The Best Team Collaboration Software for Increased Project Productivity
If you're on a mission to bring your team closer, take a look at this list of software tools that can help increase your team's collaboration potential.
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Team Collaboration has multiple territories. The territory of time-tracking that entails project managers to track employee hours and monitor team accountability. Teams from various departments have varying patterns of functioning.
For growing businesses, each day is a struggle. Teams endeavor to battle the rising competition, reduce project overheads and meet weekly goals to keep the boat afloat.
Though such challenges of a workplace never entirely disappear, when individual minds come together and collate their brilliant set of skills, expertise, and ideas, the result is an inevitable increase in productivity and project success.
Did you know that 86% of employees and executives associate lack of collaboration with workplace failures?
However, in this fast-evolving digital era, with an independent culture of task performance, teams rely excessively on the best team collaboration software for day-to-day task functions. According to an Alfresco survey, nearly 83% of professional teams depend on technology to collaborate.
For instance, interaction in marketing teams relies largely on sharing data, numbers and other kinds of information which is done via file sharing. Whereas, geographically dispersed teams rely on virtual meetings to discuss project progress.
And this last one goes without saying: teams of all sorts, Agile or non-Agile, need instant messaging platforms for minute-by-minute updates.
To cater to all forms of team collaboration, we devised a list of best team collaboration software for each category.
Team Collaboration Software for Project Management
97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. (Source: tinypulse)
The accelerating advances in cloud computing gave rise to the concept of online workspaces, which was most vigorously adopted by IT companies everywhere. Online workspaces obliterate the need to be physically present everywhere at all times.
If anything, they allow project managers to be at two places at once. What more could a project manager ask for, right?
You've probably never heard of nTask. Well, that's okay, as it's a brand-new project management tool that recently made its way into the market and is garnering great attention by working professionals from academia as well as thriving tech companies.
nTask is aimed to help teams and project managers from all industries to help organize their projects and get work done faster. It eliminates user frustration, caused by overly-complex features.
Everything in nTask is designed with simple functionality, to help users stride their way from one part of the application another with minimum confusion.
And to top it all: It is a multi-layered management tool that combines all your team collaboration needs under one roof.
Here's how you and your team can achieve consistent project success with nTask:
- Create checklists within tasks, set task status and check task progress using automated progress meter. To manage repeating tasks, set task recurrence and get each task detail transferred within a matter of few seconds. The same technique applies for copying a task within a project.
- Project Managers can assess team performance by reviewing time reports sent for approval by each team member. No integrations needed! With the help of built-in spreadsheet feature, users can log total hours spent on each task, which are then generated into weekly timesheets by the application.
- Manage resource allocation, project budget and currency using the Project Planner
- With auto-generating Gantt Charts, teams can avail the luxury of gaining a quick perspective on all their task and project timelines. Gantt Chart view is accessible in a single click.
- Maintain project stability and complete projects within set deadlines by identifying issues and assigning them to specific resources for a focused solution.
- Every project is subjected to potential risks that can destroy project integrity. Safeguard your project lifecycle by creating, prioritizing and discerning the likelihood of each identified risk.
- Free Plan - 10 members per workspace, 200MBs File Storage, 5 Projects, Risk & Issue tracking
- Pro Plan - $2.99 per user per month. Unlimited everything.
If you're a well-established enterprise with an increasing number of teams, rigorously working to meet impossible deadlines and tackling hard-to-impress clients, then Asana is one of the top collaboration tools for your organization.
Asana is one of the oldest project management tools, which explains the sophisticated level of workflow solutions that are to this day unparallel by any software out there.
Just how useful Asana can be for managing your projects, take a look:
- Visually creative Kanban boards to help manage and organize work into separate compartments with an easy drag-and-drop option.
- Map, modify and share the project plan, created on a Timeline with intersecting tasks, due dates, and milestones
- Graphical representation of work reports with a quick summary of task progress, that can be viewed by everyone on the team
- Custom fields that display task priority, total time spent and mode of the channel to enable teams to keep track of what is most important
- Asana integrates with 100s of other team collaboration apps to facilitate team communication
Basic Free Version – 15 members, unlimted task, projects, and conversations
Team Collaboration Software for Communication
Businesses with effective communication are 50% more likely to have a lower employee turnover.
