10-second breakdown:

A premium product with a premium price-tag, LiquidPlanner is packed to the brim with useful features and a lot of its site is drag and drop and very easy to customize.

LiquidPlanner is used in small (0–50 employees), and medium companies (51–1,000 employees).

The good:

LiquidPlanner is feature rich with lots of reporting, time tracking, and prioritization tools. They even have training videos to help your team get started.

They offer a 30 day free trial of all 3 levels of service (Standard, Professional, and Enterprise) so you can try before you buy.

Third party integrations available for Salesforce, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box. LiquidPlanner also works with Zapier and has an open API for a fully customizable experience.

The bad:

More expensive than some other software starting at $29 per user per month.

All the plans have a 10-user minimum. This combined with the price might not make LiquidPlanner the best choice for small businesses.

How it works:

Compared to some of the more colorful or even playful platforms out there, LiquidPlanner looks like a rugged spartan with business-professional gray, black and blue everywhere you look. The focus is on getting you the tasks, projects and charts that are important to you rather than pad the program with nicer looks.

When it comes to managing projects LiquidPlanner has you covered, the process for making or naming a project, assigning team members, creating tasks and subtasks is very straightforward. Dashboards have a ton of customizable features on them, so much so you could easily lose an afternoon trying to get it just right.

What really makes LiquidPlanner stick out from the competition is how it keeps track of work. The high-level theory is that LiquidPlanner can help you manage employees and workflow as the work is going on, working dynamically from the background.

Let’s say for example you have a full week ahead for your IT department but the internet suddenly goes down for one of your buildings and now you need to send two specialists to go and take a look. How does this new task affect all of the other tasks assigned to the two IT specialists? How does it affect fellow coworkers that were waiting for those two to come help them out? What happens if that internet outage continues for longer than anticipated, maybe they couldn’t even get it restored today!

With other project management programs this could quickly become a nightmare, right? First, you would need to adjust the tasks assigned to the two technicians, and then like a ripple effect start modifying other work for other employees that needed IT’s help. This is where LiquidPlanner can step in and make your life a whole lot easier. Using their in-house technology, LiquidPlanner can make the resource juggling a lot less stressful, letting you get back to work faster.

LiquidPlanner’s other secret sauce is their ‘Predictive Planning Technology.’ The system can take project organization and scheduling off of your hands and handle it automatically based on past performance. All you have to do is estimate how long each task will take and then arrange them in priority order. LiquidPlanner’s ‘Scheduling Engine’ will predict when the project will be completed!

Whenever an employee starts a project, they put in the amount of time they estimate it will take, and then get to it. After they finish they put in how long it actually took and LiquidPlanner saves it for later reference. As time goes on and more employees utilize the completion time feature, the system gets smarter and smarter.

Eventually, LiquidPlanner will know with almost clairvoyant level predictions how long a project will take and can even account for planned downtime like employee vacations. You can actually add planned vacation time to the system, and Liquid planner will tell you what resources and are affected. A manager can take that data and re-balance the workload accordingly.

The only downside to this is that LiquidPlanner won’t know your employees or work habits right from the get-go. It’ll take a little bit of time and patience before the good parts start kicking in!

The pricing plans for LiquidPlanner are laid out nice and clean. There are three paid tiers, and sadly you won’t find a freebie here although all of the plans do come with a 30-day no credit card free trial.

There are three different plans you can choose from, the first one up is the friendliest on your wallet, ‘Standard’ comes in at $29 per user per month if you pay annually, and there’s a 10 user minimum. You get all of the usual project management features, up to 50 projects, basic analytics and 25GB for storage. This is a trimmed down version though, you won’t find some of the features in the pricier tiers like dashboards or APIs.

Next up is LiquidPlanner’s ‘Professional’ plan, it’s priced at $39 per user per month and has the same 10 user minimum restriction. They increase the number of projects to 300, toss in much more advanced analytics and up the storage to 100 GB. While Professional doesn’t include literally every bell and whistle LiquidPlanner has, it’s a much more well-rounded package that includes everything from basic, dashboards, APIs and guided onboarding as well as user training.

The ‘Enterprise’ tier does include every offering on the table, but you’ll have to give LiquidPlanner a call — they don’t list the price on their website. It includes everything from the other plans, bumps up the projects to 2,000 and the storage up to 500 GB. For the additional cost, you get expense tracking, single sign-on and a special resource workload report to see progress over time.

LiquidPlanner might require a steeper learning curve than most of its competitors but your dedication is rewarded with more dynamic features than you can shake a stick at on a dependable software solution.

For complete rankings of all project management software, go here.

via http://authority.org/project-management-software/liquidplanner/