What would you like to see in project management software?

As web developers, whether you are a designer or a programmer, you have to manage tons of information to complete your project as quickly as possible, and with all of the requirements of the client in mind. It doesn’t matter if you are a large web shop, or the freelancer starting out with a small number or projects, you need to be organized. Organization of data, feedback, tasks, contact information, assets, and any other requirements ensures that you can maintain the big picture of the project, all bullet points, and that you have a paper trail of where direction and decisions came from.

However, it seems that though every size shop requires the same things, we can’t all seem to settle on the same software to organize our projects. The one-man show doesn’t want to pay $24 a month for a tool that deprives him of time-tracking and is deeply ingrained in multi-user collaborative features. The large company has problems with its oversights: it doesn’t account for maintenance or non-project work items, it doesn’t organize e-mail tickets, it doesn’t incorporate invoicing, and other random nuances that large shops have. Therefore, large shops are forced to have a number of subscriptions to varying SaaS apps, with redundant data, making an uneasy experience for the workers. This is no slight of BaseCamp, the extremely popular software is just one of many who offer powerful tools for managing projects.

I have a vision for software that manages the way your web shop works, and not just how you organize projects. My ultimate goal would be to develop a turn-key application that allows companies large a small to handle the life cycle of a client and their project. We are at an amazing time in web development, where information accessibility and frameworks are turning hobbyist into professionals. Larger shops are at a huge advantage too, with an infrastructure in place, and the business world acknowledging having a web presence like never before, your revenue is only limited by your turnaround times.

That’s why I am calling on you, the reader from all walks of life, to tell me about your day-to-day work process as a web developer, and how you vision an organizational application to handle what you do. Please leave a comment below, and I promise not only to keep the development of this application customer-driven, but to also to give you beta invites (so make sure to include your email address!)

Thanks in advance!

Current Items

  • Client Management
  • Project Management
  • Web Development Specific Roles: Project Manager, Developer, Freelancer
  • Invoicing
  • E-mail Maintenance Ticket Integration
  • Create Billable Services – such as Email, Hosting, SEO, Consulting, etc
  • Wiki / KnowledgeBase ( thanks Mikey Van )
  • API for accessing/submitting information
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Twitter

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5 Responses to “What would you like to see in project management software?”

  1. Juan Says:

    December 5th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Have you considered adding task dependencies? As a developer you need to be able to document
    why sometimes certain parts of the project stalls. For example, let’s say developer A is assigned a task but he/she has stopped making progress because developer B is not done writing something that developer A needs.

  2. Mikey Van Says:

    December 5th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    additional features could include a wiki/repository of common code that is used across multiple project, extensive section on task-lists and personnel management with the typical microsoft project timeline of tasks, perhaps a system application alternative to the web-based interface, and the interface for clients to markup/screenshot the in-development page for questions.
    as far as pricing -as the article points out, entry-level freelancers to large firms all require the same or very similar feature set in their PMS so I suggest pricing of the software should be a per-simultaneous user model

  3. Frank Says:

    December 7th, 2009 at 7:37 am

    The wiki idea is something that would also be a good idea: I was going to piggy-back off of the Cerberus “Knowledge Base” idea, where you can link up a repository of information for clients, things such as FTP info, logins to 3rd party apps, etc. Good call.

  4. Nilesh Says:

    December 14th, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Update checker is a must. It’s very irritating to check for updates and conduct the update manually. Auto-Update should be configurable.

  5. Frank Says:

    December 15th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Push notification will definately make it into one of the early releases. I feel the same way: having to check whether a ticket or task came in is annoying. Thanks for the input.

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