both are great, really!
Since the very start, we loved to experiment with tools & new technologies for our project management. We’ve tried Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Smartsheet, Pivotal Tracker, JIRA Server, Jira Cloud and many other tools. Though we love all of them, we can only use them for short period of time before finding impediments or some features that we think we need but at the time non-existent in that particular platform.
Last year, we used JIRA for our project management platform. We loved it. JIRA has lots of good features that we want, and we need. Custom workflow, Sprint based planning, informative dashboard, Bitbucket integration and many more. Our only complaint is that it was quite hard to setup initially. Aside from that, we love the experience. But as our team grows, somehow we need to re-evaluate our usage on JIRA because of the cost vs benefit that it bring. This year, we grew from 15 to ~23 person team and forecasted to be around 30 at the end of the year. Taking a quick glance at JIRA pricing, we’re going to spend ~$1500 to~$3000 annually. Which is quite pricy for us. And so we began our search…
After several weeks of comparing JIRA with another tools, we find it hard to replace our daily use cases. But then I remembered Redmine, a project management tools that I’ve used before in college. The UI is really simple and honestly quite ugly back then, but I’m curious to give it a go since it’s an open source project that I hoped we can tinker with.
And turns out, we find it quite pleasurable to use because
There is an awesome theme : https://github.com/mrliptontea/PurpleMine2 that really boost the general look & feel ( though we can’t compare it with the final polished commercial product such as JIRA ). We did change the theme a little bit to suit our taste better.
A lot of plugins available ( free / commercial ). Those plugin options really helped us take what’s good from JIRA and incorporate them into our Redmine. Even though Redmine has a lot of useful features, but to increase our productivity we decided to install several plugins.
Some of the features that I personally found super useful :
- The ability to right-click (multiple) task and display quick actions for those following task
- The ability to create and categorize Roadmap. You can see spent time, overall progress and deadline for that specific Roadmap
- Parent-Child project relationship. JIRA doesn’t have this and we have some difficulties managing our project relations. Redmine has this feature built in
Some important plugins that we use are :
- https://bitbucket.org/tkusukawa/redmine_work_time We use this plugin to make worktime log and keeping track of your daily task easier. I personally loved this plugin and use it instead or the original redmine’s time logger.
- https://github.com/JostBaron/redmine_workload We use this plugin to view resource workload estimation Installation notes : after installing, we found some styling conflict and we need to edit the plugins .rb files
- http://www.redmine.org/plugins/custom-workflows This plugin is really powerful if you understand how to code ( using Ruby ). We used this plugin for task automaton such as automatic assignment, default task properties and other automaton task.
- https://github.com/jgraichen/redmine_dashboard JIRA has a beautiful Kanban board and some of us really missed it because Redmine doesn’t provide this feature. We add this dashboard plugin to cater for those who prefers Kanban board style.
Other plugins that we use are :
Installation notes : this plugin has conflict with redmine_mentions. if you enable it, mentions can’t be used on the same field.
Installation notes : never enable simplified view for participants — will result on 500 error! Also I think there are styling conflicts with PurpleTheme
Installation notes : create your own public/uploads/exports plugin and make sure www-data has access to it. enable popup for auto download
Even with all of those plugins addition, Redmine still has a lot of things that we need to adjust. But for now, we’re quite satisfied with it.