New in Project Management
Project management online should not just be a dumping ground for everything to do with a project. Most tools feel like this; you log into an account, find a project and then throw everything to do with your project at it. Maybe label some of the items and maybe tick off a few milestones. I don't see how this is really different to email. We wanted a system whereby you actually worked on a project in that space.
We also wanted to be able to view a project from a number of perspectives, allowing people to choose their work style based on task or role.
And then of course there was 18 or so months of customer feedback, logic holes and suggestions made in the forums.
So this is how it turned out...
First, what the different tab views show:Gantt Chart(shown above).
This shows a visual timeline of the project, including sub project and todo hierarchy, linked or dependent sub projects and other visual indicators such as priority (red flag) and recoded data (speech bubble with an "i"). When you would use it:
This tab is useful to quickly set up a new project. As well as being able to drag and drop to create project dates, you also hit the tab button and rapidly create new ToDos or Sub Projects or just select the tick box to mark an item as complete.
This view is also critical to visualise how a project is progressing in terms of completion or key milestones.Project Tree
The Project Tree view is a simple relationship hierarchy of Projects, Sub Projects and ToDos. When you would use it:
Use this tab to quickly view what individual items make up a project and to add new items to a project. Using this view it is simple to find a particular sub project and to create new items under that sub project.Activity Stream
This is the project conversation. Everything that happens under a project is fed into the project stream and sorted by date order; the end result is a constant feed of activity, with the ability to drill up or down in hierarchy by switching to a different tab view.When you would use it:
The Activity Stream makes it easier to get up to date on a project and to collaborate in real time. Using the filters (mentioned at the start of this post) you can customise what information you want to see in your project feed.Priority, Progress, Documents & People
These views are self-explanatory. Essentially they are filtered views of the project. So, for example the Priority view is all items under a project, sorted by priority, the people view is all items sorted and people.Budget Tab
The new budget tab has been upgraded to allow discrete line view of how each sub project is tracking and then an overall view of project budget, taking into account logged time, milestone payments, expenses and more. The diagram below best illustrates this:Ironically we used our new project management tool, to manage the development of our new project management tool...
Main Project Directory Screen
Aside from the new design, there are a number of usability enhancements to the main project screen. Screen grab below, click to enlarge:
TimeSheets - Time Tracking
This entire module got a huge make over. Most notably the ability to choose how you enter time:
- Drag and Drop on a Calendar View
- Line entry for each day of the week
- Group entry to manage timesheets on behalf of other people.
Customer Support / Help Desk
Again, huge improvements in usability and user experience. I'll show these below, rather than explain.
The coolest thing here is the new Activity Stream view. This gives you a real time feed of everything to do with customer support, across your entire business.
...continued after I drink more coffee, shortly...>>>