Most projects, workgroups and, well – things that have to be done, have a thing in common. There are limited resources available, and the goal is to make the best out of it. Especially when you think in terms of „projects“ and „project management“ – i can’t imagine one project i’ve done that was not limited in a way. (Even my nonprofit projects (lang:german) are.)
The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the preconceived project constraints. Typical constraints are scope, time, and budget. The secondary—and more ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives.[Wikipedia]
Open Atrium is doing an awesome job in managing group communication. Also the Wiki/Notebook feature is activated in nearly every group i create. One thing, being a freelancer, i did miss from the beginning. Time Tracking! I use mite, a commercial (but very cool) time tracking service for my freelance work, and sometimes even for nonprofit and university projects. So my need was not big enough to sit down and build a time tracking feature for myself. (also i am a horrible programmer)
But the thought was long enough in my head to morph into an idea for a more „drupallish“ approach. Time is money, and money is always limited. That makes 2 limited resources in nearly every project, but other projects also have other, and different limited ressources. Solar panels, brochures, soccer balls, shrink heads – you name it. My idea is to create a simple feature for Open Atrium to manage „you name it“. A basic resource.
Thanks to Felix, i could quickly (Felix: „theres a module for that“) turn my thoughts into a feature for Open Atrium today. Heres what it looks like:
The over-view: a table with all resources, the percentage of the original budget thats still available and a link to the comments (klick image to enlarge)
The resource creation page (you should not need use the „use“ field here – it should be hidden)
The node view – the fields status and available are computed fields
From a programmers perspective this is just mousework. Maybe 6 lines of edited lines in the feature.
I consider „Resources“ still not much more than a thought. Theres a lot that could be done better than what i did yet. I consider it a first step (and also my first contribution to the community – yay!). If you are interested in the idea and would like to play around with the feature you are very much invited to do so.
You can download „Resources“ as a Atrium feature here: resources-6.x-0.1
Also, if you are not a developer but would like to see a more stable an richer „Resources“ feature – please comment and share your thoughts!