Project Coordination Software

Question:  I am working to get a position on a project developing a web-based instructional program. In addition to writing and editing content, I would be responsible for organizing the project and coordinating the other team members. I was wondering if anyone knew of any web-based software that would allow communication among multiple team members (SME's, writers, programmers, and more) located across the country. Ideally, the system would facilitate communication between all members, help schedule and track project benchmarks and deadlines, allow for access and revision to documents by multiple users, track revisions, and more (TBD as the scope and structure of the project are worked out). Does anyone know of a tool like this? Also, do you have any suggestions for how to organize and run a project of this size? Most of my experience has been on smaller scale projects, so I would appreciate any advice from those who have been there.   Date:  09/07

Response Summary:

Books:
  • "Managing Virtual Teams: Getting the Most from Wikis, Blogs, and Other Collaborative Tools". www.wordware.com/wiki/ (This book provides some checklists for determining which tools will work best for your particular needs for virtual project coordination and tracking. Before picking a set of tools, do a needs and gap analysis, so that you have a clear idea of what features and functionality that you really need. Some of the collaboration suites include Basecamp, Drupal, eGroupware, MS Sharepoint...)
Software:
  • http://www.basecamphq.com/ I use Basecamp as a collaborative tool. It's not full-fledged project management software, so if you need more than basic task/milestone management it won't be suitable. But it provides an easy way for my widely-scattered team to communicate.
  • http://www.zoho.com/ Zoho has a free suite of tools that might work for you.
  • http://wiki.splitbrain.org/wiki:dokuwiki You might want to look into implementing a wiki. There are many of them out there to choose from. The team I work with are using DokuWiki to collaborate because it is free, does not use a database, and is very easy to set up and start using. There was an excellent summary about wikis on the CIC SIG list about a year and a half ago, which is what got me started.
  • www.authorit.com AuthorIT has a number of products that fit the bill. Excellent, single-source, content re-use, version control, etc.