If you look back at old NASA footage in the control room, the scientists and astronauts that worked on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions in the 1960s didn’t have calculators. They used a modified abacus known as a slide rule. At that point in time, the slide rule was the very best tool for calculation, and it was about 300 years old.
To folks like me who were born in the ‘80s, using a wooden device made up of beads to figure out how to put a man on the moon sounds like lunacy. But what other choice did NASA have? They had to use the best tools available to them, and despite using ancient, outdated tools, the scientists and astronauts of yesteryear were able to pull-off what some thought was an impossible feat; putting a man on the moon.
Since then, the proliferation of computers, their decreasing size and exponentially increasing power has completely changed the world we live in and the tools we use today. And while our business may not be embarking on seemingly-impossible tasks like landing on the moon, it would still behoove us to use the best available tools to accomplish our own missions.
We here at ProOnGo have used a lot of tools to maximize our productivity — some have worked very well and some haven’t. That’s why I want to take the time to write about two project management tools that we use on a regular basis and can’t live without:
#1: Lighthouse App
Lighthouse is an application for managing your development team by dividing up tasks, setting milestones, and updating progress. Whenever we have a feature request, bug to fix, or improvement in our website, we create a ticket that describes the request, attach any necessary files, assign the ticket to a developer, choose a deadline date,and give the ticket a priority.
Developers can work on these tickets, assign the tickets to other developers for questions, and assign the ticket to testers when completed. We love Lighthouse because of its email integration, the use of plugins to extend functionality and the ability to keep projects private. Last but not the least, Lighthouse has an easy, well-documented developer API so you can build some easy plugins according to your company’s needs. You can try it for free, and then pick any of their three plans, gold ($100/month), silver ($50/month) and bronze ($25/ month).
TenderApp, for all practical purposes, is an app that has been designed for a customer support team. The learning curve to use this app is negligible but most of all, in being a Web hosted app, doesn’t require any installations to be carried out either.
Simply put, the system collects all customer issues to ensure that you don’t miss even one customer complaint. Highly customizable, the best part about this project management tool is that it can synced with the aforementioned LightHouse App so that your developers can get to work on a resolution as soon as possible. There are 3 plans that one can choose from: Ultimo ($99/month), Extra ($49/month) and Core ($9/month) but only after trying the software for free for a period of 14 days.
After using both of these project management tools for some time now, getting by without them sounds almost as crazy as asking me to send someone to the moon with an abacus.