Clarizen, also known as Clarizen One, is a comprehensive, cloud-based project management platform that connects and engages the workforce across the enterprise. It delivers plenty of quality features such reporting and dashboards, project budgeting tools, task management, timesheets, and external collaboration. Clarizen is predominantly used in industries such as marketing and advertising, information technology, and human resources.
Since Clarizen is aimed at big corporations, it only supports enterprise pricing and does not list its pricing system publicly. In addition, its flexibility and extensive range of project management features can sometimes translate to feeling buggy or glitchy. Clarizen also only offers two paid plans, Enterprise and Unlimited, making it best suited for large corporations and organizations.
In this Clarizen review, we will explore project management features, pricing, ease of use, add ons, and more.
What is Clarizen?
Clarizen is a collaborative work management solution which is designed to help teams manage work and accelerate project timelines. Clarizen was first founded in 2006 by Avinoam Nowogrodski and Tanya Epstein. Due to its features and popularity, Clarizen is now available in 9 languages and supports a wide variety of industries ranging from marketing to IT. They offer two products: Clarizen One and Clarizen Go.
Today, Clarizen is used by companies worldwide, including Dell, EA, Box, and Cisco Capital.
Facts and Figures
|Founder||Avinoam Nowogrodski, Tanya Epstein|
|Headquarters||San Mateo, California|
Clarizen Project Management Features
Clarizen helps companies achieve greater success by merging the core project management features into one neat platform. From project planning to resource management, teams can make use of features such as Kanban boards, Gantt charts, workflow automation recipes, time-tracking, and more. Teams can also collaborate externally using the External Collaborator solution, which gives clients access into projects. Project managers can view and generate reports and make data-driven decisions about a team’s performance.
Clarizen equips users with all of the right project planning tools: Kanban boards, Gantt charts, customizable templates, and more. With Kanban boards and Gantt charts, teams can set up and configure their workflows and gain high-level visibility into projects. Customizable templates allow teams to set up projects in a flash and make changes later on. Project managers can also automate work processes such as approvals, requests, notifications, and more.
Gantt charts are a useful feature in project management software as they allow teams to track project schedules. In Clarizen Go, Gantt charts are available in all task grids: in workspaces, a single workspace, or a specific board. A task can be added and dragged across the timeline to alter start and end dates while preserving its set duration. Project managers can also set project milestones and filter tasks according to priority and assignees.
While Clarizen One does not natively offer the Kanban board feature, its sister product Clarizen Go does. Clarizen Go is a task management software that enables different working methodologies such as Agile, Scrum, Kanban, and more. Teams can add task details and assignees, set a priority level, schedule start and due dates, and attach files. Tasks can also be filtered by labels and archived. Clarizen Go fully integrates with Clarizen One, ensuring that teams can work from within the same ecosystem.
Clarizen provides teams a wealth of task management features, including custom fields and task duplication. Project managers can add up to 10 customized fields for more defined workflows, monitor tasks’ statuses, and add or reassign resources as appropriate. All users and non-users of Clarizen can send an email to Clarizen with task details and automatically create a task in the workspace. Attachments to the email will also be added to the task.
Teams that use Clarizen can view project data, sync tasks, milestones, sprints, and more to a Google or Outlook calendar. However, this is only a one-way sync and events updated in the calendar will not be synced back to the Workspace.
Clarizen’s customizable templates also provide teams the basic framework to create new projects. Out-of-the-box templates such as Customer Rollout or Marketing Campaign offer a starting point for structuring a new project and enable changes to be made later on. Creating a custom template from scratch is also possible.
Clarizen offers workflow automation recipes that help users automate, repeat, and reduce tedious work processes. Teams gain efficiency as they offload administrative tasks to focus on assignments that matter. Processes that can be automated in Clarizen include managing requests, demands, notifications, and more. Project managers can create their own workflow rules that trigger a set of actions based on a set of criteria, such as sending and receiving an email when a task has been completed.
Communication & Collaboration
Clarizen features several communication channels through which users can share ideas and engage in collaboration. While team members can create discussion threads in every task and attach comments and files, project managers can provide clients access to the External Collaboration portal where they can track a project’s status. Clarizen also supports a wide variety of files, ensuring that project materials are kept safely in one location.
Clarizen acts as a central repository for all kinds of files, including images, videos, text, and more. The platform supports over 120 different file formats and is limited to 100MB per file upload. For files bigger than 100MB, users can integrate Clarizen with other document management software such as Box, Google Docs, and Sharepoint to achieve greater possibilities of file-sharing.
Teams can also highlight, annotate, and add comments to files.
Clarizen One delivers cross-team collaboration by offering the External Collaborator solution, a one-stop portal that provides external users access to files, projects, updates, feedback and more. Clients can submit and track work requests, participate in conversations, upload relevant files to the portal, and view and update projects. Project managers can also control what parts of the project are visible to the client and what fields of data are accessible to them.
This portal maintains the separation between public discussions and private discussions, maintaining both transparency and privacy where it is needed.
Clarizen’s Social feature enables teams to participate in real-time discussions and the sharing of ideas and feedback. Teams can create new discussion threads surrounding different elements of work, such as files, projects, tasks, and more. Users can also decide who should see and comment on their posts by dividing team members into groups such as “All” and “Following”. A team member can like discussions and discussion replies, pin discussions to the top, highlight a discussion reply, and attach files such as images, customers, and expense sheets.
Resource Allocation & Planning
With Clarizen’s resource planning features such as timesheets and financial reports, companies can better manage resources and monitor workloads. Project managers can use Clarizen’s financial tools to track and filter expenses by projects, employees, or tasks. Team members and collaborators can log time spent on tasks so that billing rates and invoices are always populated correctly. Last but not least, Clarizen’s capacity planning feature allows project managers to distribute resources efficiently and keep projects running smoothly.
