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Our New Project Management Software, Ora

Posted on August 09, 2017

As much as the team despises every time I change a system or process, I can’t help trying out bleeding edge software. I’ve been looking for a replacement for our project management software, Asana, for a while. When I came across Ora, it seemed to tick all of the boxes for us.

But why?

Asana is great if you have a couple of large projects with lots of details at each step. Think like a massive website development project. Here at Optimising, we have a single project for every single client to keep track of their campaign progress. So we’re well past the 100 active project mark. Asana slowed to crawl for us trying to maintain this sort of setup.

Ora is built on AngularJS so it’s quick to zip around their interface. They’ve also added some great keyboard shortcuts so you don’t even need to touch that mouse.

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Where Ora Excels

Slack Integration

We’ve been on Slack since it was released and couldn’t survive without it now. Ora allows you to push project notifications on a per-channel basis. This keeps the Slack noise down as it’s only in channels which you are already following.

Currently, Slack notifications are enabled for adding tasks, moving/completing tasks and adding comments. Unfortunately you can’t customise this even further.

Project Customisation

One cool feature that Ora has is the ability to customise each of your projects individually to just how you like it.

Prefer a list view or the Trello/Kanban view? Choose your favourite!

Need time tracking? Enable it!

Is one project for a new website build? Enable Bug/Feature/Chore task types, Milestone markers and Task IDs!

This keeps the clutter out of other projects, and allows every Account Manager to get the most out of their own projects.

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Where Ora Falls Down

It’s only brand spanking new. With any new software, comes not heavily tested features, and bugs. Fortunately, it’s super easy to report any quirks, and their dev team is quick to respond and patch it. They also have a public roadmap so you can check in to see where they are at with new features. 

There’s a few design choices which we’re not huge fans of such as the open member system (think like Trello or Github), and usernames are not unique your account. There can only be one “@daniel” on their entire platform.

You could also ask are they trying to do too much? They have a Slack-like chat app in the works, as well as invoicing and a bunch of other integrations with 3rd party services. You don’t want to spread yourselves too thin and be just OK at a lot of things things instead of being the best at just a couple of things.

So, should I swap to Ora?

Swapping your project management software is a huge task. You need to make sure you lock down the scope of everything you already use, as well as any requirements that you are missing out on.

About the Author

Daniel Zuccon

Operations Director

Daniel Zuccon made his first website in 1998 for a friend in exchange for a skateboard. (Don't worry, his programming skills are far better than his short-lived skating career!).

Since then, he has run several online businesses including boutique eCommerce stores and large online communities, so he understands the issues Australian businesses face every day.

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