Over a year ago, I wrote a post expressing my frustration in evaluating project management apps for my organization.
I’ve been wanting to write a follow-up post for a while. I had hoped I could write something glowing about the tool we carefully chose.
Shortly after I finished that post, we settled on Dream Factory’s Dream Team Suite.
- Salesforce single sign-on.
- Uses Salesforce event/task and account data.
- Gantt view and task dependencies.
- Project templates.
- The ability share project views with non-users.
- 50% discount for nonprofit organizations.
- Mostly positive reviews on the Salesforce Appexchange.
- We did a number of demos and worked with the trial version for 2 weeks and thought we could roll it out successfully.
- #@$#@% proprietary browser plug-in which worked inconsistently across browsers. I was continually troubleshooting errors with users. Difficult when you’re supporting staff remotely, and Dream Factory staff wasn’t as helpful as I would have liked.
- Staff hated it. And that’s being kind. The interface wasn’t quite Mac-like, wasn’t quite Windows-like. It was something new and unfamiliar that people had to learn and it wasn’t intuitive. Staff tried to wrap their head around it, but the awkward interface quirks made everything difficult.
- We shared project timelines with our creative consultants who struggled with the finicky plug-in even more than staff did.
- Poor notifications and cumbersome reporting. Truth be told, I should have realized that the workarounds wouldn’t work. To be successful with this tool, our users would have had to live in the app which wasn’t realistic.
Don’t mean to bash. I know that there are many organizations successfully using Dream Team. Large and small. I certainly heard about those happy customers every time I expressed our concerns to the company. It just wasn’t a good fit. It happens. No hard feelings.
So back to the drawing board. What are we using now? Basecamp. I know. I know. After all that research.
As someone who has been using/evaluating tech for many years, Basecamp drives me nuts. I can’t stand the fact that I can’t make a template from a completed project. I can’t stand how hard it is to focus when messages are flying all over the place. I can’t stand that I can’t sort task lists by due date. The list goes on.
But here’s the thing…Basecamp is the easiest to get others to adopt. It offers a consistent user experience. It’s just simple enough but we’re still keeping things on track. It’s not great for complex time-sensitive projects, but we’re doing just fine so far breaking things down to basic milestones and to-do lists and taking advantage of Basecamp’s email integration. We can bring outside folks in to projects and they get it pretty quickly. We have templates for our regular events and projects and it’s working out.
We’re on top of what we need to be on top of. In the end…for now…that’s enough.