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Reviews

Mavenlink Review: In-Depth Look At How It Works [+Video]

Mavenlink is a professional services software bundling together resource and project management tools with team collaboration features, all under one roof.

Mavenlink Projects Screenshot - in Depth Review

Mavenlink’s project dashboard lets you view what items you have on the go, when they are due for completion, and how much they are costing.

  • 10 days free trial
  • Pricing on request

Summary

Mavenlink is a professional services software that businesses can use to optimize resources and boost operational performance.

Unlike other project management software, Mavenlink is a purpose-built cloud software with features explicitly catered towards professional services teams. Thanks to real-time updates and resource tracking, team managers can handle projects, planning, timesheets, and analytics inside a single dashboard.

It combines all the must-have features of a project management software (like project planning, time tracking, and task assignments) with other tools like resource utilization, financial expenditures, budgeting and analytics. Managers can use all of these tools to track timelines, project health, and status in real-time.

And because everything is being tracked using Mavenlink, project managers can create accurate forecasts and visualize profits, costs, and margins for every project in their pipeline.

Price: Pricing on request
Trial: 10-day free trial

Pros

  • Project management platform with features like customizable templates, analytics, and open API
  • Plenty of customization options to suit small and large businesses
  • Easy-to-navigate user interface
  • Pre-built project templates for various use cases
  • Complete billing, time, and expense tracking
  • Resource utilization management for capacity percentages

Cons

  • Impossible to edit task comments on project boards
  • Lack of transparency around pricing
  • Short free trial

Expert Opinion

Any project management software that’s been named one of the best by Forbes and Gartner must be doing something right.

On the surface, Mavenlink looks like a well-polished project management tool. After getting to know the software for this review, it’s clear that it’s so much more than that. It’s a rare mix of resource and project management with just the right amount of features around financials, planning, and forecasting.

My favorite part about Mavenlink is that it’s an all-in-one tool that seems to have all of the essential needs of professional service software covered. You can create task lists, assign them to team members, build project plans using timelines and Gantt charts, and track completion rates and resource utilization. Add the issue tracking and file storage features as well as invoicing and time tracking tools, and you really do have a full-service tool that can manage a team under one roof.

With the good comes the not-so-good, so I also need to highlight some of Mavenlink’s pitfalls.

The biggest one? The price tag. Mavenlink is not transparent with its pricing (a personal pet peeve of mine). It makes you jump through hoops just to get a quote of how much you’ll pay. Once you find out the price of a plan, don’t be surprised when it’s in the mid-double digits. The Professional package starts at $39/user/month, and it’s the plan that’s recommended for teams with 1-14 employees, so the product can really add up for larger teams.

Mavenlink Account Request Form

Fill out a form on Mavenlink’s page to request access to a service quote based on your needs.

The sign-up process is also not very user-friendly. You have to submit an access application and then wait for them to approve you as a user.

Mavenlink Sign Up Confirmation

Mavenlink sign-up request confirmation page.

It felt like I was trying to get into an exclusive club without an invitation. And all that waiting around for access to the tool made me less excited to try it.

Once you are let in (and if you are happy with the price tag), Mavenlink has some pretty great features, which I’ll explain more later in this article.

Best Use Cases

Tech/IT

Use Mavenlink to increase productivity in environments that are scaling.

Creative agencies

Use Mavenlink to improve project planning capabilities and multi-project pipelines.

Consulting

Use Mavenlink to cut down administration time by logging timesheets and data automatically.

Team collaboration

Use Mavenlink to work on simultaneous projects easily within one dashboard.

Project accounting

Use Mavenlink to combine professional services management needs with internal accounting tools.

Business intelligence

Use Mavenlink’s automation tools to build reports and access real-time data.

Mavenlink Features Demo Video

Final Verdict

Mavenlink is a fantastic product and its ease of use makes it a standout for professional service software.

It really does have it all: an easy-to-use interface, simple resource utilization, project management features, and financial capabilities that are good enough that you can ditch external invoicing and accounting tools.

The inbuilt templates and training that’s provided are also top-notch, so any team that’s never really used project management software before shouldn’t have much of a learning curve with Mavenlink. The tool makes it as painless as possible to build detailed project plans and timelines without any serious IT skills.

With that said, it’s one of the most expensive tools we’ve reviewed, and the lack of transparency around its pricing is an issue. Everyone from small business owners to Enterprise companies need to fill out a lead capture form, so it’s difficult for teams who need to consider their budget when making a decision.

However, it’s worth weighing up how much your business could benefit (and potentially save) by bringing your planning, billing, invoicing, and reporting tools together under one roof. You may run the numbers and realize that using an all-in-one tool like Mavenlink could save you money.

Whatever you decide, Mavenlink is a seriously impressive tool, and we recommend you at least take it for a spin with the 10-day free trial!

