Thursday, April 20, 2006

The story of the project management tool


It began with this young man whose dream was to work in a Florida orange grove. When he got his job at the orange grove, he was amazed at the sophistication and complexity there. Since it was a fairly large grove providing fresh oranges to large corporations such as Tropicannot they had lot of automating and processes.

They used big project management tools that were supposed to help stay on top of everything orangey. The seeding, planting, nurturing, harvesting, packaging, shipping, invoicing, customer satisfaction, inventory management, selling more oranges, raising the price of oranges, hiring the folks passionate about orange, seeing if oranges were help make money, etc. You get the idea.

Now obviously the project management tool did not actually do any of these tasks. What it did was give a way of staying on top what tasks needed to done and if anybody was ever going to get around to doing them. Then there were the smart people who had the scary ABM degrees and whose specialty was using these tools. They knew nothing about oranges and lot of them did not even drink orange juice or grape fruit juice (gasp!), they drank perrier but here they were.

Eventually the young man got disillusioned with the giant orange farming industry. He also noticed that a lot of these project management tools took so much time that it was hard to say if the shipment to Tropicannot was not delayed because of the time spent on the cumbersome project management tools.

He was lost for a while. Then he ran into some friends who were running a small family farm. They had clear goals of supplying to the local community and helping people eat healthy organic food. Most importantly they were passionate about their farm and enjoyed each others company. The young man started working with them. Over time their produce caught the attention on a broader scale and they had to start thinking about growing their farming operation to meet the demand. They looked towards the young man and said, you have experience from the large orange grove. You can take care of it.

And so here we are... a lot of the project management tools do not care about the needs or the size or the current status of the farm and cannot start small/simple and grow as the farm's needs grow. They all assume you want to solve giant problems and have lots of people with AMB's to look busy with the complicated tools. The young man searched a bit and found a few tools that he hopes will help out. This is the beginning of his story.
...to be continued....

oh and the tools so far are
  1. basecamp (not working out for us r.i.p basecamp *sniff*)
  2. fogbugz
  3. projectpipe

1 comment:

Mike Coyle said...

Hi Amar,

I just wanted to let you and your readers know that we just released a major upgrade to ProjectPipe (one of the products mentioned in your blog entry), with a focus on improving the end-user experience.

We also have a new product website available at: http://www.projectpipe.com

Thanks,
Mike