“Rob” is a project manager that is responsible for a number of projects across the world and he needs to keep track of all of them. His team is global, so physical solutions (like white boards and sticky notes on a big wall) will not work for him.
Of course, my awesome colleagues came through with possibilities and I'll share those here today.
Both Joanne Lang and I recommended Basecamp. (http://basecamphq.com/) The tool gives the ability for various team members to communicate and report in on status and there are some fantastic dashboard tools that give you an overall look at various sub projects. I LOVE basecamp I have used it to coordinate many different projects where team members are all over the place. We used this as our project management tool when coordinating Extreme Makeover Home Edition too. It is made by a company that has a slew of other great cloud products too including a CRM solution. They have a number of videos on their site to show you more about the tool as well as some case studies on how different businesses use it. They say: “Over 5 million people worldwide have used Basecamp to collaborate on over 4 million projects, track 57 million hours of work, share 46 million files, and complete 43 million to-dos. How will you use Basecamp?“
Laura Horton Lawrence suggested the use of Central Desktop. She has found that it has a lot of applications and possibilities. You can find more at http://www.centraldesktop.com/. According to their site, they are an on-line collaboration suite that allows team members to communicate and share. It is wiki based. They have a few videos on their site to show you more about the tool. They describe their tool: “Central Desktop for Office radically improves the way users collaborate on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. It allows users to open, save, edit and co-author files stored on-line in Central Desktop directly from Office.“
Shelley Molitor told us that http://www.teamdesk.net/ has powerful customization features that can help you handle a tremendous amount of work and even supports the creation of standard operating procedures. This product is database driven, so the trick would be to find one of their templates that works for your organization. They say: “TeamDesk is a hosted database-driven platform for creating, maintaining, organizing and sharing business information over the Internet. Access your data from anywhere.“
Cena Block recommends http://www.zoho.com/. She has recommended this tool to clients and uses it in her business to track a large amount of tasks. In addition, there are a number of different add-on features (like a CRM – customer relationship management component) that you can use. They describe their suite: “Zoho provides a wide, integrated portfolio of rich on-line applications for businesses. With more than 20 different applications spanning Collaboration , Business and Productivity applications, Zoho helps businesses and organizations get work done. Our applications are delivered over the internet, requiring nothing but a browser. This means you can focus on your business and rely on us to maintain the servers and keep your data safe.“
Shelley Molitor also drew our eyes to http://quickbase.intuit.com/. They describe their tool: “With QuickBase, you can create unlimited custom applications to match your unique business processes, and integrate them with your existing systems. It's an ideal way to centralize important data on the web, and help distributed business teams work and collaborate more efficiently. Plus, with Intuit's proven capability to manage critical data, you can rely on QuickBase to meet even the most stringent IT requirements.“
Google Docs with XL
Joanne Lang also suggested Google docs with XL. You would use Google docs the same way you would an MS Office Excel worksheet. The difference is that you can get to the information on “the cloud” so you can access it from anywhere.
Note: “The cloud” is a phrase I used a lot in this post. It means that all of the information is stored on the internet where others can access the information easily.
I know that there are some fantastic tools out there that we have not mentioned in this post. What systems/solutions would you suggest to help him track all projects (so he can see each day what needs to get done and what has not been done)? If the tool can help with team communication, even better!
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