Posts Tagged ‘project management’

Project Management that includes the developer angle – Waffle

There’s no dearth of project management tools available in the online market. Such tools enable top management keep track of all their projects, create and track tasks and teams, and analyze their progress through reports and charts. But there’s one thing missing from most modern project management tools; and that is that they don’t take the developer angle into consideration.

When we say developer angle, what we mean is that project management tools are meant primarily to be used by managers, and are thus focused on inculcating the features that managers can use. But they often lack features that can be directly used by developers. If one had to think of a tool that lets developers track their work and keep in sync with other developers and overall tasks, most of us would zero in on GitHub, right? But then GitHub isn’t exactly loaded with project management features now!

Waffle

What if there was a tool that could do both? Combine the features of GitHub with project management so that developers as well as managers could be on the same page? Waffle is one such awesome tool. Integrating GitHub with premium project management features, Waffle helps engineers as well as managers share ideas and track work progress in a much easier manner.

Waffle – Project Management integrated with GitHub

Waffle literally can be seen as a project management tool that’s made for developers. It lets team members interact with each other in real time, track the tasks that are in progress, tasks that have been completed, and tasks that need to be done; all that while also having access to the code repository (GitHub) where the actual work is updated from time to time. So in effect, every team member can submit their work, mark the task as done, inform peers about it, and report to management about it all from within the same interface. Convenient or what!

Some of the best features of Waffle include:

  • Customizable Workflows – Engineers can add and remove columns in their Waffle dashboard to fit how their team works. Waffle offers a ton of workflow templates to get started.
  • Filtering – Users can filter the task cards that they see by labels, issue text, milestone, and owner to get the view they are most comfortable with.
  • Multiple repositories in one view – Users can connect multiple GitHub repositories to a single board, view all open issues, and pull as many requests as they want.
  • Automated Status Updates – Wafflebot, the assigned internal bot for Waffle, listens to cues in users’ development workflow and automatically updates the status of their work.
  • Progress track through metrics – Waffle’s burndown and throughput metrics let users easily find out if they’re on track on not.
  • Integrated with Slack – Every time a card moves across a user’s board, an automated Slack notification is sent to him.

There are a ton of other cool features embedded within Waffle which you’ll have to experience to believe so don’t forget to check out this cool tool today.

Waffle screenshot

How it works

To start using Waffle, visit https://waffle.io/ and click on the yellow button that says “Get Started with GitHub”. TO use Waffle you’ll need to either have a GitHub account or create one.

  1. Sign in with your GitHub account
  2. Authorize the app to view your information and proceed
  3. Next, you will reach your Waffle dashboard. Here you’ll be able to see all your GitHub projects. If you don’t see them by default, you can either create a new project or use the ‘Sync Projects’ button to pull all your project data from GitHub
  4. Once you’ve done that, some options will appear in the dashboard’s left hand panel. From here you can continue to organize your workflows.
  5. The right hand side panel of the dashboard is known as a Waffle board and here you’ll be able to see several workflows including:
    • Inbox: New issues added in GitHub or Waffle are automatically added to the Inbox column. This is a great place for new requests, ideas, and bugs.
    • Backlog: A place to keep issues that are good ideas but are being saved for later.
    • Next: The next most important issues that are ready to be worked on by team members.
    • In Progress: Issues that are, well, in progress. Normally used for active development. Some teams create additional columns for design, testing, etc.
    • Review: Issues that have an open Pull Request that are being reviewed by other team member(s) to get feedback.
    • Done: Issues that are done and shipped. Depending on your team, this may also include finishing documentation, marketing, etc.
  6. You can customize the columns on a Waffle board – adding, removing, and renaming them (from Settings > Columns).
  7. You can apply labels in GitHub to automatically move cards on a Waffle board or you can drag a card on a Waffle board which will update the labels in GitHub.
  8. Adding issues is easy too. Just click on New Issue -> add Title -> click Add to add a new issue.
  9. As you and your team work on issues, you can drag and drop issues and pull requests across the board to show their current status.

Once you start using the tool, you will easily be able to get the hang of it within a few days. That’s the power of Waffle; it’s extremely easy to use.

Pros Vs Cons

The best parts of Waffle are:

  • It is free of cost for public repositories
  • Links GitHub issues with a Kanban board
  • Each update is visible in real-time

As far as the downsides are concerned:

  • Managing large projects might be slightly challenging with Waffle
  • GitHub & Project Management, Integrated! – @waffleio waffle.io/ via @supermonitoring

    Tweet this

Verdict

All in all, Waffle is a great tool for engineers to organize their workflows and keep in sync with their teams. It is easy to learn and work with and its integration with GitHub makes it the perfect task organizer.

