5 WorkflowPerfect Alternatives

It appears that WorkflowPerfect, a useful web app for distributed teams that combined task tracking with workflow management features, has disappeared. The site is not currently accessible and according to a comment left by Ton Walter the site has been down for three weeks now.

Project Management Tools: Beyond Gantt Charts

In my career as a contract technical writer, a project management pain point I’ve seen time and time again is in the communications of project schedules and status. The venerable Gantt chart is a project management staple, but stakeholders without formal project management training may find them difficult to understand.

When I’ve run up against clients and project stakeholders who didn’t understand (or want to understand) a Gantt chart, I take a consultative approach and work with them to see how they want to receive project scheduling and related status information. I believe that as a remote worker, any project scheduling and status data I communicate back to my employer or client has to stand on its own, without the need for further explanation by me.

In this post I am going to round up some alternatives to Gantt charts that I’ve used to communicate project scheduling and related information. Read More about Project Management Tools: Beyond Gantt Charts

6 Considerations When Moving to a Web-based Project Management Tool

Like many web workers, I cut my project management teeth on applications like Microsoft Project (s msft) and OmniGroup OmniPlan — I respect the role of the Gantt chart. However, project management is no longer just the domain of the project manager — it should involve everyone on the team. Web-based project management tools like Basecamp, LiquidPlanner (reviewed by Mike), Team Effect (reviewed by Charles) and Teambox (reviewed by Meryl) democratize project management data and make it available for everyone.

If you’re moving to a web-based project management tool from MS Project, which one of the many available do you choose? Here are some considerations to take into account: Read More about 6 Considerations When Moving to a Web-based Project Management Tool

Protect Your Company’s Collaborative Spaces

padlockConsider the following scenario: An employee leaves your company or a virtual team member moves on, and the circumstances have been less than ideal. What do you do to make sure that you keep your company’s (and your clients’) confidential information safe, when someone who is no longer on your team might still have the passwords to the apps you use?
When it comes to collaborative tools such as project management apps, you can usually apply different levels of access to each team member. Still, have you figured out what to do when someone from the team departs? Read More about Protect Your Company’s Collaborative Spaces

Quick Tip: Increase iPhone Typing Speed & Accuracy

One day while walking and texting I had a revelation: I discovered an entirely new way to type on the iPhone (s aapl) and cannot believe that it had not occurred to me earlier. My old method of typing, which I am guessing is how most people type on the iPhone, involved me looking at the letters that I was typing, not at what I was actually writing.

Now, I “touch type” when I’m typing. Instead of looking at the letters when I type, I look at where I am typing (exactly like I do on my computer). This method has drastically improved both my typing speed and accuracy. Before I switched to my touch-typing method, I would send SMS messages riddled with mistakes because the iPhone would auto-correct words and often times change the entire meaning of the message. You should definitely give it a whirl; it sounds more difficult than it actually is, your hands just know where the keys are though, and it takes no time to adjust! Read More about Quick Tip: Increase iPhone Typing Speed & Accuracy

Discovery: Full-Episode Streaming Over Our Dead Bodies

While paying lip service to Hulu is something even its non-partners like CBS (s CBS) do on a regular basis, long-form distribution of TV shows is still a surprisingly controversial idea for some. Discovery Communications (s DISCA) in particular advocates a strategy that could be described as the opposite of Hulu.
Discovery CEO and President David Zaslav said in an on-stage interview at the NAB Show in Las Vegas today that he didn’t see an economic model for free web distribution of long-form content. He said he’d only distribute episodes online if circumstances forced him to, and so far the numbers aren’t significant enough. “If people start watching content on mobile phones and on the web in droves, we will have to go there or we will lose market share.”
I asked him off-stage when that day might be, and his response was an emphatic “Hopefully never!” He described a la carte online content consumption, where fans identify more with shows than the channels they run on, as the antithesis of Discovery’s niche brand strategy.
Read More about Discovery: Full-Episode Streaming Over Our Dead Bodies

Tay Zonday, Ray Stevenson and Funtwo at YouTube Live

I think YouTube missed a golden opportunity at their YouTube Live event last night. Mashing up the deep baritone voice of Tay Zonday with the high-pitched, nails-on-chalkboard “Fred” would have been comedy GOLD, I tells ya. Oh well.
Anyway. In addition to the excellent live-casting that Liz did from the show, I shot a few interviews with a couple of interesting folks on hand including Zonday (of Chocolate Rain fame), Ray Stevenson (the new Punisher, and also Titus Pullo from Rome), and Jeong-Hyun Lim, better known as funtwo, the YouTube guitar virtuoso.
Zonday chatted with us about being a part of web celeb roundups like the Weezer Pork and Beans video as well as having his head explode on South Park (he thinks they got his voice wrong).

Read More about Tay Zonday, Ray Stevenson and Funtwo at YouTube Live

DreamFactory: Cloud-opportunistic SaaS That Won’t Lock You In

What if there were a way to write and run enterprise applications that you could move from cloud to cloud? And what if that application automatically inherited the best things about that cloud without locking you in?

DreamFactory may do just that. And as such, it may represent a new approach to application design: Cloud-opportunistic software.

DreamFactory makes project, document and data collaboration software that runs in the cloud. Its DreamTeam Suite competes with Basecamp, Liquidplanner, Huddle and others. The company has about 1,000 enterprise customers, and a strong partnership with Salesforce.com. Its application can be customized in either VBScript or Javascript, so it’s extensible. Read More about DreamFactory: Cloud-opportunistic SaaS That Won’t Lock You In

Cramming for DEMO, “A Test of Nerves”

450liquid25_triage.jpg Venture capital reporter John Cook of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer offers another great story for you about a young startup in the throws of preparing for DEMO next week. LiquidPlanner, which makes Web2.0 management tools is one of 70 companies chosen to deliver a 360 second-presentation before a crowd that will include investors and would-be partners. (Our contributor, Ben Yoskowitz is too.) As anyone in this business will tell you, DEMO can “make or break” a startup, so LiquidPlanner is “putting it all on the line,” writes the Post-Intelligencer:

What’s at stake? Just 22 months of hard work from the LiquidPlanner team, several of whom left cushy jobs at Expedia to test their luck with a startup company… Now, with just four days to go until the six-minute DEMO pitch, it’s crunch time… Executive Bruce Henry says he’s trying to remain calm, calling the buildup to DEMO both “exciting and terrifying.”

Read about LiquidPlanner’s pitch practices, their triage meetings and of course, their “nervous energy” <a href=” in John’s whole piece . You can also follow LiquidPlanner’s progress on John Cook’s blog. For more case studies and tips on presenting at such events see:
Presenting at DEMO:12 Do’s. 5 Don’ts.

Photo:LiquidPlanner CEO Charles Seybold, center left, with his team, leads a triage session on the Internet service that the 11-person Bellevue startup is launching at DEMO next week. (Photo credit: Seattle-Post Intelligencer)