TeamEffect.com (New Zealand) – a visual drag and drop style project management tool is definitely a pleasant diversion from the complexity and lack of usability of the traditional online project management tools. System developers, management and IT teams would find the tool effective in the following critical areas: project scheduling, forecasting team requirements, maintaining a tally on task progress, and in sharing and assigning task responsibility. In addition, the management tool has essential project categories such as analysis, design, development and testing to reap the benefits of a planned undertaking.
I had a chance to talk to the creator of the site, Joel Macfarlane, and this is what he had to say:
Why did we build such a thing? What could be the business model?
Until nine months ago I owned a successful software company providing Project and Portfolio Management software to large companies like Tecos. We made a pretty good living selling software locally and charging big money to install and maintain it. It was never a particularly easy business living from one big sale to the next. Meanwhile we observed the industry trend of moving away from large expensive applications to smaller cheaper SAS product. Watching other companies like BaseCamp and FogBugz sell millions of copies online for a small per month cost just make sense. I exited the company and spent the next nine months creating TeamEffect from scratch with the goal of being in the same market as these projects but with something completely visual and super easy to use.
We finished this month and have gone into Beta with the goal of giving the software away till it’s perfect. Check out the project video on our web site for a quick demonstration.
Why is your site different than your competitors?
The currently market leaders are very clunky as the web has not traditionally leant itself to good client side interactivity. Typically these apps give you text boxes and calendar pickers rather than a good old fashion start to end bars. I used to draw staff schedules up against projects on a white board where I could draw lines and rub things out with a finger rather than stumble my way through these lists. TeamEffect gives you the same features and more but presents them on a visual calendar with all of the interface smarts we all expect from Web 2.0 applications.
How are you planning to market it?
With experience selling this sort of software in person we are going to apply the same sales techniques online. We will be running a social forum based campaign over the next month to gather a few eyeballs. Then when we can hone our message and drive our conversion rates up we will start a formal branding PR campaign on some of the large Project Management sites.
Project Managers and Team Managers are busy people and generally hate scheduling and forecasting software since it adds workload, the campaign we have planned plays on this.
Any other information that you believe is relevant to your startup?
We are inviting 100 people to sign up this month for free to start our advisory community. We need all the feedback and help we can get to make this software really stand out. So get on board and give us a hand.
It’s a pleasant surprise that TeamEffect.com is offering these services for free until the site is perfected – a great approach to building loyalty and user acceptance. The site, built using a fair bit of client side code and ofcourse, Ajax technology for user interaction, can be said to be usabilitiy and technology driven. Overall, it is great to see a real world tool to aid management in planning the initial and subsequent stages of the project development process.
Click here to visit TeamEffect.com and check out the demo videos.