Remote culture has never been so in demand before. The pandemic has changed the way we thought the world was likely to evolve in the nearest future. However, changes always go hand in hand with opportunities.
When you’re going remote it becomes more obvious that different stakeholders (managers, engineers, product teams) have different needs and routines.
They all need an environment in which they can store tasks, track progress, share ideas, and communicate with each other. This list of technology solutions includes a range of tools to suit all tastes, goals, and challenges. If you feel like your team management tool isn’t a silver bullet, take a look at these five top facilitators.
Clubhouse is a responsive project management platform. It looks very similar to Trello, and as such, it makes it easy for users to focus on coding rather than the tool itself. It also provides zoom-in to pinpoint status updates on a single story and allows for easy zoom-out and filter across multiple teams and milestones so you have all of the information at your fingertips.
Clubhouse’s features include creating stories, epics, and milestones, and organizing work with workspaces, projects, and teams. At the same time, it enables you to add observers to provide visibility on progress to stakeholders and generate reports on your team’s progress. The app is available on mobile and integrates with Slack, GitHub, Google Drive and Calendar, Box, and over fifteen other popular tools.
The app payment plans are billed annually and monthly. The pricing depends on how large your teams are and starts at $8.33 per month. Note that Clubhouse does not charge any qualifying nonprofit.
In sum, Clubhouse comprises all essential features and reports packed in a beautiful intuitive design. The pricing structure makes it best suited to small teams with ten members or fewer.
Nicolas Joseph, VP of Engineering at Datalogue:
“It gives you a prediction based on your private burndown chart like when you will be done with a milestone. It’s a really nice tool.”
Smartsheet is worth trying if your team struggles to provide meaningful reports. The comprehensive platform enables improved collaboration, better-managed work in real-time, automated workflows, and process deployment at enterprise-wide and at scale. Stakeholders usually enjoy using this tool, but it can be distracting for developers.
Smartsheet is best suited to large organizations with multiple teams and distributed offices because its features are aimed at finding productivity bottlenecks across an organization and facilitating productivity. Detailed reports and dashboards enable good decision-making and allow users to identify best practices and provide context and status updates to keep employees informed.
Among others, the platform has integrations with Salesforce, Jira, Microsoft Office 365, and Gsuite. Datacenter facilities of Smartsheet are examined, tested, and ISO certified.
The pricing starts at $14.00 per month for individuals and $25.00 monthly per user for businesses.
Mark Nahlovsky, Process and Technology Consultant at ActiFi, Inc.:
“We tried SmartSheet because we had business people comfortable with it and we thought we would prove out our process for collaboration on requirements, backlog grooming, and reporting with it.”
Github Issues is one of the best solutions for engineers who collaborate on code, allowing them to track tasks and enhancements and categorize them across milestones, labels, and assignees. A messenger-like UX includes sending notifications, mentions, and references, which makes the tool a hybrid of a bug tracker and communication medium. Github Issues is the best option for projects requiring code-intensive work.
As for reporting features, Github Issues provides a dashboard for a broader look at all of your issues. Also, the “Pulse” section provides a snapshot of everything that’s happened in the repository in a given time interval.
Github Issues has its own section in every Github repository, both in free and paid plans. For teams, the pricing starts with $9.00 per user monthly.
Among other features, the tool has review page functionality, which turned out to be confusing for some teams.
Nicolas Joseph, VP of Engineering at Datalogue:
“There’s a lack of context awareness. You don’t really know how people organize the code, for example, in terms of directories. It removes some context you can click through on, like functions or definitions, to actually know what’s happening.”
Asana is comprehensive and simple at the same time. It’s often compared to Trello for having very similar Kanban board look. However, it’s enhanced with easy prioritization, dashboards, and built-in reporting. The main version allows users to define dependencies between the tasks, which isn’t always available in Trello. Due to increased versatility, Asana is suited to teams of almost every size.
Asana has almost everything that behemoths like JIRA or Basecamp offer but is way faster and more user-friendly. Still, it takes more time for team members to get used to, compared to Trello, as it provides a wider range of features.
Asana provides a free basic version with limited features for up to fifteen members. The cheapest plan is $9.99 per user, per month. For this price, you get milestones, an admin console, and soon, workflow rules.
Anthony DiSanti, CTO at Shift Markets
“We use Asana internally as our task management software. We find it’s a bit lighter weight than larger systems like JIRA [are] but have the complexity that we need to get the job done without getting in the way. We do have a couple of different projects within Asana that represent different development skillsets. So far, we’ve been happy with it.”
Productboard was created for product teams to better visualize product roadmap and have more meaningful discussions about feature prioritization. Also, it can enhance engineering workflow due to integrations with JIRA, Trello, Github, and more. Productboard comprises easy customer-insight gathering, public and team road-mapping, and customizable boards, and it integrates user feedback collection tools. The tool has a user-friendly interface that’s adjusted to work with ideas, shaping them and prioritizing easily.
The price starts at $49.00 per user per month for individuals (for teams of five or fewer) and $99.00 for teams (for up to twenty contributors).
In the world of remote, it’s up to you to decide what tools will work best for you and your team. Hopefully, this article can help you figure out which of them will best suit your organization’s priorities by assessing both product specs and feedback from other engineering team leaders. For more information on how to establish smooth processes while working remotely, read the guide.
(Disclaimer: The Author is the CEO at INSART)