Pros and Cons
Let’s take a closer look at the two system by comparing them side by side on a selection of criteria that are usually deemed important for workflow management systems:
A very consistent model for representing standard operating procedures and workflows
Powerful automatic task management capabilities
Easy access control — you can easily make sure your users only see the information they need to see and no more
Unlimited Public API access including in the free plan
Functional free plan good for 5 users
$10 USD per user per month
Familiar spreadsheet-like interface
Flexibility of treating workflows like checklists in which checklist items can be completed in parallel
Strong support for native integrations
Support for user groups
All no-code integrations require a Zapier/Make account.
No support for parallel tasks at the moment
No user groups
Lack of table view
By default you build checklists rather than workflows — you need to explicitly include stop tasks to turn your checklists into workflows
No task management capabilities whatsoever — you’re always operating in terms of workflows/checklists with the result that your team gets access to lots of extra information they might not need
A token free plan that only includes one workflow run
$30 USD per user per month
Side by Side Comparison in Detail
Ease of designing a workflow/SOP
The look and feel for designing new SOPs (known as Workflows in Process Street and as Workflow Templates in Pneumatic) is quite different in the two systems.
At the end of the day both interfaces are easy to use but require some getting used to.
What’s different is that by default what you’re building in Process Street is a checklist, in which the steps can be completed in any order and to turn it into a proper workflow you need to add so-called stop tasks to it.
Meanwhile, in Pneumatic, the only thing you can design is a workflow that must be completed sequentially — in Pneumatic every task is a stop-task. And a task can include an optional checklist.
So on this score Pneumatic has a bit of an edge as a true workflow management system, whereas Process Street is a checklist manager that can double as a workflow manager.
Ease of working with tasks
There is no task management in Process Street as such, you’re always working with checklists/workflow runs.
And going into each workflow run shows you all the steps the workflow consists of. By contrast, Pneumatic gives you a dedicated My Tasks view where all you get to see is the tasks currently assigned to you arranged in chronological order (with urgent ones at the top):
This design is intentional. Pneumatic helps you build designated roles within your company by stacking similar tasks in sequences to make it easier for your team to collaborate on complex processes without getting into each other’s way.
For example if your fellow team members are good at making outreach phone calls you can build a process around this skill and deliver them a queue of calls to make that is easy to manage due to the lack of distractions.
Some roles in Pneumatic don’t even have access to workflow management. Yet they can still be assigned tasks that they can complete.
Thus, in Pneumatic it’s arguably easier/more straightforward to keep abreast of what you’re supposed to be doing at any given moment — just go into My Tasks and see.
Ease of managing workflows
On this score Pneumatic offers more filters out of the box whereas Process Street gives you bare-bones functionality plus the option of adding more custom filters.
If you know what you’re doing you’ll be fine with either system but with Pneumatic you can start slicing and dicing your workflows immediately.
Both systems support conditional workflow logic, the differences stem from the fact that in Pneumatic workflows consist essentially of just one type of entities - tasks(which you can then add all types of data fields to, including checkboxes, radio buttons and whatnot), whereas in Process Street you can add forms, automations etc.
Thus implementing conditional logic is more straightforward in Pneumatic — you just add a condition to a task and that’s it, whereas Process Street makes it a tad more complicated than it needs to be.
There is a bit more flexibility in how you can set up conditions in Process Street, but this flexibility comes at a steep price.
Both platforms support guest users but in somewhat different ways:
In Pneumatic, you invite guests to specific tasks, so it makes it super easy to farm out your work to some contractor and give them access on a need-to-know basis.
In Process Street, more thought needs to go into inviting guests because you need to give them more access to your workflow runs.
The bottom line is in Process Streets guests can do more but in Pneumatic you can add them more securely. Last but not least, Pneumatic offers unlimited guests, whereas Process Street puts a cap on how many you can invite.
User groups are where Process Street beats Pneumatic hands-down, because Process Street has them and Pneumatic doesn’t.
User groups are a very powerful tool that let you assign steps in a workflow to teams rather than individual users, you can have a group called HR or a group called developers etc.
Seeing how Pneumatic positions itself as a system that facilitates the handover of workflows from one team to the next, the lack of support for user groups comes across as a rather glaring omission.
Process Street supports running workflows on schedule out of the box, you can set up scheduled workflow runs directly in the system.
