by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 31 January 2013
Once in a while, you come across a solution that captures the zeitgeist of the day. This week we will review one such application. Strikebase is a SaaS-based project management software that simplifies project management. In our review, we will look at Strikebase's features, interface and see how it can be of use to you.
An early adopter of cloud technology, Gaurav DCosta, StrikeBase's founder, had already built a successful business developing web applications for clients around the world. However, the silo-centric nature of cloud apps caused problems during the development process. Research showed DCosta's problems were universal amongst small businesses. "With limited manpower and financial resources at their disposal, it was not possible for these companies (small businesses) to develop and maintain internal, consolidated solutions covering their messaging, task, file sharing, and this led them to take a fragmented application route, just like we did," he says.
They developed StrikeBase to solve this problem. The solution was developed around five core mandates ranging from keeping data in one place to developing an application that offered the same fit-and-finish offered by social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
DCosta likens his solution to an "all-in-one" tool. "One login with all your data in one place with centralized search," he says. "No other tools provides this capability."
The StrikeBase solution is ideally targeted at small businesses with major business activity that revolves around projects. "The solution is suited for all teams right from small startups to large enterprises," he says. The multiple permission-controlled groups feature that makes the solution ideal for medium/large enterprises.
There are several reasons to like StrikeBase. Prime among them is, as I mentioned earlier, StrikeBase's incorporation of zeitgest of the day, which is social networking. The solution's founders incorporated the tool into the solution to use tools for specific reasons. Since everyone today uses tools like Facebook and Twitter at home and is very familiar with their interface, they want them to feel just as comfortable using StrikeBase.
StrikeBase works in eleven specific application areas. These areas range from assigning tasks to teams to ensuring collaboration between them. The latter is ensured in an almost ingenious manner: the pulse feed, which is similar to the Facebook timeline feed (complete with colors et al) ensures that your employees are completely accustomed to the interface. It provides news updates relating to your project in a feed format. Based on your preferences, you can either configure updates for individual projects or multiple projects (for program management). Once you have configured the updates, you can filter them based on specific criteria. The micro-level filtering reduces clutter. For example, you can choose to view updates specifically from your own team members or from multiple teams.
The solution also contains personal and team productivity applications such as To Do lists, a Projects tab that helps you manage individual and team projects, Questions to create communities of questions and a Tasks tab. The last-mentioned tab is the heart of the solution and lists details related to your work including your tasks in progress, delegated tasks, team requests and dependent items.
The solution also adds innovations to common feature sets. For example, the analytics module contains an automatically calculated Punctuality Index (Pi) and Efficiency Index (Ei) that scores users on "Task completion before the due date" and "Time-completed-in versus Time-assigned". So, the next time you need to assign a task, you now know who has the highest probability of completing it by the due date and within the allotted time.
Another key feature of StrikeBase is the ability to "Chat from the Web and the Desktop". It is a neat way to start a conversation with your clients or team from anywhere, while you make sure that your entire conversation history is always logged & searchable online. This also allows you to chat, track time on tasks and receive notifications and complete ToDos with desktop client for Windows and Mac. Nice!
As I mentioned earlier, the application incorporates the existing zeitgest of the day i.e., social networks. The interface, thus, is a mix of popular social networks. For example, you can create teams through a drag and drop interface that is similar to Google circles. Similarly, the pulse feed resembles Facebook's timeline and has several similar elements from colors to icons shape and arrangement.
The application has a comprehensive knowledgebase that tackles different topics within the solution. In addition, you can also submit individual requests through the website and track their status through the website.
StrikeBase is definitely worth a try, especially considering its interesting interface and features. The transition from social networks to project management is seamless; plus, the fact that the solution allows three free users with unlimited projects should be enough of an incentive to give this solution a try.