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The Center for Community Collaboration Technologies
Assessing Project Planning and Project Management Software and Web-based Services

[ Project History ] [ Project Archive Sponsor ] [ Core Team ] [ Document Archive ] [ Recommended Reading ] [ What's Ahead? ]


Highly Recommended
No More Teams! is a Sohodojo must-read.
Michael Schrage's No More Teams! Mastering the Dynamics of Creative Collaboration is a provocative and timely read if you are interested in the future of Internet-enabled collaboration. If you are evaluating project collaboration technologies and have not yet read Schrage's book, grab a copy of No More Teams! and read it before making your informed decision.

The future of business – especially for our solo and family-based entrepreneurial small business community – will be increasingly transient and opportunistic... project-oriented rather than organization-oriented.

The Sohodojo TechSIG is committed to providing our entreprneurs in rural and distressed urban communities with accurate and helpful information to assist in the selection and use of project planning and project management software and web-based services. If you have a product or service which you would like to bring to our attention, please drop us a note and tell us about it.

This page and its related pages together form an on-line archive of documents produced during the initial phase of an Open Source community project that looked at the requirements for web-based project management. Of particular interest is the project's comparison of web-based project planning and project management software and service offerings. This assessment was performed during the Summer of 2000, so some products and services have been updated and some discontinued. Our team's product and service evaluations, and our project's environmental scanning method are still useful, however.

 Project History and Background

This project began as "Spec-Writing for Web-based Project Planning Software" and was the first Wish List project funded at SourceXchange, the now defunct Open Source developer marketplace.

Highly Recommended
Mirror Worlds is a Sohodojo must-read.
David Gelernter's Mirror Worlds is not directly about project planning. Mirror World-style technologies will, however, be ideal platforms for project collaborations. [ More... ]

We were fortunate to have two sponsors for our initial work. We would like to thank Collab.Net and Opendesk.com for funding the first three milestones of this project.

It was unfortunate that we were unable to finish this project as originally chartered. This project was intended to produce a Software Requirements Specification for an Open Source platform to address the unique needs of Open Source developers. While we did not have a chance to complete our original charter, the comparative evaluation of web-based project planning software and services presented here is a good result of our efforts.

Please read the 'Lessons Learned' section of our project post-mortem to learn more about what was accomplished by this Sohodojo TechSIG roject.

 Project Archive Sponsor

eProject is a Sohodojo Research Sponsor, find out more...You will notice an eProject Sohodojo Research Sponsor banner logo at the top-left corner of each page for the 'sub-tree' of pages that are maintained on-line for this project archive. It is important to note that eProject was not a sponsor of the information collected and developed during this project. Indeed, eProject was a subject of this project's environmental scanning. It was through this project that we became aware of eProject's service offerings and subsequently got to know this entreprenurial Seattle-based company.

Over a series of months and many conversations with eProject President Shane Jones, we have evolved a collaborative relationship in support of Sohodojo's research and social action agenda. As a Sohodojo Research Sponsor, eProject is supplying a number of seats to its Enterprise service to support the work of Sohodojo's Advisory Board, directors, and our network of research and social action collaborators. We greatly appreciate this support.

In turn, we are working with eProject management to help them better understand and support the non-profit organization (NPO), government, education, and small business network marketplaces. We will encourage eProject in the evolution of web-based project management application service offerings that are affordable and effective in support of these emerging marketplaces.

We also want to play an active role in helping eProject to understand, value and support the evolution of open standards for the interoperability of project management data. In this regard, we believe Open Source software has a valuable role to play in providing reference implementations of such open standards for project data.

We thank eProject for its support of Sohodojo's research and development agenda.

 Our Core Team

Since this project is all about collaboration, we've chartered this project with two co-leaders who equally share the responsibility for this project. We are:

 Milestone and Working Documents

The project consists of five milestones, each with a substantive document deliverable associated. Milestone documents, together with their current status will be posted here:

In addition to project deliverables, this project is generating some useful working documents:

  • Some baseline searches on 'project planning' and 'project management' keywords provides a snapshot of the "what's visible" on the web in the problem domain based on the two primary keyword phrases. These snapshots were useful for mining leads to relevant products, services and related content on the Web. More importantly, these mega-search 'doorway' pages work exceptionally well bringing web surfers to this project web site where they find out about the Open Source community's interest in and involvement developing technologies which address project planning and project management.

  • The Comparables Analysis Data Collection Outline is a plain-text document (submitted as Part 2 of the M1 deliverable) to be used by the core team and voluntary contributors during the M2 comparable product and service analysis.

  • Stakeholders of a Collaborative Project Planning System is a plain-text working document which captures some thoughts on Actors and Roles to drive use cases and scenarios during analysis and specification writing.
 Recommended Reading


On-line articles

There is a great and growing need for an innovative, flexible platform to encourage the evolution of Open Source Software projects with regard to project planning, management and team collaboration.

While the currently available 'enterprise offerings' address many of the OSS community's needs, they are not an optimal fit due to fundamental differences between the dynamics of managed-team, business-owned projects and the OSS community's community-based, voluntary collaborative projects.

As a vivid testament of the need for the platform to be defined by this project, consider these active debates about OSS project planning and management at popular Open Source Software developer sites:

Additional relevant articles include:

  • Linas Vepstas' Workflow Design cogently presents an approach to XML coding of the fundamental model elements in our project planning/management problem space. Check out Linas' insights about such model elements as Role, User and Project.

  • After reading Linas' article above, drop by another sXc project, Michael Roberts' wftk: Open-source workflow toolkit for additional insights about XML and executable business modeling.

If you think about a project plan as a kind of 'one-off' workflow specification, then modeling standards applicable to workflow systems are certainly relevant to our problem domain. See, for example, the following two Object Management Group's documents:

 What Is Ahead?

There is an on-going need for and interest in information about available commercial and community-supported, web-based project management software and services. Currently, this project archive is a report on the 'state of the industry/market' during the Summer of 2000.

Since this initial project was completed, Sohodojo has been incorporated as a non-profit research and education laboratory serving the needs of solo and family-based entrepreneurs in rural and distressed urban communities. As we increase our capabilities, Sohodojo intends to continue the environment scanning and evaluation of web-based project management software and services. If you would like to participate in this effort, or if you would like to be informed of news in this domain, please contact us and express your interest.

--Jim Salmons and Timlynn Babitsky--
Sohodojo Research Directors

© 1998-2010 Jim Salmons and Timlynn Babitsky for Sohodojo excepting project web pages and documents which are published under the appropriate Open Source documentation license.
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