Friday, April 16, 2010

Online Project Management Software

Every project requires some form of tracking, whether it is a simple to-do list or a highly detailed gantt chart. At some stage a some formal planning must take place, and if you are collaborating across different physical locations an online tool can really help.

I had a few requirements:
  • Ability to track milestones & tasks
  • Sepecifiy interdependencies between tasks
  • Track issues/bugs (Ticketing)
  • A visual display of the schedule (eg: Gantt, Time/Time, or Burndown chart)
I also wanted the tool to allow different management approaches (ie: not a purely scrum-based tool), and the usual niceties such as email notifications and a blog/wiki/forum/etc. Finally I wanted all this for free (ofcourse!). The usual suggestions are Bugzilla, Trac and MediaWiki, however none of these provide all the features we needed. Some of the better products I found included:
  • Redmine - A free (open source) web application with issue tracking, gantt charts, email notifications, wiki, forums, time tracking, etc. Unfortunately it is still quite 'beta' but definately one to watch for the future.
  • Assembla - A paid web service with task management, issue tracking, some scrum support, wikis, forums, but no visual way of representing a schedule as far as I could tell.
  • Clocking IT - A free (closed) web service that provides project tracking, it looks great but seemed a bit too simplistic for my needs.
  • CodeSpaces - A paid service, but offers free accounts. Easy to use, supports visual scheduling, forums, but is tightly SVN and scrum based (card walls, stories, etc.) and the help was a bit poor. I seriously investigated this option but decided against it in the end, however I can recommend this option.
  • CoMindWork - A paid service, but offers a limited free version. Can be both online and installed, provides a decent visual gantt chart with task and time tracking, issue tracking, email notifications, wiki, blog, and good help videos and instructions all through making it easy to learn. A big bonus is that it directly imports and exports between Microsoft Project, integrates with BaseCamp and provides an API for import/export. It also has a bit of a plone-like feel, which I was comfortable with having used it before.
So CoMindWork was the winner for me. Some of the other promising ones I was looking at included:
  • Zoho projects
  • Unfuddle
  • Agile42
but since I'd found CoMindWork by then I didn't look into them into too much depth.

6 comments:

chrism said...

Pivotal Tracker is really good too. Free, but not open source.
http://pivotaltracker.com/

Thomas said...

Having Web Based Project Management Software is an asset for any company because it manages the work-flow and projects effectively, as it is a perfect solution for an imperfect work space. It is one of the best ways for saving money and time. This software keeps track of the progress. All the data regarding your project is quantified in such a way that you can come to know where your project stands and how much you’re paying for it.

Lexie said...

If your looking for a way to track your employees time on projects you might want to look at cloud software. A great web based software for time tracking includes invoicing and QB integration is TSheets, http://www.tsheets.com. It has really worked out for my company, especially the payroll portion of it.

Thomas said...

By applying pProject Management Software to your company, you will instantly have a pleasurable time in dealing with any project that comes about. It is important that you are kept as organized as possible because of the possibility that you could miss something. That mistake could end up costing you and your project a successful completion.

Thomas said...

Probably the most efficient Project Management Software, though, is web based. It allows team members to update their progress themselves, saving the team leader from having to constantly call for updates or from going around to get those same updates personally. Web based software will let everyone seamlessly add their progress to the overall workings, thus helping the entire project run more smoothly.

j-at-lj said...

I’ve given CoMindWork a try, also checked out central desktop. My final choice was Wrike.com, it seems to have everything that is necessary for effective collaboration, yet it’s really easy to use. And I love the interface too.