7 Tips for Choosing Collaboration Tools

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and project manager living and working in London. She run The Otobos Group, a project communications consultancy specializing in project management.

You could probably use a different project management software tool every day this year and still have products left to try by December. There are tools that just manage requirements, that only do project reporting, that focus on estimates. Then there are tools that do it all, from proposals through to billing the client at the end.

When you’re choosing software to help your team collaborate and work more efficiently, it’s easy to get bogged down in vendor websites. And if you spend too much time on research, all the tools start to look the same.

These seven tips will help you cut through the sales pitches and settle on something that’s going to add real value to the way your team works…

1. Understand the problem. Start by understanding why you want a collaboration tool. Are you struggling to share documents? Are you keen to capture project information to turn it into a knowledge repository? Are you working with virtual teams and want a way for them to chat informally during the week?

When you know what problem you are trying to solve by introducing technology, you can narrow down your focus and concentrate on tools that will help you achieve your business objectives.

2. Fix your team first. Collaboration tools have plenty of benefits in terms of making it easier and more efficient for your …

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"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

- George Bernard Shaw

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