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Project Management Software

Folks,

We are currently in the market for some project management software.  The following highlights some of our criteria:

* Scheduling
* Time tracking
* Reporting
* Web-based
* Easy to use

Please note we have already looked at, and rejected:

* FogBugz
* MS Project

We want something simple to use, and easy to install.

Thanks for your suggestions

beach bum
Monday, November 18, 2002

We use a very simple wiki-based project management system.

If interested, you can check "The Wiki Way" by BoLeuf, WardCunningham. One of the chapters describes very lightweight do-it-yourself project management system.

Igor K.
Monday, November 18, 2002

Just out of curiousity Why did you reject MS Project?

Farid
Monday, November 18, 2002

Personally, I find Project - and likely all Gant chart style things (been a while, is it "gant"?  I cannot remember...) to be a waste of time.  I'm sure its useful to someone (our PM likes it, and he is good at his job), but its too hard to put in new items as they pop up.

Its the role of the developer to constantly be updating and revising the bottom of the "bottom-up" schedule.  Adding items as they find them, as bugs get discovered, as issues that were not anticipated crop up.  Project is way too cumbersome for that.  In my experience you have to constantly keep tweaking the items, dialog boxes galore.  It detracts from the real issue at hand:  adding features, finding bugs, fixing bugs, etc.  I'm not interested in pretty charts - just guaging my time estimates and feeding info ack to my manager and PM about where I'm at and will we make dates.

Way too much overhead in Project and most project software.  I want something that I can make entries into in under 5 minutes tops.

One of our engineers uses a text based file with symbols:
? unestimated task
. unstarted task (but estimated)
* task in progress
# completed task

It lacks time as a dimension, but it works for him.  He is very productive, and the list is kept in version control.  FWIW.

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

<snip>
Just out of curiosity Why did you reject MS Project?
</snip>

Nat summed up our concerns quite nicely for the most part.

Aside from the developers in our group, we have a technologically weak team.  Despite this, they are phenomenal resource with respect to the domain in which we compete.  This certainly complements the feature set of our products, but leads to some issues when actually producing said product.

With this in mind, we keep our processes simple and our software must also reflect this approach.  Project is just too much. 

FogBUGZ is an example of the approach to software we are looking for.  Simple, clean and easy to use.  Although Joel markets it as project management software as well, it doesn’t do some basic things we would like, namely scheduling.  Essentially we need a graphical representation of the ‘big picture’.

beach bum
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

You could do worse then, than to follow Joel's advice about using a spreadsheet to track progress, then convert that to some kind of bar chart.

Although, I've used Project to do exactly that, I don't particularly care about resourcing or measuring irrelevancies but it is useful in planning a project using the outline editor  then adding some straightforward dependencies.

Whether you produce a Gannt chart out of that or not you have an overall view.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Try these:

www.criticaltools.com

Pert Expert

and

WBS pro

They both work together and can use MS project as a storage.

So, you get workable tools (define the tasks in WBS and chain them in Pert Xpert) while keeping MS-project fans at home (export to MPP). It also support taking info back in the WBS and Pert.

Really good, it saved my ass when estimating a 8-9 man month project, which is clearly unmanageable w/ a text file... especially when the next step is deciding what makes up workpackages to be bidded for separately by different sub contractors... Try that w/ Project in realtime in front of customers....

Philippe Back
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

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Richard Klein ( Sweden )
Tuesday, February 17, 2004

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