Loomio
December 11th, 2017 10:20

How to make 2018 a better year (for real) : choosing a new project management tool

Fernanda Marin
Fernanda Marin Public Seen by 542

Quick summary: As the organisation keeps developing, we need better ways to work together. This post presents 3 project management tools that - if happily adopted by everyone- could significantly improve the way we work (and make our lives much easier)

Between email, slack, trello, telegram and google docs - just to name a few of the tools we currently use- it is not easy to stay on track of everything. (Note, these are communication, not project management tools, except trello, which is actually rather limited)

I am sure I'm not the only one spending hours and hours trying to find the right information between the 150 telegram messages we get by the hour, chains of emails, and google docs.

We know that one of the major challenges of working on a distributed - decentralized organisation is having a central platform to aggregate all our work. However, I believe more can be done, both at community and 'global' level to improve the way we work in general, and therefore, make our lives easier.

At our last Summit in Munich, ** we discussed the need to improve our workflows, communication channels, documentation and security practices and overall visibility of projects.** We decided I was going to look for some options on how to solve these issues.

After some careful consideration and evaluation, I want to present the best 3 project management tools that - if happily adopted by everyone - could really make a difference in how we work together.

Of course there are many things to decide:

  • Should each community take responsibility for the tools it uses or should we make it part of the commons?
  • Should some project leaders test the tools and present their feedbacks to the community before choosing one?
  • Should each project leader include the tool cost as part of their budget?

THE 3 MAGIC TOOLS

After a lot of research, I have selected these 3 tools:

1) ** Monday.com ** : focused on transparency and advanced collaboration.
No more spreadsheets. Just pure joy. See the video below, they explain it pretty well.

https://monday.com/features/

** Why I love it: **

  • It's super easy to use and has a great design
  • It comes with templates that save time and adjust to everyone's needs
  • It has a nice project timeline, so we know how busy everyone is.
  • We can chat and send files through each project, so all the info stays in one place
  • It gives great visibility on all the projects, and once they are over they can be saved and stored but remain available for others to consult if needed, etc.
  • It has a lot of security options, so only the right people get access to sensitive info
  • It can be shared with clients, which makes us look super professional and improve our efficiency and communications with them.

To consider:
* We can get 50% discount. ** For a team of up to 100 it would cost 250 euros per month.**

2) Asana. Eliminates the need to use email and third-party apps for communication
https://asana.com/#close

** Why I like it: **

  • It has a smart inbox – instead of tons of boring and unwanted messages, you only receive important project updates, and can convert them into actionable tasks the very same moment
  • Asana is fun! When you complete a task, a unicorn/phoenix/ leaps about to help you celebrate.
  • It gives a complete history of the tasks done and how they were done for each project, making it easier for future consultation.

To consider:
* Access is based on your shared email domain, so it relies on people in the team having the same email address structure.
* Price: Free for teams of up-to 15 members, then it costs ** 10 euros per user/per month ** (although it can be negotiable for larger teams like us)

3: Wrinkle. Improves the speed and efficiency of work in both co-located and distributed groups
https://www.wrike.com/tour/

** Why it's good **

  • It gives reports on everyone's activities. The performance chart shows the ratio of planned and completed tasks, as well as how far behind a team is with their work.
  • It has a really good approvals workflow (digital images, videos and documents, and you can invite guest users too)
  • It's super secure as it has two-factor authentication

To consider:

Price: It's expensive, costing 25 euros per month per user


FINAL COMMENTS:

It might look like it's an expensive endeavor, especially since we're used to use free tools, but I see this as a ** major investment with immediate returns.**
The tool itself won't be enough, ** for this to work we need commitment and a true will to change the way we work. We claim to be experts on new and better ways of working collaboratively, so let's lead by example and experiment with ourselves.**

Looking forward to your comments :)

If someone wants to have a chat, I'll be more than happy to explain in more detail why I chose those tools, etc. Also if you know other tools I'd be delighted talk about it.

PS: If you want more encouragement as to why we should break away from emails and spreadsheets, check this post. click here

Camille Chapuis

Camille Chapuis December 11th, 2017 15:49

Thank you Fernanda for the work :-)
Indeed I think we need a tool for our projects that have all the options that we use now BUT.... on different apps. That would be great to have these features all synchronized such as discussions, private messages, planning, follow up on the tasks, budget.. etc.
I took a look at the 3 tools and I think Monday is the one that match most of the features we need :-)

Fernanda Marin

Fernanda Marin started a poll December 11th, 2017 19:06

What project management tool shoud we use? Closed 8:00pm - Thursday 28 Dec 2017

2 - Monday
0 - Asana
0 - Wrinkle
0 - Other
Martin Werlen

Martin Werlen December 11th, 2017 21:14

Thank you @fernandamarin for this great Loomio post.
I think it is important to distinguish (1) project management from (2) coordination between projects and the (3) current management of the association.
As far as project management is concerned, I guess the needs are not the same between projects. Even if I think it would be great to share a common tool, I think that in reality it will be complicated and will depend a lot on the practices of the different teams. On the other hand, I think that the diversity of the tools we use can be seen as a certain richness.
In any case, I think it's great to experiment with one or more project management tools on a few projects.
In terms of choice, we have to admit that in recent times the community has increasingly used a very informal tool, Telegram, rather than Slack. It is therefore important to choose a tool that is not necessarily complete but that allows you to keep exchanges simple and fast while offering the basic functionalities of project management.

Anyway, it's really a great initiative and I'm very interested in testing it.
Thank you:)

Benjamin Tincq

Benjamin Tincq December 12th, 2017 05:40

This may be a naive question, but what is the experience so far of using Trello for project management? Because this was adopted a while ago by OuiShare, but only by a small group of people and projects. However this is exactly what it is for.

