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A workaround for recurring tasks

Recurring tasks is one of the most requested features on our wishlist. Since this feature is rather complex to implement, and we have a lot on our plate, we have decided at this time to invest our energy on other enhancements like cost tracking. Recurring tasks will be added to AceProject someday, but not in the near future.

That being said, there is actually a workaround for creating recurring tasks in AceProject, thanks to the "Move/copy a task" feature. If you're willing to repeat the process periodically, you'll get recurring tasks without too much trouble. Here's how to:

Step 1 – Open the task that reoccurs and click the "Move/Copy" link at the upper right.

Step 2 – Select the "Copy this task within the same project" option.

* You may also select items to copy (comments, task documents and/or user assignments.)

* When you're done, click the "Go to Step 2" button.


Step 3 – Set the new task's dates (i.e. the next occurrence)

Step 4 – […]

By |2009-12-09T14:32:00-05:002009-12-09|

A sneak peak at AceProject 4.8

We’ve been working on AceProject 4.8’s new cost tracking features.

Cost tracking has been an often-requested feature set for AceProject, and we’re finally doing it!

While working on the cost tracking module, we realized that not everyone would want to track costs in AceProject. This is why we decided to give that flexibility to our users. While we were at it, we also added another requested feature: the ability to disable all time sheet features in AceProject. You will be able to do this via the Account Info page:

The nice thing about disabling time and cost tracking is that our clients will have the choice of either a very simple interface for project management, or a full-featured, iron-triangle project management system.

Keeping it simple is the challenge

We have worked for eight years to keep AceProject simple. Adding the cost-tracking features while keeping AceProject simple is a daunting challenge. While we need to have a complete feature set, we don’t want to confuse anyone.

Each person (within their access rights) will enter […]

By |2009-09-18T14:33:00-04:002009-09-18|

About tools and flexibility

Whenever someone wants a walk through of AceProject, I am the one who sets up the web meetings and shows them how they can manage their projects and their clients efficiently with our system. I have been giving demos every week for the last 18 months, and I have yet to see two clients with the same needs. Of course, the higher-level needs are more common (collaboration, project management, document management, etc.) But how each client wants to implement this processes in their organization is different every time.

Now AceProject is a tool. It’s something that will help you get things done. It’s not going to do the work for you. It’s not going to force you to go things a certain way.

All tools should be flexible. Not everyone who wants to manage projects needs milestones. Not everyone wants dependencies.

Each organization is unique, and each project manager is unique. Project management tools should accommodate this uniqueness in their product. After all, who are we to tell you how to run your business?

By |2009-07-06T13:21:00-04:002009-07-06|

Virtual is good, but you can’t replace face-to-face

We’ve been working on a project with a client for the last 6 months. The challenge of the project was not so much the technical aspect of the work, but understanding the needs of the client. We were working via email and phone conference calls with the client.

The problem was that it was difficult to get a clear decision from the client. Especially with email, the delay between the questionn and the answer made communications difficult. When we were on the phone, we were also missing an important part of communications: non-verbal.

We were stalled.

We decided to invite the client to our offices. With all of us sitting at the same table, we were able to reach an agreement  as to what needed to be done and how we were going to do it. It was easy to reach the agreement because we were able to communicate more efficiently. Being face to face gives us all the information that someone transmits: the verbal AND the non-verbal.

Virtual meetings are not as rich

It’s easy to give the wrong […]

By |2009-06-12T17:12:00-04:002009-06-12|

Sharing the burden of project updates with your team: why collaborative project management tools are a time-saver and team-builder.

There are two schools of thought with project management tools: project management OR collaboration.

Why should project teams have two tools, one for project management and one for collaboration? Shouldn’t both these uses be united in one tool?

Project management is not about secrecy, quite the contrary. It’s about sharing information with everyone who needs it. Project management is about getting your team to work together to achieve results.

When using a collaborative project management system, you not only share information on the project with the team, your stakeholders and even your clients, you also get to share the burden to updating project information with your team. Instead of the project manager being the only one updating task statuses and entering time sheet data, it’s everyone in the team who does. The project manager simply double-checks and approves the updates.

Not only does it save tremendous amounts of time, it also empowers the team. It gives the team members responsibility towards the project, beyond their assigned work.

