Project Management Software Survey

Hi. Do you work in an information-based company? Do you use some form of project management software? I would like your input.

At my job, we use a motley collection of software–a hosted timesheet solution with integrated project tracking, Outlook, and most recently Bugzilla. Because I work remotely, my exposure to these is actually pretty minimal, which can cause problems.

I’m curious about what features of project management software you or your colleagues actually use. Do you just create projects and subprojects and assign them to people? Do you track hours or just tasks completed? Do you use Gantt charts or critical paths? Automated risk highlighting? What features do you personally depend on, and which parts just seem like annoying busywork?

Comments are turned on for this post (for real this time), or you can email me.

5 Comments

  1. We build and use Intervals for project management software at our web design and development agency, Pelago. The primary features include time tracking, task management, and project management. We built this app to handle what we felt was the common workflow for a small creative business like our own. And we have found that we are striking a chord with that segment of the market.

  2. I’m using time tracking a lot as well as Gantt charts. I need to produce time reports and export them to csv in order to integrate them with our intranet-based payroll system.

    The product I use is http://www.aceproject.com. It’s software-as-a-service.

  3. I’ve investigated FunctionFox, but never used it.

  4. This is a month old!
    I’m still giving my input.

    As a systems engineer who has been on both sides of the management line, I can say that it pretty much all comes across as busywork. Management wants a spreadsheet of green statuses that mean everything is on-time, under budget, and experiencing no issues. Engineers and Systems Administrators want to do their work and they usually have their own methods of what is efficient for them. These goals don’t mesh well. Usually if I’m in the hot seat (manager or team lead) I try to negotiate this as smoothly as possible but my method involves face to face communication with teammates and email with management. Lots of custom word templates so they can file something away (:

  5. I’m a pretty big fan of Agile software management, so my advice is to do as little as possible and still communicate effectively what everybody is currently working on, what needs to get done in the next two weeks, and what issues need to be resolved. I have used a variety of tools in the past, from Trac to Microsoft Project, to just a whiteboard, and they’ve all had their flaws. The best thing to do is do a process evaluation every couple of weeks and talk about what is working and adding value, what isn’t working, and what is just busywork that adds no value. After a few of these meetings you should see improvement in both the use of tools and the efficiency of the team. It helps to trim the fat more or less and get everybody on the same page.

    As for tools, a lot of people like 37signals products because they are simple (I’m not a fan though really). There are a ton of “Project Management” tools out there, you just need to find one that is easy to use, allows you to communicate effectively, and has most of the features you want. Hope this rambling and late comment helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.