It is very useful to have at hand a piece of software (or rather of whole system) that can relieve lots of the things you have to worry about in your work. Especially, when it comes to coordinating a team of people, larger than 5 people.
That was the case with Sofia Leo Club. We started the club a couple of months ago, launched the official website of the club a few ago, the ceremony for the official chartering is scheduled in a week or so (March 24). Still, we are about to start the „real“ work on projects. Project whose aim to benefit the community and society we live in. The problems that might arise from such work are closely connected with the good and effective internal communication between the team members. By communication here I understand not only the sole term of „the act of transmitting messages“, rather than I understand the sharing of ideas, files, agendas, project tasks, etc.
Well, having such understanding for team communication, it was pretty obvious that I would go for some kind of ICT system to solve the problem. Such system, generically known as „groupware“, was to provide all the aspects of my understanding of communication. Also, it had to be web-based, LAMP driven.
I first started with installing phpGroupWare, an excellent groupware suite, but there many drawbacks to it. First and foremost – way too large (file size). The core installation, with no add-ons was something like 40Mb! So obviously this was turned down for hosting space reasons.
Secondly I tested the dotProject. This was my favorite for some time. Very good system, though very difficult to hack and customize (I had some major problems with making it work with Cyrilic). Anyway, this we actually did use it for some time and it turned to work well. However, the users were most of the times confused with the interface and most of them were doing all kind of mistakes that later the admin (i.e. me) had to fix. So I turned down this groupware for „not being very user-friendly“.
Finally, I ran into more.groupware. This is my favorite now and this is the system that was implemented and that we are currently using. It turned out to be quite rigid framework to work with, the interface is very nicely, user-friendly done. The system provides all kind of export features (I was especially glad for the contacts module export function because contacts in club work are vital). Also, from the three systems, more.groupware so far was the most developed system (the latest release was from last week or something like that).
So if you, the organization you are working with or someone else needs a system to gather its resouces around, aiming at a more effectient workflow, consider the above groupware-s. Good luck!