Take Your Task Management to a Whole New Level with Insightly

Guest Post

Modern business organizations understand that they need to find good tech solutions in order to be efficient and competitive on the market. One of the areas in which a lot of business try to improve is their communication both external and internal.

All business organizations need to have contact with their employees and clients. More importantly, there is a huge need for data concerning previous conversations, when they happened and what they were about. A regular business person cannot remember so many things and this is why businesses use CRM tools.

Today, I will talk about a CRM tool called “Insightly” and I’ll try to tell you about the impression I got, based on its upsides, downsides, price and features.

insightly

Pricing

There are 5 package options you can get for Insightly, and these are Basic, Free, Professional, Plus and Enterprise. It is also possible to get a 14-day free trial for any of these options. The completely free option allows for two users and you cannot sync the app with anything.

At $15 per month, you can take the Basic package that has unlimited users. It includes lead management with 25,000 records and 1GB of storage space. With Plus, the price is $29, and the capacity is significantly higher; up to 2,500 emails on daily basis, 10GB of space and 100,000 records with 250 added customer fields.

If your needs are even bigger, you can get the Professional package for $49. It has 100 GB, 5,000 emails, and around 500 custom fields with 250,000 records.

If you need even more, you can get the Enterprise package that costs $99 and gives you 10,000 emails, 1,000 fields, and 500,000 records, with 150GB of storage.

Whatever the needs you have, with Insightly, you can get an appropriate package for your business and they are all quite cheap for what they offer.

insightly1

 

Insightly is easy to use

Most business organizations don’t have time to work and learn to use complicated CRM tools. Insightly is truly a simple user-friendly piece of software and even those people who have poor technical skills can get a hang of it quickly. When you first log into Insightly, you will instantly like the intuitive and clean dashboard. With the left sidebar, you can find all the functions you need and they are divided into several categories.
There is one feature I liked particularly. At the top corner of all sections, you will find a toolbar that allows you to find the things you need. This toolbar has a search bar and the only thing you have to do is type in the first three letters of what you need and you will find what you’re looking for. If not, you can add filters or sort items for better search results.

Exceptional project management capabilities

A single feature I, as a small business owner, liked the most about Insightly, is the project management capability. This software can help you save a lot of time, as it provides an automated, all-in-one place for task managing, project and event managing. This eliminates the need for using multiple tools.

The project management option also has features such as email, pipeline and task tracking, project reports, automatic reminders sent by email, and you can create milestones. It is also possible to link projects to team members or contacts if you need a quick reference.

insightly2

 

Other interesting benefits

All modern business organizations rely on more than one app. One of the greatest benefits of Insightly is that it can integrate with a lot of useful small business tools. Insightly is a CRM with integrated Gmail, Google Apps, Google Drive, Outlook, and QuickBooks Online.

It also integrates with various file-sharing and cloud storage options, such as Dropbox or Box.

  • Great on-line #CRM, especially for for smaller organizations: insightly.com/ @insightlyapp via @supermonitoring

    Tweet this

Verdict

In my opinion, Insightly is a great CRM you can use for your business, although I think that smaller business organizations would make much better use of it than big ones.

About the Author

MarkoMarco is a professional writer and blogger. He will help you understand the power and reach social media for your blog or website. You can find him on First Site Guide and tweet the First Site Guide team @firstsiteguide.

 

Track work and get results with Asana

The market for team and work management tools is ever expanding and with the competition getting cutthroat by the day, users are expecting almost everything regarding collaboration from such tools. As more and more players jump into the field with claims of success with large famous organizations, users are bound to get confused as to which tool to go for. However, the answer to that question is simple really – a tool that accomplishes all current needs, adds some value, and fits the budget. Rather than picking a “popular” tool that internal teams find not-so-useful and not-so-easy to work with, opting for one that ensures everyone understands it, is comfortable with it, and can actually use it to work better would be the way to go.

asana

And when it comes to user-friendliness, the guys behind Asana are pros. With the fame of Facebook behind their backs, who would better understand what users want and how to get their attention? Presenting Asana, the brainchild of Dustin Moskovitz (ex-co-founder and key technical leader at Facebook) and Justin Rosenstein (co-inventor of the Like Button and Facebook Pages at Facebook and Gmail Chat and Google Drive at Google).

Asana – helping humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly

Asana works with some simple visions:

  • Building a place where everything from the most immediate details to the big picture are organized
  • Each person knows what they’re doing and why
  • Introducing clarity, transparency, and focus to allow teams to collaborate with less friction and produce great results
  • Fostering an environment where coordination is effortless and people love what they do and are appreciated

Such strong values have paved the way for making Asana one of the fastest growing SaaS companies ever.

