- Good customer support
- Flexible feature set
- Project templates
- Pricing not disclosed
- Poor communication features
After being in operation since the early 2000s, it would be reasonable to assume the folks at Workzone have discovered the keys to software success. Ask co-founders Rick Kosenkis and Allan Kalish how they have led their company into the brave world of 2019, and they will tell you three things: focus on the essentials, act with purpose, and be kind. These sort of buzzwords are common in the world of software “about us” pages, but Workzone has the facts to back it up with more than 16 years in operation, over two million projects completed, and an equal amount donated to charity.
As for the app itself, Workzone aims to be an all-in-one solution to your project management needs. You can track projects and tasks, organize details, account for time, and keep tabs on it all through reporting. That it has been in existence for so many years, through innumerable developments in the computing industry, speaks to the durability and performance of Workzone. Does this app still have what it takes to impress after so many years? Or has it begun the long fade to obsolescence? Find out below.
Table of Contents
Web-Based (SaaS) Or On-Premise
Workzone is entirely web-based and does not require a download to use.
Straight away, Workzone has some problems with their pricing…mostly because there is no pricing, none that is publically available at least. You have to contact the sales team to learn this information. This sort of gatekeeping always irritates me: forcing customers into a conversation about buying without giving them the information that would determine if they are even able to buy in the first place is manipulative and shady. Nearly every other business software on the market publishes their pricing schemes; Workzone should as well.
Having said that, there are three subscription levels available, and I will summarize them here in spite of not having the pricing information.
- Unlimited task/project management and project workspaces
- Advanced reporting
- Unlimited training and “success-based support”
- 100GB storage
- All “Team” features
- 150GB storage
- Custom project intake forms
- All Professional features
- Single sign-on
- API access
- Custom fields and reporting
- Critical paths
- Workspace groups
Ease Of Use
Ease of use covers two major aspects of using an app: how hard/easy it is to learn and how it treats users on a daily basis. In the case of Workzone, I get the sense that while it may be convenient in the long run, the initial learning process is not so easy. There is a lot to figure out in Workzone, and if you are determined to figure it out without using any support options, you may find yourself frustrated. Fortunately, however (as I will cover more completely below), Workzone has a great selection of tutorial videos that should ease the difficulty of initially learning to use this app.
As I said, once you have learned Workzone, using it on a daily basis should be mostly frustration-free. I found the User Interface to be somewhat outdated but not in such a way that it impacted actual use. With a toolbar and menu running along the top of the screen, it is pretty simple to learn to navigate through the app. More than that, the development team has intentionally created the various workflows of the basic features to feel similar. This means that the process for making a new template is almost the same as the process for making a new project. This sort of thing ensures that users do not get confused while operating the app.
Customer Service & Support
Workzone offers the standard stable of customer support resources. You have your knowledgebase, which is essentially a library of explanatory articles about how to use Workzone. This is not the best knowledgebase I have seen, but it is definitely serviceable. Workzone also provides a collection of video tutorials for your viewing pleasure, giving you a visual tool that can be a pretty great way to learn. These are among the better video tutorials I have sampled in my time reviewing project management apps. They have good production value but also communicate concrete information about how to interact with Workzone’s various features. For more personalized instruction, you can sign up for Workzone’s regular webinar series. Webinars are not really my style, but I know that many find them extremely helpful when learning new concepts and skills. These run on a monthly basis on the second Tuesday of each month.
Workzone also keeps a list of frequently asked questions and best practices for your convenience. These will be at their most useful early in your Workzone experience, so I would consider bookmarking them if you find yourself struggling at first.
Finally, you have the option of contacting Workzone directly. There are both phone and email support options, both of which put you in contact with the Workzone customer support team. Rumor has it this team is pretty put together and on top of things, so this may be the best option of all.
Negative Reviews & Support
People seem to have pretty positive opinions about Workzone overall, but after reading dozens of reviews, I have identified a couple of common concerns:
- Learning Curve: The first few days and weeks with Workzone can be a bit of a struggle according to a significant number of user reviews. Most of these users admit that the difficulty fades with time as team members get to grips with the complexities of the app. Persist, and you will be rewarded. Still, it would be nice if some changes could be made to eliminate this phase of the process.
- Graphic Design: I personally did not feel that there was anything much wrong with the design of Workzone. However, I saw several users complaining that the app’s visual appearance is outdated. This is the kind of thing that can be fixed, but user interface updates are usually infrequent in the software world. Time will tell if this issue is addressed.
- User Permissions: It seems that Workzone can be frustrating to use if you do not have administrator permissions. Team members found that some basic functions of the app are off-limits to them, necessitating contact with an administrator to make appropriate changes. For an app intended to save everyone time, this is pretty unfortunate.
- Lackluster Search: The search tool in Workzone can be finicky in not recognizing certain kinds of search terms.