Mavenlink Features: What I Like Best

Here are some of my favorite features that Mavenlink has to offer.

Multiple chart view options

I believe one of the standout features of Mavenlink is its multiple data visualization options.

When you create a project timeline, you can view it in a Gantt chart, task list, or critical path view. The reason this is so handy is that once a project timeline has been mapped out and tasks have been assigned, your team can then work from a single chart instead of jumping in and out of multiple screens.

Mavenlink Multiple Chart View Screenshot

Gantt charts in Mavenlink

Getting started is as simple as using the drag-and-drop tool to plot tasks and deadlines onto a timeline. If you prefer to set deadlines inside a task card, Mavenlink will automatically plot each one onto a timeline for you. It’s the easiest way to make sure everyone on your team can see what is being worked on and what tasks they have left to complete.

Within each task, a project manager can edit details like delivery dates and add additional information for the person working on it. Again, this helps contain everything to a single board and keeps the project running smoothly.

Clean and simple user-interface

One of my biggest gripes with project management software is how complex some of the tools are—I’m talking weeks of onboarding and training just to use them.

I didn’t run into this issue when I tested out Mavenlink. Its usability is fantastic. It has a simple interface, and it’s easy for a project manager to set up and onboard their team (all you have to do is send everyone an email invite, and they can get started on their own time.)

Once everyone on a team has created a profile, project managers can start assigning tasks and deadlines within project boards, and Mavenlink tracks any activity and updates the feed automatically.

Mavenlink Interface Sample

Easily find what you need with Mavenlink’s intuitive interface with clean menuing and easy-to-understand charts.

The best part about Mavenlink’s interface is that even though it’s easy to use, it still has the advanced features serious project managers need to control their pipelines and build a collaborative team. It’s just as easy to manage a project in Mavenlink as it is to monitor resource utilization rates, organize files, and track budget spends—all within a single dashboard.

Responsive mobile app

One feature that I was particularly impressed with was Mavenlink’s mobile app.

Yes, you can’t perform every function on the app that you can on a desktop, but the fact that you can create projects, edit tasks, and set deadlines makes the app a handy feature for project managers on the move.

Mavenlink Responsive Mobile App Screenshot

Examples of Mavenlink’s mobile app.

Real-time activity feed

It’s essential to know how each person is progressing with their tasks once a project kicks off, which is exactly why I loved Mavenlink’s activity feed.

Each project has an activity feed and task tracker embedded in it, and when an action happens, the feed automatically updates to let the rest of the team know.

Mavenlink Responsive Activity Feed

Mavenlink’s activity feed updates automatically when a project action is completed

The activity feed also acts as a communication portal, where teams can send messages using @mentions to provide updates or alert a colleague about important developments. The activity feed also integrates with document tools like Google Drive and Box, which makes file sharing easy. Each time a file is uploaded into the project’s dashboard a notification pops so that everyone will know.

Timesheets and billing functionality

The timesheet and billing functionality included with Mavenlink makes it easy to keep projects on budget.

Project managers can set a weekly schedule and allocate set hours for each task to a team member. If employees aren’t working a normal 8-hour day, they can add how long they spent working on each task and then input it manually. What’s fantastic about this feature is that each employee has an hourly rate attached to their profile, so if a designer costs $100 an hour and puts in 4 hours on a task, $400 will be automatically added to that project’s budget
spend.

Mavenlink Timesheet Sample

A filled out Mavenlink timesheet sample, ready to be submitted for approval.

If a team member hasn’t added their hours to their timesheet, project managers can @mention them and prompt them to submit them, so budgets stay up to date in the project dashboard.

Super detailed analytics

As Mavenlink has some more advanced tools than other professional services software, it’s no surprise its reporting features are more in-depth.

As well as the standard budget and resource utilization breakdowns, the tool also created detailed reports about financial burn, estimated revenue, and profit margins.

Mavenlink Analytics Screenshot

A sample of Mavenlink’s estimated revenue and margin analytics diagram with financial burn and task budget visuals.

You can also create customized reports to look at portfolio health, client profitability, expenses, and KPIs. Just select the metrics you need to take a look at, and Mavenlink will generate a report:

Mavenlink Analytic Screenshot

Use Mavenlink to quickly assess the equivalent annual cost (EAC) of your business unit or individual projects.

Mavenlink Screenshots

Mavenlink Pricing

Mavenlink offers a range of pricing options, but transparency isn’t the tool’s strong suit.

First, you need to fill out a questionnaire about your industry, team size, location, and give all your contact information.

Mavenlink pricing screen

Mavenlink’s pricing screen prompts you to enter some details about your company for customized subscription packages.

Then, the tool gives you a quote based on your answers:

Mavenlink Professional Pricing Screenshot

An example of a quote for an IT team based in the United States with 1-14 team members.

