In project management, each project offers unique challenges to the manager. When working with remote teams, these challenges increase and others are added. Using good, remote project management or ALM software can lighten the load of the project manager and free up time to focus on critical aspects of the development. Discussed below are five different remote project management tools which small businesses can use to successfully manage remote teams.
ActiveCollab is an asset to project teams because it saves time and its features are easy to use. The software allows the project leader to establish milestones, add team members, assign and distribute tasks to various members, and receive project update notifications via email. The software does not require the user to log in to post comments; this can be accomplished via email. Other features of the software include file sharing, time tracking, invoicing, project management, and notifications.
The software allows project leaders to provide updates to their clients by providing access to the system. This allows the clients to log in at any time to check on a project rather than waiting for an official update from the project manager. This in and of itself is a huge timesaver.
Basecamp is management software which strives to make communications more streamlined. Each post has certain members of the team engaged in that discussion. As updates are made to the posts, only those engaged in that particular post receive the updates. This eliminates a lot of unnecessary emails going to the inboxes of all team members and saves time across the team.
File sharing is a breeze with Basecamp. It supports all popular formats including word documents and any formats of images. Revisions of files are saved as new files rather than overwriting the original. This allows team members to view the archived drafts to establish which changes have been made. Users have the ability to preview an image prior to downloading it which saves download time and computer space.
Central Desktop is an online project management tool which allows you to work remotely as long as there is an internet connection. It provides a time tracker and instant messenger. An excellent feature of this tool is its real-time web conference which allows the team to collaborate even though each person is in a remote location. The tool also contains instant document editing that is similar to Google Docs. There are discussion forums which allow for team discussions with team members who are located in different time zones.
Teambox is an excellent project organizer. It organizes projects by showing you which conversations to follow and which to prioritize. The software allows users to post status updates in a similar way to Facebook, so others can see updated statuses regarding the project. This software is very user friendly and easy to understand.
5. Time Doctor
If you need to track all time spent on a project down to the last minute and categorize it, Time Doctor would be the software to use. It dramatically reduces wasted time by tracking websites, applications, and all actions a user does on his or her computer. It generates daily reports of these actions so it allows for excellent time management. This software also have an in-house instant messenger so you won’t have to worry about all team members having the same outside instant messenger on their computers.
When managing a project large or small, time is always of an essence. The more time saved on some aspects, the more time that can be dedicated to the more critical parts of the project. When working with remote teams, much time can be lost simply in managing communication. Try one or some of the software listed above and see which you like best to manage your remote team during your current or next project.