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How to Create Project Management Software Solutions like Basecamp
If you decide to create your own management software solution, you are tired of looking for the perfect tool to make the management process easier and more efficient. And we are here to help.
But why not use Basecamp?
Basecamp is a very popular software solution that doesn’t need to be presented. It has a reputation for being easy to use and is ideal for simple cases. Currently more than 2 million people are using it.
So, why do so many people like Basecamp? It provides the following solutions:
- Individual and team calendar
- Share files
- Project file
- Milestone management
- Messages as forums (group discussion)
- Assigned task
... The full list of features of Basecamp is long, but despite the many features it provides, Basecamp still lacks bare necessities. This solution has not yet offered:
- Cost tracking
- Time tracking
- Gantt diagram
- Kanban Board
- Task dependencies
This is not a complete list of the solutions required. Keep in mind that Basecamp can help you manage only certain types of projects. It does not have to be good for every manager or case.
The same story is true for other software solutions, one size does not really fit everything. Millions of Trello, Jira, Asana are used and loved (in most cases). However, these tools still have common complaints. Here are some examples:
- Our management software solution experts make analys and ready to adapt the workflow to the selected software, but can not optimize it (we do not have flexibility - it’s limited by the providers).
- This software does not have the necessary functions, and there are many solutions that are not necessary.
- Our workflow is completely unique and there is no tool that complements it completely.
- Each company is unique. They manage their projects in their own way. It is not surprising that it is difficult to find universally appropriate tools. However, you can build your own management software solution at any time with which your company is completely satisfied.
How to Create your own Software
So, how can you create your own software solution? The first step is to understand your own workflow.
Define the Workflow
Workflow is the process you use to achieve your goals. For example, in a software development company, a process can be divided into multiple tasks. All these tasks generally go through several stages. Each task needs to be categorized into several distinct phases (states). It also defines all allowed transitions between task states. Also, do not forget to capture the reverse direction transitions, for example, when the developing task is not approved and must be redeveloped You also need to define the user roles that each migration can perform. We present the basic concepts of workflow. Let's see what the clearly defined workflow shows.
- A clear and repeatable process that results.
- Share different responsibilities between different people.
- An easy way to tell the process to all employees.
Defining your own Workflow is the First and Most Important Step in Building your own Software
To keep the workflow as simple as possible, attention must be paid to all possible scenarios.
Keep in mind that your software is just a tool to complement the workflow. Therefore, if the workflow is insufficient, the software can not manage the project in an efficient and simple way.
Once you have defined your own workflow, you can continue with the next step to create a list of features to include in the PM tool.
Common Functions of Management Software Solution
Some PM programs lack the necessary functionality and, at the same time, offer many solutions that are not necessary. This is irritated. However, although there is a common function to make the project management application, it is not another type of product.
Task management is one of the important functions that all managers need to plan and program projects. With this feature, the PM can define tasks, assign them to team members, set priorities and monitor deadlines.
Collaboration and File Sharing
Most tasks are performed by different people in several stages. For example, after I wrote the first draft of this article, I sent it to the editor who left his comments. When the second draft was almost ready, the SEO specialist looked for it to confirm the keyword. Because collaboration is important for most teams, it is important to have a place where teams can collaborate to solve problems. There is a file sharing feature that allows team members to upload and save files, calendars and contacts, and can share these files externally.
Time tracking allows users to track the time spent on tasks. This function is important to calculate the productivity of the equipment. This allows managers to understand the costs and allow interested parties to predict the time in advance. The time tracking solution also needs to record the time that team members spend on each task and observe what has been accomplished during that time.
The creation of reports helps to be successful and provides a complete overview and a complete picture of the progress. You can also share this progress with the right person.
Here, there are some advanced tools that you may like in your software, but they are completely optional:
Billing allows you to track payments and expenses, create invoices for customers and pay directly within the application (for example, using PayPal).
Of course, you can set the budget using the Excel spreadsheet, but remember that the larger the project, the more expenses you will need to document and manage. The integration of budget control functions in software solution facilitates the management of costs and time. However, not all computers need this feature.
The Gantt chart provides a detailed visual indication of the progress of all tasks compared to what was originally planned. You can also view dependencies between various tasks, edit existing dependencies and configure new dependencies. Gantt charts are almost necessary for high-level plans.
In portfolio management, you can predict roadmaps, manage team resources, and track progress in real-time planning. For example, many software development companies have so-called "laboratories" and R & D projects that are used to gain experience in selected fields. These companies can take advantage of portfolio management solution to evaluate decisions on R & D projects and select those that will provide the expected ROI. Like the Gantt chart, this function is intended for advanced planning.
Advanced task management tools can create automated workflows, assign tasks automatically and alert others by email. You can also create, manage, prioritize and automate subtasks. Advanced task management is useful when you need to work on difficult tasks and make many advanced plans.
Teams often help to work more effectively using many programs in addition to management tools. However, all these applications can be integrated into your project management solution. Slack, Trello and GitHub are examples of applications that can be integrated into software.
With problem tracking and error tracking, you can send, track and correct errors and problems generated by software projects. It helps to easily establish the status and workflow of Bug Lifecycle.
The potential functions can last forever. However, it is not an important function in itself, but its software can help your team achieve it. Before writing a list of the features you want, ask yourself a question. Are they really informative and relevant? If so, send the project management software requirements to the development team.
We recommend starting the development of the project management software using MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Using the MVP of the product, you can test with the team, get feedback, coordinate and improve.
Create List of Requirements of the Development Team
After defining a workflow and identifying the essential features for your own project management tool, you can begin to create lists of requirements all together. I will propose some of how you can do this.
First, we will configure all the information about your future products. You can create a list of simple functions that give the development team a generic image of the product. Next, you must define the dependencies between the components in the system, that is, how these components of the system interact with each other. To do this, you can create a simple activity diagram. If we can provide wireframes to the development team, we can understand our vision of how to design UX and it will be extremely useful.
To clarify how the specific functions of the solution work, our developers of management software solutions can create user stories (which explain approximately the main scenarios / objectives that the user achieves for a particular function). A user story has a use case. A use case is a list of specific scenarios that use this feature. The more detailed explanation of each case, the clearer is the understanding of the development team system.
Building your own project management tool may seem like a big problem. But, in fact, it is very viable. First, follow the procedure defined in this article to understand the workflow and select the function to complement it. You will be impressed by the results! If you still have questions or want to help you create project management software for your dreams, please contact us.