We are constantly in search of a better way of scheduling. We do a high volume of design and programming with a staff of about 17. Our scheduling right now is next to impossible. We can come close to estimate actual time...but its still off more than its on. There is a TON of variance which is beyond our control.
We were thinking about using Project but it seems too complex for what we need. We just basically need a way to schedule and organize small jobs (under 8 hours each) in an efficiant manner and check for load balancing and over scheduling.
It's the key problem to solve in this type of business.
I used to schedule and manage 15 software developers on 4hr to 10 day jobs, and it took an enormous amount of time.
In the end I had a job tracking and management system developed incrementally in MSAccess by a bright PA, while managing the actual timetabling of jobs on a large magnetic wall chart. And yes, it was painful to keep the two in line.
However, the benefits were enormous: poor reliability had been keeping the company small, and by solving it we were able to move from being a "cottage industry" company to being a proper, professional software company.
I used to manage up to 75 people (doing projects but no software or web design) Running a software and/or a wall chart will do fine However the real key is human resource Hire an office manager You will get a high ROI on that move Further no office manager will cost you coder's hour rate