Attention, project managers. A new platform called the Comindware Project, integrated with social collaboration, is being released this week. The integration makes you wonder why more PM tools are not fully integrated with social capabilities. 

The company behind the new product, Comindware, provides solutions for business process management and workflow automation in the form of its enterprise social Team Network and its Tracker for business process management and workflow automation. The new Project software is designed for planning, tracking, collaboration and reporting.

Predictive Gantt Charts

The new platform, available in cloud and on-premises versions, includes predictive real-time Gantt Charts that recalculate unfinished or delayed tasks into the future, and automated task-scheduling based on priorities and resources. There is also a consistent user interface across devices – Android smartphones and iPhone are supported as well as computers, and iPad/Android tablet apps are coming.

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Resource allocation in Comindware's new Project

But a key distinguishing factor, Senior Product Manager Konstantin Bredyuk told CMSWire is that the Comindware Project was built on top of Team Network, which is shipped free with Project. He said this integration represents the industry’s first use of “in-context collaboration” inside the project environment, through the employment of project-based activity streams, team-based collaborative rooms and motivational awards.

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Team Network's rooms in Comindware Project

Learning Opportunities

Bredyuk also pointed to several other components as differentiators, including the flexibility of updating the project plan at any stage, an easy-to-use priority determination, a visually-based work breakdown structure and the ability to run Comindware Project inside an Outlook environment. The targeted markets, he said, are professional services, new project development and marketing projects.

Collaboration + PM

Brad Shimmin, an analyst for industry research firm Current Analysis, told us that there was “a weird line of demarcation” between many project management tools and more collaborative, social tools.

He pointed to the lack of socialness in Microsoft’s widely used Project PM software, and, although there are collaborative tools in some PM software and some project-friendly capabilities in enterprise social tools, it is not as complete or well integrated as one might expect  —  finding expert advice within a company while you’re inside your PM tool, for instance, or being able to manage milestones and Gantt charts within a social tool. Some PM tools are beginning to tout their social collaboration, such as Kona, Mavenlink or Mendix, but the integration is not yet fully realized across the board.

Shimmin added that PM vendor Wrike told him one reason could be that “the platform vendors like Jive and IBM make it easy to write plugins” to call their enterprise collaboration suites – as, essentially, Comindware has done internally with its own Team Network.