Collaborative Tools for Project Management
Once upon a time people worked in the same physical space on one project at a time. The virtual team was unknown. Nowadays, it’s the opposite. Teams made up of people who are geographically diverse, multi-cultural, and multi-tasking are commonplace, and the old-style of all-in-one-room project management a rarity. Effective collaboration remains a common priority however, with a need for excellent communications as its base. Project success depends on team information exchange that is free, open and clear. If just one of those requirements is ignored, projects may founder or grind to a complete halt.
It Takes More than the Telephone
Project teams are made up of people using different technologies to fulfill their roles. If these people are to share knowledge, and collectively learn and create – in a word, collaborate – the project management technology they use must help them do that. When they are miles apart, the technology has to provide a 24 hour information source, the facility for collectively sharing and updating, and a socio-professional environment for the added enthusiasm to make projects work even better. We’re not just talking about the telephone. The technology has to support communication, information, organization, and control. It also has to be accessible and compatible with company techno-culture and habits too.
Same Destination via Different Routes
The cloud is the collaborative solution. It offers standard, web-browser connectivity often with additional advantages of pay-as-you go financing and an answer to the headaches of trying to build your own private solution. However, it also needs an application to provide the information, collaboration and project management application required. While it’s true that IT vendors have produced a range of software applications to help organizations make their project management successful, that variety is double-edged. In the same way that two enterprises may compete for a common goal but have different strategies for getting there, they may have quite different IT make-ups as well. How can they both achieve collaboration via the cloud?
Here’s the way to do it. To give people the project management tools they need to collaborate, don’t reinvent the wheel or all those applications either. Primavera, ProLog, SharePoint and other solutions all have their strengths and loyal customers. Instead, make the applications available in the cloud and provide an easy-to-use, powerful cloud portal to give users access to them and to further enhance the collaboration between them. Examples of added value in portal functionality include real time mapping of geographical sites to see which team members are logged in where, and social media capabilities to foster communication and collaboration between them.
Collaboration and Virtual Proximity
When a good cloud project management portal makes collaborative tools like these available for project management, it can have an extraordinarily beneficial effect on virtual team working. What determines to a large extent the performance of a virtual team is the virtual proximity of its members. By helping to reduce the virtual distances at all levels – geographical, hierarchical and cultural – the project management portal and its collaborative tools contribute to higher project quality all round.
Take control of project management your way. LoadSpring is your cloud based, project management solutions partner. Our SpringBoard 7.0 enables you to create your own project management suite so you can collaborate with your entire team, anywhere at any time. Watch the SpringBoard 7.0 demo here.