How often do you find yourself sitting in meetings for the better part of the workday, only to find that you have made very little progress on pending projects? Face to face meetings certainly have their value but what if your team is spread between buildings, cities, states or even countries? How can you effectively communicate and effectively execute action items? Learning to harness the power of Project collaboration software for project management can open up a simpler, more cost-effective way to manage and execute your projects.
We all know the power of social media and social networks in our personal lives, but some still consider it a hard sell when it comes to using it for business. Does the crossover work? A study conducted by McKinsey Quarterly indicate that many leading companies are able to successfully leverage social project collaboration technologies to improve communication between business partners, customers and employees. So how does it work and will it work for me? Here are 4 key factors that make online project collaboration successful for increased project management and team collaboration.
Create Focused and Transparent Project Objectives and Goals
With the emergence and growth of platforms like Facebook and Twitter the “status update” has become a strong communication component in staying connected with both friends and family and outside connections. The same valuable insight is missing from one of the most obvious places, inside businesses. Instead of trying to implement and understand this modern method of communication, business are become more dependent on meetings, emails and traveling.
It’s not hard to see the benefits of project collaboration software and apply it to the business world. Team collaboration software leverages the “status update,” combined with real-time presence and instant messaging, to provide a secure platform for groups, teams and entire organizations to communicate more effectively. For business, this means fewer meetings, less email and more insight into what everyone is doing with minimal interruptions to the workday. Creating a collaborative business network for your organization opens up the channels of communication for the organization and employees and generates more awareness about what employees are working on, helping you reach your desired outcomes faster. For successful execution, it is critical that everyone in the team knows:
- What task/assignments are due – Project Management solutions provide both a way to organize projects and also to set your task due dates and assignments. A good project management tool provides visibility on these tasks to both assignee’s as well as project managers. Across all projects, it should be easy to get a snapshot of what is due, what exactly needs to be done and what outcomes are expected.
- When projects/tasks are due – Tasks presented visually in a standard calendar like format work great because they give you a timeline view of when things are due. This is extremely helpful to understand the bigger picture of a project, as well as understand the individual tasks across multiple projects.
- Which projects/tasks to focus on – Most of us do not have just one project to focus on. We are constantly balancing multiple projects, tasks and deadlines. Collaboration focused project management tools help you determine where you can and should spend your time. If a project is set to be completed and you have the last task, you can prioritize this over a task in another project that has more flexibility and less impact on completion.
In a simple project management tool, getting answers to these questions quickly and easily can drive greater efficiency and effectiveness in how projects are executed and completed. The simplicity of the project management solution is a very important factor as well. The easier you make it for users to see what is due, when it needs to be done and where they need to focus, the better the outcome. Take the time to look at simple project management tools and see how they can help drive better results in your business.
Experience Open Real-Time Communication
Instant messaging and project activity streams are the core of collaboration software and are something that everyone can relate to and comprehend. They are easy to understand software applications that make it simple to communicate with coworkers and employees no matter where they are located. How does instant messaging contribute to the efficient execution of your projects? Here are benefits to using IM as a part of your project management communication:
- Your instant messaging conversations are not just text – sometimes you share web pages, images and files. A lot of valuable information can be shared via IM.
- It is a quick and less disruptive way to communicate. You can get questions answered fast without leaving your office. You can even access IM using your mobile device while on the go.
- You can have group chats that can take less time than a face to face meetings.
Based on our recent survey, here are the top 10 ways MangoApp customers are using Project Activity Streams:
- Share insights and ask questions. Keep everyone on the same page using private and secure social networking.
- Access company experts. Post a message and unlock the access to your company’s experts.
- Collaborate with remote workers. Whether in the neighboring office or the neighboring country, access coworkers via mobile, web, and desktop apps.
- Share documents and files of any size. Drag and drop document attachment makes it easy to share documents.
- Minimize meetings. Get questions answered quickly without having meetings that take you away from your work.
- Discuss confidential items. Once the company has claimed the domain, the data posted in that domain is the sole property of the company
- Resolve customer issues. With presence enabled IM you can get the answers you need from your team to quickly resolve customer issues.
