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A critique of project management software (erock.io)
86 points by qudat 48 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 77 comments

My biggest problem with using these tools is mandates forced by someone in the company that no one on my team has ever met. As another commenter pointed out, I just want a big checklist, with sub check lists, and a handful of properties, that i can create update and delete at will.

Instead of being a tool to help us do our job more efficiently, it has become a source of busy work, that requires extra employees to use properly.

After switching to Jira it was so locked down with arbitrary rules that I need to take a break every time I use it.

I'm seriously considering looking for a new job that doesn't use a corporately mandated system, or have daily stand ups.

There are two things I've decided are true, regarding project management.

#1 - "Those who manage best, manage least." Spend the minimal amount of time on project management. Even project managers should spend a minimal amount of their time "project managing," which leads directly to #2...

#2 - "Project manager is a task, not a job." No one in the company should be a "project manager," and nothing else.

The rationale is that if project management is a job, project management becomes the sole work output. And optimizing for that output leads to all the worst excesses I've seen at companies. And consequently, all the shit products (or shit design choices within good products) listed.

If you have a perfectly tracked project that took 100s of person-hours to generate and update tracking docs, what does that do for your end users?

People do their jobs. Make sure everyone's ultimate job is to bring value to the company.

PS: And to head off the complaint that this ignores project scale, your company is not IBM. You don't have the management problems 1960s IBM had. So stop using solutions to "How do I orchestrate the progress of 100s of developers all working on the same project?!" Because the number of projects that large, that can't be broken into subprojects, is very few.

I've kicked around the idea that project manager should be a very low level job. Like first job out of college or maybe high school. The job would be: make sure the current state of the project is reflected in our software. No predicting the future (burndown, gantt), no changing the future (make sure it gets done on time) and no responsibility without authority trap. I think one person could support a very large project (or more smaller ones) this way.

And why do it? So proper data is in the project management tool. Then people with the actual correct responsibility/authority/expertise can make good decisions based on good data.

Also cuts down on interruptions. You go from quadratic communication (M stakeholders pinging N engineers) to linear (M stakeholders consuming 1 feed that's fed by N engineers). In theory, everyone just keeping their tickets up-to-date would get rid of that need. History has shown that doesn't work. Also a sufficiently smart tool would cover it, but it hasn't been made yet. Maybe a 20-year-old who sits in on meetings, gets a notification for every PR state change and nicely asks people how things are going would do a better job.

This also applies to how we work too.

Everyone is having a blast doing SCRUM until some manager decides it would be cool for them to keep track of how many story points the team completes as some sort of performance metric.

I totally feel you, I sometimes just set up a local Redmine or simple task list in the lan that really gets used while I make the entries in whatever our corp gods decree the flavor of the month...

I’ve been using Redmine for nearly a decade. Download the bitnami VM with it preinstalled and away I go. I use it for all my time tracking to generate invoices, and project estimates. Then when working on the project I can put time against an existing estimates task or if I missed something in the estimate or something was added I’ll create a new task for the extra.

Works great and I love that the UI hasn’t been redesigned and just works.

IME this is a problem of policy, not of Jira. Empower teams to administer their own Jira projects and it’s fine. But if you lock Jira down and make people beg to some distant and aloof gatekeeper every time they want to change anything, then it’s a recipe for frustration.

Having IT own Jira administration is great for IT job security and terrible for everyone else.

(Note: old Jira absolutely encouraged a one-size-fits-all approach to administration. Everything was done with the assumption that it would be cross-project, which created a morass of assigning things things. “New” Jira project are more self-contained, and so much easier to configure)

Yes, this. I wasn't recognising anyone's problems with Jira, and this is probably why.

> Instead of being a tool to help us do our job more efficiently, it has become a source of busy work, that requires extra employees to use properly.

Author here. I totally agree with you. We are currently using JIRA at Aptible and the general consensus is to use it as little as possible. I'd much rather have a system that is streamlined around delegating tasks to teammates and then a playground for the independent contributors to figure out how they want to break the tasks down.

I'm definitely keeping your feedback in mind if I continue to build this prototype out. If you'd like to receive updates about my progress, signup with your email at the bottom of the blog article.


Yeah. Another of the issues is that it’s picked by people who (supposedly) chose the right tool for them, without considering wether or not it was optimised for those actually doing the tasks.

