Detailed Review of Neilon Project Management Salesforce App

Shopkeeper invoicing customers using Salesforce Neilon Project Management app

Neilon Project Management is reviewed against 200+ project management software requirements on a downloadable spreadsheet. Neilon Project Management 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.

Neilon Project Management Summary Findings

Neilon Project Management app is primarily a professional services administration (PSA) tool with functionality limited to project quotation and invoicing. It also appears to have been built for a very specific use case for a certain type of project work. There are lots of use case-specific validation rules and field values which would have to be changed for most users.

The invoicing is very simple. The invoice totals must be calculated elsewhere and you simply enter the invoice totals into the Neilon Project Management app. Neilon Project Management generates very emails as part of the process and tracks the open invoice until it is paid.

App
Total Score10%
Communications Management5%
Cost Management14%
Integration Management27%
Procurement Management0%
Quality Management0%
Resource Management14%
Risk Management0%
Schedule Management1%
Scope Management0%
Stakeholder Management25%

Download Neilon Evaluation Spreadsheet

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

Neilon Project Management Pricing

Neilon Project Management is listed as a free app on the Salesforce AppExchange, but the Neilon Technologies website lists paid versions. The free version if available for up to 10 users. The next tier is a site license for $25/month ($300/year) for unlimited internal users and up to 200 community users. The final tier is $50/month ($600/year) for unlimited internal and community users.

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. You can confirm my scoring using by installing Neilon Project Management for free.

Here are some links to help you research the app:

Download Neilon Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to download the Neilon Excel spreadsheet.

Communications Management

The only communications management functionality in Neilon Project Management is the ability to identify stakeholders. However, it appears that Neilon may be referring to stakeholders as really project team members.

It also gets some points because you could easily add status fields to the project object (called ‘Jobs’) to communicate the project status.

Cost Management

This is Neilon Project Management’s main functionality. It has the ability to record projects costs and to issue invoices. The main weakness is that it only tracks costs at the project level with a single data entry for different types of costs. There isn’t any way to record actual hours by worker and total to the project invoice. There also doesn’t appear any way to set a project budget and then track the actual costs as a variance to that budget.

Strength: Different Invoicing Options

It allows the user to select several different invoicing options such as, pre-paid or at completion. This appeared to all be one-and-done invoicing. I didn’t see a way to invoice a customer every week or every month for a long project.

Strength: Automated Emails

It will automatically generate several emails to the customer, such as, quotes and invoices.

Weakness: Doesn’t Record and Rollup Actual Hours

Invoices are created at the project level. There isn’t any functionality for people to enter time into timesheets and to allocate that time to a project.

Weakness: Doesn’t Track Cost Variances

There is only one field for project costs. So that supports both the forecasted budget for quotations and the actuals for invoices. You cannot quote a budget and then track variances from that budget over time.

Integration Management

Neilon Project Management isn’t really intended to support integration management processes, but it does check a few boxes. You can log project issues, and with some slight modifications you can add descriptive data about the project. The main weakness is a lack of reporting dashboards.

Weakness: No Dashboards

There aren’t any pre-built dashboards for management to track the progress of projects. There is a tab which lists projects which are ready to be invoiced and outstanding invoices that haven’t been paid.

Procurement Management

No procurement management functionality.

Quality Management

No quality management functionality.

Resource Management

Neilon Project Management doesn’t have the typical resource management functionality you see in a PSA tool, where you can view resource availability and track resource allocation across projects. The only functionality it has is the ability to identify project stakeholders and man days on the project. So, I believe what Neilon labels as ‘stakeholders’ are actually intended to be project team members. The problem is that you only give the stakeholder a start date and end date and total man days. You can’t use this view resource allocations by day, week or month.

Weakness: Cannot Manage Resource Availability and Allocations

There isn’t any way to view resource availability for assignment to a project. There also isn’t any way to view a resource’s total allocation across projects in a time period to know if they are over allocated.

Risk Management

No risk management functionality.

Schedule Management

There basically isn’t any scheduling functionality. The only two requirements Neilon Project Management fulfills is that you can record the overall project’s start and end date.

Scope Management

No scope management functionality.

Weakness: No Scope or Change Orders

There isn’t any way to capture the scope details of a project. You could add simple text field to the project object to meet the minimum requirement. However, it also lacks any way to address change orders.

Stakeholder Management

I’m not sure how to score this process. Neilon Project Management does have an object labeled ‘stakeholders’. However, it looks to me that this is more intended to capture project team members rather than to capture the audience for training and communication (i,e. change management).

Strength: Identify Individual Stakeholders

You can identify individual stakeholders, and you could customize the roles they are assigned.

Weakness: Doesn’t Support Change Management

You can’t identify groups as stakeholders and record how they will be impacted by the project.

In Conclusion

If you are looking for a simple invoicing tool, you may want to consider Neilon Project Management. However, I warn you that it appears to have been built around a very specific service and process. You most certainly will need to customize many of the picklist values and validation rules.

Regards,

Brian

Additional References

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