By |2009-05-29T14:42:00-04:002009-05-29|

Competition or colleagues?

The world of project management is a crowded place. There are multiple profesional accreditation options, multiple project management methodologies and countless books, blogs and tools to manage projects.

This is a good thing. I have never talked to two organizations who managed projects the same way. It makes sense that there would a wide range of options.

In most markets, when you sell something, the other products that are sold to do the same thing as your product are called competition. The customer base is finite and the game is to win over the heart of a majority of those customers. When we talk about AceProject and the world of project management software, this feels wrong to me.

There are many, many, many project management tools out there. Open source tools, free tools, affordable tools, expensive tools, web-based and desktop-based. The Google search for project management tool comes up with 188 million results. With that many players in the race to win over users and fans, how can we even see it […]

By |2009-05-08T13:23:00-04:002009-05-08|

More AceProject 4.7 news

Development is going well for AceProject 4.7. We are finishing phase 2 of development.

Eye candy

Here is some eye candy for mac users: a brand new skin!

Project templates

People love AceProject’s templates because it makes creating new project very easy. You simply copy an existing project, and you can even adjust task dates based on the new project start date.

With AceProject 4.7, we’ve added the possibility to reset task statuses, so you don’t need to create pure templates if you don’t want to:

Better time sheets

Time sheets are one of the most-used features in AceProject. With version 4.7, AceProject will automatically create time sheets at the beginning of each week.

To make it easier to fill out the time sheets, it will be possible to enter time worked in the hours:minutes format. AceProject will convert the hh:mm entry into a decimal number automatically. That will make time sheet more usable.

By |2009-05-01T12:41:00-04:002009-05-01|

Software should get out of your way and let you work

Last week, Seth Godin made a good point about website design.

Seth made me think about software interface design. I think the same principle should apply here as well: your interface should not be noticeable. It should not take from the work that’s being done.

With AceProject, our goal is to get out of our users’ way and let them manage their projects. It’s nonsense that someone should spend so much time just setting up the project. It’s nonsense that the project manager would have to spend hours and hours babysitting the project. And the sad truth is, with many project management solutions (online and offline), it is often the case.

It is a challenge to make an interface easy to use and functional, without forgetting to make it aesthetically pleasing. But it has to be done. It’s a delicate balance between making features easily accessible and not drowing the users with choices.

I’ve rarely heard someone say “This interface is so complicated, but it’s just too pretty, I can’t stop using the product.” I’ve often […]

By |2009-04-14T13:58:00-04:002009-04-14|

Something can always be changed…but should it?

Seth Godin has a very insightful post about ignoring your critics.

I agree with him.

From a sales standpoint, critics are everywhere. People who are shopping for project management software often have a very definite set of features they would like to see in their tool. And when they are faced with the reality of an actual project management system, which cannot possibly include all the features everyone ever wanted, they may say something like “I would definitely buy AceProject is it did X.”

The problem is, if we added every feature asked during the sales process, AceProject would be a mess. It would have so many features, it would be unusable. And no one would want to buy it.

So, we need to balance what we choose to add to AceProject. If it keeps coming back (like task dependencies being too hard to use), we should do it. If it’s been asked only once, we’ll wait.

By |2009-04-03T12:04:00-04:002009-04-03|

New in AceProject 4.7: Project Porftolio

It used to be only administrators and users with limited-administration rights could see multi-project Gantt charts.

This created a situation where both administrators and project managers were seeing information that was not for them: Administrators were concerned with creating users and account settings, not Gantt charts and calendars. On the other hand, for project managers to see all their projects in
one calendar or Gantt chart, they had to also see the complete users list, account
configuration, etc.

This was wrong. So we decided to fix it in AceProject 4.7.

One tab becomes two: Admin and Portfolio

Now, all the project-related information, like reports, calendars and Gantt charts, is in the Portfolio tab:

The Admin tab will contain the account-specific information: users, account settings, clients, and administrative tools:

Everyone can see all their stuff. Only their stuff.

What’s nice about the Portfolio tab is that anyone can have it: project managers, team leaders, team members.

This way, everyone can see their cross-project calendar:

It becomes easy to look for a document across all your […]

By |2009-04-01T14:34:00-04:002009-04-01|
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