The Essential Management application began as a project for five computer science students at Portland State University, working for a real-world client. It has grown from these humble beginnings and is now a working piece of software. In the coming months, the project needs greater public awareness, more complete functionality, a wider variety of data storage options, and most of all more users who can tell us what is wrong with it.
The project began focussed on solving the client's problem of tracking and maintaining artifacts created during the software development lifecycle. The client had a huge number of projects which were composed of branches of requirements at various levels (business, functional and technical); these requirements were maintained in simple word processor documents and could not be tracked, searched, edited by multiple users, or easily maintained. Essential Management filled these needs by providing a front end which could be used by multiple users to access requirements stored in a central repository; the application allows creation of new projects and new requirements with several attributes (including description, author, owner, status and more), provides a means to show relationships between the requirements, and tracks changes to requirement attributes by storing a history.
Additionally, the project provides limited security in that it has a concept of users, groups and permissions. Users or groups may be permitted or denied access to projects based upon settings changed by an administrator in the system.
The project is in a beta state.