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Software review: UnleashPM

Software September logoGeneral information

Name: UnleashPM

Vendor: Nucleus Group, Inc.

Hosting options: Web hosted version. The website says they also have an option for you to self-host it, but there are no prices for this

Cost and plans: Free for 1 project and 5 users. $40 per month for up to 5 projects and 25 users. $85 per month for unlimited projects and users including access to all modules. I couldn’t see how you know which extra modules you get for this. One year free support and upgrade comes with paid plans

Languages: Not clear, but I think it is English only.

Currency:  It looks like it is currency agnostic as you enter the budget amount without the currency symbol.

Basic features: building projects

I don’t know how easy it is to manage projects in UnleashPM because I couldn’t set one up.

You have to populate a lot of other fields first like ‘designation’, whatever that means (it looks like a list of people and their job descriptions). I couldn’t set up a project without creating a client, and I couldn’t create a client without entering a fax number for them. Even when I entered all the information required, I still got the message “Error: Client not created” but with no clue to what I had done wrong.

 

Unleash Error

The error message on trying to add a client

 

I should say at this point that while the website’s news feed says that the beta version was launched in June this year, it is not clear if UnleashPM is still in beta. There is nothing else on the website, or in the press release, that implies it is not a fully-featured, finished version ready for release to the public.

Meetings

Instead of creating a project, I created a meeting. You have the option to add the host and cohost, so again you need to have created your users beforehand. You select from a drop-down list, so if you have a lot of users this could be unwieldy.

You can add agenda items to a meeting which is a useful touch. You can also upload documents. I didn’t have much success with creating agenda items. They seemed to save but then they disappeared from the meeting page.

Creating a meeting

Creating a meeting

 

Reporting features

I got an XML error when I tried to load a report. This is probably because I had chosen to generate a report on a month that contained no data, but it was a very unfriendly warning. A better approach would be to either show a message saying that there was no data to display, or generate a blank report.

In summary…

I could overlook grammatical errors like “have wonderfull experience” in my welcome email and “Easy for Every One” on the company’s website. But I can’t overlook the amount of bugs and errors in the free version of this software.

Some of my concerns are small things: they send you a temporary password so you can log in for the first time but when you use it, you are not prompted to change it. Most systems will force you to change a temporary password into something you select yourself and this is better practice for user authentication and system security.

There is no help button or support information. I couldn’t find a user manual or any resources. There is an online demo that shows you round the dashboard. The website does have email addresses for support purposes, but I did not contact them to ask my questions. I didn’t think that a user would do so.

The paid for versions may be a lot better, but if buyers are making their decision based on the free trial, the Nucleus Group is not doing themselves any favours.

The free version of UnleashPM is not mature enough for a project management team to use. It might evolve into something better (when, for example, they actually put some useful resources on their Useful Resources page) but for the moment my experience of UnleashPM was far from “wonderfull”.

I would be very happy to hear of other people’s experiences with UnleashPM to see if my experience was atypical.

1 comment… add one

  • Jon 21/09/2011, 8:06 am

    Oh dear, perhaps bugs unleashed is a more appropriate name for the product ;)

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