Managing a team of developers is both a great challenge and a pleasure. The challenge, because this task is often difficult and extremely demanding, especially if the team is dispersed in whole or partly and working remotely.

Thus, it is even more important to apply appropriate and effective tools to manage the project tasks, supporting the current communication and giving the ability to track progress, which can provide valuable information and inspiration for continuous improvement of the work of the whole team. That is why I would like to describe the 7 basic tools that I use in most of my projects.

Jira / Redmine

redmine
redmine

The clear division of tasks, their descriptions, and priorities – it is the basis for the success of any project. So I use the tools thanks to which we can manage tasks, their priorities, and versions as well as individual assignments and those who should be notified of the status change. It is the place, where you can manage all, even the smallest tasks and their status changes.

Visit the site: Jira / Redmine

Wunderlist

wunderlist

It can be used for creating extra optional lists of smaller tasks or topics that are worth discussing at the next daily or project review. Ideal for integration, for example with HipChat, so that specific topics or ideas can be automatically saved every time they appear during the discussion.

Visit the site: Wunderlist

Toggl

toggl
toggl


A necessary tool for ongoing control of project costs and a budget summary. This way we know who and how many people worked on specific tasks. Also, when you unify the system of logs, it is extremely easy to summarize the entire time spent on a particular task in a given period of time. It is the basis for settlements with clients thus needs to be updated regularly. You can read more about this tool in this comprehensive Toggl Review.

Visit the site: Toggl

Hipchat / Slack / Skype / Hangout

slack

Tools for everyday communication. Necessary for the rapid exchange of information for the teams, which often work in different rooms on different floors and, what is even more common these days, in different cities or countries. These tools allow a quick chat with one person or an entire team in the form of a text message or a teleconference with the desktop preview. Irreplaceable!

Visit the site: Hipchat / Slack / Skype / Hangout

Confluence / Redmine Wiki

confluence
confluence

Leading the larger and more complex projects, it is worth to gather all the expertise and knowledge in one place. The ideal tool here is Confluence, which, combined with Jira, provides ideal opportunities to supplement the knowledge on specific tasks or technological solutions, which are available in one place for the whole team.

Visit the site: Confluence / Redmine Wiki

Gitlab / Jenkins

gitlab

None of the team members, especially the Project Manager, shouldn’t be afraid to look into what exactly the team has created. It is crucial to track, for example, on Gitlab, what is the current status, whether, for example, it is ready for publication and/or has been tested. With the integration, for instance with HipChat, we can receive notifications about the changes directly, so the whole team is aware of what tasks have been completed so far and at what stage they are, which is an ideal complement to draw knowledge about current activities of developers and good supplement for tracking the progress of tasks in Jira or Redmine.

Visit the site: Gitlab / Jenkins

Google Docs

google-docs

The equivalent to Excel and Word in one, but in an online version, which provides the instant access to the most current version of the document with all the statuses and changes. As a result, you can share important information about the basics of the project, schedules, lists of team members, lists of risks and requirements, etc. In short, this tool allows you to run the knowledge base of the project namely “Project Knowledge Document”. It ensures transparency in the communication plans, milestones and availability of the team for each team member and the client as well.

Visit the site: Google Docs

Read also: What your Software House will never tell you

Wojciech Gajewski

Senior IT Project Manager at Divante eCommerce Software House