5 Tools You Need to Become Remote-Work-Ready

My Post (12)Have you been asked to suddenly work from home?

For many of us, that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing. But finding yourself with the same projects and responsibilities, only sans team, can make maintaining your momentum harder than you think.

Organizing your virtual workspace is the best way to start. You can think of monday.com as your Work OS, housing all of your company’s workflows, projects, and communication. But like any OS, there are other collaboration tools, that, in addition to monday.com, can really help you work remotely, better.

We’ve put together our 5 must-have programs that can get you performing as usual, right away. They will help ensure you don’t lose any of the value you’re accustomed to getting from your team (but you can still wear your pajamas—no one will know).

Before installing anything, align on communication

Getting everyone on the same page while in an office is hard enough. But when you can’t quickly schedule an in-person sync, staying aligned is a much larger challenge.

It’s important to establish guidelines for how to communicate and what updates you’ll share with the team.

How to communicate

To make sure information isn’t lost, establish a regular cadence of updates— whether it’s a quick morning call to sync or a shared space to log updates. It’s important to find something that can integrate into your schedule easily and works for everyone on your team.

What to communicate

If you’re a manager, you can let everyone on your team know that you would like a summary of the progress from the day before, with goals for the upcoming day. As an employee, it will be helpful to gather questions or outstanding items that can be handled while everyone is together on the call.

Setting expectations for the kind of information you should have prepared will help you fully maximize the limited time you have together to focus on the value you can provide to one another. – Read more

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The Best Project Management Software for Your Business

My Post (12).pngChoosing the best project management software isn’t just essential to the success of your business. It is critical.

Research shows that 70 percent of projects in most organizations fail. For projects that succeed, however, project management software plays a critical role, with 77 percent of high-performing projects using project management software.

This article discusses key factors you should consider when choosing a project management software in our comparison of the best ones for 2020.

The Five Most Important Things to Look for in Project Management Software

A key question that comes to mind when reading project management software reviews and rankings is this: what factors did the reviewer use to determine which software to rank?.

While we’ve done most of the legwork for you and invested significant time researching and ranking the best project management software, we believe the following are the five most important things to pay attention to in project management applications:

  1. Project Planning Assistance: A good project management software should help you plan your project. Once all relevant information about team members and available resources has been added, it should help you organize your project, identify which member is the best fit for which role, and properly schedule tasks to ensure optimal performance.
  1. Ease of Use: It’s a given that most project management software have a kind of learning curve and it is always a good idea to have experts train your team members on how to most effectively use the project management software of your choice. However, using project management software shouldn’t be as complicated as learning to code. Good project management software should have an intuitive interface that is easy to get the hang of regardless of a user’s tech savvy.
  1. Compatibility: While it’s easy to assume that your team members will always be working on the same office computer, it’s a good idea to never say never. A lot of projects are increasingly being completed on the go, and many organizations are evolving to allow time for remote work. There’s a good chance that one or more of your team members will be working on a mobile device, a Chromebook, or a Macbook. Cross-device and cross-browser compatibility is one of the key features to watch out for in any project management software.
  1. Collaboration: Good project management software provides you with a lot of options to collaborate with your team. You most certainly won’t be using a project management application in isolation; as such, key features should include the ability to share documents, invite as many people as you want to join your projects, have group discussions, and send internal messages to project members.
  1. Tracking and Reporting: Your project management application is only as useful as its reporting capabilities. If you can’t access reports, or if the kind of reports you can generate are limited, then your project management software is practically useless.

Many advanced project management software use artificial intelligence to track activity and performance of a particular project such as time spent by individual project contributors (and collectively by the team) and how the time was spent, expenses involved in running a particular project and the overall status of the project. This is often used to offer suggestions towards project improvement.

Many project management applications also allow you to generate hundreds of reports; more importantly, these reports can be customized and shared should the need arise to share them with outside vendors or management.

Project Management Software Comparison: Our Top Choices for 2020

Based on the above key factors, the following comparison shows what we believe to be the best project management software for businesses in 2020. 

Also, realizing that it’s different strokes for different folks, we’re not “ranking” the best project management software using a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we are categorizing the project management apps recommended based on which particular segment of users we believe them to be best for:

1. Overall Best: Monday.com

Formerly dapulse, Monday.com is one of the most popular names out there when it comes to project management software. An intuitive interface and a system designed to help you plan your project from the get-go makes them our overall best option. Key features include the ability to automate routine tasks, the ability to collaborate with anyone in your organization and seamlessly interact with them, and integrations with dozens of essential applications ranging from email clients to todo apps.

Some key features include

  • Project planning
  • Task management
  • Milestone tracking
  • Status tracking
  • File sharing
  • Team collaboration
  • Real-time communication
  • Gantt charts

2. Best for Small Business/Teams: Asana

Intuitive, lightweight, and easy to use, Asana is the best project management software for small businesses and small teams. Their free plan comes with bare-bones features that include task management, integration with key apps, and the ability to collaborate with up to 15 teammates. Their advanced plans include features like advanced search and reporting, rules and milestones, custom branding, and advanced integrations.

Some key features include:

  • Timeline to help with planning your project and keep track of changes. 
  • Boards to help you visualize your project and quickly move through multiple stages.
  • Ability to see real-time status of projects and assess and address risks with Portfolios
  • Custom fields to track and generate reports on information important to your team and company.
  • Integration with over 100 third-party apps and platforms. 

