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How to ace collaboration and project management – with an online workspace

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you should be more than aware of the benefits of collaborating by now.

The question now is – how does this fit in with project management? The truth is, without effective collaboration, managing a project successfully is going to be far less likely.

In this blog post, we explain how collaboration and project management complement each other and how an online workspace can help you to excel at both.

Centralise your documents


As a project manager, you will always have a large number of documents to create, manage and collaborate with people on.

This coupled with the fact that you’re working with an ever-increasing number of stakeholders on each project, can lead to a great deal of confusion.

Email is the standard communication method. But how do you track which document is the right version? How do you know who made the last edit? The truth is, there is no way of knowing this. The messages may have even got lost in a cluttered inbox, or not delivered because of an over-zealous email firewall.

Don’t worry, there is a solution to this. You should use a project extranet to keep your documents in a centralised location, allowing multiple people to edit them and to keep better track of version control.

Take advantage of online forums and blogs

online forum in Kahootz

Good communication in project management is critical. Failure to have a plan in place could lead to dire consequences, as noted by the Project Management Institute:

“Ineffective communication is the primary contributor to project failure one third of the time, and had a negative impact on project success more than half the time.”

Communicating via phone, email or a cloud collaboration tool is a given. What you may not have considered is using online discussions forums to communicate with your stakeholders.

Now you may be thinking that forums are old-fashioned in the age of social media. But in fact, they’re not! According to a survey by Pew Research Centre, 15% of all internet users read or comment on discussion forums.

They are great for bringing groups of people together to collaborate and discuss ideas. For example, you could create a forum to discuss project updates and allow comments so people can give their input about the direction your project is taking.

Keep tracks of yours (and others) project tasks lists

When working on a project, your task list sometimes feels like it never gets smaller.

If you’re a manager, you don’t just have yourself to worry about. It’s essential that you have an overview of all the tasks individuals from your team are working on. It’s entirely possible that they’re focusing on the wrong areas. What a disaster that would be!

But how can you do this? It’s easy. Within an online workspace, it’s possible to assign tasks to colleagues and set recurring reminders so that they can keep on top of their own personal workload. 

Examples of this include:

List of jobs that need to be done before an event – Ensure that your event runs smoothly, by ticking off tasks as you complete them.

Actions from a meeting – Assign specific actions to team members following a meeting as a reminder.

Repeating tasks – Keep on top of tasks that you need to do on a regular basis such as payroll, monthly reports etc.

Document approval lists – Working on a document with other people? You can select teams or individuals to act as reviewers and add extra instructions that explain the kind of feedback you’re looking for.

Download our tip sheet – 5 tips on how to manage your tasks most effectively

Stop using static spreadsheets

Often, important project information is hidden away in Microsoft Excel files and are usually saved to an individual’s own computer. This causes obvious problems when multiple users need access to the document.

Using online, cloud-hosted databases makes collaboration easier for team members and stakeholders. For a start, all they need is an internet connection and browser to access them.

But much more important is the fact that users can edit documents at the same time. You can even set permissions to decide who can edit or see certain data.

In order to implement these tips and ace collaboration and project management, you will first need to purchase an online collaboration tool.

To help you to make an informed decision, download our guide which the 10 questions that you need to ask a potential supplier.

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