Tag Archive for Project Management

Free Open Source Software To Manage Large Scale Enterprise Systems

When you manage large projects, its always important to have a easy tool that lets you manage various aspects of the projects like project plan, change requests, document management etc. While there are some commercial software available, there are some really nice and simple software that are available for free. Endeavour Software Project Management is one of the best that is gaining popularity every day.

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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 has some great features to manage portfolio, resource, document management etc. The major features include support for the following software artifacts:

  • Use Case Management
  • Project Plan Management and Charts
  • Iteration Management
  • Change Request Management
  • Wiki Integration with JAMWiki
  • Document Management
  • Test Case Management
  • Defect Tracking
  • Defect Report
  • Assignments Report
  • Task Management
  • Project Glossary
  • Actors Management
  • Status Update Management
  • Iteration Defects By Status and Priority Reports
  • Iteration Cumulative Flow Report
  • Test Plan Management

Endeavour Software Project Management

 

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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.

The Seven Cruel Truths About IT Costs

The seven harsh truths were earlier published in an article by Harvard Business Review, that speaks about the facts associated with out-of-control IT costs.

Seven_truths

The article was authored by former CIO, Susan Cramm who is the founder and president of Valuedance, an executive coaching firm in San Clemente. In this article Cramm reflects that companies overspend on IT because they are unwilling to say no to frontline managers.”

Here are the seven truths from original article from Harvard Business Review:

  1. Enhancements often don’t deliver results commensurate with their costs. Establish a fixed budget for IT enhancements for each function or division, in line with the goals they are expected to achieve. Do not extend funds. When they run out, they run out.
  2. Projects are often too big and take too long, partly because unnecessary functionality is built into applications. Require leaders to commit to delivering measurable value for application functions before granting them project approval and before allowing them to maintain funding at each stage. Tie executive compensation to realization of value.
  3. Previously purchased applications and infrastructure technology are often underutilized. Use what you have before investing in new technology. Require IT to counterbalance the added cost of new infrastructure investments with sensible reductions in the cost of maintaining the basics.
  4. Project failure rates are too high. Minimize the duration of project stages. (Limiting scope makes projects less risky and more likely to succeed. That, in turn, increases buy-in for subsequent stages.). Establish “kill switch” rules for projects (for example, “Kill project if initial budget has been modified twice and beta deployment still has not occurred”).
  5. Tech teams do not have sufficient incentive to achieve high quality, and quality is often not measured. Make sure development and applications support teams are accountable for the operational costs associated with defects, including emergency change requests and help desk calls.
  6. Managers don’t know enough about the systems that support their areas. Follow Intuit’s lead and charge units for “helpless” help desk calls.
  7. IT is too risk averse: “No one ever got fired for buying IBM or Microsoft.”. Require IT to examine the costs and benefits of extending refresh cycles, delaying upgrades, discontinuing maintenance agreements, and using open source platforms and applications.

While Susan Cramm brings out some harsh reality, some of the points discussed are unrealistic. The point four speaks about “kill switch” rule, we wonder how many projects will see the light if projects are “executed” with this approach . Point five is very true in systems where often tech teams hold lesser responsibility on the execution of a project. 

The truths are precise, but we would like to see a much tolerable advice, to be more practical.

 

5 Free and Open Source Desktop Project Management Tools

Project Management Software applications help Project Manager to track Schedule, Performance, Cost and Resource utilization. Microsoft Project is the industry leader and a proprietary software that costs significant amount of money. If money is a constraint, then don’t think again because there are equally good Project management software applications that cost nothing!

Project_Management_Page-23

Image Source: TrueSolutions (Project Management Services)

1. GanttProject (Alternative to Microsoft Project)

We had already featured GanttProject last month, which is a cross-platform desktop tool for project scheduling and management. It runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, it is free and its code is open source.

Ganttproject-house-building-sample

2. KPlato

KPlato (part of KOffice on K Desktop Environment-KDE) is a project management application for Linux. It supports resource allocation, work breakdown structure, critical paths, Gantt chart and many more. A complete project management application for Linux

gantt_small_2006_01

3. OpenProj (Alternative to Microsoft Project)

OpenProj is a free, open source project management solution. OpenProj is a complete desktop replacement of Microsoft Project and other commercial project solutions. OpenProj shares the industry’s most advanced scheduling engine with Project-ON-Demand and provides Gantt Charts, Network Diagrams (PERT Charts), WBS and RBS charts, Earned Value costing and more. It is very popular and crossed more than a million downloads in the few months since its launch.

OpenProj_big

4. Open Workbench (Alternative to Microsoft Project)

Open Workbench is an open source desktop application that provides robust project scheduling and management functionality. Already the scheduling standard for more than 100,000 project managers worldwide, Open Workbench is a free and powerful alternative to Microsoft Project. It runs on Windows platform with Sun JRE 1.3.1 or higher.

OpenWorkbench

5. TaskJuggler

TaskJuggler is a modern and powerful, Open Source 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 runs on Linux/Unix. However, there are ports for Windows and Mac OS exist. For more info, please click here.

Task Juggler

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