Asana as a project management tool is different at many levels. It makes sure teams move their work from start to finish in a better manner with tasks, projects, conversations and dashboards. Everyone within the project is able to track progress without the need for scheduling a status meeting or sending emails. Features to turn conversions into actionable tasks makes taking the next steps easy. Plus, with Asana, you can ensure you get only the updates you need instead of a flood of unwanted messages.

We’re sure you get the drift by now but still, here’s a brief overview of Asana’s impressive features:

  • Lets you create and assign tasks, organize tasks into shared projects
  • Sections allow you to match workflows and structure projects
  • Due date reminders ensure all tasks get completed on time
  • Better communication is brought about through task and project conversations and team pages
  • Customized views for your tasks, inbox, dashboards, calendars, files and even search helps prioritize things
  • Team management is enhanced by giving tasks a clear owner, allows interested people to follow tasks and projects, and enabling teams to collaborate with vendors, contractors and Asana partners
  • Seamless integration with Dropbox, Chrome, Slack, GitHub, Okta, Google Drive and more

asana1

How it rolls

To start using Asana, sign up for free through any of the links given on the home page. Once completed, you’re asked to complete your profile. Fill in basic details and upload your picture if you wish to. Fill in other details like any teammate’s particulars and proceed to the main interface.
The layout and feel of the tool is very soothing and easy-going with pointers directing the way for first time users. The interface is divided into 5 sections:

  1. Sidebar to the left that lets you access:
    1. Dashboards – high-level view of the status and progress of your projects. Clicking on “My Dashboard” opens a pop-up where you can add/remove projects.
    2. Team Pages – central location to access all your team’s work. There are 2 main views in this area:
      1. Conversations – allows you to share team-wide announcements, discuss projects or celebrate accomplishments. Starting a conversation is similar to publishing a Facebook post.
      2. Calendar – enables senior managers to stay informed on your team’s planned work through team check-ins. You can also book events here and sync the team’s calendar.
    3. Projects – lists of tasks. Clicking on a project’s name loads it in the main window. The three dots icon adjacent to a project lists options on clicking (highlight, use as template, delete, archive etc.)
    4. Favorites – bookmarked projects, people, tags or custom views for easier access. Favorites are indicated by a star icon
    5. Recents – quick navigation to the items viewed recently. Recents are indicated by a clock icon.
  2. Top Bar that lets you access:
    1. Tasks – work assigned to you
    2. Inbox – notification center in Asana
    3. Quick Add – to create a task, project, conversation or invite people
    4. Search – for tasks, people, conversations, tags or projects
    5. Help – tips for help
    6. Profile settings & option to switch between workspaces
  3. Header that lets you:
    1. Favorite – a project, task or view currently being viewed
    2. Access Options – for print, archive, delete, export etc. Options can be accessed by clicking on a drop down arrow
    3. Change View – between list, conversations, calendar, progress, files
    4. View list of Project Members
  4. Main Pane is the large section of the interface at the center that contains details of the items you click on from the sidebar. This is also where you see search results, inbox notifications, conversation posts and dashboard project cards. The main pane allows you to:
    1. Add tasks
    2. Sort and filter the list
    3. Mark task complete/incomplete
    4. Identify task’s due date and assignee etc.
  5. Right Pane to the right that lets you see the details for a task you’ve selected in the main pane. From the right pane you can:
    1. Assign task
    2. Identify what project the task belongs to
    3. Follow/Unfollow task
    4. Attach files etc.

Asana is relatively very easy to understand and use compared to many other project management tools and that’s where its power lies. Plus, it comes with a complete and extremely useful “Help” documentation that serves as an extensive guide through its operations and terminology.

asana2

Product Strengths VS Product Weaknesses

Do we really need to revisit the strengths? Have a look at the features and usage description of Asana above to get an idea of the tool’s awesomeness.
As far as weakness is concerned, it all comes down to the pricing. Although for small teams of up to 15 people, a basic account with Asana can be used for free, users can choose to upgrade their membership for approximately $8.5 per user per month (that’s roughly $100 for 1 user annually) for more features. There are offers for discounted pricing as well, so pricing shouldn’t really be a concern for large corporations willing to make their life easier.

  • Let your teams work and collaborate effortlessly with @asana asana.com/ via @supermonitoring

    Tweet this

Final Words

All in all, it’s difficult to find a fault with Asana. It’s a great tool that promises to simplify things at an affordable price. If you haven’t already, you should check it out!

