Calling all web-based solutions!
December 21, 2006 6:21 AM   Subscribe

My company needs a miracle...and by miracle I mean a web application that can juggle 801 different things and still look nifty. As always, there is...

So my company just reorganized and as opposed to the 3-7 person teams we had been working in, our new make-up is now pretty much one big staff of 25-30 people. I know it sounds like a backwards step, but it actually has improved communication tremendously.

But I know it can be better.

Essentially what I'm wondering is if there is a web based program out there that will:

*Allow for our whole company (about 25-30 employees) to be part of project management (stratifications, of course, but this is not a tool for just management or just the worker bees)

*Utilize each person as a resource and allow a more stratisfied organization of the resources over different periods of time (highlighting work load and overlap for projects) anywhere on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis.

*Allow for progress updates to an assigned or required tasks checklists for each person/project (ideally creating a summary report for management meetings and progress check-ins)

*Be web-based so that we can access the programs from anywhere (and user friendly, our employees are smart, but not code monkeys or web developers).

Pretty much we just need some help getting organized on a larger scale than what excel and outlook are capable of. Any ideas?
posted by Smarson to Technology (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try BaseCamp. I expect it will do most of what you need.
posted by jellicle at 6:37 AM on December 21, 2006

Well... the popular answer would be Basecamp. Time tracking would go to Harvest, maybe, which interoperates w/ Basecamp? (this is the hip web2.0 answer. there are probably others)
posted by tmcw at 6:39 AM on December 21, 2006 [2 favorites]

Ahh. There we go again. Well, what jellicle said, plus Harvest.
posted by tmcw at 6:39 AM on December 21, 2006

Response by poster: @ Jellicle & TMCW: Someone had mentioned Basecamp to me before will high praise, so I'll have to check that out. I'd never heard of Harvest though.
posted by Smarson at 7:03 AM on December 21, 2006

if you wanted a free solution, you could also check out dotProject...
posted by unexpected at 7:10 AM on December 21, 2006

Thanks for the Harvest recommendation. I had somehow not heard of that one, it looks great.
posted by Invoke at 7:54 AM on December 21, 2006

My company is currently using TaskHopper, a Joomla (CMS) Project Management system. It's free (support is not), editable, configurable, all that good stuff.

However, based upon my own experience, I don't have the time to be tailoring it to our company... it's one of those solutions where it's 90% there, but that last 10% is a headache. However, if you're using Joomla, it's worth a shot.

Just shot off an e-mail to my boss about Basecamp. Cross your fingers for me.
posted by empyrean at 8:06 AM on December 21, 2006

You might consider a Wiki for general communication about stuff. We're just really getting into ours and it's kind of fun to have. It's also free.
posted by loiseau at 9:19 AM on December 21, 2006

I've used Basecamp for similar solutions and highly recommend it. The most difficult task is getting everyone to use it.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:24 AM on December 21, 2006

I've found Basecamp to be overkill, but then again, my needs are way smaller than yours. If you decide to look for something much simpler, TaskFreak works well. We've also had a good experience with dotProject. CMS Matrix, which lets you search for CMS solutions by feature, is also a good place to start.
posted by edjusted at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2006

Textdrive offers a single-fee combo of hosting space, encrypted backup, and web-based collaboration tools.
posted by honest knave at 12:50 PM on December 21, 2006

As an alternative to Basecamp, there's the in-beta GoPlan. I recognize you need something now, but future project managers might stumble on this, and maybe GoPlan will be public then.
posted by Alt F4 at 2:32 PM on December 21, 2006

Please consider using Agile methodologies (Scrum, for instance). Be nice to your engineers and don't weigh them down with process. Your assesment that some software is too much trouble to get used is on the money. Engineers want to get stuff done, not make pretty charts for management, so the lighter the load on them the more likely it will be used.
posted by trinity8-director at 2:45 PM on December 21, 2006

Speaking as a sofware engineer, Scrum is a couple good (common sense, obvious) ideas wrapped up in an absurd collection of the most stupid fucking ritual absurdities I have ever seen. Keep it away from management at all costs. I shudder to think of what it must be like to actually have to take that crap seriously day after day. "Scrummaster" is not a job title I can respect.

Taken as a whole, a lot of "agile" practices are just excuses for developers to cut out the parts of their job that are less fun but still very important to quality development. Really good engineers can make up for the problems it causes (and it does) with talent but their work still suffers for it.
posted by Riemann at 9:49 PM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

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