It is hardly possible to develop IT projects without special communication, planning, tracking, time management and workflow tools. This is particularly true when it comes to agile concept with its flexibility, rapid iterations and emphasis on constant interaction between the development team and the client.
Being a software development company, Anadea certainly needed a tool for project organising, planning, scheduling and controlling. At first, we explored the existing project management solutions for agile software engineering. However, it turned out to be troublesome to adapt them to our peculiar and well-tuned business processes. That's why we developed our own custom project management software that handles all the aspects of managing projects from building an initial roadmap to guiding them to completion.
What is Tracker?
Tracker is a web-based collaboration and project management tool that provides a combined workspace for the product owners and development team with all necessary planning, tracking and teamwork features.
Tracker is based on agile principles followed in Anadea. It gives complete transparency, deep sense of involvement and full control over the development process to business owners and project managers. It also provides all team members with a timely view of the project progress, allows for easy online collaboration and helps to connect teams located in different parts of the world.
In fact, the prime mission of Tracker is to allow project owners to easily monitor, manage and participate in the development process at any time and from any device.
Tracker is accessible through web and mobile applications (access to the demo account is available upon request):
Tracker is a multi-user and multi-project management system that puts together agile team collaboration, task management, resource allocation, project planning, monitoring, documentation and invoicing capabilities.
Key features provided by our task, time and team management software:
- Role-based access control. Features and information available to different users (admins, clients, developers, etc.) are role-based.
- Task management with time tracking. Users create cards (user stories) for features, tasks, bugs, etc.; populate them with descriptions, comments and tags; estimate and track time on each task, set priorities and change statuses.
- Project plan creator. User stories can be drag and dropped to schedule the development plan. The plan is visible to the entire project team and can be flexibly adapted to the client's preferences.
- Monitoring. Through tags, notifications and work logs, users can track all activities, watch the project's progress and see where the team spends time and efforts.
- In-depth tracking. Developers split user stories into engineering tasks and attribute an actual time for each task. This ensures complete transparency as clients can track the time spent on each component of the user story individually.
- Collaboration. You can easily manage your team online, assign tasks to team members, see who is responsible for each task, share feedback by editing stories and changing their statuses.
- Information management. Content of user stories can be easily edited by clients and team members so that it remains up-to-date. You can insert HTML and code in stories, attach images, docs and other files, view history of all changes.
- Reporting. Tracker allows team members to create and send daily reports on the work they are doing, accomplishments and activities completed.
- Billing. Invoices are generated automatically based on the actual hours worked by developers, billing information is stored and can be viewed or downloaded as PDF.
- Email notifications. The project members are sent notifications about changes in user stories, new assignments and other updates via email.
These are the features that help our clients and developers to collaborate, plan and organize the project workflow. However, Tracker is more than a tool that enables online project management with invoicing. It is integrated with our accounting system and internal business processes. All our employees have their personal calendars in Tracker. In this calendar they keep a record of their actual work time, distribute the time between projects if they are involved into several ones simultaneously and can schedule their annual leave.
Tracker allows us to control all our projects, create teams of developers, track the load and availability of our employees, deal with things like vacations, holidays and time-offs, calculate salaries and many more.
How Tracker works for clients and for developers
Tracker facilitates the development process for all involved parties - developers, project managers, product owners and their teams. For the convenience, all the functionality in our project managing software is organized into several tabs. The main sections are:
- Project page - basic info about the software project and the list of team members.
- Dashboard - recent user stories and their statuses (estimated, in process, completed, accepted).
- Stories - main project management board where you can create user stories, put them in the priority order, check the progress and manage the work of the team.
- Statistics - time worked by the development team each day and actual hours worked on each task by each developer.
- Invoices - view of all invoices issued in the project and current account state.
With the help of Tracker, business stakeholders can:
- Monitor the overall state of the project;
- Participate in the development by creating and editing stories, changing priorities and managing the project schedule;
- Track daily work of each developer through built-in statistics and reports;
- Get notified about all project activities;
- Provide feedback by leaving comments, accepting (or returning to in-process status) completed stories;
- Review billing information.
Development team can use Tracker to:
- Create a development plan with a breakdown into specific stories, tasks and equipped with detailed descriptions and estimates;
- Present in handy views and agree with clients the crucial development details, e.g. outline of each feature and development schedule;
- Obtain necessary clarifications and feedback from clients;
- Report daily progress to the project owner.
Team & Technologies
- Ruby 2,
- Rails 4,
- back-end development: Alexander Rjazantsev, Eugene Grechuk, Sergey Tokarenko, Andrey Bulava, Alexander Katasonov, Gregory Kravchenko, Vladimir Vorona, Anastasiya Sakhno, Alice Kondratieva, Alexander Dmitrenko;
- UX / UI: Mikhail Bilenko, Natalia Kucherenko;
- Android app development: Artem Dubrov, Denis Alokhin;
- iOS app development: Daria Kovalenko, Alexander Chernov, Sergey Shevchuk;
- QA & testing: Alexey Derkach, Darina Chuzhova, Vadim Eremichev;
- server configuration: Eugene Oleynikov;
- project management: Alexander Mikhalchuk, Yulia Kozak.
Tracker is an agile project management software built to enhance collaboration in software development teams and we believe that it works best for this purpose. It greatly helps to coordinate work and provides visibility across distributed teams.
The principles of agility are still living in this project as we have never stopped improving its capabilities and adding new useful features based on both wishes of our clients and our own ideas. Tracker has become an indispensable assistant in all our software projects and our clients value its convenience and simplicity as compared to other project management tools.
For now, this handy project management and time tracker system is used only for projects developed with the involvement of our engineers. However, we are planning to turn it into a product open for public.
You can read a story of how Tracker was developed in our blog.