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I'm managing a team of 10 software developers and I'm looking for a tool which can be used to schedule/assign tasks.

I envisage a fairly simple web-based tool which each developer signs into. Here they can see a list of tasks assigned to them. For each task it would be clear how long has been assigned (either the number of hours or number of days) and when it should be delivered. Drilling into a task would reveal any associated notes/specification, and each task would be associated with a client and a project. Each developer would 'sign off' a task when complete.

An administrative interface would exist for managing users, clients, projects and tasks.

Is there a free tool available which provides this basic functionality? Obviously we could write our own in a relatively short amount of time, but I'd be interesting in knowing if there are any (ideally open source) tools already out there that people have experience using.

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If we know the dev environment, you may already have this ability: ie. what do you use for issue tracking now? Many of them double as task assignment tools. –  Steve Evers Mar 23 '11 at 15:38
    
Nothing in place right now. In fact, this is one of my biggest challenges - currently no formal way of allocating tasks to developers. (I'm new to this role btw). –  ENX Mar 23 '11 at 16:10
    
What abotu source control tool? Some of them also have task-tracking. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Mar 23 '11 at 16:17

4 Answers 4

We developed an online project management and tracking tool called Lean-to. Our company specializes in Agile software development, and Lean-to was design to complement the Agile mentality: Simplicity.

We don’t want to get in your way with extraneous features, so we simplified project management by only creating the necessary features that will help you get your work done. Here’s how we help: Story & bug capturing and tracking, Iteration planning & backlog views, File attachments & storage, Activity dashboard & reports, and Data backup and export.

Timeframes, priority, and estimation units are purposefully vague to allow you to use what you use - hours, days, story points, weeks, months, years, it is all up to you. When a task is completed, your developers can simply click completed to "sign off" from the task.

Check out our site: http://lean-to.com. We off a free plan as well as other plans that I believe will fit the needs of your team project. If you have any other questions regarding our product, email us at support@lean-to.com.

We aren't like many of our competitors, such as Mingle, Version and Jira. Our product was built by software developers for software developers, with the vision of keeping project management simple so that teams can focus on getting work done.

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Take a look at Assembla. It has tickets, wikis, hosted source control for SVN and GIT, baked in reports and a bunch of other features. There are free versions and really cheap versions. They also offer 30 day free trials. We've used it for a couple of years now and it meets all our needs for project management, customer collaboration and task and ticketing assignment on both simple and complex projects.

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Any issue tracking software will do. Most of them support "task" as an issue type. They also have flexible issue workflow, which can be modified to better fit your needs (like for example add "Scheduled" phase). Also report generation is flexible, there is wide range of predefined reports, anything else can be defined using query languages.

For example Trac would have everything you're asking for.

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One of my problems with issue tracking software (and I've looked at a few) is that they are all issue focused - as you may expect. I want something which is developer focused. By this I mean that the main thing I want to see is what each individual is working on and has scheduled to them for the future, not how many open/unassigned issues I have. –  ENX Mar 23 '11 at 16:13
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Trac and few other issue tracker provide flexible reports generation. The ones you're mentioning are pretty standard ones. For example standard report is "Accepted, Active Tickets by Owner" -- owner being the developer who the ticket is assigned to. –  vartec Mar 23 '11 at 16:20

Though you may have a particular management style, and are looking for something developer focused (sounds like you're trying to focus on managing the people, not the product) - you might want to first try the existing accepted solutions that focus on managing the product/issues - ie learn from what the industry is already doing. You say that you're new to the role, so this may seem wise.

In that vein, wikipedia has a decent list here. I can vouch for fogbugz (not free in your scenario) and ontime (ditto) and I'm just getting into TFS now, which seems to work well for us.

Your choice might depend on the methodology used in your shop, for instance if you use scrum then some trackers are likely to be better than others. Info on that could help as well.

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You beat me to it. Wikipedia's chart really does a good job showing what all the various ticking tracking tools out there. –  Tyanna Mar 23 '11 at 16:30
    
Sorry - I should have clarified I'm new to this specific role, but have been doing this job elsewhere for 5 yrs. I guess it does come down to a particular management style. –  ENX Mar 23 '11 at 16:31

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