charts as you would with other project management software. Other views worth mentioning include board (similar to Kanban boards), status, workload, and baseline.
If you are looking for Gantt chart tools with drag and drop capabilities, we recommend you check out our product highlight: Best Gantt Chart Plugins for Project Management Software.
LiquidPlanner offers multiple tools under its predictive scheduling umbrella that eliminate the need to manually adjust dates on the fly. By helping you figure out task start and end dates, LiquidPlanner takes a time-consuming task out of the project management process. Its forecasting engine takes into account the risk and uncertainty that comes with projects and offers a trusty, real-time forecast that gives you a better idea of what to expect.
The software runs Monte Carlo simulations across your whole portfolio as changes occur to keep surprises at a minimum. Predictive scheduling in LiquidPlanner also includes smart schedule bars that let you know when tasks should be finished, along with any possible delays due to uncertainty. Lastly, target finish driven alerts notify you of any potential problems in the future.
There is no need to manually track how long tasks take to complete, as LiquidPlanner will record that statistic for you with a time-tracking module that runs in your browser. Once a task is done, the time will get attached to the task and get recorded in a timesheet. Project managers and developers also have the option to enter times manually.
Are some team members being overloaded while others are left twiddling their thumbs? LiquidPlanner addresses workload issues with automatic resource leveling that optimizes your schedule based on priorities and constraints. Through this feature, you will experience fewer stressed team members while supplying work to others that need it. There are workload views to see who is doing what, and you can automatically adjust schedules based on vacations and other events.
Besides managing human resources and their workloads, LiquidPlanner lets project managers manage capital resources, such as equipment.
LiquidPlanner is not the most potent tool when it comes to native collaboration features. You can, however, integrate it with Slack to change that. It also has a change tracking feature that allows you to work with teammates and stay on the same page.
If you are looking for collaboration tools with more features, we recommend checking out these three developer tool roundups:
Many project management solutions offer hefty integrations with third-party apps. LiquidPlanner is not one of them, as it is quite limited in this department. You can integrate with Slack to add some collaboration to your LiquidPlanner workspace, but beyond that, you will not find many options unless you add some steps to the process and incorporate other tools like Zapier.
LiquidPlanner Pricing: How Much Does LiquidPlanner Cost?
Make LiquidPlanner your preferred PM software, and you will have four pricing plans to choose from. The Free plan unlocks all of the features offered in the Essentials plan, which we will discuss in a minute. It offers access to up to three users, plus 10 projects, six resources, and 300 tasks. If you find that the Free plan falls short, you can always upgrade your account to one of the paid plans. No credit card is required to start.
The Essentials plan is LiquidPlanner’s most affordable paid offering. It costs $15 per user, per month with annual billing and is ideal for medium-sized portfolios and teams. Essentials gives you such features as predictive scheduling, priority-based planning, integrated time tracking, multiple views (portfolio, project, board, grid, workload), dependencies, change tracking, availability management, task management, task import and export, and project dashboards. You can have up to 50 projects and 5,000 tasks through this plan. Once again, those aforementioned Essentials features are all available to users of the Free plan.
The Professional plan is LiquidPlanner’s most popular offering. It costs $25 per user, per month with annual billing and offers extra features to help you take your planning efforts to another level. Under the Professional plan, you get everything from Essentials plus timesheet review and exports, custom data fields, rate sheets, and custom cost codes. You can also create up to 500 projects and have a maximum of 50,000 tasks.
Last up is the Ultimate plan. It is LiquidPlanner’s most costly plan at $35 per user, per month with annual billing, which unlocks its most advanced features, service, API, etc. If you are looking for enterprise pricing, you will need to call and speak directly to one of LiquidPlanner’s sales staff. The Ultimate plan gives you everything from the Professional plan, plus single sign-on, group workload views, access roles, project access controls, member groups, open API, and unlimited workspaces. Ultimate also offers unlimited projects and tasks. If you feel like the Ultimate plan is your best fit, you can ask for a free 14-day trial to give it a test drive before forking over any cash.
LiquidPlanner Pros and Cons
LiquidPlanner Pros for Developers:
- Enough tools to help teams manage complex software projects (or multiple ones)
- Predictive scheduling and forecasting make planning projects easier and more precise
- Onboarding service is offered to help you set up workspaces and train employees(and you will likely need it)
- Free plan gives you all features of the paid Essentials plan, just on a smaller scale
- Multiple views and boards let you visualize data to your liking
- Time tracking is solid in the more expensive plans
LiquidPlanner Cons for Developers:
- Takes time to get used to, so if you seek something with a slight learning curve and limited onboarding, it may not be the right fit
- Non-interactive Gantt chart
- Limited native integrations for those seeking to connect to third-party apps to have everything in one place
- Not ideal for on-the-go workers due to a lack of a robust and dedicated mobile app
Is LiquidPlanner Right For Your Software Development Team?
Small software development teams or organizations may find LiquidPlanner’s complete set of features to be overkill. Add this to the fact that it has a steep learning curve, and you may find yourself seeking something simpler for your project management needs. However, if you are looking to use bells and whistles like intelligent scheduling, forecasting, etc., to unlock your team’s potential and you have some time to invest in onboarding, LiquidPlanner may suffice.
Not sure that LiquidPlanner is the right project management tool for your developers? Check out our list of Best Project Management Software for Developers to view other options.