I wrote an article in January of 2010 about how to use WordPress as a project management tool because I needed one and I could not afford the tools already available. However, sense that article, the whole process has gotten easier, I have developed new methods, and there are better plugins!
This article is an improvement to my original one. Less plugins, less setup, less time, better project management!
What type of project management?
At Eggleston Business Development we create WordPress websites, and develop ways of using WordPress for business management (i.e billing/invoicing, customer relations, etc..). Â We also create strategies to help our clients successfully start their business or launch a new product. Some of our project management needs simply center around a place for collaboration and brain storming.
However, the great thing about using this solution for Project Management (PM) with WordPress is that you could virtually follow the framework I have outline here to find plugins that will work best for your PM needs. You could always contact us and we can do what we do best and help you create a solution that will work best for you!
The tools and how we use them
NOTE: None of the links on this page are affiliate links!
The Multisite (MU) function in WordPress 3.0+ gives you the ability to set up a network of sites with one (1) WordPress installation and one (1) database. This eliminates the need to set up subdomains in your hosting account, and multiple WordPress installs. WordPress now can manage this process in no time at all and you can create new sites from the WordPress dashboard.
How we use it
We set up a project build site, the location of our project management tool, at eggbizdev.us. We use MU to create a new site for each of our clients. These sites are were we build client websites or other projects we have been hired to do. The great thing about MU is that our whole team can login and view the project. We can access the project files and make contributions to the project. The files are stored in one location and everyone knows who is doing what.
This video will show you how to activate Multisite in WordPress 3.0+ and start creating project sites.
[vimeo 19948111 w=580 h=326]
Ndizi Project Management
(Ndizi, Swahili word for banana)
Remember I said at the beginning that this new framework would be less plugins? Well this plugin eliminates 3 plugins I was using before and it adds some additional features I did not have in my original PM tool that are nice to have!
NOTE: This plugin is in active development, so expect new features and bug fixes to be rolling out regularly.
This plugin is designed to offer features that you would need for project management, and the features are much like those of Baseamp created by 37signals.
Currently, Ndizi supports storing:
- Projects (which belong to clients)
- Tasks (which belong to Projects and can be assigned to a WordPress User)
- Time Entries (which belong to Projects and can be assigned to a WordPress User)
- Invoices (which belong to Projects, and [soon] can be assigned time reports)
- Messages and File Attachments, (which will shortly be) attachable to Projects and Tasks
How we use it
You have two options when using this plugin, 1. install it at the project level on the project site, or 2. install it at the main site. We install this plugin at the project site level. We do that because it is easier to organize and there is less switching from site to site when managing projects. We do not use all the features currently available, namely, the client page for displaying project details, and we do not always use the invoicing feature because it is limited and can’t be emailed to the client and the client can not pay the invoice with this plugin (currently). We use a separate system for billing and invoicing, but within WordPress.
More Privacy Options
WordPress 3.0 multisite plugin to add more privacy options to the options-privacy. Â What this means is that you can decide who can view your project sites that you setup in WordPress Multisite.
Adds three more levels of privacy to the Options–Privacy page.
- Blog visible to any logged in community member – “Network Users Only”.
- Blog visible only to registered users of blog – “Blog Members Only”.
- Blog visible only to administrators – “Admins Only”.
How we use it
We want our project sites to be free of search engine indexing and to only be accessible to specific members of out team; and we definitely do not want anyone, including the client, being able to view our projects while we are in the development stages. There comes a time when we want the client to review the project and provide feedback, so, we create a login for them when the time is right. This plugin also eliminates a step from the “old” PM framework which was “Privacy Settings”. Now when you set this plugin to any one of the three options above, it will also block search engines from indexing your site. It is a very simple plugin but offers an awesome feature for the PM framework.
GTD Theme form Templatic
If you are looking to collaborate with a small team or, you need a private blog where only your team members can view, share files and write the content without going to the backend, this is the theme youâ€™ve been looking for. This theme is a modified version of the P2 theme that the Templatic team needed to enhance productivity.
How we use it
This theme is activated at the root or main site of our Multisite install. All off our project collaboration takes place in the same location, but with this theme you can set your site to automatically be privet, meaning in order to access the site you must be logged in. When someone goes to our build site, they are redirected to the login page unless they are already logged in. We manage our discussions with categories and tags. The theme is set up to manage the discussion with tags that you can subscribe to via RSS feeds too. This central location enables us to discuss all projects openly and enlist the advice and suggestions of the whole team, whether they are assigned to the project or not.
In some cases, when working on strategy or brain storming that will require a heavy flow of discussion, we will set up a new client site and install only this theme. And in this location we discuss only that specific project.
This new Project Management Framework is so much simpler! And the possibilities are endless. With the WordPress tools (themes & plugins) already available, and this framework you can create your own Project Management solution that will save you thousands of dollars every year!
If you need some help now, please contact us right away to start Working With Us