Archive for Project Management

9 Free Open Source Project Management Tools To Plan And Schedule Your Project

Project planning is one of the 8 essential Project Management Steps ever Project Manager must follow. Project planning is very important since the foundation and backbone of the project will depend on the planning stage. As a project manager you would need to use management-level planning to map out an overview of resources, acquisitions, subcontracts and costs. Scheduling the project and  and managing timelines plays an important role in the planning and execution of the project as the cost of the project is depending on the execution time. Good Project Planning and Scheduling tools let you plan efficiently and effectively deploy the organization’s resources when they are needed.

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In this post we review free open source Project Management software that let you plan, schedule and efficiently manage your project cost.

1. Endeavour Software Project Management

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Endeavour Software Project Management is an Open Source solution to manage the creation of large-scale enterprise systems in an iterative and incremental development process. It features support for Use Case management, Iterations, Project Plan, Change Requests, Defect Tracking, Test Cases, Test Plans, Tasks, Document management, Reports and many other process artifacts. Endeavour Software Project Management has been designed for easy to use, intuitive. It is  realistic by avoiding unnecessary features that might increase complexity. As part of the project management it let you manage your resource and plan the project efficiently.

More info here.

2. Feng Office

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Feng Office community version is an open source project management software that allows businesses to manage project tasks, billing, documents, communication with co-workers, customers and vendors, schedule meetings and events, and share every kind of electronic information. It was earlier known as OpenGoo. It supports web based access so an be accessed from anywhere.

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3. GanttProject

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GanttProject is a open source cross-platform desktop tool for project scheduling and management. It runs on Windows, Linux and MacOSX. With GanttProject you can create work breakdown structure, draw dependencies, define milestones. It lets you assign human resources to work on tasks, see their allocation on the Resource Load chart. You can also generate PERT chart from Gantt chart.

More info here.

4. Open Workbench

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Open Workbench is an open source desktop application that provides robust project scheduling and management functionality. It is the scheduling standard for more than 100,000 project managers worldwide, Open Workbench is a free and powerful alternative to Microsoft Project. You can define projects and create associated work breakdown structures with activities, phases, tasks and milestones.

More info here.

5. OpenProj

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OpenProj is a free, open source desktop alternative to Microsoft Project. The OpenProj solution is ideal for desktop project management and is available on Linux, Unix, Mac or Windows. OpenProj is a complete desktop replacement of Microsoft Project and even opens existing native Project files. OpenProj shares the most advanced scheduling engine in the industry with Projects On Demand. The OpenProj solution has Gantt Charts, Network Diagrams (PERT Charts), WBS and RBS charts, Earned Value costing and more.

More info here.

6. Project.net

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Project.net is an open source, enterprise scale project management application that maximizes the performance of any organization tracking a single project or a portfolio of projects. Project.net addresses the needs of all project and corporate stakeholders – team members, project managers, portfolio managers, and executives – for current and accurate information on the status of all projects. Project.net delivers the real-time reporting that keeps distributed projects on track.

More info here.

7. Project-Open

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Project-Open is one of the leading open source project management tools. It is a comprehensive resource management tool that is fully integrated into the ERP system.  It lets you Plan projects and resources via GanttProject, Track project advance and resource consumption of both internal and external costs and execute status reporting using “traffic lights.

More info here.

8. Redmine

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Redmine is a open source based flexible project management web application. It lets you handle multiple projects, provides flexible role based access control, provides flexible issue tracking system, Gantt chart and calendar, news, documents & files management, feeds & email notifications, per project wiki, per project forums and time tracking.

More info here.

9. TaskJuggler

TaskJuggler is a modern and powerful, Free and Open Source Software project management tool. Its new approach to project planning and tracking is more flexible and superior to the commonly used Gantt chart editing tools. It has already been successfully used in many projects and scales easily to projects with hundreds of resources and thousands of tasks. TaskJuggler is project management software for serious project managers. It covers the complete spectrum of project management tasks from the first idea to the completion of the project. It assists you during project scoping, resource assignment, cost and revenue planning, risk and communication management.

More info here.

7 Open Source Forge Platforms That Facilitate Collaborative Software Development

Collaborative software development is a model that is generally used in development of free software whose focus is on public availability. Though the model is well matured over the internet after the success of Linux kernel development, the model can be used in a closed intranet environment encouraging the culture collaborative software development in a IT company. The basic idea being the source code made available to everyone in a company and everyone is encouraged to contribute for the development of the software usually via the moderator.

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Image Source: http://www.thepointline.com

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There are many forge platforms aggregates a set of applications with integrated Web interfaces and provide an ability to host multiple independent projects. Software developers in a company can register as contributors to the hosted projects can then use the various project management tools, and software development tools to contribute to the project. Here are the seven popular open source forge platforms available.