At least that’s how I ended up with boards that absolutely didn’t match my workflow and required me to copy / paste tasks from one board to the other to pass it off to the next step (QA), with QA feedback via Slack.

That’s not quite my ideal "single source of truth" regarding what I have to do.

It's possible to misconfigure any tool, that's for sure.

Even more so when those allowed to do the configuring aren’t those that’ll actually have to work with those tools and didn’t bother to ask anyone anything.

Just like when creating software, incidentally.

A big checklist of planned changes can work fine for a small team with a single product. It breaks down when you have many teams working on a whole portfolio of products with interdependencies and external customer commitments. In that situation a tool like Jira or Rally is usually the least bad option (unless your organization is huge enough to justify building your own custom project management tool that precisely meets your needs).

Jira in particular is everything I dislike in software. It's feature bloated, overly complex and yet, despite the overwhelming complexity, it's hard to shape to your needs very often.

I want something much much simpler. Stick to the worse is better approach and adhere closer to the philosophy of doing one thing well.


Atlassian is a blight. Developers are supposed to be informed consumers of software. Yet Atlassian applies an information hiding strategy to UX which means that their tools often have features that you simply do not know about because your role doesn’t allow that feature. How are we supposed to reason about the possible if people are hiding information? I have coworkers doing horrible manual processes or stuffing shell scripts into Bamboo tasks because they don’t know they just need to ask someone else to push a button for them or add them as admin permissions on a project.

It creates a class of salty user who go around doing things like calling you a blight in public.

Know your audience. UX != DevEx.

I got a recruiting email from Atlassian once. I basically responded, "Have you ever used your product?"

I’ve had one boss discover that “passionate” can be a bad thing when the passionate person is professionally embarrassed by the product they’re working on.

I hope not to do that again.

It's unfortunate because jira can be quite good: the key is minimal restrictions, and building out super-flexible workflow that allows almost any state transitions. It took me a couple years of using it with admin access to figure that out, though. It also took using something significantly worse to realize what I missed - and prior to that I was not exactly a fan.

Jira's JQL is it's superpower, at least for finding and summarizing stuff, though it is better if issues are categorized well. The key to that is making sure it's not actively hostile to your users. Unfortunately the defaults and the way the admin tools enable BOFH-syndrome make this an uphill battle, which is why so many jira installs are bad.

Now that said, the speed, stupid markup syntax and some other things still would make me do a good look for others prior to starting something on jira again. But jira can be decent, and there is much, much worse.

I'm hesitant to post the link as it's still very alpha, but I am developing a Jira alternative for exactly this reason! Check out https://tahsk.com and let me know what you think I'd love some initial feedback.

Some initial feedback: Your homepage demo launches with someone entering Task #1. Task #1 isn't the problem, the problem is Task #5509 opened yesterday child of Task #803 opened two years ago and subsequently deferred by people who no longer work at the company who pointed to a planned technology project that has since been cancelled.

Everyone does Task #1 fantastically. Task #1 is easy, it's greenfield by definition.

How does your solution scale to Task #5509 when things have gone pear-shaped and there are legacy considerations that demand consideration?

Yes very true and thanks for taking a look! :)

The idea here is the "Roadmap" view you're seeing only shows tickets which are not completed. You might have Phase 1 -> Bugs (e.g. #803) opened 2 years ago and not closed if you choose to organise them that way but the Task #5509 comes, get completed then is removed from the view.

Still playing with how to scale projects across multiple departments and show only the tasks your team cares about though, which would make that view even smaller. Right now I'm thinking either by being able to filter on any single Task or just use the existing Labels. Thinking about how to do this without bloating the language with Teams or Squads etc. though is interesting.

> Jira in particular is everything I dislike in software. It's feature bloated, overly complex and yet, despite the overwhelming complexity, it's hard to shape to your needs very often.

Author here. I totally agree with you. Not only that, we purchase the software because it sells us on being able to fit the needs of the organization but at the end of the day most of the companies I worked for only use sprints successfully.

Jira is expertly designed to do one thing well: close sales

It ticks all of the boxes and more boxes than its competitors in customers' managements' requirements spreadsheet, it's priced to sell well, there is an ecosystem and a marketplace, and the sales demos show that all of this works smoothly.

We should be praising Atlassian for following the UNIX philosophy, not condemning it.

