Detailed Review of Milestone PM Salesforce App

Japanese scholar performing detailed review of Salesforce Milestone PM+ app

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

Summary of Findings

This app is primarily a project scheduling tool (i.e. Microsoft Project, Primavera) with some resource allocation and time entry functionality. Overall, this app falls far short of supporting all project management processes. Compared with a true scheduling tool like MS Project or Primavera it is missing some pretty basic functionality. There are also better Salesforce-native scheduling tools available. If you are a professional services firm interested in resource allocations and time entry, again, there are better Salesforce-native PSA tools available.

When compared to the project management process as defined in the PMBOK it only has a coverage of 33%. It has coverage in all the processes, but this is primarily because it could be configured to to support the processes outside of its main functionality. The table below shows the coverage of each process as a percentage basis compared to full coverage.

Agile Accelerator
Total Score33%
Communications Management0%
Cost Management26%
Integration Management36%
Procurement Management0%
Quality Management8%
Resource Management26%
Risk Management83%
Schedule Management51%
Scope Management0%
Stakeholder Management8%

Download Milestone PM Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to add the Milestone PM Excel spreadsheet to your basket and continue reading. Visit the basket page to complete the download.

Milestone PM Pricing

Milestone PM has two tiers of pricing. First, it offers a very limited free version. Second, it offers a Premium version for $216/user/year up to 9 users. After 9 users, pricing for medium businesses with less than 250 employees is $2,064/org/year. They don’t publish their pricing for large businesses.

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. 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.

Download Milestone PM Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to download the Milestone PM Excel spreadsheet.

Communications Management

Milestone PM received some points because project status fields could be easily added to the project object to communicate status.

Cost Management

Milestone PM has basic functionality to capture costs. It captures budgets, as well as, actual costs.

Integration Management

Integration Management is the process of coordinating the overall project and the different project management processes. Milestone PM has some nice features in this area but is lacking a full solution. Projects can be grouped by both Programs and Portfolios. There are automated alerts when a task is assigned and a task is ready to be worked because the predecessor has been completed. Actual time can be recorded against any of the project objects: tasks, milestones, projects. It has robust functionality for documenting risks. And finally, it supports capturing issues.

However, it also has some fairly large functionality gaps in this area. While projects can be grouped by program or portfolio, project metrics such as, costs and task completion do not rollup to the higher levels. There doesn’t appear to be any functionality to control project access for internal users, meaning, everyone can view all project information including, financial data. There is no way to document the detailed scope definition of the project. Projects cannot be routed for approval at the end of stage gates. And finally, while issues can be captured they are captured as separate custom objects and therefore, won’t be listed in a user’s home page tasks.

Procurement Management

Milestone PM doesn’t really have any procurement functionality. It could be configured to generate a cash flow forecast by adding a scheduled payment date and reporting against planned expenses.

Quality Management

Milestone PM doesn’t really have any testing functionality. It could be easily configured to add an acceptance criteria field to the task, which would serve as a guide for testing.

Resource Management

Milestone PM does have some nice resource management features. Resources are assigned to tasks. Hours and durations assigned to the task are used to calculate the person’s allocation. Allocations across all projects/tasks can be summed to show a person’s total allocation by time period.

While the solution is good if you want to perform detailed labor allocations at the task level, there isn’t a way to perform high-level percentage allocations at the project level. In the Agile software projects I typically manage, it is rare to attempt to plan resources at the task level. As mentioned earlier, there is no way to limit user’s access to projects or to give them read-only access.

Risk Management

Milestone PM has robust risk management functionality. Risks can be logged as independent records and associated to tasks, milestones, projects and programs. Risks can be ranked. Mitigation and contingency plans can be documented.

Schedule Management

Milestone PM’s main function is project scheduling. It will serve your purpose if you have very simple project plans that are basically to-do lists. A nice feature for professional services orgs is that projects can be launched from Salesforce accounts or opportunities.

Management PM schedules projects by first defining the project milestones and then tasks within the milestones. To-do lists can also be assigned to tasks. It will also roll up percentage complete to the milestone and project level. Project schedules can be viewed and modified in a Gantt chart.

However overall, Management PM would be very frustrating to use for a professional project scheduler used to tools like MS Project or Primavera. The ability to modify the project schedule in the Gantt chart is very limited. It doesn’t have basic scheduling functionality like different types of predecessors (i.e. Finish/Finish, Start/Start, Start/Finish), re-calculating the schedule based on actual completion dates, freezing milestone dates, or calculating a critical path.

The most frustrating feature for a project scheduler would be that it only supports two levels of tasks. You can only group tasks under a milestone and you cannot create parent/child relationships between milestones or tasks. This inability to create multiple levels of groupings could be worked around but would be frustrating.

Scope Management

The only scope functionality Milestone PM has, is the ability to create a work breakdown structure using the milestones. However, there is no functionality to state what is out of scope which can be one of the most important aspects of scope management.

Stakeholder Management

Milestone PM is not intended to be a change management tool, so there isn’t any functionality to identify organizational impacts and to identify impacted stakeholders.

In Conclusion

Milestone PM has some nice features and may be a good option for a PSA org with very simple projects. The base structure is in place, so it could be easily improved using Salesforce’s easy configuration features. However overall, I believe there are better Salesforce apps in its targeted functionality: schedule management and resource management. If you are a PSA org, look at some of the dedicated PSA apps on AppExchange. If you are looking for simply a project scheduling tool (i.e. Gantt chart) then consider Inspire Planner on Salesforce AppExchange or building an integration with MS Project or some of the new cloud-based scheduling tools.

Regards,

Brian

Additional References

Please Subscribe to the Project Management Blog

You will receive a weekly email with blog updates. I try to write two blog posts a week.
Your email will only be used for blog updates.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *