Being a team player is not enough anymore; you need to master the art of collaboration to survive and obtain success in today’s highly dynamic world. Collaboration is crucial to an organization’s success in the long term. But to get everyone in your team on the same page is a rather challenging task. For one thing, collaboration is hardly synonymous with teamwork as it should ideally involve your business partners, clients, vendors and stakeholders. The goal of a successful collaboration is to keep everyone involved in a given project in the loop and it’s easier said than done.
Enters collaboration tools…
They are just the apt solutions for companies who are struggling with their collaborative efforts. But more often than not, it is a challenge to select the right solution for your business, given the overwhelming number of collaboration tools available in the market. While the right tool that addresses your existing business requirements can help you enhance your team’s performance, the wrong one can further damage the entire work culture, leaving everyone confused and frustrated.
It is therefore essential to understand what type of collaboration suite best suits your team. In general, there are five main options available. These are:
- Gantt Charts, which is best for timetable dependent projects, allowing companies to stay on top of their deadlines
- The Kanban Chart is the right option for projects running in crucial stages that need to be completed before the team moves on to the project’s next phase
- The To-Do List is suitable for projects with straightforward tasks attached to them
- All-Encompassing Collaboration Suite takes the most holistic approach to collaboration
- The Social Network, which can turn your collaboration efforts into a social experience
Here are 5 best collaboration tools, each for one category mentioned above:
Teamweek uses the ‘Gantt Chart’ principle as its foundation. It is a great collaboration tool for time-sensitive projects, requiring scheduling or a step-by-step approach. It allows you to see how long each assigned task will take to complete as well as who is responsible for which task via its team calendar. “Think of it as Team Planning 2.0” that’s how Teamweek describes its collaboration solution.
This online project planning software makes it easier to respond to changes with its drag and drop features. With Teamweek, you can get a real-0time picture of who’s working on what as well as see who’s available, making it easier for you to schedule upcoming projects. This online Gantt chart is operable from any devices, including tablets. You can arrange or build team’s calendar on your tablet or on the web as well as put Teamweek on your office TV, using the public view link.
This collaborative tool is free for teams of five members or less.
Blossom.io. is based on Kanban model, which allows teams to create various ‘tickets’ and move them individually from one stage to another. This agile project management tool is known for its simplicity that allows you to bring your development team to the same page so that they can focus on things that matter most to them – “Continuous Delivery.”
It gives managers and each team member a clear view of who’s doing what in real time. There are 8 workflow best practices available with Blossom for building your best software products. In fact, some of the leading software companies are using this agile project management tool, the likes of which include Apple, Facebook, NetFlix, Neo, Buffer and so on.
This tool also makes Stand-Up Meetings clear and effective and integrates performance analytics reports, eliminating the need to make estimates and sprint planning separately. In addition, it allows GitHub, Slack, HipChat and Flowdock integrations.
It comes with a 14-day free trial offer.
Wunderlist is an efficient tool, which makes project management as simple as checking off items from your to-do list. Its simple interface allows you to collaborate with your teammates from anywhere and at any time, sans complexity. You can chat and share tasks, discuss and mention your co-workers with hashtags, access history, search and filter files, and organize everything in real time.
You can turn emails into tasks/actions by simply forwarding them to Wunderlist and set reminders and due-dates to ensure that no deadline is missed. It can be seamlessly synced with various devices including Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, and Kindle Fire.
It offers both free trial and pro versions.
Nutcache is an all-encompassing collaboration suite, which could be as flexible as you wish it to be. With Nutcache, you can manage your projects the way you best see fit. You can, for example, focus on resources and team members or milestones. In addition, you can follow other popular collaboration methodologies like Scrum, Agile, Kanban or any other that suits your team’s requirements.
Besides, Nutcache offers total transparency. It allows you to invite and give access to your clients, team members and stakeholders on your project collaborative boards to let them check project’s status updates and advancement data. Nutcache allows collaborators to comment, discuss and share files, from anywhere, anytime. You can also limit access rights.
Staying in the loop was never easier. Nutcache offers a 30-day Enterprise free trial version to enjoy its ample features before making up your mind.
Yammer, a private social network, is a part of the Microsoft family. It allows businesses to transform their team’s collaboration process into a total social experience. In fact, Yammer’s functionality and interface is very similar to Facebook, thus making it easier for teams to use it.
It brings your team together, allowing them to have seamless conversations, collaborate on files and ideas, and more. You can even loop in relevant people, including clients and vendors into ongoing conversations to further facilitate teamwork. Yammer allows you to create groups, discover related groups, share announcements, group search, and group navigation panel to find and switch between groups and projects easily.
This social network offers a free trial package apart from its 3 premium packages.
Now that you know the different types of collaboration suites available and tools based on each model, it’s time to select the right tool for your business. All these tools mentioned here will help you organize your project management process, bringing your team together and getting your projects back on track. But they are designed to serve different needs and purpose. So what tool(s) do you use to collaborate with your team?