Open Source Linux Solutions » WhoDoes http://www.xmltree.com Open Source Linux Solutions: Linux Programs, Reviews Programs, Ruby on Rails, Tutorials for Web 2.0 Tue, 12 Feb 2013 17:50:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.1 No constraints, no boundaries. You can step back http://www.xmltree.com/?p=142 http://www.xmltree.com/?p=142#comments Tue, 12 Feb 2013 17:48:34 +0000 admin http://www.xmltree.com/?p=142 In the current version of WhoDoes people have to follow a specific pattern to start planning a project.

You have to create a new project, invite then staff people, create milestones then tasks and assign people to tasks.

This is the normal path you follow when you start a plan. Up to this point everything can be considered normal.

Using WhoDoes you also need to complete all the task’s attributes (i.e. start and due date, budget) in order to make them visible on people’s calendars.

If you don’t complete them, you don’t actually get the tasks included into your plan and visible to people.

We found this approach too limited. After all a project management tool must first of all help people to communicate deadlines, things to be done or simply facts.

People need to share TO-DOs in a project even before they know who will be in charge of them. Again, they need to communicate to each other before knowing when activity deadlines need to be accomplished.

So the first decision is. Relax requirements on mandatory attributes and objects and make milestones and tasks loosely coupled.

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WhoDoes Lesson one: remove constraints http://www.xmltree.com/?p=139 http://www.xmltree.com/?p=139#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 17:46:03 +0000 admin http://www.xmltree.com/?p=139 We just finished launching WhoDoes and soon we will be starting to think of the next major steps in our product life cycle. New features? A bit of mashups? APIs?

Not exactly. We decided to take a different approach, re-thinking some core characteristics of WhoDoes to make it even easier to use.

We know we are the first clients of WhoDoes and we soon understood that we would make a better product for everyone by simplifying the way it works.

So we stopped thinking about the product’s evolution and we started thinking about how we can streamline what we have been creating.

We are a small company and this is an advantage. You can simply decide to change things that you think can be done better and soon, start to improve the future of your application.

You can decide to listen to yourself and your customers, and make things work faster.

No committees, no meetings, no focus groups, … no wasting of time. The best way to check how changes might effect your product is to try it on your user base and to wait and see what it produces… in the real world.

I think user responses are the best way to validate ideas.

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WhoDoes: our new product soon online http://www.xmltree.com/?p=83 http://www.xmltree.com/?p=83#comments Sun, 03 Feb 2013 15:56:55 +0000 admin http://www.xmltree.com/?p=83 Driving a project to succeed is always been a tough job. We have been involved in project delivery for a long time – and we actually are right now – and we know how difficult it can be to identify the best trade off amongst time, cost and customer satisfaction.

In this time we have understood that the major hit in this process is making your team aware of what they have to do every morning, when they start their work day.

Planning project activities and taking care of every expected and unexpected task is a major challenge that your team is going to face everyday. The secret weapon to survive the mess is, don’t panic and slice your project tasks into little chores: simply, understandable and quickly to complete.

So, a successful project driver must first of all answer the following question:

What do I have to do today?

Your people need to know what they have to accomplish every day in order to succeed in projects. They don’t need to know the whole complex picture and be worried about every single aspect of the contract – client expectations, timing and cost constraints, status reports and so on.

You need them to be focused on one task at a time and possibly the right one. The one which is due for the next deadline, satisfying the client and keeping your boss relaxed.

Often the major problem is driving team effort in the right direction, producing visible and valuable results on time. People working hard on the wrong task get frustrated quickly when not achieving results and often decide to leave your company.

So, the main issue you have to address is to have tools and methods which answer to this simple question:

What do I have to do today?

You can be a great planner and a wonderful communicator, but if you don’t answer the simple question you get quickly burnt out as well as the project. It’s really simple: your people need to know what to do and they need it every day. We studied this simple problem very carefully until we understood, us – and probably you – need some tools to support our operations.

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WhoDoes Lesson one: remove constraints http://www.xmltree.com/?p=72 http://www.xmltree.com/?p=72#comments Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:23:09 +0000 admin http://www.xmltree.com/?p=72 We just finished launching WhoDoes and soon we will be starting to think of the next major steps in our product life cycle. New features? A bit of mashups? APIs?

Not exactly. We decided to take a different approach, re-thinking some core characteristics of WhoDoes to make it even easier to use. We know we are the first clients of WhoDoes and we soon understood that we would make a better product for everyone by simplifying the way it works.

So we stopped thinking about the product’s evolution and we started thinking about how we can streamline what we have been creating.

We are a small company and this is an advantage. You can simply decide to change things that you think can be done better and soon, start to improve the future of your application. You can decide to listen to yourself and your customers, and make things work faster.

