Workfront is a robust project management software that helps teams track projects’ progress, plan, manage, and streamline work processes in the company. It offers high-level visibility into projects with different views, such as Kanban and Gantt charts. Some of Workfront’s features also include workflow automations, resource planning, time-tracking, and project budgeting.
While most project management software have pricing structures that are publicly available on their websites, Workfront has a somewhat opaque pricing system where companies will need to contact Workfront for a custom quote. While Workfront is relatively easy to use, some training is required to fully master the basics of the platform. It also does not feature an in-built messaging system, though an integration like Slack can make up for this. At the end of the day, Workfront is most appropriate for large organizations and enterprises.
In this Workfront review, we will explore project management features, pricing, ease of use, add ons, and more.
What is Workfront?
Workfront is a project management software designed to handle complexity in big organizations. It was first conceived in 2001 when founder Scott Johnson had an idea for a software application that would streamline work processes and improve team communication in the workplace.
Since its inception in 2001, the company has been steadily growing, exceeding $200 million in revenue in 2018. Workfront was acquired by Adobe for $1.5 billion in November 2020, giving Adobe customers an additional tool to manage the complexities of project management. Some of Workfront's customers include T-Mobile, National Geographic, and Deloitte.
Facts and Figures
|Founder||Scott Johnson, Abe Knell, Jason Fletcher, Nate Bowler|
Workfront Project Management Features
Workfront is an all-in-one project management software that can handle an impressive range of work processes, such as task management, resource planning, and Agile frameworks. Some of Workfront’s features include Kanban, Gantt charts, and workflow automations. Teams can also share files, collaborate with external clients, and engage in discussions. With Workfront’s resource planning capabilities, project managers can distribute tasks to team members based on their workloads, monitor project expenses, and view timesheets. Agile teams can also turn Kanban boards into Scrum boards and plan and develop sprints.
Starting with task creation and task management, Workfront provides teams with great project planning features such as Kanban boards and Gantt charts. Project managers can create up to 5,000 tasks on a project, assign them to employees, and set due dates. Workfront also uses AI-enabled technology to help project managers manage workflows, create realistic project schedules, and automate recurring work processes.
Workfront provides teams with two Gantt chart features: the task list Gantt chart and the project list Gantt chart. The task list Gantt chart allows project managers to view information about tasks and is editable at the project level. The project list Gantt chart displays information about projects and is not editable.
In Workfront’s Gantt charts, teams can also create sub-tasks and task dependencies, set start and end dates, and export the Gantt chart to PDF.
The Kanban view in Workfront is a great way for users to see the status of a project and all of its work items. Team members can configure their own Kanban columns and add additional custom fields. Within the card itself, there are fields for task or issue description, assigned users, and the progress of the task in terms of percentage.
Project managers can also add start and due dates, filter cards by users, manage the work in progress (WIP) limit, and reorder cards by dragging and dropping.
Workfront’s task management features help companies manage projects and store tasks in one place. Project managers can create up to 5,000 tasks on a project. Project managers can also add a task name, team member, description, URL, and set a priority status. Workfront also allows custom forms and resources to be attached to a task. By default, Workfront offers three task statuses: new, in progress, and complete. These statuses demonstrate a task’s progress as it flows from one stage to another.
Workfront’s customizable templates also enable users to capture repeatable processes, information, and settings associated with a project, saving time and effort. Teams can generate reports for projects that use similar templates and compare their statuses and progress. Some templates include a digital workflow template, new microsite template, security infrastructure improvement plan template, and much more. Users can also create a template from scratch and replicate it for future projects.
With Workfront’s workflow automations, teams can reduce human error on repetitive tasks and focus on important work. Workflow’s automation recipes include automating approvals, routing requests, and gathering project information. Teams can also customize their own workflow stages.
For example, with a Workfront workflow template that estimates delivery dates, the automation factors in real-time data such as the amount of time needed to execute each step and task of the project. It also considers the same information found in other projects currently in the pipeline so that the final delivery deadline is realistic and achievable.
Communication & Collaboration
Workfront makes it easy for teams to work together virtually with collaboration features such as threaded conversations, file-sharing, and online proofing tools. Teams can add, reply to, and delete comments, or work with external clients by assigning them a Reviewer, Requester, or External role. Team members can upload files up to 4GB, and clients can proof documents, annotate files, and send feedback.
Workfront allows users to upload files and documents of over 150 file formats to the following places: the global Documents area and the Documents area for a Workfront object. All file uploads are restricted to 4GB and file uploads attached to comment are limited to 100MB. Users can also add files and links from external applications such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
Part of the Collaboration Package, Workfront offers three license types specifically for collaborators and clients who work outside of the company and need minimal access to private files and documents. Project managers can assign the Reviewer license type to users who need to review tasks and documents, and the Requester license type to users who only need to make and receive simple requests. Both the Reviewer and Requester license types require users to be logged into Workfront.
Finally, the External license type is assigned to users who need to occasionally review, download, or view documents. This license type is the most restrictive but does not require users to be logged into Workfront.
Instead of an in-built messaging system, Workfront offers teams a threaded conversations feature to keep discussions about tasks in context. Team members can add comments, edit and reply to comments, search and filter through comments. Users can also tag a team member with the @ symbol and attach files to a comment. When a comment has been addressed, users can then resolve it.
Resource Allocation & Planning
Teams using Workfront can configure the platform to forecast the use of resources so that work is completed on time and within budget. Project managers can assign tasks to team members based on their workloads and skill sets, whereas users can keep track of their working hours and log them in Workfront. Project managers can also estimate project costs, compare them to actual expenses, and allocate budget resources to team members.
