Why project management software is key to online collaboration
Baseball legend Babe Ruth knew a lot about collaboration. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success,” Ruth explained. “You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
While the Great Bambino was referring to the sport that made him famous, this is also true for teams in the workplace. Collaboration is critical to success.
More and more businesses are switching to online workflows. The adjustment can be difficult not just for employees, but also for managers. Leaders need to choose their project management software wisely to keep things from slipping through the cracks.
The perks of online project management
Why won’t paper methods, email, or GSuite services — or a combination of all three — cut it? With project management software, teams can:
1. Save time, stress, and money
Ambiguity can seriously slow work down. Project management software makes it easy to provide deadlines, give a transparent view of projects, and make sure things are moving along as intended.
Late work or work that needs to be redone costs time, but it also puts stress on the team. Chronic stress is a recipe for turnover, which is more expensive than you think. HR experts suggest replacing a single senior manager costs twice as much as her annual salary.
Especially if the COVID-19 pandemic has you working exclusively online, it can be tough to know how high stress levels are until it’s too late. Project management software keeps project progress, due dates, and team comments where everyone can see them. If deadlines are getting missed or frustrated comments made, it’s time to talk as a team.
2. Strengthen lines of communication
Speaking of talking as a team, project management software drastically simplifies communication. Lacking communication is a primary issue in 29% of failed projects, so it’s critical to get right.
To understand the importance of project management software to strong communication, ask yourself: Would you rather track a dozen email threads on a single project, or find every one of them located under a single project page? Within that project page, you’ll see comments associated with specific tasks. It’s that easy.
3. Simplify accountability
Everyone in your company plays an important role. A culture of accountability requires that everyone keeps their commitments and takes responsibility for their actions.
Collaborating online can make that easier or more difficult. True, remote teams have less insight into how their members work. But when all communications and project details are available in a project management platform, it becomes a lot more difficult for team members to duck responsibility.
Project management software simplifies accountability by:
Providing a record of times and dates
When did you first mention an issue to someone? When did he or she respond? Those questions are easy to answer with timestamps.
Storing all communications
Protect your culture of positivity. Point out comments that reinforce it and those that detract from it.
Clearly delineating project roles
Who was responsible for developing the new web copy? Was it the web designer? The editor? Project management software makes it easy to identify who dropped the ball.
Making due dates obvious
Project management software puts the due date for a project front and center. That way, everyone has it in mind every time they log on.
Accountability still requires managers to enforce consequences and reward good behavior. But project management software makes it a whole lot easier with the data it provides.
4. Enjoy flexibility
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of in-office teams tracked projects online. For those that were already using project management software, the switch to working from home has been relatively simply.
Project management programs make it easy for people to work flexible hours. Within the platform, they can set their availability, track their project hours, and see when other team members might be available for questions. Communication and chat features make it easy to work across time zones and capture everyone’s ideas.
5. Access powerful integrations
Project management software should not be completely self-contained. Today’s workers use dozens of different software tools to get the job done.
Teamwork’s native integrations are among the best in project management software. Its Gmail integration makes importing tasks easy. Real-time notifications can be set up through Teamwork’s Slack integration.
Via Zapier, Teamwork also integrates with Jira, WordPress, Salesforce, and more. Users can set triggers so, for example, their Teamwork status changes when they begin a new Google Calendar event. Triggers also work the other way: A trigger might be a Teamwork project being marked “complete,” at which point an issue in Jira is marked “resolved.”
Not every project can be a home run. But project management software makes online collaboration a lot easier, and stronger collaboration is the surest way to boost your team’s batting average.