Software Companies use many tools to support their employees and run a successful business. One major contributor in allowing companies to achieve their goal is SAP. SAP has been developing software to manage businesses in a very effective and efficient manner by support departments such as finance, logistics, HR, and more.
But there has always been a need to look at these needs from a different angle - social. With evolving technology over the past few years, there have been numerous players with brand new visions catered to the daily needs of an enterprise company. I believe these tend to group into the following categories: Social Networking, Task Management, Daily Updates and Bug Trackers.
There can be an unending debate on the best enterprise social tool in the market. Here are the top four:
Functionally, these products are very similar - each differentiating themselves in their approach to organizing your conversations. In the next year we'll see this differentiation increase significantly as these companies improve integration with important applications.
We've found most dev teams have a love/hate relationship with their task management system. While they are absolutely necessary to manage a large project, they tend to always be out if date and no one likes the overhead required to keep it up to date. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Do (Salesforce) - Do not only focuses on the project tasks but also is widely used by the marketing people on field. It is also available for iPhone and Android. Yet no signs of a desktop application.
- Trello (Fog Creek) - One of the first innovative UIs I've seen for Task Management in years. Perfect for Agile Development, the drag-and-drop "card" interface lets us easily organize our pending tasks into weekly sprints. We haven't even unlocked its full potential yet.
- Asana - The task management system created by Dustin Moskowitz has some amazing keyboard shortcuts which lets me keep my projects organized without wasting time on repetitive tasks.
Not too many companies have innovated in this important space - it's still pretty difficult to know what your reports do every day. As managers move to overseeing larger teams, they often focus on the projects they manage, losing the individuals behind them.
iDoneThis is a great and simple solution to this issue. By just replying to an email, team members can easily share what they did that day in less than a minute. Managers can easily track productivity and step in when someone is struggling or they get concerned.
Every company wants to deliver a quality product and uses their QA team to ensure the final product rocks. Here are a few apps we have used to accomplish this.
- Jira (Atlassian)
- Fogbugz (Fog Creek)
- Zoho Projects (Zoho) - By far the cheapest (quality) project management tool we have found.
The above applications are all great for tracking bugs and projects. They even offer additional functionality such as wikis, file management, etc.
To build a successful software company, one needs the right tools that allow you to focus on development and not waste time on management. The above applications are some of the tools we have used and are always looking for new tools to help simplify and improve our project management.
If you use any other applications that you love, please tell us about them in the comments so we can try them out.