Aside from e-mail and phones, the digital project manager relies heavily on a variety of tools to keep projects flowing smoothly. Here is a brief overview of the digital tools I depend on to get my job done.
Fogbugz is the beating heart of our operation and the constant goto reference for project managers, account managers and developers alike. In fogbugz, projects are broken down into tasks, assigned to the relevant resources and individually documented from creation to completion.
– contains project breakdown, task descriptions and history
– provides an easy overview over each person’s individual tasks
– extensive filtering so you can get the view you need
– also functions as a channel for incoming customer support
When email is too slow and a phone call is too long, we turn to Hipchat. With apps native to ios, android, windows and mac, we never have problems getting in touch. Hipchat is used mainly for collaboration with our Partners in Kiev and Greenland, but is also used within the office and when someone works from home.
– choose between text, voice or video chat
– easy screenshot and file sharing
– create separate rooms for projects/topics
– mention people who are not in hipchat and they receive an email
While not as flashy as Fogbugz or Hipchat, Timelog is central to managing our main resource: time. Timelog provides high level breakdowns into blocks like backend, frontend, design, testing, etc. and resources are allocated in a calendar view.
Everybody registers time spent on specific phases, which allows us to track progress and evaluate overall effectivity and profitability. A key feature of timelog is forecasting the availability of individual resources, allowing us to predict project initiation and completion dates.
– time registration to monitor overall progress
– high level resource allocation
– pipeline prediction
– project reports
Bugs are handled in fogbugz, but what happens when you want your customer to be able to add and close bugs? Enter Google Drive. With spreadsheets we easily handle error reporting, description and resolution in live, shared documents. Instead of sending around a single ‘master’ excel spreadsheet we maintain all fixes in a single place, with its own revision history.
– multiple concurrent users
– no more emailing spreadsheets around