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I manage a team of 20 people. I would like to create a project plan with tasks, start date/time, end date/time, link predecessor and successor tasks and also assign my team member names. Here's what I want the software to take care: I want the software to trigger the tasks to each team member, and if the team member doesn't respond back that the task is complete, the software should ping him again saying he is running behind schedule.

However, if task-1 is complete, software should ping team-member-2 to execute his task. Ideally the entire plan should be executed in this way as team members indicate tasks once they're complete. Are you aware of any software that can do this for me?

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    Yes, its the original software. A person; namely: you. – Andrew Clear Aug 29 '12 at 17:28
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    Have you considered simply maintaining a prioritized product backlog, and having your developers pull tasks rather than pushing them to them? Micro-managing task assignments is a black hole for a PM. – Andrew Clear Aug 29 '12 at 19:48
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It sounds like what you're really trying to do is have the software manage the project for you - you build the plan/schedule, then "set it and forget it".

There are programs that will alert a team member when a new task is scheduled for them to begin, but the additional functionality you're talking about is what the PM's there for. To manage the project and to make sure that tasks are being completed, others begun, and issues affecting those are addressed.

What you're describing would only work in a perfect world, where the project goes according to plan. I have seen very few of those in my career.

  • Thank you Trevor and jmort253. I'd like software to do whatever it can (as I specified in my original question), so that I can spend quality time with my team to understand and address their issues. The team size of 20 will increase to 200 for 4 weeks and I'll be provided with 3 additional PMs but still I'm wondering if software can handle some load for us. I'd rather the PM team would focus on addressing the team issues. I will search for pm-software tag but if you have any specific software in mind, please do share the information. – Alok Aug 29 '12 at 18:53
  • Hi Alok, remember, our site isn't about software recommendations; however, this solution included as an answer to another question sounds like something you might be interested in. Hope this helps! :) – jmort253 Aug 30 '12 at 3:48
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Unfortunately, PMSE doesn't really work well as a repository of software links; however, the problem you're facing runs much deeper than the need for special software.

It sounds like you're getting a little overwhelmed. The question is why? Are you focusing on managing the schedule and the project? Are you meeting with people regularly to communicate with stakeholders, clients, and the team, or are you possibly getting lost in other details? It sounds like you're trying to replace yourself with a machine. It's difficult to automate the job of someone who must manage many different communication paths.

Instead of software that forces developers to move on, check in regularly with the developers on your team. In my experience, there may very well be problems encountered that were unexpected. No estimates will ever be perfect, and you'll need to account for this in your schedule.

It's also important for you to discuss these problems with the team, and no software can fill that role.

With that said, we have a vast repository of questions that have been asked and answered about software recommendations, which aren't really on-topic here anymore, but please see the tag or the , which contain many choices that may be similar to what you're looking for.

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