I have been working as a Product Manager for a number of years now, and i’ve tried and use all of the below:
- Trello (probably the most user-friendly of them all, it is not essentially project management software for a software company)
- Jira (i find this clunky)
- Asana (Same as Trello but not as user friendly
My typical weekly tasks, with a team of 8:
- Report bugs: these are added to the Development team’s ‘weekly sprint list’ in Trello, or added to an Urgent list if urgent
- New Feature: these are planned and added to the Development team’s ‘weekly sprint list’ in Trello
- Ad Hoc Tasks: some of our sales teams will request various product requests that we need our Development team to look into, however we don’t really add these to Trello, we discuss them… as they don’t require development just yet.
So, as you can see we plan weekly sprints, but the ‘Ad Hoc Tasks’ can linger on there is no really process for the developers to work on, as they could be 2 months of discussions before anything happens so they don’t fall into the weekly sprink tasks
QUESTIONS (as i’m considering building my own now in PHP)
01 – what Project Management software would you recommend based on the above
02 – how would you recommend approaching and managing the Ad Hoc Tasks
Thank you in advance for your help.
As you have seen finding a do all solution that meets all your needs and does everything the same way you work in your organization is near impossible which is what keeps custom application developers like myself in business.
You have already named a few of the “Top” apps, yet they still fall short for your use, thus your consideration for building your own. That is really the best option if you have the resources to do so. Many applications started out just that way. Someone had specific needs in house and it turned into a product they could sell later.
Take a look on https://www.targetprocess.com/product/ we have used their system for the last three years, and it has been quite a joy to use and manage.
In regards to the Ad Hoc Tasks, have you considered running a own board for them? While you are not really in sales, you and your team still answer questions from the sales team. So it makes sense to setup a kanban board where you just move a user case (one per sales case) into different stages as the sales process goes on. Then when you or your team spend any time answering question, the time is logged on an attached task.
It is not perfect, but it does allow a way to keep track of what is going on, and how much time you spend on these cases.
I’ve now been using JIRA for half a decade. Compared to the other tools which I have used I highly prefer JIRA. I especially enjoy the various plugins available like git and jenkins integration options. At my last position they were originally using some outdated php ticketing system. When we migrated to JIRA a whole new world opened up. We went from not being able track projects easily to being able track, oversee throughout the dev lifecycle, review code changes, and have historical references for all conversations regarding tickets. Everything become more faster and streamlined. There is no other software I would recommend. Before I left some of the PMs began using SmartSheets with JIRA. I was never impressed with SmartSheets for managing projects but perhaps you might. The last 3 companies I have worked for used JIRA. In my opinion JIRA is a premier platform for learning where the knowledge can persist past any one single individual or organization. You never know what the future holds and working with common platforms can really help in the next job search. Not only for you but also for your employees giving them knowledge that will increase their value in the market place.
It looks like it’s not universally popular
Well I’ve been looking for a job for the last few months and nearly ever position and interview I’ve been apart of JIRA / agile / scrum experience has been brought up. So I beg to differ. Also like I said my last three jobs have used JIRA. So there is that as well. I know there are other systems available but JIRA is widely adapted throughout the industry. As for twitter I could care less what anyone farts out of their mouth on there. That is another topic entirely.