How do they make it so slow, is my question. I've seen my computer do physics simulations synchronized with 11 other players, updating my screen 360 times a second and my headphones 48,000 times a second. But then JIRA takes 5 seconds to say "you have 3 bugs open". How is it even possible? Like what code do you type in to make it run so slowly? It boggles my mind.

I've asked myself the same question many times.

I wonder if Jira inevitably becomes slower, overtime, as customers add configuration they deem necessary. Jira, having multiple options available, will happily accommodate it without considering optimization as a boundary. A vanilla instance of Jira, more than likely, outperforms any custom configuration a customer will eventually apply.

But that's just one theory.

Totally agree. Enjoying Clubhouse.io for that reason.

Many problems have come from people conflating "task management" with "project management".

If you've got a team of people that need a lot of hand-holding, the two can be the same. In most cases though there is a lot of experience on the team. In that case task management too easily becomes micromanaging.

What is needed instead is managing against milestones and trusting your team members to execute against it. Some team members can be trusted on certain tasks more than others, but the solution is closely monitoring those that need support, not forcing task tracking across the entire team.

This resonates with me more than the other comments. I’ve done a lot of self-directed work, and I’ve worked at web dev shops. In the latter, the only complaint I ever had about Jira was that it was slow. My PMs were my favorite people; they were like my “operator” while I was heads down (in the matrix). They helped deal with the big picture and talk to the client while I pushed through tickets. Jira was perfect for that because they owned it and I just showed up to click the buttons they had configured.

In all my self-directed work with small teams- you’re right, we just needed a task manager. The overhead of PM would have been a net negative. We basically just needed to track our own conversations with each other.

Project managers can add a lot of value by zooming out and finding dependencies that would slow things down. The less obvious ones, especially chained ones.

How often do they, in your experience? From my perspective, the only ones discovering and calling out dependencies are senior engineers (or higher) either during planning or during active development, as the PMs are blissfully unaware of how anything's actually connected, even if they've been handed architectural diagrams on a silver platter.

We use Redmine (https://www.redmine.org/) for issue management and bug tracking. Self-hosted, simple, can have multiple projects with user specific access, and there are free and paid plugins if you need Trello boards and Agile tracking.

Some of our clients use MS TFS and it's a complicated mess

You should fit Phabricator a try (there is a community fork at https://we.phorge.it ). It is fast, simple, yet powerful. Basically the best ticketing system, I've worked so far.

My 2c - my company has been using it for nearly 4 years and while it does some things well, the task management, especially around subtasks and linked tasks is very clunky. Kinda valid criticism for the whole of Phabricator. Everything is markdown which is useful for people proficient with it, but 1. The devs refused to make a monospace font default (a no brainer for markdown!! How else can you sanely create tables?) and 2. Refused to add a WYSIWYG editor which made it very hard to get non technical users to heavily document well (tables again! They’re an amazing way to represent heaps of different types of info on a task, why are they not super easy to use?). This ties in with the rest of the software, in particular wikis which are a huge pain to manage.

I’ve been looking for various software for a while as a potential replacement, and after looking at a variety of open source tools for different parts of our devops process (code hosting, CI, ticketing) I’ve realised that, bigger more well known projects have the best integrations with other tools by far, and also due to their integration between features have the least friction when using day to day.

I’ve lately been looking to GitLab, which looks like it has the middle ground between simplicity of task management, and complexity with a billion features and concepts like Jira. Does anyone who has used it extensively have any experiences to share?

Is there a definitive fork yet? I've been waiting for the community to coalesce around one of them.

I'll take a look, thanks!

I would say that the author is onto something here. There is obviously pain present. I have used Jira in various weird scenarios, most recently I have created a setup for accounting operations to track client work and repetitive tasks with some automation also. It forced Jira a little bit but at the end people are using it and appreciating it. The thing is that you just need to spend some time thinking about it from the user perspective. Having something flexible with unrestricted hierarchy and smart linking with some possibility of automation would be grand.

> Difficult to couple OKRs with tasks

Depends perhaps on what you mean by “task”, but I don’t get this one. Surely your OKRs are how you measure success of most of what you do that quarter, and there are only a few of them. What value does task-level tracking really add?

I’d go as far as saying that task-level tracking may be of value to the individual, but progress generally should be tracked at the level of deliverables and outcomes. When I was a manager, I made a point of not looking at task-level data. To focus on them is a recipe for micromanagement.

