Recognising the Right Collaboration Software: Part 2on 25 July 2017
In our previous piece on recognising the online collaboration software you need, we discussed the importance of its intuitiveness and the ability to customise it to suit your team to ensure total adoption throughout the team. We also looked at who might be using it and the need to be able to create and assign permissions for different types of user whether staff, partners or clients.
Now you’ve considered how the tool works and who is able to use it, how does your collaboration tool deal with the various challenges of intensive project work? Often, for example, collaboration involves multiple people working on a single document at the same time. In these cases, changes are being made to the file simultaneously. In older tools, users would ‘check out’ a version of the file, do their work, and then check the file back in – and changes weren’t visible to the rest of the team until they had checked out the new version. Simultaneous work was impossible, and it was never easy to tell if you had the current version. This would result in task duplication, slowed progress and mistakes.
The latest generation of tools, though, offer version control, allowing for simultaneous file work, ensuring that all members always know what the latest version of the document is. Of course, there are times when a team member needs to take a file offline to work on it. In those cases, when that member next gets online, the system will automatically sync their work and update the file – even if it’s currently been worked on by other team members. They will see the changes that were made offline as soon as the sync happens, even though they have the file open. This way, team members can always stay relevant to the project and continue to make essential contributions, no matter where they are. Simple!
Of course, this kind of live, simultaneous work comes with some risks. What if someone makes a change that wasn’t supposed to happen? What if the project manager doesn’t agree with all of the amendments? What if someone accidently overwrites something that was supposed to be included? Make sure that the tool you are considering takes these issues into account. Glasscubes makes all previous versions of a document available, so your team can always revert to how it looked before, at any time.
What now? Wouldn’t it be great if your project manager didn’t have to take this information and move it into a separate project management software program? If your online collaboration software could perform project management tasks as well, your team’s process would be streamlined, adding efficiency and reducing the potential for errors. For the best in project management integration, make sure your collaboration system has the following features built in:
Look for advanced scheduling capabilities. There’s more to track than just the overall project deadline. There are tools that will help each team member manage their own time and contribution effectively. Collaboration involves working on and making changes to files, but it also needs to involve being accountable for the timely completion of deliverables. A good tool will be able to create task lists, and allow team members to make status updates that are visible to everyone who needs to know the status of the project. The best cloud-based systems have the ability to make these updates real-time, so team members are always on the same page.
Make sure the tool can handle multiple tasks and sub-tasks. Most projects are complex, with many moving parts. The best tools will keep track of tasks and milestones, send out automated reminders and alerts, and will help the project manager monitor individual assignments as well as the overall state of the project at hand. If one particular task is falling behind, or if a critical dependency isn’t in place, the project manager needs to be informed immediately so that appropriate measures can be taken in a timely fashion.
Finally, be sure that your online collaboration software has security features that fit with your IT department guidelines. It can be a fine line, allowing remote access for employees and contractors, partners and clients while preventing unauthorised access by anyone else. Additionally, the collaboration system has to account for the differences in security protocols for computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. The security of your project is vital to your team’s success, so decide on a collaboration platform that understands and values data security. Glasscubes take security very seriously, and employ world-class security management systems and fail-safes to ensure the protection of your most sensitive information.
Want to know more about what Glasscubes could do for your business? Contact us today.
Glasscubes is a user-friendly collaboration software for teams. Connect everyone that you work with in an online workspace that improves the way you share files, manage projects and communicate with each other.
For more information, contact us by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org