Technology Decision Makers

last person joined: 22 days ago 

A group for those in nonprofit IT decision-making roles to connect with peers and share best practices. This Technology Decision Makers group is for nonprofit IT or MIS Directors/Managers as well as CIOs and CTOs to connect with their peers and share best practices. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to: hardware and software management, product reviews, emerging technology, best practices, collaborating effectively with other departments, and management conundrums. Membership is restricted to IT staff at nonprofit organizations.

Project Managment Tools

  • 1.  Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 13, 2017 20:39
    I'm looking for a simple, easy to roll out team collaboration tool for basic project management. We currently use Mission Control, native to Salesforce, but it may be more than what our teams need. Any suggestions? A Salesforce integration would be a plus.

    Thanks!

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    Bukola Ashaolu
    Senior Information Technology Manager
    National Employment Law Project
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  • 2.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 06:53
    Bukola,

    After trying multiple other PM tools, we settled on Asana a little over a year and it's changed our lives.

    Integrates with Salesforce (although we don't use Salesforce, so I can't speak to that integration).

    We not only found it easy to use internally, but because we work on so many projects with so many organizations, we have hundreds of external stakeholders and they also start using Asana with us with pretty much NO training required.

    Happy to answer any questions. I do not earn a dime - we aren't a reseller or even affilitate for Asana. Just love the product.

    -JP

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    Joshua Peskay
    Vice President
    RoundTable Technology
    joshua@roundtabletechnology.com
    www.roundtabletechnology.com
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  • 3.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 07:22
    Bukola,

    Good morning.  I too have struggled for several years to find the right combination of ease of use and features in a project management tool.  I have settled on Asana.  Depending the size of your org and what features you may require, Asana could be free for your use.  Asana is very simple to use.  It also has a great native App as well.  If you have any questions on Asana, I would be happy to answer them for you.




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    James Moore
    Chief Infomation Officer
    The National Beta Club
    spartanburg, SC
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  • 4.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 11:54
    Here are some project management tools I have researched and evaluated.

    Basecamp, Workzone, Asana, Trello, Zoho Project and Jira.

    We are currently using Basecamp.

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    Chi Wei
    Director of Information Technology
    Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
    Washington, DC
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  • 5.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 13:34
    Edited by Robert Mendoza Dec 14, 2017 13:34
    Thank you Bukola for bringing this up .

    Our organization has been using Smartsheet for the past two year's and we love it.
    It offers the flexibility and collaboration options that fit our need and some extras like Webforms.
    Smartsheet gives you multiple options to view you data in different ways.
    1. Card view (aka Kanban...like Trello and Asana)
    2. Grid view - Looks like a spreadsheet.
    3. Gantt view - this is embedded and not a 3rd party.
    4. Calendar view
    We have used webforms way more than I ever expected. Very much like Google Forms but all the data collected goes to your Smartsheet.

    We moved away from Basecamp and I have used Asana, Trelo, MS Project and others. It all depends on your needs analysis of your team.

    Thank you and happy to chat offline if you have any questions.

    Robert


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    Robert Mendoza
    Director of Data & Technology
    SACNAS
    Santa Cruz, CA
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  • 6.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 13:39
    We use Smartsheet as well and have found it to be a useful tool for many things, including project management.  It has a nice web form feature that we've leveraged for a number of internal processes.

    David

    David Nero
    Chief Information Officer
    Perkins School for the Blind




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  • 7.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 13:39
    Hi Bukola. This might push in the direction of even more sophisticated / robust, and it is good to know that it might be better for tech specific projects, but Salesforce developed an agile accelerator that you can find in the AppExchange here: Agile Accelerator - Salesforce Labs - AppExchange. I have also used SmartSheet before and liked it, and there is a Salesforce version for that as well: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/appxListingDetail?listingId=a0N30000003JSACEA4.

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    Brianna Swartz
    Director, IT & Systems Operations
    Education Pioneers
    (415) 690-3465 | brianna.swartz@educationpioneers.org
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  • 8.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 16:07
    I'm searching right now for exactly the same thing! My personal favorite is Asana but for some reason my team couldn't get hold of that so we've been using Basecamp. It's helpful but not my favorite. I'm trying to find something that I can use right inside of Salesforce, and it sounds like Smartsheet may be the way to go.

    Thanks for all the discussion!

    Angie

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    Angie Albright
    Director
    Clinton House Museum
    Fayetteville, AR
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  • 9.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 17:59
    My 2 cents / what I use: SUITE CRM is an opensource system which includes a projects tab, which can generate Gantt charts and manage tasks, whom they're assigned to and so on. Trello is a good kanban board - which are essentials cards within lists - and are useful for leaner teams.


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    Ali Jaffar
    Lead Developer at Key Medium LLC
    codingforcauses@keymedium.com
    www.keymedium.com
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  • 10.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 18:44
    Trello? I don't know that they have a Salesforce integration, but both Trello and Salesforce are in Zapier, which is just as good for most purposes! It allows you to build integrations with a point and click interface. There is a small subscription fee for using Salesforce on the Zapier, if I remember correctly, but the cost is really negligible. 

