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Gneu.org • View topic - GneuManager
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GneuManager

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:58 pm
by Bob

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:50 pm
by Wildfire
I don't know anything about PHP so I probably wouldn't be useful as a developer, but I do like the idea.

I tried BaseCamp and wasn't all that satisfied. It was neat, but it didn't really do much in terms of increasing the team's productivity.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:16 pm
by Bob
There are a couple others but they are either too elaborate(PHProjekt, dotproject - the one i have up currently) or they arent elaborate enough (BaseCamp)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:25 pm
by Wildfire
I know there is another one called Overlord which is specifically for game/mod development.

It looked cool and it's actually pretty cheap, but I haven't actually tried it:
http://www.phpoverlord.com/

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:34 pm
by Seil
my thoughts have always been, concerning web based proj management suites is that they seem like they've been designed from a perspective of a specific industry. For instance, tech support or something, where you have certain fields and controls over your tasks and such that just really don't apply to whatever you're working on, unless it's along the lines of what that software was intended for.

There has never, in my experience been a great solution that is template based on the backend to allow you to customize the fields and options on a task level. And use multiple types of tasks all customized.

It has been awhile since I've looked around for a 3rd party solution, as I've grown disgusted with the lack of anything useful and just hacked up mini managers for whatever project I've needed it for........ In that respect I may be talking about some features that have since then been implemented in some manager or another, but I guess I don't care, these are the features, to me, that seem important for a successful, reusable, proj manager.

If you take any kind of software development into account, you'll notice recurring categories for the software, especially if it's end-user targeted.

Interface and Visuals, Sound, Control, Code, Etc Etc.

being able to categorize specific areas of development of a single project is important, it is also probably available in other managers already.

Using multiple task types within the same category. For instance, one type could be "Bugs" which would require fixing of something that's partially implemented, another could be "Design" which would be for actually designing a feature. And each task type would allow for customized options, While "Bugs" tasks have priority ranking and Status indicator of "fixed" and "todo" or "discovered" and "done" or whatever, (all customizable options anyway)... and the "Design" tasks have instead an option for designating a percent complete status, maybe an option that states requirements, which would link to other tasks, meaning that certain tasks would need to be completed before others can be completed.

Sub-Tasks. having the ability to spawn child tasks. This should be something that can be done anytime. For instance, half way thru something, you realize, CRAP! there's sub tasks to accomplishing this that are large enough to require tracking of. and sub tasks can be linked with others for requirement purposes.

The point is that the management software should be a shell, a structure, that can be modified and customized easily with a backend interface that makes sense.

Also, instead of just seeing lists and lists and re-organized lists of what's going on, especially from a team manager position, different visual representations would be nice. kind of like the visual representations of class inheritance in doxygen, where you can see what derives from what.......

so now, you have some tasks, and you can see what sub tasks of each task are, layed out in a a 2D format, and color coded for current status, you can also see the dependency structure, what requirements are set, and what has been met.

And something that is most beautiful for gauging production, some sort of a timeline based view, seeing what has been accomplished and how long it took to do so, as well as, a chronological timeline view that shows when each thing was started and when it was finished in comparison to the other tasks that have happened.

The key to making ANY system successful, is user interface. It's one of the most important aspects of any system that is complex. If it's not easy to understand visually, it's not easy to use, and if that's the case, it wont be used. Systems that make the user feel intimidated are hard to get real backing by a community.

Anyways, for now, that's what I have on that... sorry for it being so long, but it's not a simple subject :-\

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:38 pm
by Seil
CRAP! forgot something that is HUGE:

Take the SVN approach to things, NEVER delete anything. archive it instead, this way you can always go back and see what has been accomplished, yet the tasks are not always on the current list of working on stuff.......

I've noticed a few managers out there, like to delete stuff when you designate them as completed, bad, bad, bad idea.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:50 pm
by Bob
Another thing i would like to add is the ability to create a spawn task which would denote a task that would spawn a number of other ones, all user controllable.

The situation is this: you are leading a mod and you need to let your team know you need a new weapon created. Well creating a weapon has many steps, including modeling, skinning, animating, coding, import, media generation (sprites, screenshots for advertisment etc), and debugging. In most any other project manager i have to create a new tasks for each. Adding in the ability to tie tasks together would be a great idea here because you clearly need the model before you can do most of the other steps, but the idea here that needs to be clear is the ability to create 12 or so tasks at once if needed.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:51 pm
by Bob
In fact, now that i think about it, i have seen something that worked like this, adding features with dropin extensions, drupal and dot project both do this. I think it would be good to have this sort of extension management utility to handle the issue of specializing the project management capabilities.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:54 pm
by Bob
In regards to styling, i love the simplicity of PHPBB. i would never use another robust forum. The simplicity of this system allows its users to be confident in their usage of the application, and i would like to have something derived from this for the management utility

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:01 pm
by Seil
actually, i was just thinking about something that would be really nice to include in the software would be a nice rich text object, where you can write/review .doc files inside the manager, as well as .xls spreadsheets.... btw, if you need a great and KICK ASS example of these, head to ... of course also including the ability for a "code" object as well, that would allow you to add in snippets of code, in whatever language, and use plugins for proper formatting and color coding of the code.....

