On Project Management

I had a conversation with Tyler about project management software the other day, because I invited him to start using Asana to start keeping track of features and ideas for our app.

Tyler was vehemently opposed to any kind of project management software.

Having used a number of tools (basecamp, pivotal tracker, redmine), I’m inclined to agree. But Asana has such a sexy UI that I thought maybe this was the one, this is how project management should be, we should take time to carefully list, monitor and track what we’re building.

This, of course, is wrong.

In the context of startups, project management tools will always suck. If you are using a PM tool then you are not designing, coding, or communicating with customers. You are not even communicating with your team. You are putting an abstraction layer between you and your team, effectively saying “I prefer to engage with this UI which makes me feel valuable and productive because I make lists and assign tasks” instead of actually engaging with the people building the product.

Getting e-mails that say “UserName has assigned you task: XXXXXX” sucks. Developers and designers aren’t fucking robots. They are literally a highly valuable class of modern artisans. If you give them shit like this it’s pretty damn boring and they’ll quickly find other places to work.

So, Asana is pretty, but if you feel compelled to start down the rabbit-hole that is project management, remember that you could (and should) be coding, designing, or selling something, not making lists that few will read that will soon be forgotten.

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