    Best,
    Liz 




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  • 11.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 14, 2017 20:05
    We've been using Airtable. It offers free and paid accounts. Some very generous features in the free accounts:
    https://airtable.com/invite/r/caq3C1xT

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    Lisa Dove
    Director of Communications and Outreach
    Virginia Community Healthcare Association
    Henrico, VA
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  • 12.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 15, 2017 06:33
    I'm going to echo Smartsheet as a good tool.  But honestly, it really depends on how you define your need.  We picked Smartsheet because at its basic level it allows us to track tasks, who is doing what when and what are the dependencies.  We now us it for more complex activities like work allocation and even have a staff calendar built on Smartsheet.  The licensing for Smartsheets is also great... we went with a team approach where the basic license is a little more than one you purchase as a user, but it allows us to manage the license when individuals leave the organization or if we need to transfer sheets to other users.  The great thing about Smartsheet is you don't need a paid license if all you do is interact with a sheet... so managed correctly, this is a very affordable solution.

    If you are managing products from concept to post delivery support, I like a tool called AHA!  One of my teams develops apps for our nonprofit leaders and the public to use for access to our educational offerings.  These apps require soup to nuts software development methodologies and a tool like AHA! is one I found provides everything I'll need to deliver products.


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    James Stewart
    Chief Information Officer
    NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness
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  • 13.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 15, 2017 09:25
    ​Another Smartsheet fan. We use it for internal IT Project Management, for coordinating with 3rd party vendors, and for automating business processes. We also use webforms more than we thought we would. It's a great tool.

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    Grace Barry
    Director of Information Technology
    Family Service League
    Huntington, NY
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  • 14.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 15, 2017 09:47
    Clearly lots of options!

    Bukola, what are your priorities for managing projects? That will help narrow down the choices.

    From our experience, we've found that Smartsheet is great if you need to manage timelines and dependencies as well as tasks. For just managing tasks and to-do lists (more like Kanban), then Asana or Trello work well.

    I love Airtable too - haven't tried it for PM yet, but that's a good idea.

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    Oren Levine
    Director of Innovation
    International Center For Journalists
    Washington, DC
    olevine@icfj.org - http://www.icfj.org
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  • 15.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 18, 2017 09:36
    Like others have said, I think it depends on the need and also the group of people using it and how they best interact with each other. We use Basecamp with our creative teams and it seems to work really well with them for collaboration and keeping track of tasks however I personally like smartsheet because my brain works better with something like that.

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    Contessa Siegner
    IT Director
    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    Matthews, NC
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  • 16.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 19, 2017 07:51

    We have been using Teamwork (https://www.teamwork.com/) for the past (3) years. It's been great because it allows you to be as detailed (or not) as you desire. We folded in departments that were using Trello, Basecamp, Asana, Excel and Microsoft Project previously to track projects. But, there is no workflow available in Teamwork.

     

    Because of this, we have already begun moving to Taskray (https://taskray.com/) which is a Salesforce based project management app. This allows us all the great functionality of Teamwork, plus the full power of the Salesforce platform. We only have one team moved over at this point, but we are already experiencing success with the tool.

     

    Or

     

    Or Cingilli

    Vice President, Operations

     

    logo

     

    7324 Noah Reid Road | Chattanooga, TN 37422

    O: 423-296-8710 | M: 423-605-7850 

    OCingilli@precept.org | Precept.org

     




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  • 17.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 20, 2017 14:07
    We use Teamwork as well and have found it very useful when collaborating with Clients on their projects.  We started with one project and then expanded our usage based upon the quick adoption of the tool by our clients.

    One thing we find very useful is the integration with both Google and Microsoft platforms for document collaboration.

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    John Kearns
    Primary Contact
    Accounting Micro Systems
    San Francisco
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  • 18.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Dec 20, 2017 17:22

    Thank you for all the great options!

     

       

    Bukola Ashaolu 

    Senior Information Technology Manager
    National Employment Law Project
    646-693-8208 | 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 601
    bashaolu@nelp.org | www.nelp.org 

      

     




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  • 19.  RE: Project Managment Tools

    Posted Jan 25, 2018 18:25
    I'm truly shocked to hear positive recommendations for Smartsheets. That has not been our experience.

    A few staff at our organization adopted Smartsheets two years ago without initially telling IT. The task management features were popular with a very specific segment of the office and other departments were subsequently pulled into those efforts. Since then, we've formally adopted it as our project management tool, mostly because choosing Wrike - the preference of the office project managers - would have caused too much disruption by that point in time.

    Smartsheets has a lot of capability, but is incredibly frustrating to make useful. All of the advanced features require a lot of manual configuration to take advantage of. Most of the staff using it treat it as a group checklist for recurring operational tasks. It is great at that - when all the staff involved agree to use it. That said, about half the office staff is using free Trello accounts for their own task management, myself included. There are a few staff who even after completing training and workshops on features still don't understand why they'd use this instead of Excel. None of the office projects are using it for project management, though I'm using one sheet as a bug-tracking kanban board for an upcoming software release.

    We also had a negative experience in renewing after the first year. The sales person kept trying to upsell us to features we didn't want and didn't have budget approved for, contradicting himself every other contact in regards to pricing, forgetting that we have non-profit pricing, and saying certain training options were included in the cost - when we were later charged an additional fee. I also strongly dislike the administration model - I can't add just one new seat, there's a minimum seat addition of 3 at a time and I have to contact sales for that. If our staff contracts, there is no way to shrink the seat license until renewal. Very different from how licenses are managed with every other system we have.

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    Stephanie Henyard
    Information Technology
    Society for College and University Planning
    www.scup.org
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