monday.com: It never gets complex!
monday.com is a funky project management and task management software for teams. The top level of structure consists of “boards”, where you can create tasks in “groups”. Groups can be employees, states, or time periods. With monday.com you can structure tasks one level deep. monday.com offers just a basic project management functionality which makes it hard to imagine how to keep track of projects with more than about 50 tasks.
Pros and cons
|user interface||project management|
|project templates||SaaS/cloud only|
1. General functionality
monday.com is offered exclusively as Software as a Service (SaaS) in the cloud operated by the manufacturer. The data is located in the USA, but the manufacturer guarantees compliance with European data protection standards.
Projects and project types
In monday.com you manage “elements” in “groups” on “boards”. There are a number of board templates that you can extend yourself and you can copy boards. A central configuration of existing boards is not provided.
Operations and operation types
In task and project management, almost everything revolves around “processes”. In monday.com there is only one type of process, whose name can be configured for each board. So you can manage “tasks” in one board and “customers” in another. You cannot have a “Customer” task type and a “Task” task type in the same board.
monday.com offers the possibility to assign any number of sub-operations to each operation, but only one level deep. Sub-operations themselves cannot be further subdivided.
monday.com sends e-mails due to events in the system. Within certain limits it can be configured when a notification is sent. Notifications can also be sent within the application. Except for workflow automations there is little control over who receives notifications and when.
The granting of access rights is kept quite simple in the task management software monday.com. It is based on a few fixed roles (board owner, team member, guest) with a few permissions that always refer to a board. Individual tasks can not be authorized. For a differentiated authorization concept this functionality is not quite sufficient.
In monday.com you associate task attributes with tasks by adding corresponding columns in the tabular board view. There are a number of attribute types such as people, label and date fields. The behavior of the default attributes is usually predefined and not configurable. The list of attribute types cannot be extended.
There are no configurable input masks in monday.com, the attributes are edited directly in the table view.
In project management and also in task management, processes are often interrelated. For example, one task cannot be started before another is completed. Or a task cannot be closed until a dependent task has been completed.
In monday.com there is extensive support for defining dependencies or links via workflow automation. This makes it easy to implement many of the common dependencies.
monday.com offers under the name “Dashboard” a well-designed, user-specific configurable cockpit system. Cockpits can be kept private or made available to everyone in the team. There are among others the following cockpit-:
- Status overview
- Overview of tasks
- Time recording
- Report function
Reports can only be created monday.com by saving queries to Excel. There is no template-based report function.
For the administration of the users monday.com in the Enterprise version can be connected to an LDAP system. Users and groups can be synchronized with the directory server manually or automatically. Single-Sign-On is supported.
The system supports two-factor authentication.
User interface and usability
The user interface of the software is beautiful, hip and modern. No training is required for a normal user. There is a non-contextual help and many videos to guide the user. The very first steps are very well guided and kept simple. But then the board views are often quite complex with many controls visible at the same time.
For the configuration you have to get familiar with the basic concepts of monday.com. For this there is material in the form of tutorials, videos, slides and user manuals.
The user interface is identical for each user and cannot be individually adapted.
Interfaces and expandability
Via an extensive REST interface, almost all functions that are also offered on the user interface are accessible in monday.com. For example, users can be managed, projects can be created, changed and deleted or queries can be executed.
2. Task management with monday.com
The software does not directly support the delegation of processes with resubmissions. A “People” column, a “Date” column and automation could be used to display something similar. The delegator could use appropriate filters to create an overview of the tasks he delegated.
Deputy function in monday.com
In monday.com it is not possible to assign substitutes to users.
Some tasks and appointments repeat cyclically, e.g. every first Monday of the month. Handling such series of tasks can be very helpful and time-saving in task management.
In monday.com there is no concept of a task series. It is possible to define new tasks cyclically via automation, but these tasks are not related to each other.
Time tracking in monday.com
monday.com allows you to track the effort (time) for each transaction. There is the possibility to use timers in the application to automatically record the time spent. Reports give an overview of who was busy with which activities in any past period. The data can be exported to Excel.
Support of the Getting Things Done method
The Getting Things Done-method is a proven method for personal work organisation. It allows the personal categorization of tasks, such as personal resubmission dates or the personal marking of tasks as favorites.
monday.com does not support the GTD method.
Support of the RACI Matrix
For task management and project management, the RACI method defines four process-specific roles through which project participants can relate to a task. Normally roles are assigned to a project, but not to an activity. For example, there is a project manager or a Scrum Master for the whole project. RACI, on the other hand, allows roles to be assigned to specific activities (see https://www.trackplus.com/en/task-management/raci-matrix.html).
monday.com does not support the RACI concept.
Workflows in task management systems are usually represented in two forms. The first method always refers to the workflow of an operation that passes through various stations and processes. The second method consists of defining task sets and then processing them.
monday.com supports workflows of the first type by an interesting automation concept. There are many ready-made automation blocks that can be assigned to a board. The second type is also supported by a simple set copy, but then you might have to edit the copies individually.
3. Project management with monday.com
Programmes and portfolios
In many organisations, projects are running within the framework of programmes, portfolios or product areas. Here, groups of projects must be able to be combined in order to maintain an overview.
A basic requirement for program or portfolio management is the ability to group projects and arrange them hierarchically.
monday.com offers no support for program and portfolio management.
Subprojects in monday.com
Larger project plans with many activities cannot be sufficiently structured simply by hierarchizing activities, but must be split into subprojects. The subprojects may require different processes, for example, for hardware and software development.
monday.com does not offer support for subprojects.
There aren’t really any reports. For this, the cockpits can be used in a so-called presentation mode. Many data can be exported to Excel.
Work breakdown structure
Before a project plan can be created, the activities to be performed or the work results to be produced must be structured. To display such a product structure or Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), activities must be arranged hierarchically in any depth.
monday.com supports only one hierarchy level with subtasks. This means that no WBS or project plans can be created.
Interactive Gantt Chart
Gantt charts help to define and display the timing of project activities and predecessor/successor relationships. monday.com offers a powerful, limited interactive Gantt component or timeline view. However, you cannot create dependencies graphically. There is no concept of a baseline plan and no display of project progress in the timeline view. Timelines across multiple boards can only be created using a dashboard.
Resource planning with monday.com
Resources of different types can be managed and assigned to activities. There is a view in which the resource utilization is displayed over time and an overload or underload is immediately visible. The resources can be arranged according to project or department affiliation.
Availability of employees
There are no personal calendars that show the availability of employees. Therefore, the system cannot take availability into account when planning resources.
The progress of the project can be displayed in monday.com by the number of already completed tasks in relation to the total amount of tasks. There is no support for the performance value method, which is widely used in project management.
Agile project management
The software supports agile project management to some extent with a taskboard view. Important agile process elements such as epics, user stories, backlogs and sprints are either not available or only insufficiently available.
For software developers there is a lack of integration with source code management systems such as Git and Subversion as well as with CI/CD servers such as Gitlab and Jenkins.