Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Testing, Testing, One, Two...

Hello, World!

Welcome to the Gigantt blog. No, don't bother googling it; nothing interesting will show up; yet... But let me tell you what Gigantt is going to be.

It's my plan to liberate project management from project managers. It's a web application that's going to make planning so much fun you won't be able to resist planning your projects in however great detail you desire.

Planning has become unpopular. Dare I say uncool. Everybody's "agile" these days, and it seems hardly anybody sees the value of planning ahead significantly. Waterfall is for people who work at Initech and Gantts are for Pointy-haired-bosses who grasp at any diagram that might simplify the insane complexity of the projects they manage.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not here to advocate any particular methodology. I'm just saying that if a methodology sacrifices forethought because changing plans is an annoying process, then that's a shame, because it doesn't have to be this way.

See, it's not planning that's a pain in the ass - it's your planning tools. Can you honestly tell me you're in love with your project planning solution? Didn't think so. Most of them suck, and all of them fall short of answering what I see as The Six Requirements of Planning-Software.

In my book, every planning software has to:
  1. Be collaborative (bye, MS Project!).
  2. Allow you to plan at the speed of thought. Think mind-maps. If there's a form to fill, that's a fail.
  3. Let you change plans as quickly and easily as first making them.
  4. Visualize very complex plans in a simple way. Ever created a Gantt with more than a 100 items? Exactly, it's horrible. And how will you ever visualize a plan that has 1,000 items? 10,000 items?
  5. Not try to solve every possible need of your organization. You shouldn't have to ditch email or switch to another bug-tracker because your project planning tool is an all-in-one solution that wants to take over your intranet.
  6. Realize that a plan is not a laundry list of tasks that are going to be performed. Plans change - that's the number one cause of project delays (not poor estimates). Plans are more like algorithms than checklists, and any planning tool has to be able to accomodate this fact.
In upcoming posts I plan to discuss these requirements. I hope to demonstrate why they are, in fact, necessary. More importantly, I want to tell you how this new project - Gigantt - will meet all of them.

Unfortunately, no one can be told what Gigantt is - it has to be seen.

But seriously, it's a very graphical and unique web user interface, and until you see how a 10,000 item plan can be elegantly visualized without having to scroll your screen until you get RSI, you probably won't understand what I'm talking about. For now let's say it's a project planning tool that resembles Google Maps more than it does FogBugz or BaseCamp. A web-based ZUI that's as intuitive and quick as a mind-map but also lets you represent very large, and complex graphs of work items in a clean way (mind maps are basically trees, and plans are essentially DAGs).

So, stay tuned. Subscribe and I'll update on my progress from time to time. If you have thoughts on the subject, comment away.


Winterrain said...

Gluck man!,

Kick some but, there is no one i know who is more right for this job then you.


Unknown said...

Great ,When bill gates will hear about you wow wow
but change the picture dud or he will feed you more Donuts.Good luck

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