Providing services according to today’s clients expectations and demands, requires managers to change their ways and move forward and towards a collaborative approach. Many software application already offer this functionality, combining management tools with collaborative tools.

Most companies still use Excel when in reality it turns out to be inadequate when compared to other alternatives. The market is filled with collaboration and project management tools; new tools today offer easy navigation with graphical interfaces, and in fact, many of them even offer low cost and SaaS based. Moreover, a lot of these tools are already integrated to other software products including Google Docs and Apps,Microsoft Outlook and Excel, Dropbox, Apple Mail, Box, and others. Mobile apps are also a key component in the mix and they are available with friendly pricing.

Increase quality and project success by the following items:

    • Develop more complete project plans: Assigning personal responsibilities for design, plan, track, deadlines, etc. That would make even more people involved in the project, like vendors, and contractors that have deliverables
    • Progress tracking: In order to achieve project plans progress and automatically update Gantt charts, time tracking is key. This include, hours planned and worked; completion percentages; and update of tasks on-line.
    • Collaboration: to obtain maximum benefits of collaboration managers must share project plan materials like emails, documents, drawings, video and images, etc. with the team.
  • Team contributions: any member of the team working in a given project can contribute with his/hers  specific knowledge  
    • Transparency:  transparency is key when it comes to not only identifying problems early but also for the need for additional resources and skill sets.
  • Follow up reminders: who doesn’t appreciate the benefits from a having a way of being reminded to follow up on critical project steps?
  • Accessibility: web based tools allow people to work anywhere

So what’s the first step a company should make on this matter to move in the right direction?

Ask your team to study, research and experiment with collaboration tools and its benefits. Choose a project and work it with the tools you are considering and evaluate the results. See the process and the results in a real way before making a decision.  Companies today must implement new tools in order to succeed.