1. KForge

KForge is free and open source project hosting software. KForge integrates a variety of common applications with a flexible and robust project management and access control mechanism. Project services include version control systems (e.g. Git, Mercurial, Subversion); project frameworks with mechanisms to plan and track work (e.g. Trac); wikis and mailing lists (e.g. MoinMoin, Mailman); and content management systems and blogs (e.g. Joomla, WordPress).

More info here.

2. FusionForge

FusionForge is a free software descendant of the web-based project-management and collaboration software originally created for SourceForge and later distributed as Gforge. Fusionforge is the new name for the continuation of the free/opensource version of GForge. FusionForge has tools to help your team collaborate, like message forums and mailing lists; tools to create and control access to Source Code Management repositories like CVS and Subversion. FusionForge automatically creates a repository and controls access to it depending on the role settings of the project.

More info here.

3. LibreSource

LibreSource is an Open Source web portal, gathering in one place all the necessary tools to share and communicate within your project team.  Particularly adapted for software development, community management and web publishing, LibreSource aims at facilitating the coordination of collaborative projects and reducing their cost.

More info here.

4. Gitorious

Gitorious provides open source infrastructure for hosting open source projects that use Git. The central entity in Gitorious is the project, which contains one or more top-level repositories and any repositories managed by the project’s contributors.
This allows you, as a project administrator, to keep an eye on what people are working on in their individual clones of your repositories. It also lets you merge or provide feedback on their contributions.

More info here.

5. Savane

Savane is a Web-based Libre Software hosting system. It includes issue tracking (bugs, tasks, support, news and documentation), project member management by roles and individual account maintenance.

More info here.

6. Redmine

Redmine is a flexible project management web application. It is a Open Source forge platfform that help in  hosting multiple projects with flexible role based access control, issue tracking system, Gantt chart , news, documents & files management , feeds & email notifications, per project wiki and much more.

More info here.

7. Launchpad

Free open source project hosting collaborative platform that provide Bug tracking, Code hosting using Bazaar, Code reviews, Ubuntu package building and hosting, Translations, Mailing lists and many other features that are essential for collaborative software development.

More info here.

10 Free Scrum Project Management Tool

While the best tools for managing Scrum are note cards, whiteboards and big visible charts, there are many online tools that lets you manage a project using the Scrum methodology. If you are managing a Scrum for the first time, then we recommend you to stay with note cards, whiteboards and charts as the tools for managing until you have become familiar with the entire Scrum framework. When you are familiar with it, its fruitful to try your hands on some software tools that let you manage Scrum efficiently while you deliver.

Scrumtools

Image Source: tommynorman.blog

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While there are many commercial tools available, here in this post we have a list of free tools that are used for Agile/Scrum project management.

1. Agile Tracking Tool

Agile Tracking Tool is a free open source tool that helps in knowing how much work is in progress and blocked. It maintains your backlog items with categories and lets you add acceptance criteria and comments on the backlog item. It provides support to measure iteration velocity and forecasts when work will be done using the measured velocity.

More info here.

2. iMeta Agility – Community Edition

iMeta Agility is a Silverlight application for the management of Scrum projects. The iMeta Agility’s Community Edition gives you full access to the system for teams of up to 5 members for FREE. It provides every essential feature that is needed by Scrum like Online Multi User, Product Backlog, Story Management, Sprint Management, Task Board and Burndown Chart.

More info here.

3. PangoScrum

PangoScrum is a free online tool for Scrum that lets you improve continually your efficiency while delivering. It provides a simple and friendly interface to write, estimate and rank priorities in your product backlog through. In PangoScrum the dates of your planning, review and retrospective meetings will be scheduled in a calendar for easy display and access.

More info here.

4. Scrumpy

Scrumpy is a free, standalone, 100% Java application specifically designed to help a Scrum Product Owner maintain a Backlog of User Stories.Scrumpy’s feature set has been carefully scoped to compliment your existing Scrum practices i.e. the ones involving a wall, sticky pieces of paper and people talking to each other. It assists with your day to day Backlog maintenance and provides you with a meaningful long term view that helps you to manage the expectation of your stakeholders.

More info here.

5. Agilito

Agilito is an open source, browser-based agile management tool that aims to do just enough for you to effectively and efficiently manage projects using an Agile methodology. It provides all that are required for Scrum project management.

More info here.

6. IceScrum 2

IceScrum 2 is a free and open source tool to manage a project using scrum. It lets you add stories to your product backlog, divide time in sprints and add stories from the backlog to a sprint. Users can pick up stories in the sprint backlog, estimate them, and complete them. You can also add tests on a story.