In addition to financial reports and dashboards, Clarizen offers a robust stopwatch feature for time-tracking, gathering data on the working and non-working hours of all employees and external vendors. Logged time can be turned into timesheets and associated with projects. Clarizen automatically populates billing rates, so invoices are always correct.
Team members can also update timesheets within Slack, using the @Clarizen command to log hours, add comments, and submit timesheets. Project managers can recall the team’s timesheets using the same @Clarizen command.
Clarizen keeps financial metrics in check with expense reports and up-to-date financial information. Project managers can plan and set budgets, and make and revise updates so that stakeholders are always kept in the loop. Additionally, project managers can track all expenses by employees, department, task, or work item, and link them back to the appropriate projects. All expenses are monitored and logged to ensure that the project stays within budget expectations.
Other statistical functions include analyzing burn rate and billing status for each project. There is also the option of importing data from Excel to quickly add or update existing work items, cases, and customers.
Agile Project Management
Clarizen has a variety of Agile project management features, providing teams the ability to adopt Agile frameworks such as sprint planning. However, Clarizen is more of a general-purpose project management tool, which overall lacks some of the specialized tools needed for software development. With Kanban boards, teams can easily plan sprints and track issues. Project managers can also generate Agile reports to track a team’s performance.
Clarizen provides teams the ability to implement Scrum practices through Kanban boards. Columns can be renamed to reflect the different stages of a sprint process, such as “Backlog”, “In Progress”, and “Completed”. Teams can also survey and identify completed sprints, current sprints, and future sprints.
Teams using Clarizen can take advantage of Clarizen’s reporting feature, which includes burndown charts, velocity charts, and trend charts. In a sprint burndown chart, project managers can examine a team’s progress in a sprint and how much work is left. WIth the velocity chart, project managers can see how many tasks were completed every sprint and whether the team is on track to meet project deadlines.
Clarizen offers two paid plans: Enterprise Edition and Unlimited Edition. Both plans start with a 30-day free trial. Teams that use Clarizen receive access to an unlimited number of project management features such as projects, portfolios, and programs, as well as financial planning and collaboration tools. Clarizen also offers real-time visibility into projects with resource management tools, reports, and analytics.
Since Clarizen is aimed at large organizations, its pricing system is not publicly listed and teams interested should contact the company for a custom sales quote. Visit Clarizen’s pricing page for more details.
Clarizen’s security standards are backed up by a multi-tiered approach that incorporates industry-grade protocols, as well as top-notch practices for preventing security breaches. Clarizen is GDPR-compliant, SOC 2 compliant, and has obtained security certifications in ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and LEED. Data at rest is encrypted with an advanced encryption standard (AES) with a 256-bits block size, whereas data in transit is protected by a secure TLS connection.
Clarizen’s cloud applications are also hosted in highly available data centers across the US and Europe, with a global uptime average of >99.999%. Clarizen’s main US data center is located in Equinix, California, and the disaster recovery site is located in Telx in New Jersey. All data centers are under strict physical security controls, such as closed-circuit TV cameras and fire prevention detection and suppression.
Clarizen’s third-party integration extends the native capabilities of the application, providing users a supercharged working experience. Here are some integrations that Clarizen supports:
- Amazon AWS
- Google Drive
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Teams
Like most project management tools on the market, Clarizen uses a clean and simple interface. Its main colors are white and blue, imparting a sense of calm and order. Once logged in, Clarizen resembles a social media platform where a real-time news feed displays user activity. The navigation bar on the left leads to “Projects”, “Files”, “System Settings” and more. The icons are also well-designed and intuitive, ensuring that users can always find their way around the tool.
Despite this, the Clarizen user interface is sometimes slow to respond and can feel glitchy or buggy. The learning curve is also steep, so users may need to invest some time into learning this tool. Nonetheless, Clarizen continually works on upgrades to enhance the customer experience.
Compared to other project management tools, Clarizen shines in the mobile apps department. Clarizen offers iOS and Android apps and other integrations such as Clarizen Bot for Slack. This bot acts as a personal assistant and lets users stay up-to-date with their projects and receive real-time information on the go.
The mobile apps maintain the same layout, modules, forms, and actions as the Clarizen web application. However, users will have to download multiple apps on their phones and switch between them to complete some tasks.
Since Clarizen is aimed at big enterprises, it also offers a myriad of customer service options, such as:
Community forum: Clarizen users can discuss ideas and obtain solutions to problems they are facing in the community forum. Teams can also set up instructor-led training sessions or take advantage of video tutorials.
Live demos: Clarizen holds virtual webinars every week designed to help teams learn the ropes of the tool. Users can also pose questions and receive answers in real-time.
Direct support: All teams subscribed to Clarizen are paired with a dedicated customer success manager or a professional services consultant who can provide personalized help. They train with the team, deliver a streamlined, easy-to-adopt system, and identify capabilities and objectives best aligned to the company’s business practices.
While Clarizen is a powerful, enterprise-level tool that caters to big companies and organizations, it does not work particularly well for small companies that require a lightweight management tool. Here are some alternatives that are better suited for smaller teams:
Clarizen is an effective, enterprise-grade project management tool that helps organizations get work done and streamline business processes. It is entirely customizable and boasts plenty of features right out of the box. From reporting and dashboards to task management and timesheets, Clarizen allows project managers to manage and oversee every aspect of the project. Stakeholders and company leaders can also be kept up to date with Clarizen’s risk and financial management tools.
Nonetheless, Clarizen does not publicly list its pricing system so teams will have to contact the company for a custom sales quote. Its interface is also challenging for new users and requires some training time. Ultimately, Clarizen is targeted at enterprises that need a unifying work system and smaller companies should seek out other alternatives.