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Seeing the Complete Picture when Building Software

, 11 Feb 2009 CPOL
Building software and managing project communications can be a challenge. Having a simple, centralized issue management platform really helps take away the usual hassle of team meetings, communicating progress, organizing team workloads and generally understanding project progress.

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Software Development Team Collaboration

Building software and managing project communications can be a challenge. Development team members have to focus on producing quality software with minimal distractions and associated noise.

Having a simple, centralized issue management platform really helps take away the usual hassle of team meetings, communicating progress, organizing team workloads and generally understanding project progress.

These challenges are further compounded by having remote workers, partners and customers who also participate in your software development process. Typically customers want to know if their Bug is being addressed and when. Testers want to tell you something is broke. Team Leads need to track the usual project burn down progress. Developers just want to develop.

So what topics should you focus on addressing?

  1. Use one platform for everyone: Developers, Testers, Partners, Customers (drop artificial boundaries).
  2. Adopt a browser-based product (minimise desktop software installations).
  3. Adopt simple Workflow that everyone can follow (no red tape).
  4. Establish usable centralized Project Dashboards (one place, one truth).
  5. Integrate other tools to make life easier (where appropriate).

Download Gemini TODAY and we'll give you a 5 User License at NO COST.

One Platform, Browser-based

gemini.png

A simple, clean, intuitive Project Dashboard that can be used by all types of users really helps to keep projects on track.  Too often, such dashboards are either geared towards techies or are full of questionable charts that seem to track a whole host of questionable metrics.

Filtering, editing, and tracking issues is a far simpler proposition with Gemini. Intuitive filtering, inline issue editing, automatic email alerts benefit all team members.

issues.png

Simple Workflow

workflow.png

Workflow is both good and bad. Too much "red tape" can hinder a project and adversely affect team morale. Too little can result in a problematic "free for all" environment where there is hardly any project control.

Instead focus on two things:

  1. Who can see what?
  2. Who can change what?

Gemini provides Field Visibility and Workflow Control so you can quickly define common scenarios.  For example:

  • Only Developers can populated “Fixed in Version” field.
  • Only Testers can Close issues.
  • Customers can only see their own issues.

The result is Workflow that is simple to enforce and easy to grasp.

Useful Project Dashboards

Having a simple-to-understand Project Dashboard really helps drive better communication: one place for the important project metrics, storage of related documentation, manage project schedules, and see who is logging time against your project.

docs.png

A neat feature of Gemini is the instant view of easy-to-understand Project Roadmaps and Change Logs. This really helps communicate to all team members what work is coming up (Road Maps) and what work has been shipped (Change Logs).

roadmap.png

Integration: Makes Things Easier

In the interests of productivity and convenience, it helps to have more than one route to your issues base. Gemini provides some interesting add-on products:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Add-in – manage your issues inside your development environment.
  • Microsoft Outlook Add-in – see what you have to complete and by when.
  • Web Services SDK – convenient application and data integration points.

Gemini is the only .NET based platform that allows users to log issues using Instant Messaging.

msn.png

The power of this method is not to be underestimated. Imagine being able to log issues rapidly, one after the other, during your regular Development Team Meetings!

Sometimes you just need to take your work on the road. Gemini Desktop is an add-on product that allows users to take their issues with them.

desktop.png

A neat feature of Gemini Desktop is full data synchronization: connect and upload your amends back into Gemini, quickly resolving any data conflicts. This is great for mobile workers who need to work without constant internet connection.

How Gemini Helps You

Software Development Teams function better with Gemini. If you build software, then CounterSoft Gemini will help introduce a simple and transparent method to give your team the complete picture.

Gemini is a popular .NET based Issue Tracker, Bug Tracker that integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio, MSN Messenger, Microsoft Outlook and more.

Download Gemini TODAY and we'll give you a 5 User License at NO COST.

  • Stunning web user interface for all team members.
  • Integration with MSN Messenger – log issues right using IM.
  • Integration with SVN and Microsoft Visual Studio enables pain-free Developer experience.
  • Fully interactive Gantt and Microsoft Outlook integration simplifies scheduling.
  • Offline working mode with full data sync supports mobile project working.
  • Let your customer’s login and interact sensibly.
  • Localized to over 16 languages + Source Code Licensing option.

Next Steps

Get your FREE Gemini 5 User License now.

Download Gemini put your team on the right track.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Countersoft
Countersoft
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Founded in 2003, Countersoft provides Gemini, a leading .NET project issue management platform that offers a very effective browser-based project team experience, enabling total project issue tracking, bug tracking and more. Gemini links Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Visual Studio, Team Foundation Server, and more.
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