sábado, 28 de enero de 2012

Start-up: ¿Qué herramientas usan las SU para gestión de tareas?

What tools do small startups (3-40) use for Task Management, Communication, Bug Tracking?

Bob TroiaI'm a CEO who can write code.

At Affinitive (www.beaffinitive.com), we've gone through the process of trying out a number of tools over the past few years, and have settled on using the following 'core' set of platforms:

Collaboration and Communication

  • Basecamp (www.basecamphq.com) - We use Basecamp as our primary collaboration/task management tool for both internal and client-facing projects. It's intuitive enough that even our most non tech-savvy client can figure it out, and it allows us to create a centralized repository of all project-related communication, milestones, and assets among a large team encompassing our staff, our client's team, and other vendors/agency partners.
  • Google Apps (apps.google.com) and Google Docs (docs.google.com) - We decided to move our email over to Gmail, which allows us to integrate accounts with Google Calendar and save us thousands of dollars (running MS Exchange server). While we use MS Office as our main document creation suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Docs offers the ability to have multiple users collaborate on the same doc in real time as well as save version history (great for writing specs, proposals, etc.). You can also convert Office docs to Google docs and vice versa (but we've run into formatting issues during the conversion process).
  • Box (www.box.com) - We had close to 7 years of files stored on our company's physical file server. One thing I can say is that managing a file server among a team of more than 10 people is a pain - from remote users having issues connecting to our VPN, to configuring backups and maintaining security. While we've tried to implement systems to properly organize/maintain project directories, there will inevitably be random files scattered throughout, or files/folders accidentally moved (or deleted!). We decided to move everything into the cloud, and Box had the best combination of features, security, and pricing. And now I have immediate access to any document we've ever created, properly tagged and fully searchable, from any device (laptop, smartphone, tablet). You can also open documents stored on Box with Google Docs to take advantage of the collaboration features!
  • Facebook (www.facebook.com) - While IM is our primary means of 1-to-1 real-time internal communication, we have a thriving private Facebook group where we post links to interesting industry articles or start discussions. Highlights from the week are then culled and published on our Social Media Playground blog (www.socialmediaplayground.com).
  • GitHub (www.github.com) - Are you writing code? Using Git? Your development team should be using GitHub to host your code repositories since they most likely already have GitHub profiles. We maintain a number of "private" repositories but have released some public code for others to use and collaborate on (useful code snippets, hacks, api libraries, etc.).

(I'm assuming that "communication" in your question means team communication versus external communication such as newsletters, etc.)

Task Management and Issue Tracking

  • DoneDone (www.getdonedone.com) - After using a combination of Mantis (www.mantisbt.org) and the to-do functionality in Basecamp for a number of years, we now use DoneDone as our issue tracking tool. Clean, simple, easy to assign issues, see who has open issues, etc.
  • Kanban Tool (www.kanbantool.com) - About a year ago our development team began to employ Kanban (a Japanese lean manufacturing method -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban) and we would maintain our Kanban boards in a Google drawing which wasn't the best way to manage the process. Thankfully there is now a web-based tool that makes things easy to update and manage, as well as provide analytics.
  • Clicktime (www.clicktime.com) - Even if you aren't billing clients for work, you need a way to track your team's utilization and how their time is being focused. We use Clicktime to do all of our time tracking as well as managing resources/time estimates and expense reports. You can manually fill out time sheets, but they also provide a desktop timer utility as well as mobile access.

As you can see, this can all get rather difficult to manage as you incorporate more and more tools and there will always be some feature overlap, but many of these platforms offer APIs so you can build your own dashboard/reporting tools (i.e., we are working on a real-time reporting system that allows staff to see their actual vs. budgeted hours on each project, open to-do items, dynamically update our Kanban boards, etc.

Next up for us is to move our billing/finance system off of Quickbooks to a more "modern"/flexible/SaaS-based platform...


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