Workfront allows project managers to manage time in several ways. Time can be logged as general time, such as sick time and project-specific time. Time spent on projects and tasks can be broken down into three groups: project time, task time, and issue time.
Permissions can be given to team members to log their own working times, which are helpful when contracting external vendors such as freelancers or consultants. Time can also be logged in a timesheet.
Teams that use Workfront can supervise costs associated with a project via three ways: cost estimation, cost budget, and cost control. Cost estimation is the process of approximating the expenses associated with each of the resources for the completion of the project. In contrast, cost budget is the total sum of financial resources allocated to a project. Finally, Teams can monitor the project budget and execute cost control.
Projects can also allocate budget resources to team members, such as setting their planned hours and adjusting their budgeting dates.
Workfront has a resource scheduling feature that enables project managers to organize team members into resource pools that can later be assigned to tasks. Soon to be replaced by the Workload Balancer, the Resource Scheduler assigns work to team members by matching their job roles to the tasks and issues at hand. It ensures that work is intelligently assigned to the right team members based on priority, availability, and skill requirements.
Agile Project Management
Workfront supports Agile methodologies such as Scrum so that teams can work flexibly. By turning a Kanban board into a Scrum board, teams can track and manage user stories, sprints, backlogs, and more.
Workfront facilitates IT projects and the Scrum framework through Kanban, where teams can customize a Kanban board into a Scrum board. Teams can configure status columns for iterations, backlog, user stories, and more. Cards can also be color-coded and be connected to a workflow, priority, and owner.
Additionally, Workfront features typical Scrum practices such as completion status, burndown chart, and story board. The story board has its own stories column, task statuses, swim lanes, and individual stories.
Workfront offers four paid plans: Team, Pro, Business, and Enterprise. The Team and Pro plans are suitable for teams and small departments that require basic project management features, such as work management, resource management, and reporting.
The Business and Enterprise plans are catered towards multiple departments and enterprises. They include enterprise-wide solutions for work management that includes digital content review and approval, strategic portfolio planning, asset review and approval, and more.
Workfront does not publicly list its pricing system so teams will have to contact the company for a custom sales quote. Visit Workfront’s pricing page for further details on the full list of features.
Workfront employs strict security practices and industry-grade encryption to ensure that customer information never falls into the wrong hands. Workfront uses AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and TLS 1.2 for data in transit. Workfront’s SLA also guarantees a 99.9% uptime with fast response times.
The physical servers are stored on Amazon Web Services (AWS) whose environments are configured with multiple Availability Zones (AZs) within each region. These AZs distribute documents between various physical locations within an AWS, decreasing the risk of losing data completely as it is backed up in several places.
Workfront invites third-party security providers to routinely perform assessments and checks to ensure there are no vulnerabilities. Access to production systems is also restricted to the appropriate personnel, and all accesses are monitored and logged.
Customers are also encouraged to authenticate logins through access management technology such as SAML-based SSO. To facilitate this process, Workfront plugs into popular SSO solutions such as LDAP and Active Directory.
Teams using Workfront can enjoy state-of-the-art integrations with the industry’s top business tools to ensure that teams can work with efficiency and ease. Workfront Fusion, Workfront’s native integration platform, connects the app with other third-party applications such as Airtable, Asana, Basecamp, Zendesk, Mailchimp, and more. Other integrations include:
Designed for streamlined workflows and faster outcomes, the Workfront platform is fast and responsive, especially considering how much data it stores and manages. The tabular layout is user-friendly and focused on individual work elements, allowing users to quickly switch activities with complete access to context and tools. There is also an interactive sidebar that contains a task overview and provides access to real-time team collaboration and content.
While the layout itself is fresh and simple, some users might find the number of features overwhelming. Some training is required before teams can fully unlock the potential of Workfront.
Workfront allows users to be productive and efficient on the go with its mobile apps designed for iOS and Android devices. Users can view projects and tasks, add comments, and make approval decisions. Push notifications can also be turned on to ensure that work updates are not missed.
Nonetheless, there is some room for improvement regarding the responsiveness of the apps. Teams might find it more convenient to access Workfront from a laptop.
Teams that use Workfront can enjoy dedicated customer service such as:
Knowledge base: Workfront One, Workfront’s knowledge base, allows teams to search the database using keywords to find the answers they need. It also features tutorials and FAQs.
Community forum: The Workfront community forum enables users to post questions and seek help from other Workfront users.
Direct support: Workfront offers direct support to its users via phone, live chat, or ticket submission. Phone support runs 24/7 and the numbers can be found at the bottom of every Workfront One page. Teams can also log into their Workfront application and contact customer service via live chat, available from 8AM to 5PM Mountain Standard Time. Last but not least, teams can also create a support case form and submit it to the Workfront team for resolution.
Workfront is an enterprise-level work management software that boasts resource management tools and powerful workflow automations. Nonetheless, the user interface takes time to master and teams might want to consider simpler alternatives such as:
Workfront is a comprehensive project management tool that caters to many industries and career fields. It centralizes all workflow processes within the Workfront hub itself, ensuring that the team has access to a single source of truth. With real-time communication tools such as threaded conversations and client proofing, team collaboration is easy to manage. Workfront also offers Kanban boards, Gantt charts, workflow automations, resource planning, and reporting tools.
On the other hand, Workfront has an opaque pricing system and teams will need to contact the company for a sales quote. Its feature-rich interface also takes time to learn. Some users have also reported frequent bugs, especially when new updates are released. Workfront is a great project management tool for large businesses and enterprises that require a robust work management platform.