More info here.

7. Banana Scrum

Banana Scrum is a web based, online tool for teams practicing agile development, primarily Scrum. It was developed as a result of Codesprinters team’s experience in creating high quality web applications . It is meant to replace project walls, index cards and other paraphernalia of the paper age long gone.

More info here.

8. Sprintometer

Sprintometer is a free and simple user friendly application with modern GUI for Agile projects’ management and tracking. It can be used for management of SCRUM and XP projects. To simplify data exchange with external programs all charts and spreadsheets in Sprintometer can be exported to Microsoft Excel.

More info here.

9. Agilo for Scrum

Agilo is a free and flexible, web-based tool to support the Scrum process. Agilo delivers streamlined functionalities for managing Scrum. It’s free and open source, and can be used without limitations.  It is highly configurable to adapt to your specific workflow. It is designed and developed for Teams, Scrum Master, Product Owner and for all Stakeholder who are involved in the project.

More info here.

10. Agilefant

Alilefant is a free and open source tool for project and iteration management.  Agilefant is capable of bringing together long-term product and release planning, portfolio management and daily work of the entire organization.

More info here.

8 Essential Project Management Steps A Project Manager Must Follow

“In every great endeavor we wish to achieve, twice as much hard work is needed for us to give”. I believe in this statement and every project manager would definitely agree. A project manager sees to it that everything goes well as planned and if problems may arise as they usually do, a resolution is immediately implemented. To be able to create a successful project, one must go through the project management steps carefully completing each and every project management phases. Here is a guide of the project management phases:

1. Team Assembly

No man is on an island. Same is true in undergoing a project. It is a collaboration of different minds working together to come up with a cohesive idea and plan out the strategies needed to execute the project successfully. In creating your team make sure that you have different people from a variety of fields to have the most brilliant ideas on hand.

2. Project Initiation

Identification of the project definition, objectives and approach are discussed in this phase. It is important to have your goal in mind before starting to brainstorm into the scope and specifications of your project to serve as your guide throughout the duration of the project.Project Management

3. Project Planning

Among the project management steps, I would say this is very important since the foundation and backbone of the project will depend on the planning stage. If a complete and thorough planning is done the probability of setbacks and problems along the course of the project will be highly prevented. As a project manager you would need to use management-level planning to map out an overview of resources, acquisitions, subcontracts and costs. It is expected of you to estimate, plan and oversee all phases of the project management phase. As a project manager you need to include your team or set up a committee to execute project planning. 

4. Project Execution

In this project management step the project manager needs to know the importance of delegation. Each task needs to be delegated to everyone to achieve efficiency in delivering results. It is also helpful since easy tracking can be done through small teams or groups working together as one to achieve a single goal identified on the Initiation phase. Use a project management software to give a constant overview of how the project is going in terms of scheduling, cost control, budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, quality management and documentation or administration systems especially in large scale projects. Then collaborate with your team to hold meetings and conferences to provide feedback solve challenges and aid in decision making. Communication is essential in making your project a success to determine degree of dependency among team members and to foster camaraderie.

5. Project Leadership

What sets apart a manager and a leader? Some might not even know the slightest difference. A leader leads by example by that it means he embodies in himself the values of providing quality service to others. He is passionate in helping his team members be productive and resourceful without demanding for results right away. A leader knows and understands his team members weaknesses and strengths which he works around to motivate them to do their best and work collaboratively to produce excellent results.

6. Project Monitoring and Controlling

In any project you need to be able to allocate your resources effectively. Project software is available to oversee your costs, resources and financial capability throughout the project. Highest quality is achieved by constant monitoring and project tracking. Standard Quality is the goal being obtained in this phase to be able to present a high quality result.

7. Project Presentation

This phase is close to completion of the project wherein majority of what was planned has already taken place. The client will have a preview of the project outcome before it is officially launched to be able to change, update or do some minor revisions. The project manager will have the responsibility in presenting to the clients since he is the head of the organizing team. Effective communication skills are needed to undergo this phase impressively.

8. Project Conclusion

At any project close there should be a complete documentation, audit and feedback. Regardless of the success of the project, proper transition of work processes and deliverables should be done. Proper documentation of processes should have been established with sufficient data for the operation of the system and to also provide basis for future projects and maintenance.

Being a project manager has a lot of work. You have to be passionate in helping your team to be able to yield good results. It is not all theories and principles. Though there are a lot of resources on how to use project management steps wisely and effectively to help you along the way.

A Guest Post by Jason Westland.

Jason Westland has 15 years experience in the project management industry. From his experience he has created software to help speed up the management process. If you would like to find out more information about Jason’s online project management software visit www.ProjectManager.com.

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