How to Choose the Right Tools for Collaborative Project Management

We’ve been itching to ask successful project managers what helps them stay on top of highly intimidating projects without losing their mind on the process. We bet, they’re the most ultra-organized people we know, which is pretty common sense. But if you’re a newbie in collaborative project management, you’d surely want to get some insights on what is involved in being that “ultra-organized” leader that you need to become if you’re handling a huge project. And that’s what we’re going to talk about.

First, we need to take a closer look at the phrase “collaborative project management”. How do we define it? Do you really need this approach in your company?

Collaborative project management focuses on planning, creating tasks and subtasks, calculating costs, estimating timeframe, communicating and delegating tasks to team members as well as independent contractors, and monitoring all activities involved in a huge project. Read this for more information.

From the name itself, it also features one important aspect in project management, that is, collaboration. The project manager doesn’t just delegate tasks and give a list of non-negotiable instructions to each team member. He also pays attention to feedback, ideas, and suggestions of his team members to work more effectively on the project.

A formal approach in collaborative project management is essential in companies that are constantly handling a bulk of huge projects with various deadlines for different clients. If you’re working with a remote team, it is also important to use an effective system that will enable you to constantly communicate with your members and monitor the overall progress of the project.

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That being said, investing on the right tools for collaborative project management comes in handy if you want to stay as organized as possible. How can you choose wisely though?

  1. Identify what your team needs.

Most probably, you don’t want to be lured by those nice-looking project management software applications that are only nice-looking after all, or are just what everyone else is using, yet, they won’t really serve your needs. That’s understandable since not all projects and not all teams have the same, exact needs. This is why, it is important to find the right match for your team and your projects—the best collaborative project management software designed with features your team can’t live without.

So, before trying whatever software that’s popular right now, take your time to assess what features would really be essential for you. Also, ask your team members what would likely help them manage their workload more efficiently.

To help you get a better idea on how you can assess your needs, you can ask questions such as:

  • Why aren’t we getting the best results from the current system and the tools we’re using? What went wrong?
  • In which aspect of collaborative project management do we fail most of the time?
  • What changes do we need to implement in how we handle our projects?

Answering these questions would give you a better picture of what features in a software would be best for your team.

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  1. Start searching and shortlisting available software applications and tools.

There are many ways on how you can search the best software applications and tools suited for your project management needs. To start, you can ask other project managers for their suggestions after you’ve given them a description of what features you’re looking for. By simply looking up information online, you’ll also find a couple of valuable reviews of certain tools and applications. Through these suggestions and reviews, you may come across an interesting project management software with all the great features that your team needs. Here are seven features you shouldn’t miss in a project management software:

  1. Compare costs.

No, were not picking the cheapest tool available. Because no matter how affordable it is right now, if it doesn’t serve you right, you’ll still be wasting a huge amount in the long run. Remember, the system you’re using might define the success of your project. So, don’t just settle for what makes you scream, “Oh! What a steal!” If it doesn’t have the features you need, especially those that specifically cater to the aspects that your team is failing at, no, don’t bother at all. It’s not worth the time and money you’ll be investing.

  1. What about security?

Have you considered the possible security issues you might possibly deal with? One extremely important feature of a collaborative project management software is security, especially if you’re working on a super costly project that are potentially attractive to cybercriminals like hackers.

You can lose all the progress you’ve worked hard for in just an incident of data breach. What’s more, you might lose the trust of your client who awarded that project to your team, as well as your other future clients.

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And who would be most likely blamed and accused for not putting in the best efforts to protect sensitive data from hackers? Wouldn’t that be you, the project manager? So, one of the first things you need to consider is how secure is the software you’ll be using to manage and track the progress of your project.

  1. Give it a try.

Before you’d be asked to buy a subscription, you’d be probably given a free trial of most project management software applications. This is a good opportunity to determine whether it would be good for your team in the long run.

And, once you’ve chosen a software with all the features you need, conduct a few training sessions teaching your team members about how this new system should be used for your projects.

Choose the right software wisely and get better results in every project you’re managing.

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