- Create focused communication. Eliminate the need for lengthy emails and tree-mails where information gets lost.
- Get engaged. Real-time communication allows easy sharing of ideas and feedback.
- Access Archives. All conversations are fully archived and searchable.
The combination of project activity streams and instant messaging creates better communication, clarity and more productivity in any type of office environment.
Enjoy Task Management without Micro-management
Project and task management without micro-management? How does that statement sound to you? As a manager, you might be suspicious but it really is possible. Task management tools that can free you from micromanagement. Instead of hiring competent people and then monitoring their every move you can put your collaboration software to work for you and give your employees the space they deserve. You’ll find that by organizing and assigning tasks using collaboration software accountability and a desired level of transparency can be established. With next generation task management tools, everything is recorded in one centralized location. That means that there is no disputing lost or misunderstood information through emails or verbal conversations. Your boss can include all of the task details, attach files and assign priority all while creating the task.
Task tracking also allows you to follow the entire life cycle of the task. Every time you make an update, edit or comment it is posted in real-time to the activity feed. You and your boss can see exactly where you are in the process. There’s no need for emails, voicemails or verbal status reports. You automatically make mini status reports all the time. With task project management software you are free to do your work without the stress of micromanagement.
The benefits of task management software for an employer mirror that of your team but with a slightly different spin. When you assign a task to a person or group you create a realistic and manageable level of transparency. You are able to so see exactly when the task is accepted, edited, updated and completed and can edit the details at any time. This gives you the freedom to actually do your job while still keeping trach of what’s going on. You’ll have one central place to monitor the tasks of your employees and group projects.
Make Status Updates Automatic and Effortless
How many hours and resources are used every time you have to get everyone together for a status update? Online project management tools provide a single place for project management and task management, allowing updates to occur instantly and letting those be better used for actually getting work done. Online project management tools help keep everyone on the same page and take valuable communication out of old and inefficient systems. Instead, they put office communication into a social business system that is focused on visibility, transparency and saving time.
- Task Status Updates – Users that are assigned tasks can quickly update their assignments in real time. This builds clarity and accountability among team members and all activities are updated in a single location. Team members stay informed about progress, milestones, task completion and even tasks being behind schedule. No one is left out of the loop, letting you make the most of your work time and resources.
- Weekly Status Reports – It doesn’t take long for a lot to happen when working on project activities. In addition to completing assigned tasks, users can post to the online project management tool updating or summarizing their status and progress. This is the perfect place for employees to express challenges and opportunities and discuss future events. These regular status reports provide a mechanism to both reflect back and plan ahead.
- Open Activity Feed – With online project management tools, both the task updates and weekly status reports can be viewed in a single activity feed. The feed is open and visible to all, from the project manager to individual team members to the CEO. With open feeds, more awareness can be highlighted for both challenges as well as successes. They can quickly and easily see what everyone is doing, as well as share their own experiences.
Stop going through the effort of coordinating schedules and wasting people’s time. Online project management tools let updates happen in real-time so you always have status updates when you need it. With simple online project and task management tools, you have a single location for everyone to keep each other informed and engaged about project progress.
Traditional project management software has been built, designed only to be used by the project manager, even though it is used by the entire organization. In one way or another everyone participates in and contributes to projects and their success. Today’s collaboration tools need to cater to the new kind of working environment that blends cooperation and collaboration across the enterprise to focuses more on results than on management. A project is only as successful as its team so it makes a lot of sense to focus on how to help them do their best every day. With a focus on execution and communication, project teams can be better at what they do. By taking a more collaborative approach to projects and communication managers can help their teams achieve even more.
There is a huge opportunity for both project managers as well as project management software as businesses focus less on traditional tools and instead work to create transparent and open collaboration. As you work to create this environment consider project management tools that enable and empower employees to be accountable, communicate and collaborate in new ways that match their working styles. Visit the MangoApps website to take a live tour or sign up for free trial and see how MangoApps implements these keys to successful project management and execution.