Search This Blog

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why the heck yet another PM tool?

My friends working in the IT industry frequently ask this question when they hear about our new Projects product. The whole product and this blog are going to answer this question in full. But here’s a shorter answer...

Google Apps provide a nice and powerful set of tools for workgroup and business productivity. The idea behind Google Docs, Sites and other tools is changing the way we all work with information. It started when Wiki appeared as a technology for collaborative working on content and information sharing. Then web tools appeared that made collaboration and information sharing closer to non-geeks. Google has a nice video on explaining this idea.

TeamDev started using Google Apps for Business more than four years ago. We did gain a great boost in productivity company-wide. The missing bit was a tool for working with tasks in a project or a family of projects that fits nicely into the set of Google Apps.
Being in the software development business, we’ve used and continue using various project tracking systems. Some of them are those that our clients already use, and we start using them when joining a project. Some of them are traditional issue tracking systems that we started using on ongoing projects long time ago.

One problem with these tools is that they appeared before Google Apps were introduced. So they partially do what Apps do. The overlap in functionality while using such tools along with Google Apps constantly brings up questions like, “Do I use Google Groups for sending updates to my colleagues, or do I use user groups from this tool?”, “Do we keep product docs in Google Drive and Sites or do we do it via Wiki system of this PM tool?”

There’s another problem. A software project usually involves collaboration of people of various skills and levels of computer literacy. These are software engineers, quality assurance specialists, graphic designers, managers, sales and marketing guys, domain experts from client companies, business people, you name it. Traditional project management tools created specifically for software development are too complex for “normal people”. Generic PM tools are not powerful enough for working with collaboratively edited data, as compared with Google Drive, Sites, and Groups.

With TeamDev Projects we are aiming to satisfy the two poles of user skillset. Having a right set of tools for working with projects and tasks, our product gives access to all the capacities of tools created by Google.

We’ve just released an update for Projects. It improves the way we integrate with Google Drive and adds some performance optimizations. There’s much more to come!