Looking for project management software for complex operations
October 24, 2013 11:46 AM Subscribe
Our organization's complexity has outgrown our project management software several times. I'm looking for options to research as the next step above something like Basecamp or single desktop Microsoft Project installations. If you have experience with project management software for large teams please let me know your thoughts. Details inside.
posted by odinsdream to work & money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Our operations are probably very similar to other small or mid-size businesses, but so far we're not satisfied with the software we've tried (Basecamp, Redmine, Microsoft Project, Smartsheet, Podio). It's possible that Microsoft Project Server may be a good fit, but even deploying the trial is a daunting task (step one: configure your server farm). If it's actually a good fit I'd love to hear more specifics.
Here are some of the struggles we have. Do you know of software that solves these issues?
Each of our projects is structured the same way. I.e., there are steps that must occur in a certain order. Steps are assigned to individuals or teams, and once a project gets established we need to track completion and progress as we approach the end date. Lots of software is really good at this for single projects, or even a handful. We have 30+ projects involving dozens of people in multiple offices. Each project has 50+ steps, all of which are very tightly related to each other.
Ideally, the software should be able to understand a process flow so that we can't do silly things like putting Step B before Step A accidentally.
Services like Basecamp seem to solve problems other than what we're encountering, perhaps because they focus on simpler projects, smaller teams, or try to be a central "collaboration" hub, which we don't need.
When a new project is in the planning phase, it's very difficult to take existing projects into account to avoid creating conflicts (i.e., assigning the same person to the different tasks at the same time), mainly because all of the software we've tried so far treats projects as independent. We need a way for the software to understand that our teams are cross-functional, and therefore the individual work hours can't be double-booked.
Information needs to be accessed and updated by everyone, so solutions that involve desktop applications aren't workable.
Any suggestions are welcome - preferably based on your personal experience.