Rocketlane is an early-stage B2B tech company focusing on customer onboarding and professional services automation (PSA). The company is already making waves in the saturated software-as-a-service (SaaS) space, having raised $18 million in Series A funding just two years after inception. The platform promises to unify divergent customer onboarding and implementation processes like project management, document collaboration, communication, and resource management under one roof.
Rocketlane Compared to The Best Project Management Software
Rocketlane didn’t make our list of the best project management software simply because it is an onboarding platform with project management capabilities, unlike the purpose-built PM software on our list. Below you’ll find our Golden Eggs, our favorite project management software:
Monday.com is our favorite project management platform for its incredible customization, built-in customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities, and powerful reporting and analytics. Try Monday.com free for 14 days with no commitment required.
Smartsheet delivers excellent project management capabilities like multiple views, real-time reporting, dashboards, and automated workflows in a familiar spreadsheet-centric interface. Try Smartsheet risk-free with the 30-day free trial.
Rocketlane: The Good and the Bad
A good project management tool effectively solves your most significant pain points. You can also expect to make a few tradeoffs since there’s no such thing as perfect software. Let’s look at the best of Rocketlane and where the software might improve.
What Rocketlane Is Good At
The best thing about Rocketlane is it is a purpose-built customer onboarding software with everything you need to create a seamless, transparent, and collaborative customer experience. The software also provides interactive documents for information sharing and built-in templates for smoother workflows. Lastly, Rocketlane integrates native time tracking, project management, and resource planning capabilities.
Fantastic customer onboarding: Most PM software is built for internal teams with a few customer onboarding features added. Rocketlane is purpose-built to enhance the customer experience. Customer-facing teams will love the dedicated portal where clients can monitor important information like project dates, status updates, completion percentages, and billable hours.
Naturally, Rocketlane also supports internal collaboration. You can create private spaces to share documents and information exclusively with your team. You can also share content in multiple ways, including embedding URLs, using predesigned document templates, and drafting shared documents from scratch.
Robust native documents: Rocketlane documents offer typical formatting characteristics like heading styles, formatted text, font colors, and lists. However, the documents also let you add custom elements like tasks, checklists, tables, and a private text section within a shared document.
You can also freeze a document to create an uneditable read-only version. All documents include built-in chat and comment sections for better collaboration.
Built-in templates: Rocketlane offers pre-made, customizable templates for every step of the customer onboarding process. You’ll find templates for sales-to-success handoffs, kickoff meetings, Statement of Work (SOW) documents, resource planning and tracking, project communication planning, and project delivery. You can also create templates from scratch and save them for future use.
You can customize the built-in templates to match your onboarding process, which helps create a streamlined and repeatable onboarding journey. The templates have three views to suit your data visualization preference: list, timeline, and dynamic.
Native time tracking: Most project management software only offer time tracking features with more expensive plans or as an add-on sold separately. Rocketlane provides time tracking with all plans, including the cheapest tier, and its advanced timesheets let employees log time accurately.
Users can also specify billable and non-billable hours and submit timesheets for approval. Other timesheet features include tracking multiple tasks or activities simultaneously, assigning approvers, setting reminders to fill timesheets, and generating reports.
Essential PM capabilities: Rocketlane is technically an onboarding tool. However, the software also delivers the vital project management features you need to stay on top of progress. For example, each project phase in Rocketlane has tasks.
Each task has fields for critical information like descriptions, details, checklists, and templates. You can also perform PM-oriented actions within the task, including adding subtasks, attaching files, setting start and end dates, assigning team members, defining task dependencies, and adding comments.
Seamless resource planning: Rocketlane’s project timeline provides instant insight into your team’s bandwidth. You can view who is available to take on new work and who might be overloaded. Each team member has a timeline bar with a percentage value of their current allocation, such as 30% bandwidth. A “find availability” feature suggests people based on their roles and current workload.
The software also has a handy placeholder feature if you’re unsure about your team’s bandwidth during the project planning phase. You can assign the task to a fictitious team member, complete with project availability and expertise requirements. Then, easily transfer the task to the relevant team member at the appropriate time. It’s a handy feature for planning when you don’t have all the information and resources yet.
What Rocketlane Is Lacking
Rocketlane needs to catch up in a few areas. It’s a relatively expensive solution primarily targeting mid-market to enterprise-size businesses. The software lacks native billing and invoicing and offers limited native integrations besides Zapier. It also has a small user community if you need somewhere to turn for Rocketlane-related tips, advice, and information. Let’s look at these in more detail.
Expensive for startups: Rocketlane may be costly for solopreneurs, startups, and businesses in the growth stage. The platform doesn’t offer a free-forever plan for personal projects or freelance work, and Rocketlane’s cheapest plan is more expensive than most of its competitors.