Work better with Podio

There’s a new trend hitting the markets – Project Management Software. Though some of them have been around since quite some time, the last couple of years has seen a sudden growth in the launch of online software that are aimed at helping organizations better connect and structure their work. And since the competition in the field is growing, each new day we come across a new Project Management tool that has something different and additional as compared to its competitors.

podio

Take the example of Podio. On first look, Podio seems to be just another project management tool offering creation of projects, managing timesheets, sharing work details etc. However, as you begin exploring the tool and go through its features in detail, you discover, that it in fact has many layers packed inside it that give it albeit only a slight, yet noticeable edge over its competition. So let’s check out this online project management software today and see how much water it holds.

Podio – A fresh way to collaborate and organize

Podio works on a very simple methodology – everyone should know what they’re doing and should have the means to take responsibility for their job. So basically, its all about transparency, minimal hierarchy and peer recognition. Podio promises to promotes these beliefs to improve work, everyday. They follow the practice of collaboration and empowerment over command and control. With Podio, every member of the team has complete freedom to work they way he/she wants to. So if you’re a team leader or manager, you don’t have to bother with assigning tasks and letting people know what they’re supposed to do. Instead discuss the larger picture with them and allow them to work the way they want to. All the stuff you wish to put up somewhere for your team to see, you can put on Podio. That way, your team has more room for creativity and productivity to flow in. Well, the thought is nice actually!

podio1

Let’s take a brief overview of Podio’s features:

  • Everything related to one project on one page (called an Item); this includes all the work right from completing a design for the project to closing a sales lead. This makes collaboration easier and transparent.
  • All information on the project page is updated in real time; attaching files, viewing statuses and leaving feedback and suggestions through comments is as easy as clicking.
  • Variety of views supported for each project from simple tables to dynamic cardboards. You can choose the view that best visualizes your work.
  • Create reports that keep you updated on your progress as well as the project’s so you can focus on just your responsibilities or see the overall progress of your team.
  • Track your customers and organize your team with Podio as your customizable CRM.
  • Podio can integrate seamlessly with Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote and more to be the one platform that ties all your team’s work together.
  • Podio helps foster a more friendly team environment by making communication more streamlined and reducing internal emailing.
  • You can use Podio in your web browser or an Android or iOS device.
  • It offers a full, open API to allow you to extend Podio yourself.
  • It’s simple drag-and-drop interface gives users complete flexibility without the need of coding.

The best part about Podio is its collaboration with Citrix. Being a trusted name in project management and collaboration circles, joining hands with Citrix gives Podio a trusty feel.

How it works

To start working on Podio just sign up for free through the link given on the homepage. Once you’ve confirmed your email address, you’ll be taken straight to the Welcome page where you need to fill in details about your company and your team members (email addresses only). After this, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can create Workspaces according to different teams or departments or different locations in your company. The concept of Workspace is somewhat similar in scope to Java Eclipse IDE.

Podio creates 3 default workspaces for you to start with; these include “Project Management”, “Intranet” and “Sales Management”. Each workspace includes some Apps that Podio sets up for you. These Apps are nothing but templates for creating and structuring any work activity like meeting, deliverables etc. All such activities are called Items in Podio. Items are basically super-smart documents that organize your work and get things done.

Once you’re through with the introductions to everything, you can get straight to work. You’ll be taken to the Project Management page of the tool where you can start Creating Projects and associated Items. Create Reports and Views for the project or break up the workload into Deliverables. Setup meetings and create Activities – in short, just get straight to business.

podio2

Pros VS Cons

Podio seems to be a fairly competent tool with quite a lot of features. So naturally, it has a lot of plus points associated with it:

  • Better project management
  • Collaboration and sharing work is easier
  • The concept of Workspaces is unique to a project management tool
  • Simple interface
  • Impressive feature set
  • Available online so omnipresent
  • Benefit of trust (the Citrix factor)

However, there are some areas where there could be improvements:

  • It seems like a lot to take in at first
  • The pricing could be a little steep for small organizations so it’s basically suited for large businesses.
  • Work, collaborate and manage projects better with @podio podio.com/ via @supermonitoring

    Tweet this

To sum it up

With room for Project Management, CRM, Social Intranet, Workflow Management, Event Management, Team and Email Management and lots more, Podio sure is one tool that’s worth checking out. So if you have the pocket for it, don’t think too much. Signup and you won’t be disappointed.

  • Browse Categories


  • Super Monitoring

    Superhero-powered monitoring of website or web application availability & performance


    Try it our for free

    or learn more
This website uses cookie files to improve user experience. If you don't approve, please turn off the cookie usage in your browser settings. close