uhhh comments..... basically like every task has a forum thread attached to it, where you can comment on whatever it is without modifying the state of the task.... as well as attach files to each task.... design docs, sample images, anything.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:06 pm
by Bob
Not so much attaching ddoc's to tasks, but i have been throwing around the idea of having a ddoc creator for the project manager. It would definitely be a good thing to have the .doc editing but i dont think thats very feasable. I would rather something like a wiki to control the formatting and what not.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:09 pm
by whitfield
so it seems that there is a lot of interest with this potential project. ill be happy to help, but i dont have many ideas of where it could go. sounds cool tho. someone should write a technical ddoc.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:12 pm
by Bob
i dont like technical ddocs, but i do already have a 70% functional ddoc ready to go. Id like to do the technical stuff with a meeting with the group of folks interested in helping the project mature.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:13 pm
by Seil
actually, sorry hahaha i'm stuck in brainstorm mode. one thing I've seen implemented before in stand alone apps, however in not nearly the complexity that i'm describing here, that would be really sweet, and this is based off what is happening right now, with bob and i fighting to have the most posts here right now j/k but basically a planning and design system called "brainstorm" where you an create an object dubbed "idea" (how ingenious is that?) and make a note of what it is.

then other ppl can do things to that idea, they can "amend" it, which allows them to attach a specific modification of that idea.

They can "expand" it, and spawn a new idea that is a child to the parent. and new ideas can be spawned as childs of any existing child.

you can do a "combine" or "connect" between two ideas, that references them together, with a single idea as the connecting point, used to describe how these two ideas are connected to each other

and the whole system is visually shown in 2D, where the MAIN idea, is the very center, and from that, in all directions, are lined that connect to the child ideas, when 2 child ideas are connected, the rendering agent then repositions both of the deriving chains next to each other, and shows a link between them at the connecting points........

I'm not sure if this could be a module plugin for this system, or a stand alone app itself, or a stand alone app that is part of a suite that is together with the project manager software, but I think they kind of work together......

EDIT: the more i think about this, it's major enough to be a seperate project to be developed seperately........ mabye part of a suite in the manor of word and excel, but seperately

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:16 pm
by Bob
there are a couple apps that we can draw from, but i think it would be neat to see this implemented in a flash client.

we could call it brainstorm, and have a cloud that would be created as things come and eventually it would allow us to output the feature list and note anything that could be questionable in text/xml form.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:24 pm
by Seil
hahaha, if we designed it around the proj management software, we could use the brainstorm app to classify the ideas as they are thought of, categorize everything, all that, in a simple interface, as well as create a task flow based on each idea, possibly add in some version-ing so the design concept can support time, where the main idea can be revised. Then when the idea is complete, you can export the idea as a project which can be imported by the project manager with a preliminary set of tasks pre-created based upon the idea design phase and you can start development.

So basically you spend your time designing the main "idea" and then once done, boom your project manager already is preset with most of what needs to be configured to get start on production of the "idea"

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:28 pm
by Bob
That is a great idea! we should totally take that route, but we should also allow the other form based addition of items to the task log.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:32 pm
by Seil
absolutely, the idea is that brainstorm will spawn your project, but the project manager will work in the sense of a traditional project manager where you can continually update your projects needs and accomplishments over the development period.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:37 pm
by Bob
How about the ability to personalize your project management needs on a per project basis. Here at work i work on a number of different projects, some are only me and some are groups of people. So for instance you wouldnt need to have file uploads or a forum if you were the only person participating.

This can be in relationship to the defaults that you would set project wide, but allow you to handle your projects with the proper tools and not have to worry about complicating or simplification of things that you are working on.

This has never been done on any PM Suite.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:38 pm
by Seil
well, I don't want to get into discussion of this too heavily right yet, because it's something that can be developed later, but thinking about the project management software, as being the development life for a project, and "brainstorm" as being the birth of a project, some nice "post-mortem" tool would be sweet for analyzing different aspects of the projects development course from begining to end, the tool would obviously be used after the projects completion, allowing teams to assess the triumphs and pitfalls they had along the path of making their project a reality.....

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:41 pm
by Seil
well, that's a great idea, and in that case, i think we need to heavily lean on plugins and modules kind of foundation.......... developing the interface for which these plugins can be used to modify the abilities of the project, and each project can call for and load whatever plugins it requires, based upon it's configuration.... which would also mean that the plugins can be turned on/off throughout the project, maybe you decide you're going to need that one thing after all, and go ahead and get it installed and add it to the list of plugins used for the project and can immediately reap the benefits of it.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:42 pm
by Bob
I think that would take a bit more user interaction on the task level. Like someone would actually have to sit down with a task after the fact and say this is good or this is bad. i dont know if thats something that would be good or bad.

Although we could create a post mortem report that would show things that went over "budget" where budget was man hours or money etc. would definitely be good to see that after the fact.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:47 pm
by Bob
We should give the managers the ability to create preset project types to speed up the choice of what features a project has if we allow project level changes.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:54 pm
by Seil
yeah, the post mortem was more along the lines of cost, time devoted tracking style that went into a really deep report of how long and what cost was for each task, and how many sub tasks were created based on each task and the time they took, and all that, and at that point, the manager could look and say, "well, the code we put in there to make it so you could brush your teeth in the middle of a battle basically cost us 1200 hours of time, that was assigned to a total of 6 programmers, cost us $12 million in salary and ended up being pulled out before release..........

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:03 pm
by Bob
I would like to have the ability to run a strict project where as you get closer to a day that a milestone, task etc is based on you would see a graphical representation of it. Green to red icons for varying levels of importance and priority. If the project is in strict mode it is going to force the developers to explain their tasks being late or explain why a bug is not being addressed in this release.

I would also like to see how some people are carrying on. like if you have two developers and one is always two to three days ahead of their deadlines and the other is always two to three days late i think things like that would be really good to show the manager on a simple report.