Package Selection

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Small software development team needs PM support
Hello-
We have a small team of developers (3 right now) who support a few hundred customers with banking related applications.

Right now we are challenged with collecting and managing user requirements for projects as well as having a record of the project structure itself. We have a bunch of loose emails, Word documents and that is not efficient.

We are currently evaluating Jira, Wrike and Liquid planner.
We are looking for PM software recommendations that can:
1) Manage projects
a) Provide an easy to use visual hierarchy of Projects/Tasks/Sub-tasks and version control
2) Communication with customers to collect and manage project requirement documents
a) Ability for multiple people to work on a single requirements document.
a) Ability for projects/tasks/sub-tasks to link to requirement or status documentation
3) Provides views of project status, roadblocks
4) Supports MS file types, links within documents, Wiki, Blogs

Any incite to a software package would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Ken
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Hi Ken -

First, good for you to recognize the inefficiency in your current process. Yours in not an uncommon situation. Here are some suggestions:

1. Disabuse yourself of the notion that a tool will "Manage Projects". Even with advanced artificial intelligence, this will never happen. People manage and work on projects and it is their behavior that will make a difference, not the tool.

2. Your tool selection should fit your scale and development methodology (present or as may be the case, aspirational future). You didn't mention whether the team is independent or part of a larger organization. Working with banking related applications I'm sure you know where I'm headed here. This could affect your selection.

3. It sounds like a pure requirements management solution may be a better place for you to start, as there is only so much a team of three can do project management-wise, but this depends on whether the team is doing 'green field' dev work or break-fix work on the applications. A tool like this could solve #s 2 and 4.

4. If the projects are small enough (limited number of similar tasks in more or less a fixed sequence), a traditional project hierarchy (work breakdown structure) approach may be overkill.

I know this doesn't answer your question directly, but without knowing some more specifics about your situation it's difficult to make a relevant tool recommendation.

I hope it gives you some additional things to think about. If you would like to share more details offline, I may be able to offer better advice. You can contact me directly at casey@exertusinc.com

Best of luck!



Hello, Ken. If I listened and understood your needs correctly, you are looking for a software that will allow you to: 1) Manage projects a) Provide an easy to use visual hierarchy of Projects/Tasks/Sub-tasks and version control 2) Communication with customers to collect and manage project requirement documents a) Ability for multiple people to work on a single requirements document. a) Ability for projects/tasks/sub-tasks to link to requirement or status documentation 3) Provides views of project status, roadblocks 4) Supports MS file types, links within documents, Wiki, Blogs For a centralized solution that will tick most (if not all) of those boxes, I think you and your team may find Basecamp useful because of its ability to manage projects and customers for you from one admin panel.





Hello Ken, I agree with Cris about a tool that can not manage projects, a tool can help you organize you and your team, but it is the leader in your team that must define the rules and policies to do the job

Jira, or basecamp may help you, and you should also check if you need to manage user tickets for some requirements



Hi Ken,

We have used several and one that comes to mind we have used with success that also allows clients limited access to their projects is Procore. This has been especially useful for transmitted documents and shared versions of requirements/engineering documents as the checkout version has worked very well. It may be worth a look from your team as well.



I am hearing some tools for the first time, I am always using a combo of MS Project, Sharepoint word, Excel docs, Clarity/Excel spreadsheets again for finances or budgeting.



Add Visio for reporting.



I have used Jira for the all of the issues you have discussed. It has a wiki for tracking requirements, scrum boards for tracking WIP, and many features for managing software development. That said it can be on the expensive side compared to other tools. It all depends on what you want to do.



Hello Ken: Have you ever used SmartSheet? It is a quick, free way to share content - works similar to Excel but in a shared cloud. Not project management for sure, but a nice shared way to communicate with team in one document.



I agree with all the comments, those are very good tools.



You need a project manager (A living breathing person ) who will relieve you from everything else except focusing on Developing the application.
Ask your company to employ one and let them deal with ideas on how to manage your projects.

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