For example, Monday.com, ClickUp, and Smartsheet have entry-level plans that cost $8, $7, and $9.99 per user per month, respectively, compared to Rocketlane’s $19 per user per month for their lowest-priced tier. Rocketlane also has a five-seat minimum, so it is at least $95 monthly to start, regardless of your team size.
Lacks native billing and invoicing: Many companies prefer to unify project management and accounting. Rocketlane already offers native time tracking, so billing and invoicing aren’t a farfetched ask. Unfortunately, you’ll need separate accounting software and deal with context switching and possible accounting delays.
Project management software lacking billing and invoicing isn’t unusual. However, competitors like Monday.com created add-on accounting options. With Rocketlane, you’ll need to integrate with a third-party billing app.
Limited native integrations: Rocketlane has a short list of native integrations, which includes Slack, Salesforce, and Jira. Fortunately, the software supports Zapier integration to access more than 5000 apps. The only downside is paying extra to connect with your favorite software stack, as Zapier is an additional subscription-based cost. This may be a deal-breaker if you need your PM software to work seamlessly with your existing tech stack.
Limited task views: Rocketlane offers basic data visualization, including Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and lists. You’ll miss out on calendar view, bar, Pareto, flow, and burn-up charts, among other ways of visualizing your data. Some PM software even provides custom views, which you don’t get with Rocketlane.
Relatively new platform: Rocketlane is an exciting new SaaS service and the brainchild of three former Freshworks executives. The company has also been featured positively in several notable publications, including the 2022 Gartner Cool Vendor report, The Economic Times, and Forbes. However, the software hasn’t been tried, tested, and updated for many years compared to established project management solutions.
Rocketlane also has a small user community compared to more established solutions. These communities help find specific and detailed information about the software and solve issues. You’ll need to rely mainly on the Rocketlane knowledge base for troubleshooting and other critical user information.
Rocketlane Options and Pricing
Rocketlane shares a pricing structure similar to most software where there’s only one product. In this case, the product is the onboarding software. You then choose from multiple pricing levels depending on the features you need.
All plans support unlimited projects. Also, you only pay for your team members and can add unlimited customer members for free on any plan.
Rocketlane prices start at $19 per user per month for the entry-level plan if you choose an annual subscription. It is $29 per user per month for month-to-month payments. With annual billing, you can save at least $10 per user per month on any plan.
The entry-level plan is called Essentials. It packs everything you need for internal and customer-facing projects. The main features include a branded customer portal, customer login via the magic link, status updates, project chat, task views, timesheets, and time-tracking reports.
The Essentials plan is a good choice for freelancers or small agencies focused on improving existing clients’ customer experience. For instance, the customer can log into their portal to monitor the project’s progress. Similarly, Rocketlane’s templates allow you to create a consistent and repeatable customer experience.
You can enjoy a less-generic onboarding experience with the Standard plan for $49 per user per month, billed annually. You get more customization features to personalize the customer experience, including custom task statuses, forms, charts, cards, status update templates, annotations and proofing, and custom domains.
This tier also reveals more productivity-oriented features, including project baselines, performance reports, multiple dashboards, form automation, and people performance reports. It’s a terrific plan to empower your team to provide the best customer experience.
Next, the Premium plan lets you manage large teams effectively for $69 per user per month, billed annually. You get premium features like skill-based resourcing, resource management, utilization tracking, operations insight report, team member fields, and auto-publish status updates. It’s a terrific solution for large organizations managing large teams across multiple projects and portfolios.
Finally, the Enterprise plan costs $99 per user per month, billed annually. It’s great for enterprises willing to invest in harnessing the software’s full power. In addition to all other features, this plan offers premium support, custom onboarding, and training for your employees and customers.
It’s difficult to determine whether Rocketlane offers excellent value for the money compared to other project management software. Sure, Rocketlane shares many features with stand-alone project management tools. However, the software is primarily designed to solve specific customer onboarding and implementation challenges like users dropping off before the activation point, customers not utilizing key features, or excessive support requests.
The more appropriate question is how much you’re willing to pay to streamline your implementation and onboarding projects. Rocketlane easily replaces many disparate tools you already use during onboarding, including document management platforms, team chat, spreadsheets, and time-tracking software. As a result, many users will find it worth it.
Rocketlane in Summary
You need the proper context to appreciate what Rocketlane can do for you. The software isn’t strictly a project management tool, which you can tell from its limited project views, missing invoicing and billing features, and limited native integrations. But as standalone onboarding software, Rocketlane covers all the bases for an exceptional customer onboarding process.
You get branded client portals, timesheets, time-tracking reports, customer approvals, and proofing. Moreover, Rocketlane sports advanced productivity management features that rival the best stand-alone project management solutions. Add communication, document collaboration, and resource management features, and Rocketlane easily replaces half a dozen tools in your current software stack. Some users may benefit from a full-fledged project management solution. Monday.com is the best option for most people, while ClickUp is a top choice for managing remote teams. Smartsheet is the go-to solution for flexible workflows. Our review post covers these and more options for the best project management software.