I have been writing about Traction TeamPage for several years (for ex. Traction Announces New Integrated Micro-blogging and Solid Revenue Growth for 2008) and continue to have respect their accomplishments. I recently spoke with Greg Lloyd about the newest release, Traction TeamPage 5.1.
Now that the enterprise 2.0 market is starting to mature a bit, I think one of the success factors for platforms will be the ability to align with business processes. I observed this with knowledge management. The only successful KM efforts that I saw were business process aligned. This is exactly the direction that Traction is taking with its last two releases. Now Traction is always been about supporting business, but it is now even more explicit with its current integration of project management capabilities.
At the beginning of the year they released TeamPage 5.0 with the new Proteus skin that provides faster performance and a cleaner interface using Google Web Toolkit user interface technology New features then were the inclusion of profiles, Twitter-style status updates, tag clouds, and enhanced metrics. Now with the 5.1 Release they are adding action tracking, calendaring, milestones, and projects using the term “observable work.”
The action tracking concept is not old school project management with Gantt charts and resource allocation. It is allowing employees to manage their work tasks and make this management transparent to those who need to know. This is where the observable work comes it. I have seen considerable improvement in employee and team performance when their work becomes transparent to the right others. The spot light does wonders when applied correctly.
This is the action tracking part of project management for the regular employee, not the program management office. It brings this activity into the enterprise 2.0 world as every task is treated as an object for comments, RSS, and made searchable to those with the proper permissions. Traction has always had great granular security and this permission level technology is applied here, as well. Below is a sample screen for action planning. In this case it is for their recent TUG 2010 user conference.
You can also get an overview of all milestones, goals with a date, as you can see below.
Taking it up a level, a project is a collection of tasks and milestones. Here is a sample screen showing projects. You can drill down into the details.
There is also enhanced calendaring with automatic updates based on changes in tasks and milestones. Only the tasks, milestones and projects that fit your permission profile are displayed. A Traction TeamPage calendar can be referenced and included live in Outlook, Google calendar and others that support the iCal format. You can subscribe to a top-down view of all calendar items, or subscribe to a personal calendar view of just the item’s you’re responsible for.
Each person’s Team Page profile page shows everything that the profiled person is doing within your permission level, including work stream, status, projects and personal task calendar. It can also be auto-updated through changes within LDAP. Here is a sample profile page showing the various features. The tabs are configurable.
You can filter content by person or task. You can also change a note to a task to provide the ability to track it and increase its visibility. Tasks can be treated like tags and added to any paragraph in any space within the system. I think that this complete collection of new capabilities builds on the strong platform already established to take it further into the ideal of enterprise 2.0. Here the activities of an organization are accessible to those who need to know and this transparency operates at the task or action level. It will be interesting to see what they do next.