[ILUG] Project management software
jm at jmason.org
Thu Sep 29 18:46:25 IST 2005
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> > What i need is a setup that's focused on projects with a fairly
> > fine-grained permissions system. We need to be able to manage projects
> > with teams of people working on them. Only people actually working on a
> > particular project should be able to add any tasks to it or alter the
> > status of a task. Administrators of the system should be able to create
> > new projects and assign new people or new groups to them. Within each
> > project there should be tasks and milestones so the progress can be
> > tracked. In an ideal world there would also be a calendar which would
> > tie into all of this and allow people to have personal calendars but
> > also group and project views.
> > I know that's pretty specific, but if you have experience with something
> > that even matches most of that, i'd love to hear.
> This is probably a long shot, but I started playing with flyspray 
> last night.
> Although it's core purpose is a BTS, it's got a nice little user/group
> and task submenus which have many of the features you require. It also
> displays the progress of tasks and can send notifications to users via
> email and even Jabber... :)
BTS's really *are* project management software; you just need to make that
mental leap ;)
I've used Bugzilla in a large, mature open-source project with a
good-sized dev team (SpamAssassin), and in commercial environments -- and
it's the best proj mgmt software I've used.
> We need to be able to manage projects
> with teams of people working on them.
BZ does this.
> Administrators of the system should be able to create
> new projects and assign new people or new groups to them.
> Within each project there should be tasks and milestones so the progress
> can be tracked.
yep. ("bugs" are actually tasks.)
> In an ideal world there would also be a calendar which would tie into
> all of this and allow people to have personal calendars but also group
> and project views.
oh, calendaring, a little trickier ;)
I think you need to break that requirement up.
- On the one hand, you have calendars, OpenGroupware style.
- On the other, you want Gantt charts, I'd guess?
FWIW, I heard once of a proprietary-hacked version of bugzilla that added
some great proj-mgmt features; essentially each "bug"/task in a project
had a field for various waterfall-model data: initial time estimate,
current time estimate, and time spent.
BZ already allows tasks to block and be blocked by other tasks, and
display a dependency tree of same, so it really wasn't much of a stretch
to add a Gantt chart derived from that task time-to-completion data.
Anyway, you could institute an informal version of this by using the
"Status Whiteboard" field to record time-to-completion and task progress
info, then tot it up manually when needed, btw.
I'm sure other newer open source BTS'es like Trac might have even better
features for these purposes, too; looks like someone approached the Trac
dev team back in January about it:
One thing though, on:
> Only people actually working on a
> particular project should be able to add any tasks to it or alter the
> status of a task.
I would recommend that you *not* require such strict workflow features. In
my experience, strict workflow rules cause trouble if a key workflow
player is out-of-office for some reason, or it's late at night in crunch
Instead, institute *social* rules about this, revert changes that don't
fit the workflow, and (possibly) verbally issue a slap on the wrist for
Strict workflow rules seem like a nice idea, but unless they're easy to
get around in practice, they'll cause strife. the real world doesn't
always go the way a perfect workflow chart says it should. ;)
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