How to Choose the Team Collaboration Software | Hacker Noon

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@samAlex Sam

Hi I’m Alex. A voracious reader and loves to chew updates on upcoming web trends and technologies.

Teams spread over remote locations as well as the office are increasingly in vogue. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads in 2020, it has also resulted in increased reliance on distributed teams. These teams provide a huge amount of benefits and also pose a set of unique problems. Businesses are not surprisingly continually updating how they manage distributed teams. They are also increasingly using team collaboration software to overcome the challenges that distributed teams pose. So continue reading, to find the latest information on software that helps in the coordination and managing of distributed teams.

Overview of Distributed Team Management

1. Communication is the key

The cornerstone of managing a distributed team is communication.  In a distributed team relying on email alone is just not an option. So there is an ever-present need to adopt the best team communication software tools available and provide feedback routinely.

2. Management of productivity

A distributed team’s productivity can be high at certain times and then fall off. To ensure that team productivity remains at optimum levels managers need to be able to monitor it. Managers also need the best team messaging collaboration solution to manage the productivity of individuals and the team.

3. Solid tech infrastructure

Cutting edge tech infrastructure is the backbone of a business communication solution.  Using this infrastructure, managers can efficiently monitor employees and their work. Additionally, employees can use the tech infrastructure to ensure work is completed on time.

4. Advanced security features

Working in distributed teams often means having to deal with security issues that crop up when people work from home. Also within such teams steps have to be taken to ensure that data and customer information remains secure when transmitted.

5. Elevating team spirit and morale

Within an office, teams interact easily and managers can keep an eye on morale and team spirit. In distributed teams, the process of keeping team spirit and morale bubbling with energy is much more complex.  The process requires the team and manager to put in extra effort and rely on the aid of group collaboration software.

Must-have Features of Collaboration software

Collaboration software for business has several features. There are, however, some features that are better than the rest, and are a must-have. We examine these must-have features below.

1. Document management

Within a small business, dozens of documents are created every day. Document management quickly becomes an essential part of daily work and is especially vital in the case of medium/large businesses. So collaboration software needs to have a document management component inbuilt.

2. File sharing

Offered hand in hand with document management is file sharing. Effective and secure file sharing ensures that team members get easy access to the files required to complete a project. Making use of file sharing distributed teams can collaborate in real-time, share data, and work seamlessly. Sharing of files can be allowed to happen in several ways including using the instant messaging tool of the collaboration software.

3. Easy search

Software that helps manage a distributed team also has to provide users with the ability to search for content. This content can be anything from documents to videos and audio files. The search feature importantly should also be able to find files stored within an archive. With access to a robust search feature, users do not have to waste time searching for content. Ultimately a quick and accurate search feature also helps cut administrative time.

4. Tool for tracking

Various team members often have to work on one project. Additionally, managers have to be able to track work done by individuals and teams. Using the best messaging & collaboration services changes made to projects and documents can be tracked in detail. As team members are making changes to a document these changes can be tracked in real-time. Managers and team members with the aid of tracking can also access previous versions of documents and reverse changes made. Additionally, managers can assign role-specific permissions to members of a team.

5. Managing tasks

Assigning, managing, and tracking tasks are important parts of handling distributed teams. As soon as tasks such as creating a video, a software application, or a press release are assigned they have to be managed.  Using team management software tasks can be assigned as per their priority and then their status can be managed. With the aid of the task management features managers can ensure that no task is abandoned. Managers can also check their tasks and complete them on time.

What are the Major Types of Software used for Team Collaboration?

Communication Tools

Ensuring that communication remains smooth requires top-notch tools. There are several such tools available for managing distributed teams. Slack is one of the top communication tools and allows for easy exchange of messages by team members synchronously. Additionally, asynchronous communication tools are also increasing in popularity. Using asynchronous tools team members can choose when to reply and so are not bogged down in drafting immediate replies. They can instead concentrate on their work and then reply to stored messages a few hours down the line.

1. Conferencing tools

Monthly or weekly audio and video conferences help in team-building and ensure communication happens at a faster pace. However, to ensure that such conferences happen without hitches distributed teams require access to the best tools. These tools can be anything from Zoom to Skype. Zoom while being extremely popular is insecure and meetings are often hacked. However, with more people working in distributed teams, Google and other providers are offering conferencing tools such as Meet.

2. Innovation management tools

Innovation management tools help distributed teams collect ideas and create strategies. These tools ensure that project milestones are generated and tracked and budgets are not overstepped. With the aid of such tools managers can also crowdsource ideas, oversee collaboration on projects, and provide guidance.

3. Coordination tools

Coordination tools are integral to the successful management of distributed teams. These tools allow team members to collaborate effectively. The best coordination tools provide both the ability to track tasks done by individuals and work done by teams. Therefore, individuals and teams can use a coordination tool to connect as they work on large projects and even small tasks. With the aid of such tools employees can manage their time effectively and managers can ensure that teams are focused on completing projects.

What are the Benefits of using Team Collaboration Software for Business?

Enhanced Time Saving

A team collaboration platform allows for teams to achieve targets within a deadline. Simply put when such platforms are used,‎  time saved is often equal to money saved. As time is saved teams can deliver projects on time and budgets are not overshot. 

1. Improves project management

Using a robust online collaboration platform projects can be managed and tracked efficiently until they are complete. Additionally, whether team members are working in the field, at home, or in the office they can be tracked. Enterprise collaboration & messaging software also ensures coordination and communication between the team members is optimized.

2. Strengthens Teamwork 

The use of the right enterprise collaboration system in a company results in teamwork being strengthened. The right software whether it is Slack used for communication or GitHub for development ensure that teams work like a well-oiled machine. 

3. Effortlessly connects employees working remotely

With the aid of remote team collaboration software employees spread over a large area can connect effortlessly. By using web-based applications such as Trello distributed team members can collaborate and organize projects. While they can use Redmine to ensure that projects are managed efficiently.

4. Secure Storage of Files

Using remote work team collaboration software data and a variety of files can be stored securely. Once stored data can also be searched for, archived, and accessed within seconds. Also as such software is based in the cloud distributed teams get easy access to data. They only need to have access to a web browser and the details of a secure login.

How to Select the Best Remote Collaboration Software?

  1. Assess your needs:  By checking your company’s needs you can quickly discard collaboration software that does not meet your requirements.
  2. Check specific features: Creating a list of features and checking if a collaboration system has them will ensure that substandard versions are left out.
  3. Monthly and yearly costs: Monthly and year costs of software can quickly become a burden so ensure that you check the cost involved.
  4. Support provided: Check if the company providing the software has robust customer support in place and that it meets your employee’s needs.
  5. Integration: Software that seamlessly integrates with several other systems will allow for data and information to be easily shared.
  6. Security: Ensure that the security provided for data and customer information is top-notch and can be controlled by your company. 
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Hi I’m Alex. A voracious reader and loves to chew updates on upcoming web trends and technologies.

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