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Topics: PMO, Virtual Teams
Colaborative tools in the world of de-centralized projet management
Network:833



Microsoft SharePoint has some good integration with MS Project as a collaborative PMIS but still seems to be “clunky”. I would be interested to know some other's opinions on the best practices for a de-centralized PMO. More specifically, what are some of the collaboration tools you have used in managing your projects?
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Network:36



Alfred, what functions do you want the collaboration tool to serve? Are you looking to supplement your existing PPM tool or replace? Do you have compliance guidelines as those seem to be the most constraining on what type of tools you can even leverage? How long do you want it to retain history?

In general, Slack has been a go to for many organizations lately and though it's neat, for me there seems to be able equal parts hype and utility. MS Teams is excellent though it's really a Microsoft version of Basecamp (which is also excellent). Confluence can also serve as a great repository style collaboration platform.
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1 reply by Alfred Horton
Apr 15, 2019 3:28 PM
Alfred Horton
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Thanks, John. I am re-shaping our PMO to move from an "on-site" model to a more decentralized model. Currently, MS project is our tool for tracking schedule, resource usage, and basic financial tracking. I like the integration MS is showing with SharePoint, but it is not the best for full collaboration. I will likely end up staying an MS shop but was curious if there were other options out there that PMs were having success with and which I should be considering. I appreciate your input.
Network:833



Apr 15, 2019 3:10 PM
Replying to John Albaugh
...
Alfred, what functions do you want the collaboration tool to serve? Are you looking to supplement your existing PPM tool or replace? Do you have compliance guidelines as those seem to be the most constraining on what type of tools you can even leverage? How long do you want it to retain history?

In general, Slack has been a go to for many organizations lately and though it's neat, for me there seems to be able equal parts hype and utility. MS Teams is excellent though it's really a Microsoft version of Basecamp (which is also excellent). Confluence can also serve as a great repository style collaboration platform.
Thanks, John. I am re-shaping our PMO to move from an "on-site" model to a more decentralized model. Currently, MS project is our tool for tracking schedule, resource usage, and basic financial tracking. I like the integration MS is showing with SharePoint, but it is not the best for full collaboration. I will likely end up staying an MS shop but was curious if there were other options out there that PMs were having success with and which I should be considering. I appreciate your input.
Network:193



I like using Skype for communicating/teleconferences/screen shares.

MS Teams has the ability for multiple people to edit a single Excel document at once, for example, and also offers the same document repository functionality of SharePoint. The interface is a little nicer than SharePoint.

OneNote works well for meeting minutes and storing other project notes.
Network:833



Thanks, Patrick. I think I will be looking into MS Teams and how it might integrate into our current stack.
Network:253



If you like MS Project, look into MS Project Online. It follows the Office 365 cloud model, so you'll pay for an ongoing license, but it integrates with other online Office products. It's supposed to have much better collaboration tools, and avoids the requirement for Sharepoint, but I'll be honest that I haven't used the online Project service; I bought Project 2019.

SmartSheet is a similar product I've used. It's also cloud based, and is like a light version of Excel or Project, depending on how you use it. What it lacks in features it makes up for in simplicity, and it was built around collaboration. I'm not sure how the price compares to MS Project.

As far as other collaboration tools, it depends on whether you prefer Microsoft or not. If you're a Microsoft shop, Teams could be your best choice. It may not be as elegant as some other collaboration solutions, but it integrates relatively well with other Microsoft products. This means you can schedule an online Teams meeting in Outlook, attach a spreadsheet, keep live meeting minutes in OneNote, and share documents with meeting attendees. It will also integrate with some non-Microsoft apps.

If your organization favors non-Microsoft products, Slack is one of the favorite services out there. It does many of the same things MS Teams does, and some will argue whether it's better or worse, but the main difference is that it's not Microsoft. Like Teams, you can add integrations to Slack to make collaboration easier.
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1 reply by Alfred Horton
Apr 22, 2019 10:19 AM
Alfred Horton
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Thanks, Wade. I have been working with my team to see what fits our PMO the best. It looks like the consensus is to stick with the MS products-which can be quite robust when used correctly.
Network:833



Apr 15, 2019 4:16 PM
Replying to Wade Harshman
...
If you like MS Project, look into MS Project Online. It follows the Office 365 cloud model, so you'll pay for an ongoing license, but it integrates with other online Office products. It's supposed to have much better collaboration tools, and avoids the requirement for Sharepoint, but I'll be honest that I haven't used the online Project service; I bought Project 2019.

SmartSheet is a similar product I've used. It's also cloud based, and is like a light version of Excel or Project, depending on how you use it. What it lacks in features it makes up for in simplicity, and it was built around collaboration. I'm not sure how the price compares to MS Project.

As far as other collaboration tools, it depends on whether you prefer Microsoft or not. If you're a Microsoft shop, Teams could be your best choice. It may not be as elegant as some other collaboration solutions, but it integrates relatively well with other Microsoft products. This means you can schedule an online Teams meeting in Outlook, attach a spreadsheet, keep live meeting minutes in OneNote, and share documents with meeting attendees. It will also integrate with some non-Microsoft apps.

If your organization favors non-Microsoft products, Slack is one of the favorite services out there. It does many of the same things MS Teams does, and some will argue whether it's better or worse, but the main difference is that it's not Microsoft. Like Teams, you can add integrations to Slack to make collaboration easier.
Thanks, Wade. I have been working with my team to see what fits our PMO the best. It looks like the consensus is to stick with the MS products-which can be quite robust when used correctly.

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