At Vinq our expert product team utilizes the latest tools available to organize, design, produce and test quality sites that match the high standards our clients deserve.
We work with our clients to develop requirements to match their needs. To help facilitate collaboration during this process, we utilize an open source management tool called Tiki. Whether it's posting documents or publishing product specifications, Tiki is a great way for all team members to access and manage key information.
We frequently manage the projects we implement for our clients. We find ourselves managing tasks, tracking bugs, planning releases, setting priorities, and generating extensive reports. We have as many as eight developers, two QA testers, and three to four external customers working on these projects. Coordinating team efforts on lists that include over 1600 individual tasks has been a challenge.
We searched for a tool that would let us manage this work with a useful level of detail and process flow. We wanted all of these features:
We explored Bugzilla, XPWeb, PHPProject, and Dotproject, all of which are open source solutions which address some of these requirements. In the end, we decided on Dotproject, but we have customized it fairly heavily for our needs, by adding the following:
- Project level reporting with deadlines and priorities
- Tasks and assignments
- Reporting for customers and for product/project managers
- Time logging for billing
- Bug tracking with CVS integration
- Release management
- Monitor external customer feedback
We've found that our modified version of Dotproject, while somewhat complex due to its power, is exactly what we need to replace the mix of Wiki, Bugzilla, and email that we had previously tried to use for project management.
- CVS integration -- developers are required to provide a Task ID for all checkins they do, and their comments become part of the Task Log for that task, with a timestamp and a link to the CVS diff summary of what they changed. This is also a convenient way for developers to log their hours without needing to access the web-based tool.
- Additional fields of information about tasks including the "release" the task is scheduled to be part of, and a workflow-supporting field called "State" which includes everything from "1 - building a case" to "8 - in QA" and "10 - Released".
- A new task category called Bug with additional fields relating to severity and resolution such as Fixed, Wontfix, CannotDuplicate, etc.
- A new reporting tab that provides aggregate and detailed reports of time spent on various tasks and how those roll up into projects, including pie charts made with jpgraph, sortable columns, and date-range filters.