Now rebranded to Kantata, Mavenlink is a project portfolio management (PPM) software built for professional services organizations. It’s a power collection of operational management, resource optimization, business intelligence, integration, and workflow automation functionalities that elevates operational performance and optimizes resources. However, there are a few caveats, such as steep pricing, a steeper learning curve, and a poor mobile app.
Mavenlink Compared to the Best Project Portfolio Management Software
Mavenlink is a fair choice for PPM software, but better alternatives are available, so we did not add the brand to our list of the best project portfolio management solutions. When evaluating options, we highly recommend considering the following Golden Eggs:
Monday.com is arguably the most flexible and customizable PPM tool that lets you design workflows just right for you and your team. Start a 14-day trial to experience its features.
Hive seriously simplifies team collaboration and coordination by allowing you to tag team members, chat, or simply attach files to share—all within a single platform. Get started for free using the 14-day trial.
Asana offers tons of user-friendly features to facilitate team productivity and collaboration. Sign up now to book your 30-day free trial.
Learn more about our top picks, and check out our guide on the best project portfolio management software.
Mavenlink: The Good and the Bad
Mavenlink offers several powerful features that make it a suitable choice as a PPM software, but you also need to note some crucial weaknesses. Read on as we explore both in more detail below.
What Mavenlink Is Good At
Mavenlink’s strengths as a project portfolio management software include a set of well-rounded features aimed at simplifying and enhancing crucial project management-related activities, such as resource management, business intelligence, team collaboration, and accounting. Another advantage is that the company also offers multiple customer support options.
Well-Rounded Resource Management: Mavenlink’s resource management can be divided into four aspects: project estimation, project planning, project execution, and project optimization.
In the first and second stages, you can draft high-level project plans using the project templates and merge available resources with active projects, assigning tasks to the most suitable employee and partner. The execution stage involves monitoring the resource schedule and adjusting project timelines as needed.
Finally, the analyzing and optimizing stage is about identifying trends to accurately forecast resource needs. The entire resource management process is designed to help you make informed decisions while facilitating strategic hiring and selling.
Excellent Team Collaboration Features: With Mavenlink, team members can collaborate from anywhere and anytime. Its dashboard keeps you up-to-date, showing the latest activity feeds, lined-up tasks, and time and utilization tracking.
Users also have an overview of team chats and work progress, keeping them accountable for the work they accept. The fact that you can also tag relevant members to multiple threads helps avoid confusion and promote productivity.
A handy contextualized collaboration feature allows you to record payments against expense entries and include other critical information, like to whom they were made. To ensure only people relevant to the project are involved, you can set project permissions, make members admins, and invite external guests as needed.
Robust Business Intelligence Capacity: Mavenlink has one of the most powerful business intelligence toolkits, giving you valuable insights into your organization’s finances, projects, performance, and reports.
The project feature is particularly useful for converting data into decisions. Mavenlink Insights gives you expert-built reports that make it easier to identify trends impacting business outcomes and anticipate company performance. While you can choose from the available expert templates, you also have the option to create your own reporting template to fit your team’s exact needs.
Moreover, Mavenlink’s business intelligence then merges all data into report dashboards that can be custom-built.
Useful Accounting Features: Another handy feature of Mavenlink is its ability to link team expenses and invoices to the appropriate tasks they impact in real-time.
Timesheets and expense reports let you create time entries for all projects and expense reports. You can also use them to track expenses per project, as well as filter entries by category, and track project receipts.
You also have the option to make and link invoices with task projects and milestones and set the hourly expense rate and the hourly revenue rate for work done by employees, keeping you on top of project revenue and margins.
Prompt and Efficient Customer Service: Mavenlink offers a range of customer support options, from one-on-one calls to self-help video tutorials.
There’s a 24-hour live chat option and the ability to submit support tickets from Mavenlink’s support portal to receive guidance via email. Mavenlink also offers in-software assistance, with links to the Help Center, the Changelog, and the Blog within your dashboard.
Note that Mavenlink also has its own Training Center, where you can find paid online courses teaching you how to best use the project portfolio management software and learn key project management fundamentals.
Where Mavenlink Is Lacking
Considering Mavenlink’s steep paid plans, the fact that the tool isn’t very intuitive and user-friendly can sting a bit. Be prepared to deal with functionality issues, an outdated user interface, and unforgiving Gantt charts. Vague pricing and a limited app are other disappointing features.
Complex and Buggy Functionality: User-friendliness is essential for any project portfolio management software. Unfortunately, Mavenlink is plagued by a few functionality issues, which is a big reason the tool didn’t make it on our top recommendations list.
For starters, the user interface is slow and clunky and doesn’t provide a great visual view. This is a huge disadvantage, as its competitors, like Monday.com and Asana, have some of the most attractive user interfaces and dashboards.
Then there’s also the tendency of bugs and crashes. One user reported the user interface significantly slows down when they expand 30-50 tasks.
While the advanced features are an advantage, they have several related complexities that require team members to put in time and effort to understand how to use the software to its full potential. This means you have to prepare your team for the steep learning curve.
Lack of Pricing Transparency: Mavenlink hasn’t published pricing information on its website, so you need to take a few extra steps to determine its pricing and subscription plans.
This involves entering your business details and sharing contact information. Mavenlink executives will then send you a custom quote based on your answers. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, you cannot make a quick or simple pricing/feature comparison between Mavenlink and other leading project portfolio management tools.
Inflexible Gantt Charts: Gantt charts are useful for tracking the amount of work done within a specific timeframe or milestone, making them a handy tool to visualize project progress and timeline.
While we like how you can drag and drop tasks onto a timeline and create task dependencies, the charts still need a lot of work. You cannot “undo” changes, as it’s web-based, plus they load slowly for larger project plans. Gantt charts also don’t work on the mobile app.
Limited Mobile App: Mavenlink offers users an HTML5 mobile app, but its functionalities are seriously limited compared to the software‘s desktop version. You can only do the basics, such as creating projects, editing task details, and setting deadlines.
Mavenlink Options and Pricing
Mavenlink offers a range of specialized solutions designed to simplify project portfolio management. Some of these include:
Mavenlink offers advanced resource management capabilities to give you a clearer perspective for every project.
It lets you manage all data from a centralized place, helping maximize client outcomes, enabling real-time responsiveness, and increasing forecast accuracy. Mavenlink also provides optimized resource recommendations, allowing you to meet demand and supply change more effectively.
Finally, top-notch analytics help you evaluate multiple projects simultaneously and identify best-fit matches for smarter staffing.
Mavenlink‘s next offering is a financial management software tool that increases accuracy and boosts profitability.
Use the software to get real-time visibility into the current forecast and revenue recognition and develop realistic budgets and achievable margins. You can also track time, expenses, and costs across projects and define project-based time and expense parameters to control errors and rejections.
Using Mavenlink’s project management solution, you can ensure your projects stay on schedule, on budget, and on track.
Check task or deliverable status, and gain real-time insights using Gantt charts. You can also automate manual processes and leverage reusable templates and workflows to work smarter and save time and money.
Integrations with best-in-class apps further help empower your team while extending the value of your existing tech stack.
Mavenlink in Summary
Mavenlink (now Kantata) is a well-featured project portfolio management solution that offers top-notch resource management, team collaboration, and business intelligence functionalities—all packed into one scalable professional services automation software. However, it still has certain disadvantages in the form of a complicated and slow tool that make other options preferable. For instance, you’ll find our Golden Eggs, Monday.com, Hive, and Asana, work much better while offering similar feature sets that makes workflows more fluid.