Team collaboration can be challenging, especially if you are the leader of a large group. You have to make sure that every member is on the same page, follow up on their pending assignments, and ensure that everybody is in the loop. However, it’s easier to lose track on the progression of the project than to monitor every alteration made, but not anymore.
With the latest technological innovation, leaders can now monitor the activities of their employees with ease. They just need to get the best online collaboration tools.
Online collaboration tools come in five types, but in this article, you’ll learn the most common collaboration platforms that we use. Apart from that, you’ll also learn the real purpose of this tool, and how it works. So without further ado, let’s begin the discussion.
The True Meaning of Collaboration Tools
If you had an experience wherein you had to work with several people, you surely know how it works. Collaboration is the act of working with another person or group to achieve a particular goal. Hence, a collaboration tool is an application that helps people to work together to accomplish something.
A collaboration tool can be in different forms. It can be a simple whiteboard in a meeting area where employees use their brains to solve problems. It can also be a conference call, which allows the user to talk to his teammates during a meeting. But in this blog, we will discuss an online application that allows leaders to work with their team virtually. We call this type of tool as groupware.
Web-based collaboration tools come in workflow software, email, online workspaces, etc. All these types will help in increasing productivity and improving workflow. You just need to choose the right online tool that fits your business.
How do collaboration tools work?
Online office collaboration tools work in a simple manner. In fact, you don’t need to become an expert to understand how it works. The tool helps to distribute pieces of information to the people involved and to organize activities. It’s like working in the real office building. The only difference is that your office is on the Internet.
To understand the concept of this software, here’s an example of how it works. A company wants to create a contract to sell a particular product to a buyer. To start making a contract, sales, and marketing departments will provide information, such as types, quantities or even specifications. The accounting department will define purchase terms, while the legal staff will put the language in the contract. All members of the team use online collaboration software to finish the contract.
In other words, this tool helps the business to achieve their goal, regardless of the location of the employees.
Different Types of Online Collaboration Tools
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of online collaboration tools. Each has its functions and purposes. To help you determine which type suits your business, we will tell you the uses of each collaboration tool. Moreover, you will also learn the best online collaboration tools for each type.
Gant Chart – For Calendar-Based Projects
If you need to meet a specific deadline, then this tool is for you. Gant charts are perfect for projects that are dependent on timetables. It uses a timeline format interface that allows users to meet their deadlines. Moreover, the tool provides a summary of the development of the project.
There are many project management products, which use this chart, but the most popular online collaboration tool is TeamGantt. This tool offers great features. But the best thing about this software is it permits you to manage the workload of your employees. Moreover, it lets you view the progress of their assignments.
Kanban Chart – For projects that are in critical stages
There are tasks, which need to be completed all at the same time. Conversely, there are projects in which you need to complete certain stages before moving to the next phase. For this type of project, you need to use a Kanban chart.
This kind of online collaboration task management tool enables users to make tickets. The leader will move each ticket separately after completing the stage. Like Gantt, many online collaboration tools are using Kanban charts. Blossom is one of them. With this tool, you can see the project stages, as well as all the information you need about it.
To-do List – For projects that have clear tasks
Some companies are working on a project that has a straightforward instruction. If you’re working on this type of task, you need to get a to-do list chart. This tool posts the things you need to do with your project. Hence, all you’ve got to do is to apply those instructions.
When it comes to this type of collaboration software, a simple yet efficient application is the right choice. An example of a handy to-do list collaboration tool is Wunderlist. It uses a simple layout with critical features. With this online collaboration solution, you can work with your teammates anywhere you go.
How to choose the right type of online collaboration tool for your business
There are many online collaboration project management tools that you can choose. With these options, it’s quite difficult to select a platform that fits your business. To make things easier, here are the things you must consider when choosing the right platform for your business.
First, you need to acknowledge the type of business you have. Make sure that the product you are about to choose aligns with the strategy of the company. Meaning, it should embed with the culture and environment of your business.
Apart from that, a reliable online project collaboration tool must address the challenges to determine the concentration of the platform. Every business has different needs. You need to know what they are to specify which tool will solve the issue of the company.
You also need to consider the cost. Collaboration tools come in a range of prices. The rate depends on the service and the features it offers. When choosing the right platform, make sure that the price of the software fits your budget. Moreover, check for some hidden charges so you won’t be surprised by the amount you need to pay monthly.
Once you know the type of business you have, you need to consider what the product has to offer. You need to know the features of the application. These features will help in choosing the right software for your business.
Apart from the features, you also need to consider the product’s interface. Make sure that the layout is user-friendly so that everyone can use the collaboration software with ease.
Hosting solutions are also essential. There are different types of hosting services. These are on-promise, the cloud, and hybrid solutions. When getting a web-based collaboration tool, make sure that it can host any of these models. That way, it can meet the requirements of your business.
Integration should not only meet the business level but the technology level too. Meaning, the collaboration solution you choose should know how to integrate it with the business’ existing technology. That way, the workflow will be seamless.
Since most of us are now using smartphones, the platform should be mobile-friendly. If the online collaboration software is mobile-friendly, you can check the progress of your project wherever you go.
Security is one of the critical factors you must consider. Make sure it provides optimum protection to keep your documents safe and secure. Look for encryption, authorization, and authentication features to ensure that your files are safe and well-protected.
Lastly, you need to consider the developer of the online collaboration tool. Make sure that the company has been around for decades as it indicates the experience of the development company. Don’t forget to read online collaboration tool reviews, as it will tell you the reputation of a particular company.
Working with multiple people can be a challenging task, especially if you’re the leader of the group. As the head of the team, you need to track your teammates’ activities and follow up their pending tasks. However, it’s easier to lose track of the changes made by your team than to monitor them. But if you use an online collaboration solution, it not only improves the workflow but productivity too!
There are different types of online collaboration services. These are Gant, Kanban, and To-do list charts. When choosing a collaboration software, make sure that it can track the project you’re working. Apart from that, you need to consider the features provided by the software. Make sure it addresses the needs and challenges of the business to improve the overall workflow.
Lastly, you need to consider the reliability and experience of the product’s developer. The best way to know such information is to read online collaboration tool reviews.
There are several websites dedicated to providing collaboration software reviews. But if you want to read honest reviews, then you should go to the CrowdReviews’ website. Not only it gives real customer reviews. It also has a list of the best collaboration software on the market.
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