There is no direct equivalent in Pneumatic, the best you can do here is configure some kind of external scheduler like the one in Zapier, or use your own scheduler to launch workflows in Pneumatic via the API.
If you have a system for managing repeatable processes that produce predictable results, it’s always nice to be able to “repeat” those processes automatically.
Structured tasks inputs/outputs
Both in Process Street and in Pneumatic you can add all kinds of data to your workflows.
You do it in somewhat different ways — in Process Street you add different types of entities to your workflows and then you can add various data fields to your tasks.
In Pneumatic, you add tasks or steps and then you can add all sorts of data fields to each task, which then become visible in all the subsequent tasks in the workflow.
The approaches are different but both successfully accomplish the same job of sharing information within workflows.
Process Street lets you export your workflows into csv plus offers various native integrations, and there is a whole analytics page.
Pneumatic has the Dashboard where you get to see the state of your system at a glance. As well as a special section called highlights, which is a kind of a systems newsfeed, plus you can export workflow data using the Public API.
Having said that, it would appear that both systems focus more on creating SOPs and running workflows from them than on analysis.
Process Street natively supports integration with a number of popular apps out of the box.
Process Street clearly wins on this one.
Overall look and feel
This is largely a matter of taste. Process Street’s interface is built in terms of tables. In Pneumatic, it’s all about tiles.
Both are perfectly functional, although, tiles are perhaps a bit better suited for mobile and tablet devices.
Process Street offers good support but it feels a bit like an assembly line where you get bounced from one help article to another.
In Pneumatic things are more immediate — when something goes wrong, the team quickly get back to you. It feels more personal, to the point that it’s not unheard of for features to get implemented and deployed in response to user feedback within weeks.
Suitable for using solo
Process Street is a better fit for solo users – it lets you easily set up checklists that you can then tick off on your own without much hassle so it can serve as a great self-organization tool and that’s where the rather limited free plan can actually come in handy.
Pneumatic makes you jump through a bit too many hoops to set up workflows and use them to justify solo use. It sure can be used by one person who knows what they’re doing but where it really adds value is in contexts where you have several people or teams collaborating on one sequential process.
Relaying tasks in teams
Process Street is about checklists and when you have a big team and everybody can see the entire checklist, things can quickly become rather messy.
Pneumatic was designed for assembly line processes in which each team can specialize on one specific kind of task and when they complete their part of the work, they just hand the process over to the next team in line and work continues. Pneumatic is right at home in this sort of environment whereas with Process Street you might find it a bit of a challenge to make sure each of your teams only focuses on the tasks assigned to them.
Both systems are great for small teams:
You can quickly build and deploy SOPs and hit the ground running without having to call in a consultancy firm to craft your SOPs for you. Both systems let you refine and improve your workflows on the fly.
Task or Card-centric approach makes Pneumatic a notch more intuitive if you previously used Trello, Asana or other Kanban-like boards. With Pneumatic you can wean your team off task management and ease them into workflow management in a more organic and stress-free fashion.
Give the interface and approach, Pneumatic has better scaling capabilities: here you can hire people and assign specific tasks to them without having to expose your entire workflow, whereas in Process Street, everybody gets to see the whole workflow if they’re invited to it.
Thus, Pneumatic gives you more flexibility in terms of who can access what information in a workflow — it’s easier to organize collaboration on processes that have to be handed over from one team to another with need-to-know access.
Process Street mobile apps are for notifications only whereas Pneumatic offers more functional Android and iOS apps that lets you view and complete your tasks.
Again, this difference stems from the fact that Process Street does not have the capability of working with tasks only at all.
Notifications (email, push, mobile)
Workflow template library
Process Street is clearly a winner here because it offers more workflows out of the box that you can make use of.
Pneumatic also has a template library but it’s not as extensive, although it has to be said that it’s constantly growing.
Educational materials and tutorials
Both are cloud based industry standard secure systems, Pneumatic runs on Google Cloud and Process Street runs on AWS.
Pneumatic also offers the option of private cloud deployment.
There is simply no competition here, Pneumatic definitely offers more for less than Process Street, the price per user is less while you actually get somewhat more functionality in some areas, such as automatic task management.
You may find Process Street a better option if you envision your processes as checklists.
Pneumatic is the perfect next step for a team that’s outgrown a Trello-board and looking to build a scalable fast growing business.
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