5 Software Applications That Allow Teams to Collaborate More Effectively
When the collaboration between the team members is on point, achieving even the most difficult goals become easier. Hence why it is worth any business to give more thought to how they can make it easier for their employees to connect and interact with each other. This becomes even more important when we take into consideration the fact that teams can be so distributed today. All members of a team may not be even working in the same physical location. Thankfully, there are tons of great software applications that enable effective team communication and collaboration, whether the members are working in same or different locations. Let’s go over a few of these:
An excellent cloud-based tool that’s being used by a number of prominent organizations around the world. Slack takes care of multiple collaboration related needs for a team, from instant messaging to file sharing. One of the unique features of this tool is the efficiency it offers in keeping work organized and accessible through a feature called “Channels”. Conversations and document sharing pertaining to different projects, teams, company locations, clients, etc. can be categorized into different channels. This makes it easier to have relevant and meaningful discussions among teams. Moreover, these channels also act as information repositories that can be archived and searched any time a member requires help. If an organization is already using any services and tools, for example Salesforce, Google Drive, or Zendesk, then those too can be connected with the Slack channels. A team member can also directly message another member if they want to.
Offered as both, a web and a mobile application, Asana is a popular tool for managing teams and projects. From allowing team members to seamlessly chat with each other to providing a smart way for assigning tasks to everybody, Asana is an all-in-one kind of a tool. Asana provides attractive features like lists and boards using which one can create a complete action plan for the project, including all that needs to be done on a day-to-day basis. Tasks can be created and allocated to each team member. The project milestones that have been achieved so far are available for everyone to see. If there are any changes in the project plan along the way, Asana allows adjusting to these changes promptly and easily. This comprehensive tool is perfect for managing projects of all sizes, because keeping track of every project related aspect is made easy with the tool, aspects such as priorities, risks, dependencies, deadlines, milestones, end-goals, and so on.
Sometimes a simple, plain conversation between team members is all that’s needed to work out a solution. Skype communication tool is an absolute necessity for any business, more so for the business where teams are divided across multiple locations. Skype is available for desktop as well as mobile devices across a wide range of platforms. So, no matter, what device each of the team members might be using, they’ll be able to communicate with each other without any problems. Team members can chat with each other in real time, the chats can be private or group. They can also have audio and video calls, either one to one or in a group. Skype allows screen sharing, so members can literally view a single screen while discussing an important point over the call. The facility of sharing files with your Skype contacts is also available; the shared files can be easily accessed from the Gallery section corresponding to each chat. Overall, Skype is excellent help when team members need to talk with each other at length.
The file sharing and storage service offered by Dropbox can be leveraged by everyone, from individuals to businesses. As the service is cloud-based, it becomes feasible for a team member to share a file with the rest of the team in just a matter of seconds. They just have to create and use a “shared” folder for files that are to be shared with the entire team. Once a “shared” folder is created, team members will be able to view and access all files that are added to this folder, from anywhere. This ease and simplicity of Dropbox is what makes it such a widely preferred platform for file sharing among team members. All the necessary files and documents that are important for everyone in the team to view are stored in a centralized way. Dropbox also offers a good and safe way for team members to have backups for their files. If, by mistake, they end up deleting a file stored on their device, they would at least be able to get a copy of the file from Dropbox. Therefore, accidental mistakes like these won’t hamper the ongoing work.
Trello has one of the most user-friendly interfaces for managing all kinds of projects. The interface leverages fun and practical features like lists, cards, tags, labels, boards, and categories to keep the project related activities as well as priorities organized. The user has a digital board where they can create different lists. Under each list, they can add cards which may have various kinds of details added to them like comments, checklists, attachments, etc. It’d be interesting to know that Trello can be used not just by teams at workplace, but also when one wants to team up with their friends or family members over a personal project.
This was an overview of some of the best examples of project management, team communication and collaboration tools available today. To decide which of these tools could be right for your business, you should be looking into several factors, like how easy it is to use the tool, what features does the tool offer, is the tool free or paid, etc. You could also seek assistance from your managed IT services provider, who would be well aware of your business requirements related to team and project management and thus will be able to suggest an appropriate solution.