Thanks for the feedback! The leaf of a circle heirarchy doesn't necessarily need to be a task -- that's just how many orgs operate. The theoretical OKR feauture-set of Wormhole could simply be a place for message boards, docs, and a way to manually add metrics. You could reference other circles inside an OKR circle if you'd like, but it's not mandatory.

The main critique about OKR software that I don't like is that it's a separate system from where things get done. When thinking about a product team and having an OKR set, it's sometimes beneficial to think about what the team is doing every week that helps them achieve their OKRs.

Not the OP, but let's say an OKR isn't achieved; having insight into all the work that went towards that OKR might be useful in understanding either when the goal of the OKR is met or whether the OKR should be reevaluated. I'm not saying that's a common thing to do, but I could see that being a case where task-level information would be beneficial.

Author here! Happy to answer any questions about the article or the product idea I'm thinking about building: wormhole.

I'll be writing more articles about the product idea to make it more clear what I want to build. Happy to read any feedback or if I'm wasting my time!

I’m curious why Microsoft Project is not included on the list of project management software packages? Skip the default Gantt view, but the Activity Network view contains a lot of useful features. It’s based on the PERT technique that comes from Operations Research.

I'll add it to the list, thank you!

Have you tried Wrike at all? Of all the project management tools I've used I enjoyed Wrike the most.

What I liked most about it is that you can combine the same tasks together in multiple places... which helps me since many tasks don't always fit in a single hierarchy. I.e. a circuit board design could be in the "electronics" folder, but also could be part of a specific prototype build.

Wrike has a horrifically slow UI. It's impossible to run a sprint planning on it, or to quickly go through what's in progress during a stand-up.

It's actually slower than JIRA, which is impressive.

It's been a few years since I've used it, but that wouldn't surprise me. A lot of these project management tools bloat over time.

I have not, I'll add it to my short list of software to demo. Thanks!

Take a look at https://fibery.io, it addresses several problems you listed:

* Rigid and difficult to experiment

* Difficult to scale with a company

* Difficult to couple OKRs (objective and key results) with tasks

Can one say that circles are/can be used like tags, in a way? That is, Can one task belong to multiple circles? Think of aspects..

it's something i have always been missing, the graph-like nature of all these things, always being bricked into some tree-or-list-like single-parent stiff structure..

With my current thinking about how circles can work, a circle can reference another circle. So in a way, one task (circle) can belong to multiple circles. It's similar to how Workflowy allows the user to mirror list items.

It looks great - it seems to add dashboard functionality to the infinite nesting idea of workflowy.com which gets the nesting right, but is missing metadata & dashboard tools (and an API).

Exactly! This product idea is the brain child of Workflowy, Basecampe, and Clubhouse ... combining all the features that I love from all of them into one product.

I think the fundamental problem with project management software is poorly defined scope.

There are features that involve project and portfolio-level reporting, forecasting, task assignment, feature definition, change-request management, team collaboration, etc.

All of these are important, but maybe bundling is not the right answer at this point.

I think that's why do much discussion comes down to "feature debate". Users talking about features they hate in their PM software and new software explaining they don't have those features.

It's a discussion focused on reducing pain rather than productive benefit.

It would be good to rethink what we really want from PM software, specifically, and how to optimize one or two core use cases.

This is not criticism of Wormhole. It might be a great software, but it follows the same pattern of discussion "You know all those features you hate in your current PM software? Well, this software doesn't have those features."

I don't want software that just sucks less. I want software that makes my life better.

Thanks for the feedback!

> It would be good to rethink what we really want from PM software, specifically, and how to optimize one or two core use cases.

I love this line of thinking. What do you really want from PM software?

It's hard to say. There is much more clarity about what makes good reporting software or task management software or spec management software.

I guess good PM software should be more than the sum of its parts. Using a bunch of best-of-breed solutions with no integration is a pain, but that's usually better than well-integrated mediocrity. Although at larger scale, the integration becomes more and more important.

The most unique thing about the product is not being locked into a set hierarchy. Circles do not seem to contain child circles - they merely reference them

This is great because you can replicate tags, folders or any other organization structure this way

Other project management tools enforce a rigid containment hierarchy (projects contain tasks which contain subtasks) and allow flexible organization only through filters (which tend to produce flat and not tree-like output). Wormhole would let me create hierarchical views without copying content

Exactly! Thanks for taking a look.

The part about comments being weak resonate with me.

Personally I like to generate a lot of documentation for my own needs. (Lately I started a diary of chocolate bars I eat, but there's a story behind that.)

