Project collaboration tools help teams become more productive and agile by doing the heavy lifting in terms of automating workflows and collaboration related tasks. These tools should address the key functions within a project lifecycle, such as communication and customer relationship management. As more project teams become remote, these tools can help teams stay in constant communication while maximizing productivity throughout a project lifecycle. Project collaboration tools can play a major role in making this possible for a team.
However, it can be difficult for a business to choose the right collaboration software when there are so many different types of tools to choose from today. In order to help you make informed decisions for your business, we’ve listed six of the best types of project collaboration tools.
1. Collaborative Work Management Solutions
Mavenlink, named one of the top 15 collaboration solutions by Capterra, provides teams with a way to not only manage tasks, resources, and costs, but also simplify and centralize collaboration efforts. This helps teams stay in sync at all times, reduces fragmentation and increases success rates.
2. Workstream Collaboration Tools
Workstream collaboration (WSC) tools are forecast to become one of the top 10 markets that will make up the most dynamic portion of IT spending in 2018, according to Gartner. WSC is expected to play a key role in the digital workplace transformation, with widely adopted workstream collaboration tools including:
- Microsoft Teams - Makes it possible for teams to connect through audio, video, and web conferences, chat with people inside or outside their organization, create and share files, and integrate with other work management solutions.
- Slack - A chat-driven tool created as a collaboration hub to help organizations consolidate all of their communications in one space.
- Google Business Hangouts - Provides teams with webinar and web conferencing for Google Apps, with teams of 5000+ able to hold private or public events, share their screens, and even record events.
3. Communication Tools
A significant part of project management involves daily communication between team members. These days, much of the communication takes place among globally dispersed teams, making it necessary to leverage various communication tools like virtual meetings, audio, and chat to bridge various time zones. Popular communication tools used to bridge these gaps include:
- GoToMeeting - A video-conferencing tool that allows teams to collaborate by conducting scheduled or on-demand virtual meetings.
- Skype for Businesses (formerly Lync) - A well-recognized video-conferencing tool that enables business collaboration anytime via desktop and mobile app.
- WebEx (Cisco) - A web-conferencing tool that allows teams as small as two to collaborate and share screens. Teams can add Cisco Spark to message, meet, and call.
4. Customer Relationship Management Tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a vital part of project management. Having access to a CRM platform that integrates seamlessly with project collaboration tools allows teams across all business areas the ability to connect and share project progress directly with each other and their stakeholders.
Salesforce has been around since the ‘90s and is one of the top customer relationship management tools. Their secure and scalable platform offers integration with most productivity, work management, and communication solutions.
5. File Sharing and Productivity Tools
The ability for teams to create, store, share, and edit files in real time, and within a secure centralized environment, is critical. These are four of the most widely used file sharing and productivity tools available:
- Google Drive for Business - As part of G-Suite, Google Drive for Business makes it quick and easy for teams to create, access, and share files centrally and securely, as Google Docs and Sheets closely simulate Word and Excel.
- Dropbox - Offers teams the ability to create, securely store, share, and backup files in one central place, simplifying collaboration.
- Box - Another cloud content management and file storing service that makes it a breeze for teams to edit and collaborate in real time, from anywhere.
- OneDrive for Business (Microsoft) - An online storage space similar to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box that provides teams with a way to share and collaborate on projects.
6. Financial and Management Reporting Tools
Every project should have a budget to which all project costs should be tracked to. To do this, there needs to be a solution that captures and accurately tracks all project costs, and also provides a means to compare and report results. Three of the most well-recognized and widely-used financial and management reporting tools are:
- Sage Intacct - A preferred financial management solution of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that automates key financial processes and provides core financial information needed to increase visibility into project and business performance.
- Netsuite - A robust multi-industry cloud-based financial, enterprise resource planning, and human resource solution.
- Intuit Quickbooks - A popular financial accounting and reporting tool used by many small businesses to keep all financial information in one place and up-to-date.
Creating Success in the Digital Workplace
Maximizing productivity, creating process efficiencies, and maintaining real-time visibility throughout a project lifecycle is no longer optional in this highly competitive digital workplace. Harnessing the power and capabilities available within these tools can help your project teams remain consistent in their communication and collaboration. Using these tools can also reassure stakeholders that your project teams are more efficient and strategically prepared to execute projects. However, success depends on choosing the software that is right for your company’s specific needs.
Find the Right Collaboration Software for You
Is your organization leveraging the right tools fully to simplify and centralize project collaboration efforts? Are your teams as productive and agile as they could be? If not, get started on automating your project workflows by exploring Mavenlink’s Project Collaboration Software.