Some people are reluctant to sign up at online collaborative tools, as they feel like they were joining Lex Luthor’s side instead of Superman’s. Technology is only for the bad guys. The good ones are social and work well together; offline and not hidden behind a screen.
So, when trying to implement these tools at work, we may consider several factors:
– The interface has to be as intuitive as possible, so as to be managed by people with different technical levels.
– The tool chosen should be web-accessible, as some system networks do not allow their users to download any programme.
– The tool has to respond to the objectives of the project /organisation and needs, no less, but also no more. A flashy thing with lots of useless applications is not the best choice.
– So as to ensure backup and avoid risks, the website and the interactive tool must be kept separated. Using the administrator interface of the webpage as a repository /internal forum is a bad idea.
– If you are working with different organizations in the same initiative you may find some resistance to pay for a tool, even if co-financed. Try to check if they are already using one or if further training is needed.
– However, the Leader of any Project should have a major say when opting for a tool, given that their contribution and input will be heavier than anybody’s.
– Avoid “spammy” applications that send messages every minute to everybody. Mail shall depend on who is assigned to each task, either as a responsible or as a “follower”. Nobody else. If the tool does not allow you to choose, then it is not the one.
Thus, after some research, I have found some tools that may cover the majority of these conditions:
– Trello: It is the simplest, less geek of all. A kanbas (cards) system where you can distribute tasks and classify docs by action.
– Asana: A bit more complicated as the information uploaded needs a deeper level of accuracy.
– Open project: Denser, with diverse plugins.
– Project Place: The knotty one! Beautiful interface and wide range of functions.
Have you tested any of them? Do you use another one? Are you more Superman than Lex Luthor?