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What tools do you use for the whole chain of talking to a customer, creating an offer, doing project planing and actually creating a project within a software so you have a stable work basis?

I am currently looking for an integrated solution which is capable of doing each of those tasks. In my dreams, such a tool also imports parts of the project planning from the original offer to the customer.

Edit: We are a Linux company, offering a various spectrum of solutions to our customers.

closed as not constructive by jmort253 May 4 '13 at 19:05

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  • How many people on your team? What else can you tell us about your role that could help find something tailored to your needs? – jmort253 May 15 '12 at 7:02
  • When you say, "creating an offer," you really mean "responding to an RFP," right? – Scott C Wilson May 15 '12 at 10:20
  • We are about 20 ppl. When saying "offer", I am using a word of my limited vocabulary to describe a sheet which is sent to a customer and contains specifications for a possible project, such as technical details and a price. – Valentin May 17 '12 at 10:50
  • I closed this question since it's no longer a good example of a good, constructive question. Questions asking for lists of tools are off-topic, and they tend to attract mostly spam answers. On PMSE, we expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise. For more guidance, please see the faq. – jmort253 May 4 '13 at 19:09
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Probably not the answer you were looking for, but -

While I'm sure they may be something out there that incorporates all of those items, I question real usefulness of it. You're talking about a single program or suite that does correspondence, document tracking, scope definition, estimate development, proposal submission, project tracking/gantt charting, resource allocation & management, change control, etc.

That's a lot to ask of one suite. Chances are, at least in my experience, that it will 1/3 of those things outstanding, 1/3 okay, and 1/3 horribly.

Even the larger enterprise level packages can't do it all (at least not well).

My suggestion would be to stick with a) what works best for each of those various needs, and b) the ones that you and your team will actually use.

  • +1 - Great answer and approach to answering this question without knowing all the details. :) – jmort253 May 15 '12 at 20:04
  • Thanks for your reply. We are currently using a modified version of a CRM which already handles most of the tasks I described above. Unfortunately there are a few things missing and implementing them might not be enough. That is why I am looking for an alternative. I think it is possible that one tool may be able to 3/3 of those things outstanding! :) – Valentin May 17 '12 at 10:52
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I'm wondering about this question since yesterday, and I'd say that if you get a few answers so far may not be because the question isn't interesting... but is likely that there's no objective answer to it.

A project is very market-dependent (in my case, our documentation is financial-market focused), and although some companies are likely to have their own templates (as we do), I've never heard about a 'silver bullet' pack of templates to track a project from the scratch till having a deliverable that could fit every market. Besides, these templates are (hopefully) build over several years of company's experience, and I wouldn't say one would simply share this competitive knowledge with the rivals.

On the other hand, there are several 'concepts' (rather than tools) that you might already know that are quite useful for every project, like the WBS and the Project Charter, which are highly valuable when dealing with the customers to clarify things up... but a 'tool' capable of taking inputs in one side and build up the charts on the other side is unlikely to exist.

Either way, I hope you have other answers (and thus I'm wrong), pointing to specific tools. Otherwise, open an Excel spreadsheet and start working on it. In the end, the information itself (and not where it is stored) is what matters the most.

Success!

  • Good call on being company and domain specific. – Trevor K. Nelson May 15 '12 at 21:25
  • I was hoping that such a tool might offer some flexibility, so every company can tailor it to its needs. – Valentin May 17 '12 at 10:54

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