One of my professional weaknesses is project planning.  I have a tendency to make plans and then forget what was planned.  Worse, I have a definite tendency to make plans without involving enough people in the planning process.  I don’t think I am alone in this.  The result of this weakness is that I have developed a dislike of planning.  I can get along quite well flying by the seat of my pants.  The problem of course is that without planning, nothing changes.  Let me say that again.  Without Planning, Nothing Changes.

I like change.  I would like to see St. James grow and thrive.  This requires change.  Change requires planning.  Last week I installed some planning software on St. James’ website.  This is open source software.  It is free, and it seems to be quite effective.  Pat Morse & I are slowly bringing in more users.  We have also created a guest log in that allows anyone to log in and look at what we are doing. Here is the login page the login id is “guest” without the quotes.  The password is “guest” without the quotes.

By using a web based software solution planning can be done at anytime by anyone with access to the software.  This means I can start planning a project and someone else can add a task that needs doing as part of the project.  Today I set up a project for Rose Sunday.  Rose Sunday is the day we bring in roses from our gardens for the Altar.  The roses are then taken to a women’s shelter.  I identified five tasks that need doing for this project.  I probably missed something.  The others collaborating on the project will add more tasks or edit the existing tasks.  And they can do their work at a time that is convenient for them.

Another benefit of dotproject is the ability create a new project and copy all the tasks from a previous project.  This means that next year when it is time to plan for Rose Sunday we can simply copy the project, fine tune and assign the tasks.  The planning software becomes a record of how we undertake projects.

Accountability is a great benefit of this software.  When I log into dotproject I am met with a list of all the tasks I have to complete for all the projects I am involved in.  I cannot forget.  In the project view I can see how my task contributes to the overall project.  Everyone on the team can also see.  If I fail to complete my work, it is evident to everyone involved in the project.

For a portable church this software provides a powerful way to plan collaboratively.  It also has the great benefit of being free.  Here is the website for dotproject.