Project management · Remote teams

Jira or BaseCamp?

Chandra Jacobs

March 27th, 2013

Or something else? Would be interested to hear your thoughts on project management tools for small teams that include code checkins, designs, etc.

Tom Quick User Experience Manager at Elemental Technologies

March 27th, 2013

Jira is premier for workflow management, and can integrate with code repositories very nicely. Fully customizable, but can be complex to non-technical users. Basecamp gets called a PM tool, but I believe that it is not. It is a great project communication tool, and works well for defining scope or sharing small design iterations. Basecamp has tasks, but I have not found them to be robust enough. Trac is (I believe) an open source ticketing system. It is robust, but not as flexible as Jira by a long shot. Trello is great for small agile groups. It has the visual appeal of Basecamp, but with more robust state management. I don't know of code repository integration, but that would be very nice. In terms of code checkins, my sense is that SVN is a standard, but is being eclipsed by GitHub. GitHub is worth checking out, and look for ticketing systems that integrate with it. The key is to identify the different needs: code repository, task management, issue ticketing/tracking. Many tools offer overlapping features, can integrate, etc., so your needs will dictate which suits your company best. tomQ

Barry Clark

March 27th, 2013

Side note: you can use any of these systems that everyone's recommending, but the most important thing is defining your process for project management first, then implementing it to the system. 

Joseph Hsieh Growth Marketing & User Acquisition Specialist

March 27th, 2013

I like and use a relatively unknown project management + defect tracking tool called Sprint.ly.  It is created by a bunch of smart guys (@joestump) and they have an elegant and realistic approach to project management.  I've used a ton of PM tools in the past (fogbugz, trac, basecamp, jira, pivotal, trello, etc)

Be forwarned, they have an strong opinion of how products should be built (and shipped) so you either agree with it (or don't).  So make sure you're on board with the following:

Gaurav Sharma

March 27th, 2013

We use Asana and like it a lot. Some other teams I know use and like Trello as well.

Daniel Lo

March 27th, 2013

I haven't used base camp.  Jira is pretty good.  for all the ones I have used none of them are prefect, it's about finding the best fit for your requirements.

Peter Sankauskas Founder & CEO at CloudNative

March 27th, 2013

I was a big fan of FogBugz because it was very simple to use, and had evidence based scheduling. I had a look at it the other day though, and it is starting to look a little dated.

JIRA is a big gorilla, and I don't recommend it.

Both Asana and Trello are picking up traction though, so they might be a good fit.

Alan Peters VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks

March 27th, 2013

Basecamp is good but not for code. JIRA is a good choice or look at pivotal. Github can cover your source control and technical docs.

Richard Weir Partner, Head of Project Management at Phoekus

March 27th, 2013

I have used them all and I like pivotal tracker. One screen to view all the tasks. Easy Drag and drop of those tasks for the product owner to reprioritize. Your team needs to watch the video and spend a little time understanding how to use it. It's not just a scrum tool. Pivotal Labs created it for themselves and they are one of the tech companies out there. Trello is another great option and even simpler than PT or Basecamp. I've used it with dev teams to move tasks through a design and build workflow. I still use basecamp on projects that are design only. Jira I stopped using because they have not done enough to update the UX and Aesthetic. It's too complex.

Barry Clark

March 27th, 2013

Big fan of Trello, it's completely free too so easy to try. It can tackle everything from tiny projects to huge team based projects. 

I use it in a team of 10 devs at DoSomething.org, similarly to Uservoice: http://community.uservoice.com/blog/trello-google-docs-product-management/

Janelle Maiocco

May 10th, 2013

Great info. So far using pivotaltracker for dev and looking into basecamp---and now trello---for non-dev PM and collab.