Detailed Review of Arrow PSA Salesforce App

Robot Shooting Arrow PSA

Arrow PSA Salesforce app is reviewed against 200+ project management software requirements on a downloadable spreadsheet. Arrow PSA is scored overall for each of the ten project management processes. This post provides a summary of the key strengths and weaknesses for each of the processes.

Download Arrow PSA Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to add the Arrow PSA Excel spreadsheet to your basket and keep reading. Visit the basket page to complete the download.

Arrow PSA Summary Findings

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any key differentiators to distinguish Arrow PSA from the other Salesforce PSA tools, and its functionality isn’t as extensive as the other tools. If you are considering implementing a PSA tool, I suggest you consider one of the tools in this blog post: Best Salesforce Project Management PSA Tools. If you still would like to explore Arrow PSA, continue reading for a detailed review and also download the free trial from the AppExchange listing.

Arrow PSA
Total Score42%
Communications Management18%
Cost Management36%
Integration Management41%
Procurement Management13%
Quality Management17%
Resource Management48%
Risk Management42%
Schedule Management57%
Scope Management13%
Stakeholder Management29%

Arrow PSA Pricing

Standard pricing is $40/user/month. This pricing is equivalent to other Salesforce PSA tools. You will need to purchase a license for anyone who must update project tasks and enter time. So the total cost could be considerable if you have lots of people working on projects.

App Scoring Methodology

I’ve been evaluating all of the Salesforce project management software and sharing the results to help others save time in making an informed decision. I started the evaluation as marketing research for the Salesforce project management app I built: Project Lifecycle Pro. I’m doing my best to give a unbiased review, but I’ve attached the detailed Excel spreadsheet which you can use to perform your own analysis. Here are detailed instructions on how to use the spreadsheet to weight requirements and compare multiple software packages side-by-side.

I structured the analysis around the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)© project management process. This is outlined in the PM Book of Knowledge (PMBOK)©. First, I listed the project management processes and then the activities within each process. Finally, I developed a list of requirements related to each of the activities. The list of requirements is based upon my thirty years of project management experience and experience evaluating project management tools for clients. When I come across novel functionality in the software I’m evaluating I add it to the requirements list. Of course, I’m sure I missed some requirements and welcome any suggestions.

I gave all processes and requirements equal weights, but you can adjust the scoring weights in the Excel spreadsheet to suit your needs. Each requirement was rated as either:

  • Yes – As Is – Meaning, the requirement is met with out-of-the-box functionality. This rating is awarded four points.
  • Yes – With Configuration – Meaning the requirement can be met with minimal configuration or no-code updates. Since, Salesforce is highly configurable I used this rating for simple things like changing picklist values, adding a field to an existing data object, creating a report, etc. This rating is awarded two points.
  • No – Not Available or Requires Customization – Meaning the requirement cannot be met without significant investment of time or money. I assigned this rating if custom coding would be required, or a new custom data object, or a new custom flow. This rating is awarded zero points.

Finally, the scoring spreadsheet totaled the ratings by process to show how the apps compare by process. Therefore, you can assess the apps based on which processes are the most important to you.

Here is the spreadsheet used to score the app:

Download Arrow PSA Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to download the Arrow PSA Excel spreadsheet.

Communications Management

None of the Salesforce PSA tools have dedicated change management/communication functionality. Arrow PSA is the same. You will need to build some custom solutions or implement a training management system (TMS) if you want robust communications management functionality.

Cost Management

Arrow PSA has some nice invoicing features and I like that it captures project costs as related records that rollup to the project budget.

Strength: Customer/Project Specific Invoicing

There are multiple invoicing options and you can vary the invoicing approach by customer/project:

  • Time & materials
  • Templated invoiding
  • Retainer invoicing
  • Billing event invoicing
  • Manual invoicing
  • Fixed fee

The billing event invoicing option allows you to define a milestone task that will automatically generate an invoice when the task is completed. Ideal for progress-based invoices.

It also allows you to define a specific rate card for each project.

Strength: Detailed Budget Line Items

You are able to define detailed individual budget line items and these then rollup to the total project budget. Instructions are even provided on how to customize the rollup rules to suit your needs.

The one odd thing is that a date field is not provided on the budget item record. This can be easily rectified by adding your own date field and then you can create cash flow forecasts.

Weakness: No Daily or Overtime Rates

Daily or weekly rates are popular in consulting and software development, however Arrow PSA only supports hourly rates. It also does not support the charging of overtime rates.

Weakness: Can’t Track Invoice Payments

While there is good functionality for issuing invoices, there doesn’t appear to be any functionality to track invoice payments. Perhaps, Arrow PSA assumes tracking of payments will be done in the company’s accounts receivable system.

Weakness: Timesheet Alerts and Tracking

Many of the timesheet alert and tracking features which are standard functionality in other PSA tools are missing from Arrow PSA. These are alerts like unsubmitted timesheets, or complete tasks without time assigned, etc. Building such alerts for yourself would not be a very large effort.

