Task tracking tool evaluations
See below for a description of the features.
|Tool||Task board||Supports checklists||Can duplicate objects||Clear terminology||Mobile support||Cost||Task dependencies||Task groups||Slack integration||Open source||Other Notes|
|Kyber.me||No||Yes||Free||No||Yes. Slack channel > task||Notifications and task creation, modification, etc.||No||+ You can easily see tasks you've assigned to others and click a "Follow Up" button to request a status update.
+ Integration with calendars (not evaluated)
+ Automation possibilities with IFTTT (not evaluated)
|Taiga.io||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes. Mobile-ready web interface. Dragging cards is a bit slow.||Free for public projects||No||Yes. projects > epics > user stories > tasks.||Notifications only and all notifications for a Taiga project (which might contain all of our projects) go to the same channel. There are well documented APIs for both Slack and Taiga, so we could conceivably roll our own better Slack integration.||Yes||+ Custom fields|
|Drupal's PM plugin|
|PHProjekt||No||Not tested||Free||No||Yes. Infinite depth||No||Yes but see notes.|| + Easy to install from GoDaddy CPanel
- Project is unmaintained since 2013
- Website is unreachable
|BugGenie||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes but very clunky. No drag/drop. Need to refresh to see changes.||Free on GoDaddy.||No.||Yes. Infinite depth. Terminology seems flexible.||Notifications only via addon (not evaluated). Notifications for different projects can be sent to different channels.||Yes||+ Supports swimlanes for different categories, types, or priorities.+ Custom task types, fields, and work flows
- Sluggish UI
|Asana||No. Though Asanban supposedly provides one.||Yes, via apps for Android and iOS||Per user pricing. Declined to allow us to use the Asana for Students program.||No.||Yes. Projects > sections > tasks > subtasks||No.||+ Already being used for many business tasks|
|Teamweek||Would need to investigate non-profit discount|
|PivotalTracker||Yes, though the default configuration is a bit limiting. There are workarounds and add-ons to make it more general purpose.||Cards||No||Yes, via apps for "alpha" Android and iOS.||Free for public projects||No.||Yes. Projects > epics > user stories > tasks||Notifications only (not evaluated).||No||+ Responsive UI|
|Trello||Yes.||Cards and lists||Yes. Neutral terminology.||Yes, via apps for Android and iOS||Free||No. However there is a Chrome extension that adds dependency support (not evaluated)||Yes. Lists > cards > checklists||Yes but somewhat limited. 1-to-1 linking between channels and boards, which is not ideal if we have multiple projects on one board.||No.|| + Very responsive UI on web and mobile.
- Limited ability to manage permissions
|JIRA||Per user pricing but might qualify for free classroom license or open source license.|
|Kanboard||Yes.||Cards||Yes.||Yes via clunky mobile-ready web UI. No drag and drop||Free if we host it ourselves. Cheap otherwise (no per-user pricing)||No||Yes. Projects > lists > tasks > subtasks||Yes|
|Wekan.io||Yes||No||None||Yes. Neutral terminology.||Free if we host it.||Yes. Lists > Cards||Yes|
|Restya.com||Yes||Yes||Cards only||Yes. Neutral terminology.||Yes via clunky mobile-ready web UI. No drag and drop||Free if we host it||No||Yes. Lists > Cards > checklists||Maybe via Zapier (not evaluated, not well documented)||Yes|| + Supposedly good permissions management
- No Google login
|Freedcamp||Yes, but seems limited to 3 columns (No Progress, In Progress, Completed).||Yes||No||Mostly. To get all projects on one task board, there would be one Freedcamp project that would correspond to our entire year and each of our projects would correspond to a task group.||Yes via clunky mobile-ready web UI. No drag and drop. iOS app released in 9/2016. Android app expected by end of 2016.||Free, unless we need more storage or special apps||No||Yes. Projects > task groups > tasks > subtasks||No||No|| + Supports swimlanes in the form of task groups. Could use one task group for each of our projects.
- No labels/tags
- Task board seems to require a refresh to see changes by other users
The tool should provide a single view (sometimes called a task board, a WIP board (work in progress board), or a kanban board) for the entire team to visualize the state of all tasks. At a minimum there are columns for tasks in each of the following states: to do, in progress, done. Ideally, the tool provides a way to add columns corresponding to states like "blocked" or "under review".
Checklists on a card can be used to enforce quality control procedures.
Can duplicate objects
The ability to duplicate checklists, cards, lists, and/or boards is very useful for ensuring processes are followed. Sets of objects that we treat as templates can be used to document the processes.
Many task board tools are focused on agile/scrum software development methodologies. Those methodologies introduce new terms like User Story and Epic, and use terms like Task and Project in ways that are different from the way we use those terms internally. A tool which uses either our terminology or neutral terminology (e.g. boards, lists, cards, and checklists) would reduce confusion and speed/simplify adoption.
It should be easy for a user to use a smart phone to select a task to work on and change the state of task. Ideally the user can also use a smartphone to add/change information associated with the task (e.g. add comments, change the task description, etc).
Should cost less than $500/year to use. Many task tracking tools are priced on a per-user basis. With over 50 potential users, even a price of $1/user/month is too expensive, and all tools with per-user pricing that I've seen are more expensive than that. Some tools are free for public projects which should work for us. Some tools offer discounts or are free for academic institutions or non-profits. These might be worth investigating, but given the time-critical nature of getting a tool in place, we might not be able to get approved for such treatment soon enough for it to be useful.
Ideally, there should be a way to indicated that one task can not start until another one is complete, and such a dependency should be made visible and should prevent users from choosing a task which is blocked for that reason.
The tool should allow tasks to be grouped so that we can distinguish between tasks associated with different projects. The groups might be called projects, epics, or they might go by some other name.
The tool should also allow tasks to at least have basic checklist-style subtasks to assist with implement quality control procedures.
The tool should have a way to notify relevant users via slack when the state of a task changes or new tasks are created.
Ideally, the tool should also allow the user to use slack to change the state of a task so that they don't have to switch apps as often.
The goal here is just to avoid vendor lock-in. If the tool is proprietary the pricing or availability of the tool might change in the future in a way that would prevent us from continuing to use the tool and we might also lose access to any data in it. If it's open source we will at least be able to host it ourselves if necessary and, at least theoretically, recover any critical data in some form.