Software Review: 5pm

5pm is a web-based, on-demand project management software. It looks great and the interface is easy to use.
It’s easy to use and the help feature is great if you get stuck. They have videos and a blog that covers new features, useful information, and downtime.
The main problem I can see is the lack in complexity of the features. This isn’t necessarily a problem, especially if you manage small or medium projects and only require the basics. Complexity can also confuse non-expert team members.
5pm adds new tasks to the old tasks. This is something I don’t like, especially if the start date is later than the tasks below. I’m old-fashioned and my mind works down, not up. It is easy to drag and drag the tasks into the correct order — a new feature — and you can also drag & drop to make one task sub-task another. This is a neat way to manage task linking.
Task linkages don’t have dynamic dependencies. However, you can make sub-tasks finish before the parent task is done. This is not a dependency. You must set the start-to–finish, finish–to-start and other dependencies.
This is the result of the Gantt. Gather Requirements is at bottom of the list. It’s at top in task view. I can’t drag and drop it on the Gantt.
This is something I suspect I have yet to master.

It is nice when a task is marked as completed.

It flags updated and new tasks. This is a visual way to show what has changed since the last time. It’s especially useful for other team members, or to monitor how things are going.
It can be difficult for users to keep up with each other when they are not all in the same place. This is what the 5pm development team knows all about. They say on their blog:
We are a team that is split across two continents and speaks four languages. This allows us to maximize our work time. Teams around the globe do the same thing every day. This blog is all about sharing that experience.
Email notification is a great feature. I also like the fact you can upload files to make the 5pm interface a single point for your project team.
You can create tasks using emails. To do this, add a 5pm email address to the copy of your email. It integrates with Outlook to allow you to export calendar items. You can manage multiple projects and hide those that are not being used.
Although I didn’t use time tracker widget, I liked the idea of it. Given the difficulty of timesheets, unwilling trackers may be more inclined to record their time. You can also view a time report, but accuracy will depend on the data input.
If you are interested in finding out if it is right for you, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial.
This review was published for the first time in 2010.