Project Management Program

A mentor on our team told us about a program that he uses at work called Asana. It is really great because it allows us to make and keep track of tasks and who is suppose to do them. Right now we are testing it on an off season project, but the issue is that the free version only allows 15 people to be on. Our team has 40 people and for us to get a plan to use the software it would be $500 PER MONTH! Does anyone have a suggestion of a free project management programs that we could use on our team?

Thanks for the help!

The first free program that comes to mind is Trello. Our team used it during the 2017 season but has recently opted for the trusty ol’ whiteboard. This wasn’t because Trello isn’t good, it was just a matter of preference.

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My last team used Wunderlist, a free app. It worked really well for software and business team tasks, but was never really taken up by the mechanical or electrical teams (they preferred to give out tasks in person at the beginning of each meeting).

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I tried out OpenProject but it lacked some branding features which my company requires so we quickly ditched it. If customization isn’t something you necessarily want, I would check it out since the out-of-the-box feature set was pretty good and it is free.

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I’ve spent extensive time looking for products like Asana that my team can use. They are all expensive even if you use non-profit discount.

Your best bet is look to Jira Software by Atlassian (they also make Trello) and apply for their non-profit program. If you fulfill the qualifications, you get Atlassian’s version of Asana plus a few more bonuses like some GitHub stuff and something similar to Google Drive.

My team is currently applying for this. You do need a proper business email so cant be @gmail needs to be something like @team6897 (Wix allows you to do this for about $5-$10 a month I believe and google has G-Suite which allows for that too)

Otherwise, for FRC purposes I feel like Trello should be enough but the integration these software’s provide with something like Slack is in my opinion, significant enough to pursue.

Github has github projects, I haven’t used myself before, but it looks like it could work well. Im not sure how your non programmers would feel about using github for project boards but your code team might appreciate it cuz it can integrate with github repos.

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I use Jira at work and I think it would be a great way to organize projects and break them down into tasks. GitHub has a feature called Projects and you can create Issues that work in a similar way.

In my experience, these are pretty intuitive for the software folks (many of whom use GitHub anyway), but you may find it more difficult to get buy in from business/fabrication/etc.

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We installed the Workstreams.AI integration into our team’s Slack yesterday, and it seems great so far, highly recommend.

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we use a website called airtable. Its very similar to excel, but much easier for basic users. We keep shop inventory on one tab, design releases drawings on another which is linked to the inventory where we also track its progress and who is working on that part. We also keep track of purchases to update inventory. The free version has storage limits, but we’ve yet to run into those by storing drawings to a google drive.

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We used Basecamp… it is free for Education purposes and allow your team to create specific teams and projects… mobile app is available and we use it pretty consistently…

I’m surprised no one has said Google Keep yet. We recently started using it and it’s pretty useful. It’s free as well, and has no limit. It doesn’t seem perfect at first for project management, but split up the sections correctly and it works pretty well. We have a section dedicated to team members who have tasks, lists of things to bring places, etc. It’s all in one place and pretty organized.

Has anyone tried gitkraken yet?

We haven’t tried it yet and the glo boards were introduced last year I think, but overall it looks pretty interesting.

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My team used Asana in 2015. We had the full version sponsored to the team, so we were able to use it for all 35 of our members at the time.

Unfortunately it was QUITE cumbersome and ended up being more work to update than it was helpful. We did not continue to use it into the 2016 season.

I’d recommend using a google sheet (what my team currently uses) or excel spreadsheet (what my work currently uses) to keep up your Open Issues List. Students already know how to use it, and navigating is easy enough.

We use it for task tracking, timelines, data analysis, simulations, event prep & packing, shopping list generation, document submission tracking, and a number of other purposes. Sometimes the best solution is the easiest/obvious answer. Highly recommend.

Basecamp is free to FRC teams and has a very nice feature-set. We’ve been using it for three years now, and love it.

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Did your team apply under an education license, or is there a special license for FRC teams?

I believe we just applied for the educational license, but am not sure.

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We also use Basecamp. It is free to teachers. We were initially denied but once we sent a nice email explaining what we do and how their product will support our school based prohgram, they granted us access.