INB347 – web 2.0 application


In today’s highly competitive business climate, organizations need to rethink how they interact with their customers. Competing for dollars and customers can bring out the best in an organization, especially an organization able to imagine effective new ways to communicate with its customers.

Background

Rich Internet applications use a distributed-function model rather than the simple thin-client–server model.
Flash, Silverlight and Java enrich user experiences in part due to their reduced reliance on network/server communications. Since 80% of the time is spent to download all the components of the page, simplifying a page’s design is also a way to reduce response time. Another way to tackle this is to reduce HTTP requests by combining all HTTP requests and CSS style sheets.

What is Pivotal Tracker?

Tracker is an easy to use, agile project management tool that brings focused collaboration to software development teams. Built by Pivotal Labs, it embodies proven agile methods, based on experience on over 100 large scale, commercial software projects.

Our work on software project management can be loosely described as agile. We generally meet, either in person or on the phone, to hash out major feature releases, and then software engineer build and deploy. We test the software months or so, we rinse and repeat.

Usually we are not very organized. We follow the agile principles, but we’re not that organized, which is weird for us because I’m usually over-organized, if anything. This lack of organization works well, if we are splitting time between projects, but whenever we have a block of time to devote to software development project.

In the past, we used spreadsheets and tested a couple project management packages, with varying amounts of success.


I have to say I’m impressed so far. I didn’t realize why I liked it so much until I found this post which provides 11 reasons to like Tracker:

  1. It’s free.
  2. It’s hosted.
  3. It’s a joy to use. It’s the iPod of project management software. It’s all drag-and-drop and click and it just works.
  4. It’s multi-user. Your co-founder in North Korea can make changes in Tracker and you will see them instantly. No page reloads.
  5. It’s for lean startups. The building block in Tracker is a story: an increment of customer value that you deliver with minimal waste.
  6. It’s about completing your next most important task—not maintaining mile-long to-do lists, Gantt charts, and lists of bugs.
  7. It’s transparent. Everybody on the team knows what everybody else is working on, their priorities, and their accomplishments.
  8. It’s in sync with reality. It do not take time to keep your requirements and schedule in sync with reality, even if your business priorities change daily.
  9. It do not do much. No, it doesn’t do dependencies and critical paths. It just keeps you focused on delivering value to customers.

It’s powerful. Tracker hides a lot of technology under a simple interface. It’s a serious Javascript-intensive web application that’s in the same league as Gmail and Google Maps.

Bonus reason: Everything is on one page—there’s no need to navigate around (unlike other project management tools). More Gmail, less Hotmail.

It struck me that 11th one is gold for me. Having all the functionality on a single page is a huge time saver for me.

When I get a bug report or encounter a bug in software development, I’m generally in the middle of something else. So, I want to report it, prioritize it and get back to other work. Accomplishing this by emailing software engineer is not ideal, but I did this frequently with the other tools to avoid the longer processes. None of those other tools was terribly time-consuming, but still, it’s a savings I can feel.

The other reasons are pretty solid too, especially 10. Having used “professional” project management apps in the not-so-distant past, I appreciate fewer bells and whistles, e.g. a friend of mine mentioned he had to take a day-long training in Microsoft Project, which pretty much sums up my experience with that monster.

Plus, much of the stuff you need to run a waterfall project isn’t needed in an agile one, especially when you only have two developers and one project/product manager.

Reference:

http://www.pivotaltracker.com/features

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Comments on: "Rich User Experiences – Pivotal Tracker" (2)

  1. Pivotal Tracker is a great tool for agile programming teams to keep track of the different tasks allocated to each team members and to evaluate the progress of the project.

  2. sammontague said:

    Pivotal Tracker is really useful, but how do you think it compares with Goplan? You should check it out.

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