- No Mobile App: Without the ability to work on the move, Workzone may be less useful for some team members.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
As I mentioned before, Workzone is pretty positively reviewed by users. Here are some of the things people love about this app:
- Project Assessment: Workzone makes it easy to quickly assess the health of your projects using notes, project status indicators, and more. If you see something that concerns you, you can quickly navigate to a closer look, hopefully eliminating roadblocks as soon as possible.
- Communication: With Workzone’s communication tools, you can easily get information into the hands of the team members that need it. Quickly and efficiently update project information, discuss next steps with team members, and more.
- Customer Service: As I mentioned above, the customer service team at Workzone is pretty excellent. I found a number of users singing their praises, claiming there is simply no question they cannot answer.
Here are a few excerpts from the reviews of satisfied users:
Our company loves how each one of us can easily log on and instantly see job status, tracking all our activity, interacting and communicating regarding each different job. WZ saves us so much time by having everything in one place. We now can’t imagine how we got by without WZ in previous years.
Great customer support — live and recorded webinars, access to personal help, good documentation — and solid functionality. This is a great-value project management tool for companies who want more than a spreadsheet but don’t want to pay for all the bells and whistles. Solid reporting and visibility for project managers and leaders. Easy to use once you understand the system logic.
I like being able to have a variety of templates so each project type can be created easily. And, I like being able to add/remove steps in the process and extend a workflow as the scope of the project changes or revisions are needed.
The ability to monitor project status, share files and messages easily within a project, track time, and streamline project requests from clients. You can create templates for frequently repeated project types, create dependencies between tasks to alert colleagues when you’re ready to hand them the baton, and easily find files and project-related comments to maintain a grasp of the big picture.
I like how customizable it is. I can tailor it to the number of employees I have. I love that everything is stored on the cloud, making it super convenient to access.
One of the best features of Workzone is the ability to create project templates. This feature comes in handy for teams which handle multiple projects of the same type over and over again. Instead of having to create the task set from the beginning each time, the templates can be used to jump right into an already established flow, saving both time and effort.
- Project & Task Management: It wouldn’t be much of a project management app without, ya know, project management. At its core, Workzone needs to manage this well, or I would feel odd recommending it. Fortunately, this is an entirely serviceable example of project management with some surprising capabilities. In particular, I love the way you can update the status of various tasks. These updates are clearly visible from the project view screen, ensuring you can get the pulse of your project quickly. Workzone’s Gantt charts are also effective if you prefer to organize information with more of a timeline perspective.
- Templates: Project templates are one of the biggest attractions to Workzone. Not all project management apps use these, so if you are in a situation where they are desirable, your choices are more limited. Fortunately, Workzone handles templates remarkably well. There are a few stock templates, but you can easily build custom ones and even quickly turn existing projects into templates as well. It is even possible to save templates that automatically assign workflows to the same people each time, which is handy to have.
- Time Tracking: One of the marks of a good project management app is the presence of time tracking in some form. I am happy to report that Workzone offers this crucial feature in a couple of ways. You can track time live but also add it to your timesheet later. You can also distinguish between billable and non-billable time, which is a handy distinction.
- Reporting: Workzone offers a pretty impressive selection of stock report options, allowing you to track the basic elements of your projects and tasks. Unfortunately, to get truly custom reports, you have to subscribe to the enterprise level. On the bright side, the basic reports will meet most needs, though, doubtless, the restriction will chafe on some users.
- Communication: Workzone does have a messaging feature, but it definitely feels like an afterthought. Nowhere near as responsive as the likes of the chats and comments that ship with Basecamp or Redbooth, the Messages module of Workzone is disable-able and feels a bit like email chat from the early 2000s. This is a bit disappointing and means that I will have a hard time recommending Workzone to any team with remote members.
Integrations & Add-Ons
The only integration for Workzone that I was able to find is with Zapier. If you are only going to have the one integration, it really should be this one. Zapier allows users to link together hundreds of different business apps with just a couple clicks of the mouse. This gives Workzone access to lots of integrations, but they are the generic Zapiers versions rather than a bespoke Workzone-specific version. On the whole, though, I would take any integrations over zero integrations.
When all is said and done, I think Workzone is a decent project management app. In terms of raw task and project management, Workzone has the chops to compete with most major developers. Beyond that, with good time tracking and decent reporting, it would be reasonable to think that Workzone is a good choice for all your project management needs.
Unfortunately, I do have a few reservations. Workzone’s communication tools may suffice for teams that work in the same room or office, but for remote employees, it is unlikely to measure up. More than that, though, I find the company’s unwillingness to publically share their pricing to be just deeply irritating. By forcing customers to contact sales before revealing prices, you reduce the number of people who will actually reach out. Price can be a huge determining factor in whether or not an app can work for a company, so this information should be public, just like major features and customer support options.
Having said that, the final choice, of course, belongs to you. If this review has piqued your interest, head on over to Workzone’s website and request additional information. Once you have made your choice, come on back and let us know what you think in the comments below.
To learn more about how we score our reviews, see our Project Management Software Rating Criteria.