Project management reinvented


We as project managers and contributors are missing the perfect project management tool. There are a lot of tools out there, don’t get me wrong. But every single one of them only focusses on part of the whole project. Project Hub, Asana, Trello, Timely, Toggle, Harvest and JIRA are a few examples of tools which tackle an area within the life of a project, but not the project as a whole. Let me tell you why this is bad, and what we’re missing.

From my experience, every project has the following areas to it: scope, state, tasks and time.

  • A project has a scope which tells what the project is about.
  • It also has a state which changes during the lifetime of the project. An example would be phases like design or development.
  • Each state has multiple tasks which have to be completed by analysts, designers, developers, testers, etc.
  • Each task requires a certain amount of time to complete. This is mostly what clients pay for.

So why do all of the apps listed above only focus on one or maybe two of these areas? Asana for example excels at task management but misses a lot of project and state related functionality. Furthermore, there is no concept op time tracking. You’ll need a separate tool like Toggle or Harvest which are at most semi-linked to Asana. As a result, information about a single task is spread over multiple applications.

A project = scope + state + tasks + time

Project Hub provides a very pleasing high level overview of a project scope and its state, but it lacks in the other areas. JIRA would be an example which comes close to an all-in-one package but has three major problems. It is slow, expensive and offers too much functionality. JIRA might be the opposite of the other applications: you can’t see the wood for the trees anymore.

A project is cohesive and should be treated as a whole. This is reflected directly in the tools we use to manage our projects. When information is scattered across different applications, we’re doing something wrong.

Scattered information is wrong

The solution to this seems simple. One application which is used during the whole lifetime of the project and accessible for every contributor. It’s however very difficult to achieve a good balance between features in such application. It’s a balance I’ve never experienced with any existing project related tool. So even though the solution might seem simple, it’s very difficult to implement the right way. I believe it’s possible though. It’s an opportunity and a challenge for many of us.


About

My name is Brent. I’m a web developer who reads, learns and thinks a lot about all kinds of topics. I’m very curious to know your opinion about this post, whether you agree or not. You can leave a comment here or contact me on Twitter. If you want other people to know about this post, the best thing you can do is click the recommend button below and share this post in your own network.