The cool thing with Trello is that it is super easy to use, flexible, customizable, has many add-ons and power-ups, and is widely used (so many ppl already have an account)

However, I won't vote on this as I'm not the most involved on OuiShare projects ;)

Alex Mézard

Alex Mézard December 12th, 2017 09:13

Monday
Miriam Moreno

Miriam Moreno December 12th, 2017 14:06

Thank you Fernanda. I was using “Asana” with a team and... the mobile version is not really good. Doesn’t matter for me the tool we consense to use. I’m right with you that is needed to educate ourselves in how to use it (a lot of messages in Telegram that should be in Slack). And agree with Benjamin that we haven’t been engage at all with Trello even it’s really a super intuitive tool. That’s my point. And...ready to adopt and explore the tool we choose. I love tech!! :nerd:

Miriam Moreno

Miriam Moreno December 12th, 2017 14:07

Monday

... and kill Telegram!!!!

Taoufik Vallipuram

Taoufik Vallipuram December 12th, 2017 14:42

Thanks @fernandamarin for your work

Martin's message made me think about an article I've read a year ago saying that Amazon is innovating in ways that Google and Apple can't. One paragraph of the article deals with the issue of the standardisation of tools "A new team can use the tools and processes that make the most sense instead of feeling pressure to conform to company-wide standards.".
Here is the article: https://www.vox.com/new-money/2016/12/28/13889840/amazon-innovation-google-apple

Gustavo Palacios

Gustavo Palacios December 13th, 2017 02:57

Great work @fernandamarin love the technology and new ways to do the things, we recommend Trello but for this new options I vote for Monday :slight_smile:

Nai Naiarara

Nai Naiarara December 19th, 2017 19:57

Thank you so much @fernandamarin for this post because this is a research I wanted to do for myself, so great! My comments:

--> TRELLO: Agree with some of you that we should make the most of Trello, and try to use it properly. Sometimes I have the feeling many of us we are not using 100%. We use it at first, but when the project develops, we use it less and less until we end up using the wrong channels. Maybe we should get deeper insights of why it happens.

--> LIQUID TEAMS: I would like to consider how this tools deal with liquid teams. I understand for people who work on a daily basis in many projects would be really helpful, but I wonder how this tools can adapt to liquid teams in:
1. getting track of what's happening just by having a quick look at it. Is it easy?
2. What I like about free tools is that it's very easy for newcomers to join and 'voyeur team members' that follow a project to decide to step it at some stage. There is a monthly payment so: could it be a barrier to involve new people in projects? how the monthly payment per user can deal with people deciding not to work for OuiShare project in the next 3 months? (as an example) Do we have to keep paying membership until they officially communicate they don't want to work for the projects anymore?

Thanks lady!

Thomas Dönnebrink

Thomas Dönnebrink December 20th, 2017 10:09

Good question. Thanks for initiative trying to find & agree collectively on one common tool. For me (& others?) would be helpful to first learn about (recommended) options along with arguments before starting to vote on them. Collect first vote later

Ana

Ana January 1st, 2018 17:36

Thanks @fernandamarin for this relevant topic.
In Spain, slack works great and its pretty well integrated as our project communication tool.
I also like Trello a lot and as it was commented above there is a lot more to explore with this tool.

Maud

Maud January 2nd, 2018 10:23

Great topic indeed! The same, I don't believe we can find one common tool for the diversity of our projects and communities. Indeed it would be great to have one unique way to reference all OuiShare projects (already tried through the famous Google spreadsheet), but I don't think the problem really comes from the tools, more from our habits and the avantages perceived at "centralising" our list of projects. I also really agree with @nainaiarara about the need for inclusiveness in our projects and the possibility to opt in and opt out easily.

Fernanda Marin

Fernanda Marin January 8th, 2018 14:34

:heart: Thanks to everyone that participated in this conversation! I'm glad so many of you find it helpful and are ready to try new things. But I also hear that the best way to get these projects off the ground, or at least give them the chance to live, is to let small groups who are willing to experiment to do it on a smaller scale, and then let them share their experiences and see if more people are interested.

Therefore I propose that all the project leaders (cause it's ultimately them who decide how to organise their teams) that want to be part of the Monday Experiment contact me directly to start seeing how we can set it up together. My email is fernanda@ouishare.net

Once more thank you all for time! we'll keep you posted on how things move forward :slight_smile:

Besos!

Johanna

Johanna January 8th, 2018 15:25

totally agree with Martin for all the arguments !

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu January 8th, 2018 17:45

There is a need to aggregate activities accross all OuiShare. The problem is that the tools for open networks don't exist yet. Many prople are activelly working on them. We are in the middle of a transition when people are jusr realizing that open networks are formidable organisations, that they have agency and capacity to act. On the other side we have all these p2p technologies that are mostly used in traditional institutional settings. These two things are finaly converging, more and more people are starting to build tools using p2p tech tailored for open networks.
p2p project management tools do not impose a unique app for the entire OuiShare network. Local groups will be able to chose their own apps customized to their local culture. But all these apps will be able to talk to each others and aggregate data accross the entire network.
I am saying all this because this discussion, like many others, is about which app to chose and how to "impose" it accross the entire network in order to reach scale and make the whole network much more efficient. With p2p infrastructures we will not need to agree on a single app.
Support projects like Holochain!

Leonor Fernández

Leonor Fernández January 10th, 2018 09:49

This article says that WICKR is going to replace SLACK https://www.lainformacion.com/management/empresas-companias-2018-startup/6339512 Aparently offers una "encriptación de grado militar"

https://www.wickr.com/