Part 2: PM Software is from Mars…or is it Venus? What is Project Collaboration

18 May 2015
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Circling back to our last article about navigating the PPM & PM landscape, we arrive to the first point of attack: Project Collaboration.

Project Collaboration tools are an undeniably better way to manage team communications versus email – which are often inundated with notifications from social media, personal emails and all other types of communications that flood inboxes and cause unnecessary distractions. This video of Slack founder, Stewart Butterfield, describes why using a social collaboration platform instead of work emails will make workers more productive:

Slash

Many companies are choosing to work with Project Collaboration platforms for this very reason, whether as a stand alone solution or one that is integrated in a more sophisticated PM system. In either case, the benefits of the tool are plenty – so let’s dig in.

What (is Project Collaboration):
The heart of any Project Collaboration is of course, to centralize information.

The model is based on providing access to all the necessary pieces of information, for all the people involved in a common task or project to be able to view and edit (if they are given permission to do so), and ultimately to create a collaborative working environment. Think of it as a basic communication and information sharing platform – there are no fancy tricks here.

Who (Needs to use this):
Project Collaboration is an essential tool for all companies. no matter how big or small.

The question is, how advanced do you need your solution to be? Companies that should consider a simple Project Collaboration software, over let’s say a feature rich Project Management solution, are those who do not manage large projects which involve several departments of resources (ie people); and where they seldom have designated Project Managers. For example, an ideal project for this type of solution would be a graphic design project. The designers need access to a melting pot of information, but they rarely require more advanced features, such as Gantt Charts and Budget Tracking.

How (can this be implemented):
An excellent feature of Project Collaboration software is its quick setup time.

A company can usually expect to have this application up and running, and to have their entire staff trained to use it, within 24 hours – it’s that simple. These systems are cloud based with (relatively) low monthly subscriptions, little consulting requirements and the option to cancel at anytime…sounds great right? Well, that all depends on how advanced your company needs are. This is not a project management solution.

Benefits (of Project Collaboration Apps):
In layman’s terms, here are the benefits of Project Collaboration:

Cloud storage: In this model, data is backed up remotely (over the Internet) and made available to users in a given network. Information access can be turned on or off for different users.

Fast Production Time: In other words, fast turn around time on projects because of simplified information sharing.

Remote working locations: Companies are increasingly working with employees from remote locations, and with multiple regional offices. Project Collaboration software, enables easy communication between team members and consequently, conserved office space and flexible work arrangements.

Minimal use of email: With project collaboration softwares, workers are less prone to getting swept away by countless emails and distractions.

Calendar sharing: Sharing calendars between team members is another excellent feature of project collaboration software. Gone are the days of sending countless emails to confirm colleagues’ availability. With project collaboration, your colleagues can give you permission to view their calendars and to book meetings accordingly.

Who (Needs more):
As previously stated, every company should be working with Project Collaboration.
And the reality is that every PPM and PM solution will include a project collaboration feature, since sharing and communicating is at the heart of what they do. Collaboration and communication are vital to project planning and management – but it is only a piece of the big pie.

The point here is to consider if project collaboration is really ALL you need. If your company needs are more complex because you manage larger projects, or multiple projects simultaneously, you may want to take a deeper look at other viable options, such as Project Management software, Enterprise Project Management, Professional Services Automation and Project Portfolio Management softwares – which we fully intend to do for you in this multi-part series of articles.

In the meantime, see what Genius Project has to offer for Social Team Collaboration.

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