Before Mavenlink added this extra step to its pricing plans, there were four tiers:

Professional Plan: Time tracking as well as the features included in the Teams tier. Price: $39/month/user

Premier Plan: Includes everything from the Teams and Professional plans and more advanced features like resource utilization, invoicing, and project accounting tools. Price: Contact Mavenlink

Enterprise Plan: Includes everything from the previous three tiers plus other features like Business Intelligence (BI) and advanced forecasting. Price: Contact Mavenlink

Thanks to Mavenlink moving to a non-transparent way of showing their prices, the only way you can get an accurate idea of what price your company may be looking at is by going to their website and filling out a lead capture form.

Depending on your company size, you could be in for a price shock.

I really don’t like this practice. Considering all of the other fantastic features the tool has to offer, Mavenlink’s pricing transparency lets them down. It makes it harder for companies to quickly determine whether or not the software is within their budget.

Support & Deployment

Support

Mavenlink’s customer support system covers a lot of bases. They offer a 24/7 live chat and email help, which is accessible from inside the dashboard:
Mavenlink Support Screenshot

There’s also an extensive knowledge base and forum called MavenExchange so users can self-diagnose issues, and if they need further help, there’s phone support available too.

Deployment

As I mentioned earlier, Mavenlink’s trial period is quite short for a project management platform: just 10 days. It’s also limited, so you won’t be able to take advanced features like reporting or resource utilization for a test drive.

With that being said, they have a dedicated service called MavenOps to help onboard new customers deploy and roll out the software within their team. The optional add-on provides human support to teams transitioning and helps them implement Mavenlink and take advantage of every feature.

Training

There are numerous options when it comes to Mavenlink’s training; it just depends on your budget.

If you want a free option, there are short “how-to” training videos that will walk you through the basics of features like activity feeds and Gantt charts.

Mavenlink Training Center Screenshot

For companies using the more advanced features within the tool, there’s a training center where employees can take courses and learn more advanced features like QuickBooks, resource management and data interpretation. Warning: these courses are not free, so it’s worth checking out their price tags when you are looking at investing in Mavenlink.

Mavenlink Best Reviews

Overall, I've been very happy with Mavenlink. While it might not be the least expensive software out there, it's very robust so you definitely get a great bang with your buck. Their customer service is top notch - I always get a quick response when I reach out whether through support or through my CSR. Mavenlink made me more efficient at my job. Before Mavenlink, I was having to reconcile budgets to know project health by using 3 or 4 different systems (one for time tracking, one for task management, one for schedules/resource allocation, and another for the project information). Mavenlink has saved me so much time, and it's easy for me to look back at projects and learn from them for future projects.

- Rachel S. on Capterra

Project Management: it's essentially Microsoft Project but online and with conversations - you can manage anything from a small and basic projects to massive multi-year projects, all thanks to the versatile task management interface and a powerful GANTT chart.
Resourcing: the Master Planning tool will let you allocate your resources based on role, skill, availability. Hard and Soft allocations are supported, and the modern interface makes the tool very user friendly.
Customization: their Insights Reporting tool is based on GoodData - meaning that thanks to custom fields and the report editor, you can even create workflows and reports tailored to your specific business use case.
Integrations: they are pretty robust and customizable - you can sync fields from your CRM system and monitor everything using Insights in one solution.

- Stefano A. on G2

Mavenlink is the high-powered, company-wide project management tool you've been longing for. We adopted Mavenlink as our global project management system and our time tracking system for billing our services. Every project is broken down into its component parts. Mavenlink allows us to track hours spent on tasks AND projects by individuals and our entire agency. We require our entire agency to ONLY communicate through Mavenlink so we can see the entire process, every question, every answer, every iteration of deliverables, and more. Finally, we copy/paste links (from Dropbox) to all files related to each project so anyone who needs to find out about the project can do so from Mavenlink.

- Mark W. on Golden Spiral

Mavenlink is used across our entire organization. We use it as a project management tool. We manage monthly, recurring marketing projects/services as well as one time, web development projects. Mavenlink helps us manage budgets and timelines in real time as well as resource scheduling. Mavenlink also provides insights into our bottom line and helps us project future needs to continue growing our business.

- Rachel Stantliff on TrustRadius

Mavenlink presents me with an actual time for analysis of program burn rates, consumption, and making a project boss's life so much simpler. It gives me the ability to easily look at tasks to review. The reality that Mavenlink is genuinely continuing to develop its product based on customer reviews is a huge plus as additional versions became more available to make more use of the software.

- Noor L on G2

Mavenlink Customers

Kimberlee Meier

About Kimberlee Meier

Kimberlee Meier is a B2B content creator who has spent 3 years writing about SaaS products and how they help companies improve their processes.

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