Just a few decades ago, team projects in work environments were managed in person. Team members shared office space, tracked progress on public boards, and relied on a task master to organize and oversee the comprehensive success of a project. Today, teams are often spread throughout regions of the world, work different shifts, and may never meet in person.
That’s where team management tools come in. Offered for free, for monthly fees, or as downloadable software, team management tools allow teams to work together digitally. Most
For instance, these 7 team management tool features can significantly improve employee collaboration and project success:
#1. Mobile Device Connectivity
Just like it’s rare for all team members to regularly work in the same office, it’s also increasingly uncommon for employees to always work from any office at all. People work on the go. Team members collaborate at differing hours and often across time zones. They may work from home. That’s why it’s important for your team management tool to offer an app for mobile devices.
If employees can work with the team on their mobile device, they’ll able to collaborate more efficiently. Check that any team management tools you are considering offers apps that are compatible with a variety of devices as well. Some of your employees may use iPhones, while others may choose to conduct work on a Microsoft tablet. It’s important that everyone have access.
#2. Project Analytics
Instead of trying to keep track of all the tasks involved in completing a project yourself, let your team management tool do it for you. Many tools offer built-in project analytics or can be connected to separate analytics software.
Use project analytics features to:
- Track the timeline of a project start to finish
- Evaluate inefficiencies
- Project due dates and milestone timelines
- Understand how and on what employees are spending their time
- Compare projects’ progress
- Stay on track and on time
Some tools offer visual representations and graphs of analytics information. Others may offer a way to connect to apps that will do this for you. Automated visual representations can help keep you organized and on task. They can also save you preparatory time when you need to update employees or superiors on what’s going on.
#3. Prioritization Options
Sometimes project priorities change and shift as they progress. Rather than figuring out whose work is affected and individually contacting them all, some team management software tools allow you to prioritize conveniently. For instance, some tools will allow you to select a certain task and mark it as a priority. The tool then notifies all affected employees of the new priority for you.
Prioritization features are organized differently in each team management tool or software program. Some have sidebars for priority tasks. Others use color-coding. Some are organized by due date and move “priority” action items up to the timeline.
#4. Secure Communication
Often, team projects involve interaction with sensitive or private information. Everything from an employee’s personal schedule and contact information to a client’s sensitive material may be stored, accessed, and discussed online by teammates on a project. It’s important for team management tools to offer secure communication features.
Some tools, for instance, offers secure chat and messenger options. A few also allow for secure screen sharing. Screen sharing can be crucial to project success. As a result, secure sharing is essential since teammates often collaborate through screen sharing, which opens up outside access to their personal or work devices.
#5. Organization by Task Dependency
“If this, then this” is part of the everyday logic for every person. In the workplace, it plays a part in just about everything. Task management is no exception. Employees often cannot complete their tasks on a project until another employee completes their task. Being able to see what’s already done, what’s in progress, and who needs to do what first is crucial to keeping project progress organized.
Most team management tools will have some form of task dependency organization. When selecting a tool, find out how setting up dependent tasks works as different systems may work better for your team and industry.
#6. Comments Drop-Downs
Communication is key to any collaborative project. Unfortunately, keeping track of emails, messenger conversations, and phone calls can make communication messy. There is a good chance things will get lost in communication if interactions are not directly connected to tasks and easy to track. Comment drop-downs offer a convenient communication organization.
Typically, comment drop-downs are a feature team management tools integrate into task assignments. They allow teammates to comment directly on the tasks which they are communicating about. Comments are saved and attached to the digital task location. As a result, anyone granted access can keep track of communication regarding each task.
#7. Color-Coding Features
Timeless and classic, color-coding has been employed for decades, if not centuries, for organizing information. Many team management tools use color-coding features to:
- Indicate stage of completion
- Highlight who tasks are assigned to
- Differentiate between types of information
Some tools will allow you to customize your color-coding preferences. Others are already integrated. When you select a team management tool, keep this in mind and find out ahead of time how color-coding is integrated.
Choosing A Team Management Tool
Traits like these 7 valuable features are what make most types of team management tools unique. As you learn about different tools, keep in mind other unique qualities like:
- Available Plug-Ins
- Upgrade Options
- Industry Specifics
Your team management tool choice will make a big difference in the success of your collaborative team projects. Take the time to learn about and identify which features are important for your business. Choose wisely.