Not fairly old, but this one hardly needs an introduction. If your team doesn't use Slack, then I'm certain you've at least heard about it. Slack provides a centralized hub for teams of all sizes to communicate in real-time.
Communication on Slack is fortified with powerful features like:
- Ability to drag-and-drop documents, images, videos, PDFs, spreadsheets and other file types directly into the application
- Conduct team and individual chats, to compartmentalize topics and discussions for quick and private communication
- Carry out voice and video calls with as many as 15 people at a time.
- Share video screen for an effective and more transparent manner of communication
- Quickly search any document, message, and conversation for future reference
- Manage notification settings according to your needs. Choose and mute notifications from rarely active group conversations
- Use Slack App Directory to connect to more than 900 corresponding tools and apps to limit on-screen clutter of unnecessary tabs
- Free Plan - small teams. 5 GB file storage. Single Person Voice call.
- Standard Plan - $6.67 per user/month. Unlimited message search. 10 GB file storage per member. Voice & video call up to 15 members.
Fleep is best recognized as a Slack Alternative. While it has too much in common with Slack, Fleep hits the mark with a handful more superior features to galvanize teamwork.
Fleep is most enamored for its penchant to clear the hotchpotch of long disjointed emails that are both confusing and time-consuming.
Fleep can streamline your communication in the following ways:
- Allows teams to chat and communicate with non-Fleep users via simple email address requirement
- Integrates with Google Hangouts to facilitate audio and video call. This includes screen sharing for a more closer insight.
- Exclusive File Drawer option enables users to locate an image or file shared in a conversation at any given time in the past.
- Pinboard feature allows users to create digital sticky notes that can be pinned to the side of a conversation. Team members can collectively make changes to these pins that can most often be used as reminders, meeting updates or etc.
- Chat-experience enhancing features such as Writing indicator (that tell you when someone on the other end is typing), Seen indicators (that display read receipts) and Last Active (that reveal the time user was last available at).
- Native Task management feature that allows users to create, assign and manage tasks.
- Basic FREE plan - unlimited conversations, 10GB File storage. Full message history
- Business Plan - 5 Euros per user/month. 100 GB File storage. My tasks. Upload your company name & logo. Premium conversations.
According to Cisco, 37% of employee time is spent in meetings.
While most meetings are a drag and a waste of time, we can't deny what perpetual necessity meetings are for team collaboration. It is for this reason, Cisco WebEx, one of the most powerful meeting management software is included in this list.
Use Cisco WebEx to streamline an over-bearing bundle of meetings with the following perks:
- Share screens, host webinars and video conferences with WebEx Floating panels
- Schedule meetings using Quick or Advanced Scheduler. Users can send meeting invites via SMS, email or IM.
- In case of a dead battery or technical constraints, WebEx facilitates immediate device switch option in connection with meeting remains intact.
- Record meetings to revisit old discussions from the past
- Monitor meeting safety by setting a password to each meeting
- Use Brainstorm tool to gather real-time votes from team attendees
- Premium – $24/month. 8 members. Video conferencing and screen sharing.
Team Collaboration Software for File Sharing
An average of more than 28 million users share files through P2P networks every day. (Source: tecxipio)
No offense Microsoft, but during my first week using Box, I had forgotten all about MS-Word. Working on Box showed me what it really felt like to be a constant part of a team working on a single platform.
Interestingly, my boss and I would be working on the same document on Box from two different countries, and though I could not see him, his constantly moving cursor and the additions which he kept making to the document made me feel like he was right there!
Box is a cloud-based file storage service tailored to help teams store, share and access files from a centralized database. And to make the experience of team collaboration even niftier, all mode of file storage and sharing can be accessed from any device sitting in any part of the world.
Just one small limitation of having to have internet access for it, but it's not like that's a problem nowadays.
With Box you and your team can:
- Set passwords to your files to keep any unwanted third party from accessing your private data.
- Set expiration dates to documents to keep track of what's important and what still needs to be done
- As a file owner, you can control and manage who to give permission to for certain files
- Take notes on Box Notes during meetings, discussions or simple brainstorm sessions. Box Notes are accessible and visible to everyone.
