- There's too many project management tools out there, it's about time to combine forces!
- The current project management tools, to me, don't seem to easily take advantage of other plugins and many aren't scalable.
- My suggestion is below, but am looking for input, ideas, and if a current on could natively work with plugins and be scalable.
~Summary is at the end
Unfortunately, If found that no current project management tool was what I was looking for. But I thought it was ridiculous to build yet another, just to have 20 project management plugins/themes, built from lots of time, energy, and effort, just be redundant.
So, I wanted to lay out what I was looking for the foundation of how I'd build it, and what I did/didn't see in the others.
Many either completely ignored or didn't leverage the wordpress api effectively, making it harder to extend. The ones I thought were the best didn't quite fit as they attached all their data to the theme options. To me, the ideal would be extensible and most importantly, not to reinvent the wheel by enabling it to take advantage of the plethora of plugins available. [for the sake of this discussion, I'll use post to refer to posts, pages and custom posts] Given most plugins work with posts either adding metadata or drawing from them, a project management built on posts would natively integrate with them. Keeping the project management tool as theme options isolates it almost entirely from other plugins, and would require editing the plugins to utilize them.
Thus I'd like to propose making a project management tool built on custom post types for extensibility and to fully leverage the options api and easily connect with the enormous amount of plugins available.
As an example, Edit Flow is pretty much 50% of a project management tool in and of itself - and it's pretty amazing. Add a custom field for tasks, and it's good to go as a decent basic setup. As do many others, it works based on posts/custom posts.
So How does one organize the sections?
Being CRM, Project overview, Tasks/milestones, Discussion, Invoicing.
My thoughts were:
- All sections of the project are a single custom post type, then make tasks, discussions, and other child/grandchild posts of the main project.
- Pros: Navigation, keep hierarchy, some other organization benefits working within a single custom post type. It would be easy for the parent post - project overview - to grab data from all children to show summaries.
- Cons: Each section is meant to hold very different types of data. Although conditionals by heirarchy could be set for which metaboxes show, it'll become very unwieldy eventually.
Utilize users for CRM, even though they many never log in, it again makes it easy to work with plugins and native wp api.
And do invoicing based on custom posts as well - I found one plugin already doing that which could be extended - wp ultimate invoicing.
Which leaves me to my final question:
- Is there a better way to easily take advantage of plugins and still make the setup scalable?
- Does a current project management fit that criteria and/or be a good base to build off of?
- Am I the only one, or would anyone else benefit from the, and/or be interested in working on it?
Thanks for you time, input, and help! I'd love to work with you to make it awesome!
( And a public publishable version is probably only going to happen if others are up for working with me on it. )
Although I tried every other wordpress project management tool I could find, save for a multisite one, I didn't delve into code and only inferred how the worked by what I saw. If I misjudged, please correct me!