Managing a team of Geospatial Analysts, and all their ongoing projects, requires a decent bit of effort for the Project Manager on one of our current contracts. At the onset, the PM would ask each GA what they were working on, obtain it verbally or via email, and manually enter the information into an excel spreadsheet. He would then discuss the spreadsheet with the client each week, noting any task updates or closures. The importance of the spreadsheet and the weekly client meetings cannot be understated; however, I believed that the amount of labor associated with tracking tasks could be greatly reduced.
I originally got the idea for semi-automating our task-tracking system during a seminar at the ESRI International User’s Conference in San Diego. A presenter in one of the technical sessions showed how he and his team built a project tracking system using python code and an open source GUI. I took some notes, and knew that any similar workflow I created would have to be built off IDLE, because downloading any new programs to my government machine often proves to be prohibitively difficult.