That's how I can pick up on Monday where I was Friday. If I get interrupted it's how I get back on track. It's how I can pick up the code I wrote six or eighteen months ago and repurpose it.

I'd be happy to file my notes with the ticket, but this would drive my coworkers up the wall, so I don't.

I just logged into HN to mention Todoist.

I have a hobby of trying out different project management software and I even went back to a pen and paper notebook for a while.

But I’ve become a huge fan and advocate of Todoist. So lightweight yet very flexible.

*sorry if this sounds like a marketing message. I don’t work for the company or know anyone that does. I’m not invested in the company other than a happy customer.

I've been a serious Todoist user for years. I even built an extension app[1]. Todoist wins on number and ease of interfaces. Today I've used it on a desktop app, web app, phone, watch and CLI. It totally loses on complex cases (many people, subprojects, dependencies, integrations). I've found that using it with just one other person (an assistant) is stretching it, and a team is right out.


I also use Todoist and love it! Do you use it in a team environment?

Didn't Microsoft buy it and kill it into Teams Tasks or something?

That was Wunderlist. I used that first, until they killed it. Then I switched to Todoist, so I second the OP's recommendation!

You should check out Linear. Our team momentum and velocity has been great ever since moving to this tool.

It doesn't provide the granular control or extensibility like Jira, but do try to read about their manifesto and how things should work.

What's interesting is your wireframe actually looks a lot like Basecamp, with Sprint options. At one point we were using Basecamp as well, and find Basecamp don't cater to more complicated ticketing and workflow.

I really like Linear— what I like best about it is that almost every functionality is accessible via keyboard shortcuts. I would go so far as to say that should be a first design principle of any productivity tool, especially one aimed at developers. Kitemaker is similar, I used to use it but switched to Linear

Thanks for mentioning us (I'm one of the founders of Kitemaker). Totally agree that keyboard shortcuts, a clean design, and simple navigation should be at the core of every productivity tool, which is why we did that as well.

FWIW, we built Kitemaker to tackle some of the points that the original articles highlights, but of course, our solution is a bit different from the authors. Our basic idea was that each work item should be a collaborative workspaces and allow you to track work at the level of deliverables (which basically is what many would say is the correct level, but AFAIK no issue tracker actually supports).

Also, always curious why you switched to Linear :)

There is usually some point several times a year where things get hairy, and I need to do an analysis within a spreadsheet (ie sort tickets by effort + value to evaluate priority). Still haven't seen a tool that lets me quickly evaluate many tickets easily without config hell.

Totally agree and thanks for the feedback! I'll keep this in mind if I decide to build this product.

I've used Jira, Pivotal Tracker, Trello, Asana, Zenhub, and other project management software that was written internally.

In my opinion, based on my needs on every project I've worked on, I've yet to use a project management software that did anything better than a simple Trello board or the like. At the end of the day, I want a list of tasks, a way to indicate the status on the task, a discussion section for the task, and to be able to close it when I'm finished. That's about 99% of what I need it for. Well, besides the fact that it also should provide insight to management.

My issue with project management software that's more complicated than a set of to-do lists is that they seem to be designed to make you invest in that specific product. They are different enough from each other in terms of layout and workflow that they are unique yet those differences offer no clear value. Depending on which one you use, you have a "task", or a "story", or a "ticket", or an "issue", or something entirely unique if it was written by some clever person for internal PM software.

Then there are concepts like "milestones", "epics", "iterations", and "sprints" (speaking of more concepts I've never needed). You might be "assigned" a task, or perhaps you are the "owner". It's all so tainted by Agile that we have to speak this goofy ass language which makes us feel more sophisticated than the rest of the world which... does the same thing using common verbage.

Worst of all is these tools have barely any meaningful integration with source control hosting like GitHub or GitLab. Yes, they can do nifty things like show the title of the GitHub issue, but every place I've worked for forced me to ping pong between the PM software and GitHub/Lab and I always ended up having to manually sync things between the two. Or I would have to manually copy information between the PM software and whatever non-engineers were using, like Asana.

Like, I really don't care that badly about having to sync some things by hand, but it's a nuisance when the tool pretends to be advanced by shoving a bunch of information, terminology, and processes in my face. Give me a tool that will stay out of my way.


Oh, yes, the article.

> The thing I really like about this idea is that the user can organize their hierarchy however they like. They are not restricted to what the software defines as an “epic.”

