Workflow management and technology

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion - Parkinson’s Law
Outside of Microsoft project and emails, what is being used from an Agency, Design Firm, Corporate or individual perspective to manage projects, schedules and expectations?
Is anyone leveraging newer web based applications, like basecamp, smartsheet, eproject etc, to improve/automate their workflow process, and client/stakeholder communications?
If you have any insights, experiences to share, please indicate if Corporate, Agency/Design/Architecture etc firm or Individual.

We tried Basecamp and it didn’t work for us. Storage was not enough and it had security issues.

I don’t know if they already fixed those issues, but it was a platform easy to use and setup. It has some nice features.

We ended up just using timefox to keep track of time spent on tasks and projects

We’re evaluating project management software at the moment too.

We currently use five different programs to create timelines (MS Project), track work hours (our own software), plan upcoming work & tasks (Excel), write quotes (Word), and to track financials (Quickbooks). I’m looking for a software to integrate four of those together.

I downloaded Copper, which looks quite good but didn’t offer the key features I was looking for. I’m currently looking at @Task which seems quite good, but faily complex. Basecamp seemd to be more for offsite management and file exchange, and offerings probably more suitable to an ad agency or software developer. Next on the list to evaluate are E-Project.

I’d love to hear peoples experiences with any of these Project Management software, whether from a project planning side or just entering timesheets.

cuototo & paulH,
Similar thoughts on BaseCamp. I was looking at AtTask yesterday, but had not come across Copper. I’ll put that on my list.
I came across one web-portal that provides a broad overview of applications:
Keep the insights coming on technology to support time/process/workflow/project management, and even the move to more of an enterprise management approach with something like Centric Software - which is probably more Corporate focused than Agency/Design Firm.

Hi. I worked as project manager in large engineering company. I tried several PM applications, mostly names escape me as they didn’t last long. Also, in consulting you tend to adopt what your clients use which is primarily MS Project or Primavera P3 / Suretrak.

All are horrible, require alot of effort to setup projects and to both manage the data and get useful, understandable information. Where all PM applications broke down was in work effort to update, change management, and transferability to other PM (the way any given project is setup and managed is unintelligible should another PM replace him/her).

All of them had extremely poor visual display of project quantitative information: none could produce data that anyone could understand without lengthy personal explanation from the PM.

It is very important to have recent project financial data, but beware all-in-one applications that say they do PM, MIS and financial management. They were big, expensive, difficult applications, customized for every installation.

In PM the best, easiest, most robust tool is earned value analysis. However, it is a completely different thinking method: eva tracks dollars in time only; traditional subjects of project precedent, antecedent, milestones are irrelevant to actual tracking and reporting project performance.

I’ve used eva on small to large projects and will never go back to other PM tools. I tell clients now that I flat out refuse to work with or update their MSProject or whatever data, instead giving my own reporting. Eva doesn’t require much effort for real time accurate results, allowing practising designers to both design and PM - quite common today.

Sometime this year I’m set to publish article on earned value analysis for the design consultant. If interested, I’ll update here.

A large white wall.