Project Management

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I'm currently writing the fabrication instructions for LifeTrac. It occurred to me that I'm not happy with the format. Basically, it just doesn't have enough features. Written documentation is a must, but I'd like OSE to combine as many activities as possible. Instead of publishing a single document, that takes weeks to assemble, why not publish a database and let the document be a report people can print off if they want it (or just don't have access to a computer for some reason).

Benefits of using project management software:

  • tracks resources
    • when you write a step, you detail all the resources that step requires, the program then totals up all the resources in the individual steps and automatically creates a BOM
  • tracks time
    • hopefully, the person who built the thing kept track of how long each step took. Either way, the first draft would just make a guess at how long things take, and as people replicate the project they provide better numbers
  • tracks complexity
    • something as simple as a metric for how many discrete steps are in the project will allow OSE to "rate" projects by difficulty and compare process improvements over time
  • tracks risk
    • people who replicate the project can use the same program and can insert steps detailing how they actually ended up completing the project. Maybe something was left out of the first draft; maybe something went wrong, etc. Capturing that data over dozens of projects will improve the risk profile.
  • integrates with other tools/processes
    • keeping the data in a database allows all sorts of fun things to be done with it later. Keeping it in isolated PDF files prevents anything from being integrated later.

Open Source Project Management Software Comparison

wikipedia on the subject

  • Endeavour
    • on wikipedia
    • Seems to be focused on enterprise-level software projects
    • Intentionally feature-poor for simplicity and ease of use
    • Available in: English, Spanish, German, Chinese, Dutch, French and Polish
    • Looks like you have to host the software on your own server
  • dotProject
    • on wikipedia
    • Free support from volunteers and commercial support from development team
    • Apparently it has about 10,000 downloads per month from sourceforge
    • It also has a book written by Lee Jordan
    • You need to host it on your own server
  • Plandora
    • on wikipedia
    • You have to host it on your own server
    • Available in: English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian
    • Customization options
    • Targeted at software projects
    • on wikipedia
    • Cannot be used without an Oracle database, which is commercial software...kind of a deal breaker
  • Project Open
    • on wikipedia
    • web-based for 2-2000 users
    • Used by 1000 companies in 25 countries
    • Doesn't do scheduling
    • Volunteers provide support on the forum and the core team provides professional support
    • Top down or bottom up
    • Available in: Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Brazilian Portuguese
    • Can be hosted on their servers for a subscription, or hosted on a server we provide


  • Links to 4 open source PM applications - [1]