Mario Talavera Writes

- My Development Journal

Web Project Management

with 3 comments

….a black art? an oxymoronic statement?

Looking at Caxiam’s Portfolio, it is evident that it is a very successful webshop in the Central Florida Area. With a team I think a bit small for such a client list (to serve), we seem to properly manage. It could be that we specialize in business to business solutions. It could also be that our clientele is similar so our projects can be similarly managed which, either way, is a credit to my teammates.

As we grow, however, we spend a considerable amount of time reflecting on what would be the proper way to tackle new and increasingly challenging clients and whether our current workflow would be successful in different upcoming scenarios.

We have been evaluating software packages to aid in managing web projects with multiple descision makers, designers and programers… Nothing new, I know, but newish to us I guess. Out of all the applications we have evaluated, Mingle (by Thoughtworks) stands out as one of the most flexible, easy to use and the least disruptive to I have ever seen.

I’ve had the pleasure of working in teams where there is no plan, teams that stick to a spreadsheet or to a Microsoft Project Project and teams that work out of each member’s initiative with varying degrees of success.

Often times, it is not the tool that sucks but the implementation of it that dooms a project. With this in mind, I’ll take the motivational manager instead of the ‘office space’ representation of one.

Whatever. For the past week, I’ve been fiddling with Mingle and love it. Specifically, I’ve been trying to move from what I feels works best (fancy but simple spreadsheet with small todos) to a more dynamic representation of this very concept but in a more modern and easy to share way. Some people could make the case than Mingle is Mint (I use it) for project management, fluffy and satisfying without adding any hard value to task at hand. Perhaps I will know once I experience a whole project with the aid of Mingle.

Best of all, Mingle has a free 6 month evaluation and very reasonable (if it delivers) licencing afterwards. I sincerely hope my next project is less than six months long and that I will be able to put Mingle thru its paces and see how it helps or hinders my team’s success.

Is ‘Web Project Management’ a black art? an oxymoronic statement? I will surely revisit this topic in the near future.

As a footnote; these are interesting times at Caxiam Group. Since joining, we’ve implemented Subversion (used concurrently with SourceSafe). We’re giving Coldbox a shot. We have deployed a fantastic integration server (Hudson) and this very week we started using Bugzilla. Indeed, I find myself very lucky and grateful to have dropped into this Team.

God knows, pretty soon we might be sponsoring or hosting an upcoming Adogo Meeting ;)

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Written by mariotalavera

June 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Wow, sounds like some cool stuff going on at Caxiam.

    I was recently looking into wed project management software as well. We use trac for a number of projects, but since there’s an entire install for each trac site, it’s not exactly ideal for a place with a lot of projects. We’ve since started using a locally hosted version of Redmine ( http://www.redmine.org/ ) which is proving very useful. You can have multiple projects, each with different workflows. Tie it in with SVN/Git with hooks, and there’s useful wiki’s, forums and time tracking per project. Only using it for 2 weeks so far though, so there’s a lot of things to figure out still.

    Adam Fortuna

    June 27, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    • Wow, looking at demo, Redmine one-ups trac. Our initiative to look for software was more management-driven which may be why we are running with Mingle. Even thou it doesn’t look as integrated a tool as Redmine (we still go to Budzilla, etc) the management feature, task allocation (by iteration…. resource, etc) won us over. Otherwise, these two seem to feature match ok,,,

      Perhaps we can do a show and tell soon enough and compare implementations? I would like to see different approaches to this ‘issue’

      mariotalavera

      June 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm

  2. [...] is the original post: Web Project Management Share and [...]


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