Integration Management

Arrow PSA has a lot of the components needed for integration management, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the standard dashboards and reports provided with the app. Of course, this being Salesforce you can fairly easily build your own dashboards and reports.

Strength: Forecast of Revenue and Costs

The standard dashboard has a some good charts summing the forecasted revenue and costs across the projects.

Weakness: No Project-Level Security

All of the security and permissions are controlled at a global level through permission sets. Therefore, you cannot vary permissions at the individual project level. This would prevent you from make a project confidential if it was sensitive. It also prevents you from giving resources edit access to one project and read only access to another project.

Weakness: No Status Stoplight

Having a visual representation of the project status (red, yellow, green) is pretty standard functionality. Arrow PSA doesn’t support this. However, it would only be a medium-sized effort to close this gap for yourself.

Weakness: Doesn’t Support Programs

Arrow PSA does not allow you to group projects into programs and then rollup all the financials to the program. This is would not be an easy gap to fix, because you’d have to build the rollup capabilities.

Procurement Management

The same as most PSA tools, Arrow PSA doesn’t really have any procurement management capabilities.

Quality Management

The same as most PSA tools, Arrow PSA doesn’t really have any quality management functionality around testing.

Resource Management

Arrow PSA has the basic resource management capabilities of all PSA tools. It does lack some bells and whistles found in other tools.

Strength: Mass Reassignment of Resources

Arrow PSA offers a feature where you make a mass update to all assign project tasks when you replace one person with another. This is a big time saver.

Weakness: Doesn’t Support Percentage Allocations

This probably isn’t a major gap for professional services companies, but it would be a major gap for the types of internal projects I work on. You can’t simply assign a person to a project as x% of their time. You have to assign them to specific tasks with defined work efforts. This is much more detailed planning than is necessary on most of my projects.

Weakness: No Resource Requests

While the resource management tool would allow a resource planner to see tasks not assigned to a person, Arrow PSA doesn’t allow project managers to submit specific resource requests like other tools.

Risk Management

Arrow PSA gets kudos for having separate risk records. However, it is missing the ability to assign tasks to address the risks and fields to quantify the risks.

Weakness: Missing Risk Measures

It is missing fields on the risk records to capture probability and severity which are used in a typical risk matrix. This should be easily added.

Weakness: Can’t Assign Tasks to Risks

You could assign standard Salesforce tasks to the risk records by adding the task action to the page layout. However, this would present challenges for reporting as the tasks would be associated with the risk ID and not the parent project ID.

Schedule Management

I ran into lots of issues when testing the Planner tool, which is Arrow PSA’s version of a Gantt view. It has been designed to deliver lots of the standard scheduling functionality but I was running into several bugs. It could be my misunderstanding of how to use the app, but if you are considering Arrow PSA you should test these issues yourself.

One strength is that it has been designed to support a version of constraints. However, I couldn’t get it to function properly.

The Kanban board has a unique feature where a user can enter the % of work complete right on the ticket. However, the Kanban board also has a major gap in that you can’t reorder tickets within a column.

Strength: Earliest/Latest Start and Finish

Arrow PSA has the fields to define a version of constraints: earliest/latest start date and earliest/latest finish date. However, when I entered these values they didn’t actually affect the dates on the Planner tool, so you should test this functionality for yourself.

Strength: Enter % Complete on Kanban Board

A user can use a sliding scale to enter the % complete directly on the Kanban ticket.

Weakness: Planner Bugs

I came across the following bugs when testing the Planner (i.e. Gantt) tool. This could have been user error on my part, so you should test these for yourself:

  • Finish date not calculated correctly based on duration. I changed the duration on a task starting 5/24 and it did not change the finish date from 5/31.
  • Planner dates out of synch with task dates. The same task shows different values in the Planner view and the task record.
  • Planner dates out of synch between start/finish columns and the bars on the Gantt.
  • Lags on dependencies weren’t calculating correctly.
  • Got an error when attempting to create a task in the Planner tool.
  • Doesn’t support Lightning Web Security in the Spring ’24 release. Arrow tells me they are fixing this soon. You can work around this by changing an org setting.

Weakness: Can’t Reorder Kanban Tickets

I couldn’t reorder the task tickets within a column on the Kanban board. This is critical functionality for my Agile teams. The product owner is setting priorities by placing the most important tickets at the top of the columns.

Scope Management

Arrow PSA doesn’t have the ability to capture detailed scope line items. It does have the ability to capture additional budget line items that are incremental to the approved budget.

Stakeholder Management

The same as most PSA tools, Arrow PSA really doesn’t support any change management functionality and therefore doesn’t have much functionality for managing stakeholders.

In Conclusion

While Arrow PSA has the basic features required of a PSA tool it doesn’t have the breadth of functionality of other options. I also couldn’t find a unique function that would differentiate it from the other tools and make it the best tool for a market niche.

Regards,

Brian

Additional References

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