Some of you may recall the website for which I'm inquiring, which provided technical and design services to bloggers on a barter, rather than cash basis. We are looking to reopen our site and we're hoping to find a better way of managing things than the combination of blogging software (for news and static info pages) and phpBB setup that we were using prior to shuttering the site (allegedly temporarily) in 2005.
The process, thus far, has been like this:
- Clients post a new thread, outlining the work that they're looking for, as an RFP.
- Staff respond to the request with bids for the work.
- Staff may choose to take on entire project or only a portion, based upon their availability and skillset.
- Client accepts bid(s)
- Process then moves mainly to private communication (e-mail, private message via website, IM, phone) between client and staffer(s) working on the project as project is completed.
- Staffer(s) post updates on the progress of the project on the public site as a means of maintaining accountability.
- At project completion, staffers(s) and client post regarding their satisfaction with work.
- Staffer(s) report to administrators when payment for the work is received.
- Administrators publicly deem project closed and complete at this time.
The phpBB system worked, but it wasn't as clear as it may have been. Some clients chose to use an "Agent" to negotiate their projects for them because the process (and their needs) were too complex for them to manage on their own. This ended up being a problem because the agent was rarely appropriately compensated for their work on the client's behalf.
The perfect CMS for this probably doesn't exist, but there may be better ideas than what we've got, and that's what I'm asking about. Anybody have any suggestions for applications that may work for us? We've talked about Xoops with some combination of modules, but there are concerns about the need to take a client case from module to module to module (post your request here, talk about it here, etc.). Is anybody aware of anything that might help us to get back to business without the process
serving as a stumbling block, especially for net newbies who are turning to us specifically because they need simplicity?