High-level cross-project management
April 18, 2014 10:10 AM   Subscribe

What software can I use for a high-level view of my team's available vs. allocated hours and budgeted time approved across our projects?

I manage a team of 8 people that does fee-for-service in e-learning and web development within a university department. We current have about 50 projects in various stages, sizes, and needs. We are good at planning and delivering on client needs, but I need help getting a high-level overview of the team.

The big questions are:
  1. For any given week/month, what projects are being actively worked on?
  2. For those projects, what staff are assigned to them?
  3. Of the staff assigned, how much of their time is allocated?
  4. How does the allocated staff time relate to the available hours budgeted for the project?
  5. How much unallocated time is available?
I'm currently tracking this in an Excel workbook with many sheets, linked cells, and filters, but it's frustrating at best.

The other questions for each project (which Excel sufficiently answers but would be nice to include):
  • What is the status?
  • Who is the lead?
  • What is the duration?
  • Is the budget approved?
  • What is the approved budget/number of hours?
We are currently using Basecamp for tracking to-dos and milestones for most individual projects, as well as issue management in BitBucket for web projects, and Toggl for time-tracking, and all of them are useful for their piece of the puzzle.

I've looked at many different project management platforms but none of them seem to deliver the team-level view in the way that I need. A couple of things that I've looked at come close but are too specific/limited.

This will be used primarily by me as a manager and doesn't need to be a collaboration-first tool. I'm also comfortable with something that isn't super polished as long as it does what I need. Web-based is preferred but I don't care whether it's cloud hosted or self-installed. Desktop software would need to be Windows or Linux.

If there is something that does this plus would serve as a Basecamp replacement, we'd consider it, though it would be harder to deploy since it would require a big change to the team's workflow.

Any advice on new tools or how to extend our current ones is much appreciated.
posted by camcgee to Technology (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Check out KeyedIn.
posted by MyFrozenYear at 10:13 AM on April 18, 2014

I feel you in trying to find good PM tools. There's never a perfect all-in-one solution, is there? So frustrating.

We use HubPlanner for this (along side a task tracking tool). It gives you a good overview of who's doing what and for how many hours.
posted by lindseyg at 2:44 PM on April 18, 2014

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