As web applications become more and more complex, the need for proper project management becomes more and more apparent. Complex coding routines, modules and functions when coupled with a development team as opposed to an individual can become a living nightmare for all parties involved. This is why proper project management is now a necessity rather than a luxury or something reserved solely for big projects.
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In this article we’re going to take a look at some of the more popular project management applications out there. Some of these you would have heard of, some of them perhaps not, but all of them will do the job and make your project infinitely easier should you be willing to put the time into getting started. Project management, when done the right way can make your life and your teams life that much easier as you can easily track what each and everyone is up to and the progress being made. On top off that if you’re coding to a uniform standard you can also help work on other peoples tasks with ease without any overlap or duplication.
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Redmine is an extremely popular application as it’s free and open source primarily. But it also has a whole bunch of features too which any project management or web developer will find useful. It is based on the ever popular ruby on rails framework and features full user management, calendars and issue tracking. Like with all project management applications you can easily manage your “team” and add/edit/delete users as you see fit. It’s an extremely lightweight application and is also very easy to install in its most basic form. Even if you’re installing on your own in house, local web server.
This application is probably the “go to” application for web developers and project managers alike. It’s the most popular by far and holds that accolade for good reason. At the time of writing Basecamp has over 100,000 active users. To achieve that level of success you must be doing something right! Any aspect of your project that you might need to manage from to do lists, schedules, users and reporting – Basecamp handles. It also has some fantastic community and interaction tools which will allow you to liaise with your team either in house or on the other side of the world.
Zoho is fast becoming a legitimate competitor to Basecamp and also comes feature loaded right out of the box. The key feature is its high end project management application that does everything you can imagine it does. The reporting features are aided by the introduction of Gantt charts which allow you to track visual progress and there is also what is known as a “project coordinator” that allows you to see what everyone is up to at any given time. If you’re running third party developers there is also a fantastic time management application where the hours of each developers are logged and reported.
I’m including Trello as whilst it’s not limited to complex, nerdy website applications it does have its uses in this field. Unlike the other applications, you can also manage your time and to do lists on other, real world tasks. Everything from taking the kids to school to putting the bins out. You can also show what has been done and what hasn’t. So if you’re getting nagged at home to change that lightbulb or you’re building the next Facebook. Trello provides a way to properly plan your to do list, track your progress and report to the people who matter whether that be your slave driving boss or your wife at home.
Hopefully some of the above applications have tickled your fancy. You can find lots of tutorials for all applications that will walk you through the setup process of the application itself right through to creating your first project and managing your team. If you’re not sure which one to try there are also a ton of review sites out there which will compare each application so if there is something you’d like to do or a feature you require this is a good way to find out rather than just trying application after application in the hope that something fits.