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Open Source Project Management System - DotProject

We used to struggle a lot managing multiple Projects and tasks. At any given time we have so many things to do that it was getting impossible to manage all the tasks. Ashish, our Technical Head at Sparxsys took the challenge of finding the perfect solution for solving our Project Management issues.

We wanted the following features in the tool.

1. Web Based Collaboration

We could have used Excel Sheet based solution for our problems. We have good experience in creating Macros in excel that would automatically do all the Resource and Project Planning for us but the thing that lack in this approach is the collaboration part. We work in a Team and we want everyone to be able to enter the system from any location. So web based system was our main need. We also ruled out the Desktop based software like MS Project and various other Open Source softwares.

dotprojects passed this criterion!!

2. Project Planning

We wanted a system that will automatically calculate the planned dates based on the estimates that we would enter for any Project Task. This feature is of again of the prime importance. Why? Without Project Planning any system would be a simple To-Do list. Which works well for managing very small project, but when you have to manage multiple projects with multiple people working then you really need a Project Planning system.

dotproject passed this criteria!!

3. Resource Planning with common pool

Since we have multiple resource working on the same project and resources are also shared across the Project. We wanted a system that should allow that.

dotproject passed this criteria!!

4. Workload

After Project Planning and assignment of tasks to various resource, we really want to check the overallocations and underallocations of the resources. This is really very important for us because we dont have some resource to work less and others to work more. We wanted a report that can show us the planned workload of various resource in a week or month view.

dotproject does have this report but it doesn't have the week/month week. May be we will someone write our own report, because we have the database and we can create some sort of a report that can show us workloads.

5. Time Tracking

We want to know how much time our resources are actually spending on the assigned tasks. So the need of Time tracking facility was again a must.

dotproject passed this criteria.

6. Dashboard

This feature is not really of prime important but having a view where you can see everything at a single place is really helpful.

dotproject has a decent dashboard. The moment you login you can see the list of tasks that are due today. You will see all the pending tasks with color indicators.

Ashish spent lot of time and tried many other open source projects but we finally zeroed in for dotproject that suffice most of our needs.

It has been 3 weeks now and we are liking dotproject. We feel more confident about the way we work. I really recommend all small to medium sized companies to try dotproject. The interface is not great but that's something you can ignore :)