- Co-edit a document with a team of more than 15 members editing, commenting and sharing images or files on a single document in real-time
- Create as many documents as you can on Box, all your written and formulated work will automatically be stored on your Box account. In fact, every miniscule edit that you make, be it a spacebar hit even, Box will automatically save anything.
- Box offers a powerful search bar directory that helps you locate any file from a vast treasure of online documents, notes, images, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations that pile up over time.
- Box integrates with a good 1000 business applications, so teams can share and transfer their work to other best team collaboration software from their centralized content network on Box.
- Starter Plan – $5 per user/month. 100 GB storage. Max.10 users
Xender is another file-sharing app that surfaced on the market 7 years ago. Since then, Xender has acquired more than 700 million users worldwide.
Using one of the most innovative technologies and high-performance global server network, Xender proudly proclaims and also deliver the fastest file transfer from one device to another.
See how Xender makes file sharing a breeze:
- Xender app uses a technology called Wi-Fi Direct. The Wi-fi Direct technology enables users with Wi-Fi-connection to share files and across any device. Users can connect to more than one person at a time and share files with a number of people at the same time.
- Xender has a dedicated history folder that shows users a list of all their files and videos shared across a given period of time. A separate folder for Sent and Received files
- Offers a Swipe & Share feature, for which users simply have to shake their device to transfer a file
- A very straightforward interface designed to make every beginner feel right at home
- Free to use on PC, Android, and iOS
Team Collaboration Software for Time Tracking
Up to 10 minutes per day per employee are lost due to tardiness, long lunches and early departure (American Payroll Association).
What's more pressurizing than unmet project objectives? You've guessed it: unmet deadlines.
Sometimes a great amount of team effort and work ethic is not enough to always bring a project to completion. After all, there's only so much teams can watch over, govern and manage.
Harvest is a web-based tool, prospering 12 years in the business of helping busy chunk of teams to track time and meet their goals on time. Harvest takes full responsibility of your time-tracking needs, with smart and intelligent features that extend from reporting, to planning and assessing the health of your project.
Harvest is popular for :
- Manual time-tracking options. You can either use Harvest's digital timer to log in total hours spent on a task or create time sheets from scratch.
- Calculating Burnout capacities. Harvest tracks and records the total hours inserted for each employee and compares the total billable hours logged in from each member. From this comparison, it determines whether an employee is overburdened. And if it is the time bar turns red.
- Integrate able with a sister-app, called Forecast. Forecast, creates a roadmap of all the projects and gives a quick summary of what each team member is working on and which tasks are pending.
- Excellent reporting system. Each time a team member submits a report of his/her timesheet, an automatic notification is sent to the project manager for review. On the other end, project managers can send a polite reminder in case someone has forgotten to send in their reports.
- Convert billable hours into invoices with simple single clicks. Then share these invoices with clients and customers via email. And if a client is slacking off or has forgotten to pay your invoice, Harvest sends automatic reminders to them.
- Single User – $12/month Unlimited estimates and invoices.
Another leader in time-tracking tools. Hubstaff is a lightweight platform designed specifically for remote teams. More than 8000 remote companies now use Hubstaff for managing deadlines and keep track of multiple teams.
Hubstaff time-tracking functionalities ensure accurate time accountability of each employee. The application also comes with a thorough reporting system that provides actionable insights for efficient decision making.
However, Hubstaff is not simply a time-tracking tool. It offers a variety of features such as screen recording, automatic payrolls, GPS tracking and powerful APIs, to make team collaboration faster and more authentic.
See what your team can do using Hubstaff:
- Dashboards that display all your team's performance, each activity, total budget spent on each project and the total number of projects completed.
- An automatic report generating system that detects when a timesheet has been completed and is now ready for review
- With Hubstaff's advanced monitoring feature, project managers can monitor how much time does each team member spend on a website.
- Team leads can monitor and keep track of each team member attendance with Staff Scheduling.
- Free Plan - Single User. Limited Features.
- Basic Plan - $208/month. 50 users. Limited features
This brings us to the end of our partisan list, with one last question still remaining. Which of these best team collaboration software will your business be put into use? Tell us in the comments below.
Published at DZone with permission of Fred Wilson, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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