As my company grows, I realize more and more that we need to implement better tools in order to maintain the level of excellence that the company had when it was “just me”.
When it was “just me”, I had intimate knowledge of each and every program for all my clients. I knew how their business worked, and I was able to understand what variables I had to work with in regards to data and existing technology. I could plan, conceive, figure out the scope and costs, estimate time, storyboard in my head, write the code, track the issues, and even find time to sell!
Fast forward to 2011…we have a beautiful office, staff of 8 for our development staff, commercial services running, and I’m only doing architectural duties and no longer writing code. I’ve become the dreaded “Manager”. I shouldn’t say it like that, but part of it is because I miss being in the mix of the code-development process, but I have been forced out due to company growth.
My partner James and I spend most of our time now writing Scope and Requirements documents, working with Microsoft Project, creating proposals, and supporting the development effort from a higher level.
What we need is a good system for collaboration in what I call the technical sales process (what James and I do), and also for storyboarding, and tracking the development process. Finally, we need issue tracking and time/billing to round out the process.
So I’m asking you, the readers, to let me know what you’re all using that can help me manage more employees and more projects in an integrated solution.
Obviously the least amount of money to be spent is a consideration, but I don’t mind paying a bit to bring order to the chaos…