projectGenie is free and Open Source software. While it competes with several commercial products on the market it does not have any dreams of being a giant killer. It’s a tool which I have found very useful, and so I’m sharing it with you. That’s it, I have no more lofty ambitions than that.
So, I’m happy to tell you a bit about my so-called competitors, in the hope that if one of their offerings suits you better then you’ll download/sign up/buy from them. No hard feelings!
Basecamp from 37signals
Basecamp caused a bit of a storm when 37signals released it to the world. Not only was it one of the very first applications built in the now increasingly popular Ruby on Rails framework (written by the very talented and no inconsiderably hunky David Heinemeier Hansson) but it esposed a theory that became known as Getting Real.
Getting Real advocates the removal of all unnecessary features, functions and frills in an application to make the development process cleaner, smarter and quicker. Oh, and it helps users, too, as they get just what they need – and no more. 37signals puts it like this:
We believe software is too complex. Too many features, too many buttons, too much to learn. We build web-based products that do less, work smarter, feel better, and are easier to use. We pay enormous attention to the details and overall customer experience of our products.
While I subscribe to the notion that less is more, I’ve still provided some quite complex features in projectGenie. The fact that they are there is not a problem, but how they are displayed and interacted with can be problematic. I have a lot to learn, and I consider the 37signals team to be one of my main sources of inspiration, a testament of which is the 37genies skin.
Suitable for: the development team who need simple project management with some neat features, but don’t want to run the software themselves (it’s a hosted service).
A wholly different proposition, Devshop is the supercomputer of website development project management. It does everything, and then quite a bit more. It’s developers have no doubt worked long and hard to incorporate the very latest technologies into their software, a fact which is obvious when you see it working. They also talk quite a bit about their "Secret Sauce", which is (I think) some kind of intelligence in the system to know how far to believe predictions of timescales from certain people.
I’ve not used Devshop myself so I can’t vouch for it’s suitability or efficacy, however the screenshots certainly look impressive.
Suitable for: the project manager who needs to know everything, and a whole lot more, and is looking for a space-shuttle-control-deck-sized administration panel.
The following other project management systems are a few I found in a simple web search. I have no experience or knowledge of these, but I add them here for your reference.
- Unfuddle which Mark from Access Advertising alerted me to. It appears to be very much like Basecamp, and employs the "Freemium" pricing system (free limited account, other paid plans available)
- Easy Projects .NET (commercial)
- dotproject (Open Source)
- eProject PPM6 (commercial)
- Project.net (commercial Open Source)
- FogBugz (commercial)
- Copper project (commercial)