No committees, no meetings, no focus groups, … no wasting of time. The best way to check how changes might effect your product is to try it on your user base and to wait and see what it produces… in the real world.

I think user responses are the best way to validate ideas.

Anyway, let’s go through what we called Lesson Learned #1

No constraints, no boundaries. You can step back

In the current version of WhoDoes people have to follow a specific pattern to start planning a project. You have to create a new project, invite then staff people, create milestones then tasks and assign people to tasks.

This is the normal path you follow when you start a plan. Up to this point everything can be considered normal.

Using WhoDoes you also need to complete all the task’s attributes (i.e. start and due date, budget) in order to make them visible on people’s calendars. If you don’t complete them, you don’t actually get the tasks included into your plan and visible to people.

We found this approach too limited. After all a project management tool must first of all help people to communicate deadlines, things to be done or simply facts.

People need to share TO-DOs in a project even before they know who will be in charge of them. Again, they need to communicate to each other before knowing when activity deadlines need to be accomplished.

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Great news! WhoDoes 1.1 is online! http://www.xmltree.com/?p=68 http://www.xmltree.com/?p=68#comments Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:18:22 +0000 admin http://www.xmltree.com/?p=68 In the past few months we have worked to improve WhoDoes a lot. We are finally proud to announce a new release – 1.1 – is online.

We have just open a special offer for bloggers and press.

Faster than ever

Short after releasing version 1.0 in May, we realized that the project planning section was too slow. We worked hard to improve WhoDoes performance: we changed the hosting services provider and we carefully reviewed and optimized the source code. The results very good. Have a look at it!

Explore

The previous version included a small product tour. It wasn’t able to completely explain and give a clear idea of the potential of WhoDoes. So we decided to completely redesign the ‘Tour’ section in what we have called ‘Explore’ a dedicated and complete guide to the main sections of our product, with screenshots and responses to frequently asked questions.

Calendar subscription

As of today you can use Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Mozilla Sunbird, Microsoft Outlook and every other comparable calendar software that implement “iCalendar standard” to subscribe task calendar.

In line tutorial

A new tutorial has been built inside the application to take you step by step through all phases of the project. This in line tutorial is already available in all the languages we support.

English, Italian and Spanish

It’s much easier to use an application if it speaks your language. WhoDoes is now available in English, Italian and Spanish to simplify your life!

New subscription plans added

It’s now possible to use WhoDoes to manage more than two projects, with more space for the Repository and the option to handle up to 100 managed projects. In fact there are four new subscription plans available fo you to buy. Of course each of you can continue to use WhoDoes for free.

As for the payment gateway, we decided to use PayPal, because we strongly feel that this solution can help you to trust us. We don’t store your credit card information nor the extra data PayPal asks you to provide. Basing our payment service on PayPal doesn’t mean you need to have a PayPal Account to buy a subscription.

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WhoDoes 1.1 is on the way http://www.xmltree.com/?p=65 http://www.xmltree.com/?p=65#comments Thu, 31 Jan 2013 15:03:20 +0000 admin http://www.xmltree.com/?p=65 More or less than one month ago we released the very first version – 1.0 – of WhoDoes as a kind of a beta version. As you know this tool is designed to give answers to a simple question: What do I have to do today?

To be really productive and be able to reduce the communication gaps (and then the project length ), your team must know what to do every day. It’s not a matter of distrust, but a matter of being focused and effective, WhoDoes can help you do this simple task.

During this month many of you sent us much appreciated suggestions and questions, and we tried to answer everybody. Our team would like to say thank you to everybody for your wonderful support. We appreciated it very much.

Now, version 1.1 of WhoDoes is almost ready and we think it’s important to share the new features with you, hoping to have some feedback.

Anyway, consider the following list as a draft that could be changed on necessity:

New languages

Whodoes will be available in Italian and Spanish. Every user can change the language setting by themselves, through its profile section.

iCalendar subscription

You can now subscribe to calendars and be up to date with all changes occurring in the work-plan

Leaving the application

Up to now it was not possible to delete users from the system. You could suspend users but not erase their accounts. Now this minor defect has been fixed. Besides this, users are able to delete their own accounts if they decide to quit using WhoDoes, simply by unsubscribing to their registration.

Payment plans

Now you will be able to extend WhoDoes usage to all of your projects and teams by subscribing to a payment plan. We promise to make small business life easier at a very low price. We decided to start at less than $6 with a lot of features included.

Faster then ever

We put a lot of effort in speeding up the application. This is a continuous task as you know, that sometimes requires to design and code the entire module from scratch. This could imply a change of approach. As “Getting Real” book by 37signals suggests “Pay off your code and design bills”: we always do that.

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