We are looking for an online project management application to use across our virtual team of learning designers and developers.  Our key requirement is around centrally tracking the project status of the multiple projects we have in development at any time. We want something that is relatively easy to use as some of our team members only work with us for short 3-4 month assignments.  Having a collaborative file storage capability is not a key requirement as we already have an inhouse tool for this.

 

Would be really interested to hear about what you are using and your experiences with it. 

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I love working with Basecamp and with the revamped calendar it is better at setting and watching deadlines. It can tie in with lots of different platforms (phones and tablets) and works with other tools in the 37 Signals family. Best of all, it dampens email as you can communicate on the system, where everyone can see things, rather than hidden conversation via Outlook. Oh, and fairly cost effective with monthly billing so you can try it and drop it if it doesn't work for you just so.
We like to use SharePoint sites for tracking projects. We create a list of all our eL projects for the year. These lists can include a variety of column options such as percent complete, assigned to, date started/completed, attachments, etc.. Every column has a filter option as well. Additionally, every item in the list has a comments field allowing you to add details. You can also create a variety of views, for ex., spreadsheet view that will allow you to have a good deal of export options.

Then for each iindividual project we set up a temporary Team Site specific to that project. Here we take advantage of the collaborative tools. For ex., we place our storyboards in PowerPoint format and the SMEs check in/check out the storyboard as they develop. During the review cycles, they use a feedback form that is also checked in/out during that time. Additionally there is a discussion area should the SMEs have debates about a point or two in the review cycle. Keeps the inbox cleaner!

Lastly, you do have a calendar option as well as Gantt chart options wihtout having to go into Microsoft Project.

The biggest 'con' that I have for these is that you must keep an eye on file size which is why we create separate team sites for each individual project. You have to be careful how you manage all of your sites.
Hi Janine - I would just like to reiterate the positive messages about Basecamp: it's simple to use, encourages collaboration and transparency, and is very project focussed.  I used it for several years running Agile software development teams in distributed locations, and it was the most invaluable tool in the project management box.

Hi Janine, (and Dan!) I agree that Basecamp and Sharepoint offer great solutions. Others I have used are:

Smartsheet, which is simple, lo/no cost and offers good integration with other products

Mindjet Mindmanager, which is more complex and higher cost, but offers great vfisualisation for activities such as WBS and documentation, has a collaborative mode (Connect) and a simple but very effective project and task management function, that imports into and out of MS Project for a further level of detailed manipulation. I reccomend the 30-day trial.

Dropmind advertises itself as a cheap, online version of Mindjet, but I have yet to see or try anything of the same project management functionality as Mindjet - I just love mapping tools and visual information!

take a look at https://trello.com/ have to admit I haven't tried it out properly yet, but I'm really impressed with the ease of use and I'm definitely going to use it on my next project - free and it's got a nice user interface

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