4 Real-Life Tips For Choosing Collaboration Tools

It is crucial to find the right collaboration tool for your team. Also, it is important to know how to use it. My book, Collaboration Tools for Managers, explains this in great detail. It’s a huge waste of time and money.
But I don’t have all the answers. I speak to many project managers about their software and they all have a common theme: they are forced to find better software because they cannot continue as they are.
Dara Ingoldsby, Prophix, an organization that develops software for automating financial and operational processes, was one of the victims. Dara’s experience helped me to learn more about the situation and provide 4 tips for others in the same situation.
The Need: Understanding That You Can’t Grow Like These
Dara, Head for Professional Services at Prophix UK, quickly realized that he had joined a company with poor systems for getting work done.
Projects were stored in different formats and programs. Dara set out to find the right tool to manage the projects efficiently. He says that it was difficult to find the information you needed. Everything was buried in folders and documents. There was no way to get an accurate status for any project.
He wanted to ensure that the tool could manage all their projects and allow their staff to provide excellent service when he was looking for one. He says, “I needed a tool to make sure we weren’t wasting our time or losing touch with customers.”
Tip #1: Understand why you are undertaking a project to upgrade or change your software tools. There is no business reason to launch a new collaboration tool simply because you have read about it in business press. You should have strong reasons to change.
The Requirements: Identifying What’s Important
Dara’s main focus as he looked through the available software options was to find a solution that would streamline their processes. “I tried products that were difficult for me to navigate and quickly realized that they didn’t have the depth I needed.”
He was blown away when he discovered Accelo. He says that he knew Accelo was the right tool when he saw how simple it was to use. It elevates project collaboration and workflow management to a whole new level. It was literally love at first glance. Or, in this instance, the first demo.
Tip #2: Be clear about what you are looking before you begin looking. What business problem are your trying to solve? You will often feel that the software product you are looking at is right for you when you first look at it. You should do your research and compare vendors, but don’t ignore the feeling.
The Processes: Getting everyone to do the same thing
Now, Prophix’s new software has been installed. It includes all the standard processes. Dara and his team knew that this was all done. Dara then decided to hire a few people with no previous project management experience.
Prophix’s UK expansion could have been a huge headache for the small Hampshire-based company, but they managed to standardize as much as possible and put it all together in one place.
Dara says, “It was so simple for the new staff members learn the processes and to navigate through the work.” “Without Accelo, all new staff would have had to manually consolidate information from multiple sources. It would have been impossible to expand as fast as we did.
Dara says that the UK office doubled in size within a year.
Standardization also makes it easier to manage changes in project team members or when they leave. “I can easily access their projects to see what they have done, where the projects are, and what else they have done.