Recently, I’ve been working as a part-time solution consultant for a digital agency. The company is using an open source project management tool called Redmine to manage digital projects. For the last few years, I was using Google Spreadsheet, Asana, Airtable to manage my own project. The result was satisfactory. Whether my digital products or my client projects, they can be easily managed within my team (5 – 6 developers).
However, when I start to manage larger projects with Redmine, it becomes more challenging. I find it very tiring to follow up on the project every day.
- The client is complaining about the team is not responsive to the issues. It takes a long time to ship the fixes and very often the fixes are not completely finished
- The developer doesn’t understand the issue details very well. I feel that he is somehow lost in the process. We need to walk through the issue details to make sure we’re on the same page. And I am talking about the issues recorded 1 month ago.
- The account manager doesn’t know what is going on at the backstage. She just asked me to test the hell of the issues, whether the issues were fixed by the developer or not. Actually, the issues were not touched for a month at all. I usually spent an hour to discover that (Now I get smarter for sure 🧐).
- I find it frustrating to cross-check against the Redmine, the specs, the dev team, and the account manager. Long hours are spent but very few get done. Very low output and boring. Not to mention I need to double check the issues again and again.
- And the project owner is not happy for sure. We need to have a review meeting tomorrow 😔
I am not sure if the root cause comes from project management methodology or about the tool. But the tool definitely cannot satisfy our need. I am not sure if you feel the same or I have a bias.
8 reasons I don’t like Redmine about (Still growing…)
The single table view is tiring for checking
I don’t like the issue table view at all. It’s so overwhelming that I feel tired after reading for a while. Can it provide other views like Kanban view?
Cannot comment inside issues
When an issue contains many details, sometimes the developer cannot completely resolve each issue. There is something unclear about an issue. I want it to allow a comment function just like Google Docs
No highlights inside issues
I also wonder why there is no color text or highlight inside the HTML editor. Did I miss anything here? I really don’t like the black font anywhere. It’s so dull!
Going back and forth with the customer is very slow
I don’t know. I leave a comment. The customer replies a comment. It seems commenting back and forth will never end. Maybe a phone call or live chat is better?
Linking to different docs is slow
Besides the Redmine site for issue tracking, there is a google doc to store the functional spec (~40 pages), a google doc to store the report formats (~70 pages), the emails, the meeting minutes. The spec and report templates are written by me. Google Docs is freaking slow when there are a lot of images or spreadsheets embedded inside. I know this problem is because of Google Apps. But is there any solution to the problem?
I am not the issue opener nor developer. Therefore, I need to “watch” all responsible issues on my own? Also, can I enable a web push for some important issues?
Hard to filter issues with different views, e.g. by phase
I don’t know how to divide a project into phases. There is phase 1, 2, 3, etc. How can I separate the issues with phases? I thought I could mark an issue with “Reported Stage”. After that, I can filter these issues. But there is no such filter of Reported Stage.
It takes too long time to trace a single issue
Again, there are many images and files attached to an issue. It takes too long to recap what’s happening.
Help Me! 🙌
Please correct me the above if I’m not correct. I am also interested in finding any plugins or themes available by the Redmine open source community. It may be my problem because I am not familiar with the setting & configs (I’m not the admin). But I do hope there is a way that’s more intuitive to deal with the pain points.
Also published on Medium.