How to motivate your team to update your project management tool

Everyone has few turn offs - for some it is untidy hair, for some it is lack of punctuality, for some dishonesty, and so on. But almost every developer I know has one common turn off, their project management tool!

Let me elaborate, being a software developer as a great part of our team at Taiga, is no less than being in a very demanding relationship. You say why? A project demands a lot - attention, focus, love, dedication - just like your beloved. And developers give it all without a thought to their project, but then updating the project management portal at the end of the day - isn’t it like informing your partner’s father about what happened the whole day.

But, a project manager reading this post will retort - we don’t pay developers to make analogies at work. Project management is a serious job and projects need tracking to make sense of progress. That’s true as well. Jokes apart, a turn off is a turn off, one just can’t change it.

So, the need is to find the middle path - a tool that is dead easy to use, beautiful to see all day long and still does the serious job of project management - and this line pretty much sums up all about Taiga. Before I jump to say, “use Taiga in your projects”, lets look at few major Taiga offerings -

Beautiful to see all day long

“Beauty is the ultimate defence against complexity.” - David Gelernter

We all know software development is a complex field, adding complexity to such a field would be criminal. No one would like to fiddle with an ugly/complex interface, at the end of a hard day at work, and so we designed Taiga with our hearts and souls. Probably the best designed open source tool out there, Taiga is a pleasure to use for everyone. Whether you’re a developer, manager or any other stakeholder.

After you login, you’re taken straight to the backlog page - where all the action happens. One quick glance and you already know total project points, the burndown rate and completion percentage. If you need to add a user story or an epic story - you have it just below the burndown chart. Sprints too are not far - on the right sidebar, you can add sprints, check each sprint’s task board and track pretty much everything related to the project. For other tasks, like bug management, documentation, team management, you have clearly recognizable icons on the left sidebar.

Focus on tasks not efforts

Project managers or scrum masters sometimes get fixated to features, issues, change requests and instead of focusing on task’s progress, the focus shifts to how much time it took and how long it will take further. It may be justified in some cases, but more often than not, such micromanagement causes long term damage to the developer’s mindset and hence the team dynamics. That is why Taiga has its focus set on the tasks, there is even this post on the official support page describing in detail, why Taiga doesn’t support time tracking.

Recognition via gamification

“Competition is a rude yet effective motivation.” - Toba Beta

Recognizing valuable contributors to a project and rewarding them is one of the most important things to boost the team morale. But, this is often limited to appreciation mails, or in-meeting Thank you’s - both get forgotten over time. Not any more with Taiga. There are several titles that people in the team can earn based on tasks they perform. These titles are shown on a team board - a simple yet very effective way to motivate people in a positive way. This is how the team board looks:

Interested? Take Taiga on a test drive - Taiga. Its free and open source!