3. Best for Freelancers: Trello

Trello is one of the most intuitive, easiest to use project management platforms out there. It also offers a robust free plan for businesses unwilling to pay for a project management app just yet. It uses board and cards for projects and is more basic than the other options on this list. Trello allows third-party integrations to help you get the best out of it but it is important to note that its reporting capabilities are limited compared to the other options on this list.

Some key features include:

  • Cards and boards to help plan and keep track of projects. 
  • Rule-based triggers to help automate your projects. 
  • Custom fields to help better track projects. 
  • Integrations with over 100 apps. 
  • A free plan with limited features.

 

4. Best for Startups: Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects makes project management and collaboration easy by offering several relevant features as well as a free version. Its Tasks and Milestones feature makes it easy to plan projects and see their status, its Document Management feature makes it easy to create and add relevant documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, its Calendars feature makes it easy to organize events, and its Time Tracking feature helps see how much time has been collectively and individually invested in a project. Zoho also makes it easy to collaborate with team members partaking in the project through a message board and an optional chat add-on module.

Some key features include:

  • Tasks and milestones for project planning and tracking.
  • Ability to add and share relevant documents with your team members.
  • Robust collaboration through a message board and internal chat.
  • Integration with third-party applications and platforms.
  • A free plan.

5. Best for Beginners: Basecamp

Basecamp is one of the leading project management software with a reputation spanning decades in the project management industry.

Unlike most other project management software, Basecamp stands out for two things: First is the fact that you only have to pay a fixed price regardless of the size of your organization and the number of people on your team. Second is the fact that its inbuilt features replace several third-party services (like storage and collaboration services) and reduces the need for integrations. It makes project planning and execution easy and offers features that include real-time chat and private messaging to make it easy to collaborate. You can also easily share documents, presentations, spreadsheets and files with your team, and its Automatic Check-ins feature makes it easy to automatically follow up with your team on the status of projects.

Some key features include:

  • A fixed monthly plan regardless of the number of users on your team.
  • Robust collaboration through group chat, private messaging, and real-time chat features.
  • Automatic Check-Ins to automate following up with your team on progress with your projects.
  • Ability to upload and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  • Integrations with third-party applications and platforms.

6. Best for Enterprise: Workfront

Workfront is a bit more complex to use compared to some of the other options already mentioned (such as Monday.com, Asana, and Trello) and it is a lot more costly. That’s understandable considering the fact that it is one of the best project management software for enterprise users. Key features include its use of AI to distribute and assign tasks based on the required skills and priority, project templates that are customizable, internal messaging that enhances collaboration and communication, and lots of third-party integrations.

Some key features include:

  • Task management feature that makes it easy to plan and keep track of projects.
  • Timesheet makes it easy to breakdown work done on projects and share with necessary parties. 
  • Robust reporting that allows you to track the status of projects and send reminders when needed. 
  • Integration with hundreds of third-party platforms and apps.

What Do You Look for When Choosing Project Management Software?

The above are what we believe to be the six best project management software. What factors do you pay attention to when deciding on project management software to use? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Stop Micromanaging and Empower Autonomous Teams

My Post - 2020-03-26T110852.117.pngAs a manager, trusting your team to learn, improve, and eventually function autonomously is part of the job— but sometimes trust can feel more like losing control. If you fear what might happen when you loosen your grip and give more autonomy to your team, it’s worth also considering what could happen if you don’t.

According to a study by Gallop, 75 percent of the reasons people quit come down to their managers. Having a manager who doesn’t grant ownership and emphasize individual impact within an organization can lead to dissatisfaction, and eventually, employee turnover.

No one plans on becoming a micromanager; they dream of being a leader. So what should you do if you wake up and realize you are micromanaging your team?

1. Understand your underlying reasons for micromanaging your team

You’ve come to accept that you’re a micromanager, and you’ve realized you aren’t acting like the kind of manager you want to be. It might feel hopeless. But don’t throw the towel in just yet.

First, think about what has caused you to micromanage in the first place: what goes through your mind when you second-guess your team’s work?  Do you mistrust their judgment or attention to detail? Do you feel insecure with your own position in the company – and worry there’s no room for mistakes?

Ask yourself where this pressure is coming from, and start by taking a few easy-to-implement steps.

  • Talk it through with your boss. Schedule a time to sit with your boss to understand his or her KPIs for you and your team. This will help you understand where you stand and what to focus on moving forward.
  • Empower your team with small initiatives. Take the time to assess your teams’ individual strengths and passions. Start off small, with projects and tasks you feel comfortable letting go of, and have them own it A to Z.
  • Focus on the big picture. Start setting your own personal goals and KPIs of where you would like to lead your team. By investing your time in big-picture projects, your priorities will begin to shift from micromanagement to leadership.

2. Talk to your team and determine how they can work autonomously

Whether it’s due to individual performance, a poorly managed process, or unclear communication within the team, the best way to understand how to move forward is to get a full picture of the current situation.

Let your team know you’ll be scheduling meetings for feedback to discuss internal processes and initiatives in order to set expectations. Emphasize that you are committed to hearing and implementing their feedback. Walk into the meeting with the intention of learning more about the strengths and interests of your team. Understanding each individual’s strong points can help in structuring your team to work better together. – Read more

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