This review is given freely. Be aware that I have not been compensated for this review in any way. I just feel strongly about certain web apps so that I am inclined to promote those that I believe in. This is one of them.
I have no idea what, if anything, Rukovoditel means in any language. I hope it translates to “awesome,” because I just recently discovered this project management system and cannot find enough good to say about it.
I stumbled onto it quite by accident and was amazed to see that it was listed in Softaculous. I must have blazed past it due to its odd name. So I installed it and started poking around in it yesterday evening. Here’s a clue how easy this thing is to set up. I have a project-independent support ticket system running alongside tickets that are associated with specific projects, and a document repository. All created yesterday evening while playing around with and configuring the software.
Just How Great Is This System?
The software has been built with care and is intuitive as to how the software might be used. It makes creation of entities (such as projects, milestones, tasks, discussions) easy with customizable fields, forms, tooltips, and even FontAwesome integration. Every phase and step is customizable by the system administrator. And this is in the free version!
The dashboard is completely customizable so each user sees only what’s relevant. You can apply filters to each entity, exclude or include users and user groups and much more.
One thing I love about its structure is that you can access your items from the sidebar, you can ask Ruko to put them in the header, and there is a breadcrumb trail so that if you are working in a task on Project A, and want to quickly check on something in Project B, you just click on the Projects link in the breadcrumb trail at the top of your page and you’re there!
The great thing about this system is that you can configure it to YOUR work style; you are not forced to work within the confines of the system. Features you won’t use do not have to be included and you can add things that are important to you. It can be conformed to your industry, niche market, client base, just as you’d have a suit custom-made for you.
One great feature when creating your own entities is the global list. This is a set of reusable dropdowns that can be inserted into any entity. Here are some examples:
Here are a few of my global lists, two of which are customized for my work style (Fee structure and Attachment Type). You can also assign color tags to your global lists if you wish.
But there are two more great reasons to consider Ruko as your project management system.
(1) You can brand it by uploading a custom image to the login page, as I have done below.
(2) You can allow (or disallow) public registration. We like this feature because we plan to use it as support for our website maintenance packages. We don’t want to have to create a project just to deliver site maintenance services to our clients. They can register with the site and open a support ticket to request site maintenance. And this is why project-independent ticketing was so important to me.
You can also customize a “Maintenance” login screen, as I have done here:
What Has It Done For Pixelita Designs?
I’ve only been using Ruko for about 48 hours and already I feel like I have mastered this PM system. Why? Because I built a few of the components myself so I know exactly how they will behave and what I hope to accomplish with them. As your business changes and grows, you can continue to configure and reconfigure Ruko to do your bidding for you; not the other way around. It’s just so flexible that I cannot foresee ever outgrowing it. And hopefully, it’s simple enough that my clients won’t mind using it either. There are handy tool tips which are completely customizable, as well as other intuitive behaviors that will make using this system a breeze, even if you might be a bit technically challenged. And let’s face it, our clients come to us to do their web development because they are likely not tech-savvy!
If you know your industry, your work habits, and your clients, you can configure Ruko to become exactly what you need it to be, no less and no more.
 It turns out that rukovoditel means manager in Russian.
Joni Mueller has been designing web sites for hire since 2003, when she first blew up her web host’s server by insisting on running Greymatter. Since then, Joni has designed for Blogger and Movable Type, TextPattern, WordPress and CMS Made Simple. She lives with her cat and shoe collection in a bucolic old section of Houston called Idylwood. For some strange reason, Joni likes to refer to herself in the third person. When she’s not working on web design, she’s ordering lawyers around. And blogging about it. Or both.