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September 18, 2008



ActionThis might be worth a look. (http://www.actionthis.com)

It's collaborative, team focused & more about getting things done than Project.

I'm biased of course (I was on the team that built it - was my day job), but it has it's place. I think it's particularly strong when you're road-blocked by someone else, but you could use it for the nitty-gritty personal tasks too.

BTW, congrats on Schizoid, and being the first commercial XNA game!

Jay K.

I think the key phrase in your essay is the first sentence. I too love "the idea" of MS Project, but its execution is flawed for any sort of fluid project management.

Software development is fluid enough that we can use (or demand) that our project management be the same. For other fields where the development isn't as fluid (You can't just build a building, hope it works, and debug it if it topples.), the project management must reflect the processes rigdity.

I also prefer Excel to Project, or just about anything else. I use Excel also as a bug database for personal projects.

Joel on Software has a good article or two on using Excel as a project management tool that you can google.


I've been using this


I don't know what to compare it to or if it's all that great but it's a fairly agile way of working. You add "stories" and give them a time setting of 0-3 (where 0 = 1 hour, 1 = day, 2 = 2-3 days, 3 = week+) or something like that.

It keeps a list of things finished, being worked on, need to be worked on (backlog) and not yet decided to be implemented ever (icebox) and it attempts, to figure out what 0, 1, 2, 3 ratings *actually* mean based on past history has you go and therefore tell you when a certain feature will be done.

It doesn't level or track dependencies but you can rearrange stuff and it has a nice interface.

In any case, I like it more than almost anything else I've been subjected to.

Darius K.

Yep, Excel is the way I go for big projects. (Also, it was nice seeing you at PAX.)


@task is a great alternative to MS Project. It's on-demand, so there's no software to install, and it provides all the team collaboration tools you'd need to get the job done. Before you give up on project management software and go back to Excel, you should look at @task.

Marcos Giagnorio

Hi !
Project is not the problem ! Project is a tool. It's used to manage activities, time and resources in a project.

Sorry I say this, please don't take it bad, but the trouble here are your Project Management skills.

You can't track dependencies with Project, or Excel! it's insane. You can track and order the activities, or the work, that produce those dependencies.

Also, you can't be checking all the if people is doing what they must do... there is something known as artifact. So, in every phase or stage in your project, every team member must do some work to produce an artifact. These artifacts can be graphics, sounds, music, code, functionality.... your planning must be based on this artifacts.

Again, please don't take this bad, but those who had this kind of problems, reading the PMBOK and taking an PM course, will improve their planning skills and will have better coordination, even if are using Project, Excel or an old-fashion notepad with a pen.

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game