Yep, exactly. It should get out of the way and not force organizations or individuals into hard and fast paradigms. Funny how we overuse abstractions in code but our project management tools are overly concrete.

> Want to create a sprint? Create a circle and reference other circles within it. Want to create an epic? Create a circle and reference other circles within it. Want to view your circle and its children as a kanban? It supports that. Want to move circles around, such as nesting them or unnesting them? It’s as easy as pressing “tab” or “shift+tab.”

Although obviously I'm not a fan of adding more neologisms, the way that circles work here definitely sounds appealing in terms of flexibility. In this case, it kind of makes sense since a circle doesn't necessarily have to represent anything in particular besides what the user wants it to be.

> I want a project management solution that:

> - Emphasizes team collaboration

> - Is able to scale with a company’s growth

> - A playground for teams to experiment and build tasks

> - Ability to capture OKRs (objectives and key results)

> - Task management

Most project management software claims to do most of those things. Not that you aren't right in wanting those things, but the possibilities circles have is the main selling point IMO.

Amen ravenstine. "A tool that stays out of your team’s way" is quite literally the tagline of the Trello-for-devs product I'm working on (Constructor, https://constructor.dev/).

As to the article, I agree with a lot of the author's points. The author talks about lack of features for collaboration. and I agree. What's wrong with the comment systems in Trello or Jira? I think it's that they don't model how people actually collaborate, which often goes something like this: (1) I have a question for someone else on the team, (2) that person answers or passes it to someone else who can, (3) repeat until I've got the answer, (4) reflect the answer somewhere (designs, description, etc.), (5) consider the matter resolved. Many of these might be going on in parallel, and the back-and-forth is often asynchronous. A single comment stream just doesn't lend itself to this kind of collaboration. Neither does Slack where, as the author says, requests for follow-up easily get lost.

The extreme flexibility of the "circles" is interesting. On the one hand, it's nice to give control over to the users and let them model whatever use case they have. On the other, a tool that's too open-ended may overwhelm users with options when they should really be focusing on dev. (Of course, that could be solved with intelligent default templates, or something along those lines.) I'm curious to read others thoughts about that.

> On the other, a tool that's too open-ended may overwhelm users with options when they should really be focusing on dev.

Author here. I agree. A big concern is I build this flexible system and a user jumps in to use it and sees a blank screen. No story section, no sprint section, no epic section. They get bewildered and end up not using it. Do you have any other thoughts on how to combat users being overwhelmed by a blank screen? I could have templates that people could "load" that would set a project up like a traditional project mgmt solution would?

Yeah, templates for "traditional" structures sounds reasonable. Or along the same lines, it might be sufficient to have purely illustrative versions of those setups ("here's how some teams have used this"), to get the idea across, even if they can't be "loaded" as a template.

> In my opinion, based on my needs on every project I've worked on, I've yet to use a project management software that did anything better than a simple Trello board or the like.

Author here, I totally agree with you! I love using trello but every org I've worked at eventually outgrows it and moves onto something more akin to Trello. Why do you think that is?

> My issue with project management software that's more complicated than a set of to-do lists is that they seem to be designed to make you invest in that specific product.

Definitely. As a team lead there's this natural inclination to make your sprint "perfect." I've gone down the rabbit hole of creating a strict workflow where cards have to move from status to status in a specific order. People end up overriding it and doing what they want. And at least for startups, most of the tickets we thought were important, in a few months, are totally irrelevant, thus negating all the work that was done to get those cards properly written.

I'm hoping that I can keep what makes Trello great but add just a touch more team collaboration and project managemenemt-like features to make it so teams don't eventually jump ship to something like JIRA.

I agree that's there's lots of work that fits into a simple Kanban view well.

I do, though, often see stuff managed using Kanban when it's pretty clear that there are dependencies making the work out of sequence and inefficient. It seems there are fewer and fewer people that can break out a Gantt or Pert chart and identify stuff like "the critical path".

Task management seems simple enough that it should be doable on a general-purpose Google Sheets-like minimally programmable shared platform. If only we had one.

also classic project management is very bad at expressing the overall spec of a new product, doesn't support the estimation process for complex things or ones requiring coordination, and aren't good at expressing inter-person or inter-team blockers

PM software basically reflects the level of disinterest and demoralization in an organization.

I'm confused: the list of 'project management software' is a list of task management software. None of those is for managing projects.

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