Category Archives: Virtual Project Management
A decrease in productivity within an organization is not only troubling for a profitable company, but can destroy your firm’s reputation. There are many factors that can lead to poor productivity from employees, such as a lack of leadership, poor communication, or the office environment.
It is no secret that unhappy employees do not do well and often share their negative opinions with their co-workers. If one suspects the morale within an organization is responsible for the lack of productivity, it is important to discover why the employees are unhappy. Long hours, unrealistic expectations, insufficient training, management issues, low pay, lack of recognition and poor working conditions can lead to serious performance problems. Involving employees in the solution (no placing the full burden on them to resolve the problem) can help reduce the issues and make sure you have developed a workable plan to increase morale and productivity.
Productivity is impossible, when you are completely uncomfortable. Talk to your employees and see if their chairs are comfortable. Are the desks at the correct height? Many offices use office furniture that all looks the same. This is great for looks, but the guy that is six-foot five is not as productive in the same desk and chair as the five foot woman next to him. Perhaps the answer is to look at providing virtual hours for employees as well. If the employee is capable of working remote, they are likely to have a setup that is comfortable for them already without any significant investment on your behalf. It has also been proven that workers who work from home 20% of the time are more productive than those who must spend 100% of the time in the office.
Employees comfort level with equipment and software can also affect productivity. If employees don’t fully understand how to use equipment or software correctly, their productivity is going to suffer. A major problem companies face is forcing employees to use equipment and software that is not enough to complete the tasks you assign. A yearly audit must be done on all equipment and software to make sure it still fits the needs of the employees.
Management is a contributing factor to low productivity. The National Business Research Institute notes productivity suffers when managers don’t keep promises, give credit or blame others for their mistakes. Managers who are too controlling can unwittingly slow down work flow by requiring even the simplest task to have manager approval. A hands-off management style also leads to problems. When managers are not readily available or unavailable, employees have no one to turn to for direction or guidance. Managers also set the tone for the department. Managers who adopt a positive attitude help foster the same attitude in their employees.
Virtual project collaboration is a growing industry in the United States and around the world as more companies are utilizing the traditional less often than any other time in history. Teams around the world and workers need a way to collaborate with one another and their customers. Small companies are finding it easier to compete with larger firms by leveraging tasks with lower overhead and a diverse workforce.
This trend not only increases the job market in remote cities, but also gives employees the freedom to work from anywhere they want. Not being limited to a cubical in an office setting, younger employees now travel while they work, or raise families without missing out on important family functions.
As with any change to a company’s culture, management still needs to feel they have control of projects assigned to people and/or teams. This is now done in Virtual Project Collaboration software. Teams can attach documents, images, source code, etc. all in an easy to use online offering free, or with a low monthly cost. Outside of document retention, chat, task lists (to-do list), and time stamped history, managers have all they need to manage projects successfully.
There is no need to spin up a server, do maintenance, conduct backups, or any other form of IT tasks. Being cloud based, the data is available to you and your team 24x7x365 with full redundancy and secured is a way that is parallel to that of the large banks.
For a free trial, follow this link over to 2tasks.com and check it out. There is no need to enter credit card or personal information to start a project in two minutes that is free for 60 days. If you decide it is not a fit for you or your organization, simply don’t upgrade and there will be no billing. You are free from spam as well, as your email address will never be sold or shared with any third-party.
Let us know what you think of the product and if we can help, we will even add your requests to the next release.
There are several reasons projects fail. The most common reason being a lack of communication amongst team members. Just like any relationship, with a lack of communication people tend to start going in seperate directions. Once this starts in a project, it is hard to reverse. Then the project takes longer than planned, goes over budget and often under delivers in performance.
There are ways to prevent this from happening. The use of traditional project management software will help maintain goals and deadlines, however, it does nothing for effective communication. This is where a new breed of software is coming into play. Project Collaboration software is a fast growing industry. It is easy to use and very affordabe for small and large companies alike.
This is where 2tasks thrives. The online software is written to imitate a social network. This makes it easy for people to adapt to the format and employees are willing to use it on a regular basis. Managers no longer have to force associates to update projects. Tasks are now as seen as a simple update which reminds them of their off hours online.
If you have not done so already, go try it out for FREE on a project today. Let us know what you think…
Because projects contain information that is not meant for the public, why don’t all software protect your data? Outside of the basics in today’s web development, such as not allowing SQL Injection, your Software as a Service (SaaS) model project management software should be secured under Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This not only makes the information more secure during transmission for your company, but also shows your business partners you invite to your projects, you are concerned with their security as well. The cost of a SSL certificate is relatively inexpensive when you take into account it will give your customers piece of mind and allow them to focus on the project at had instead of worrying if they need to reword something to be more vague because prying eyes may intercept their communication.
- Virtual Project Management (part 1) (2tasks.com)
- SSL Detective – Twocanoes Software, Inc. (itunes.apple.com)
- Serious Security: Google finds fake but trusted SSL certificates for its domains, made in France (nakedsecurity.sophos.com)
- Virtual Project Management (part 2) (2tasks.com)
In the first installment I discussed the benefits and down falls of the open source model of virtual project management. This write-up will cover Software as a Service (SaaS) virtual project management and the benefits and shortcomings of this type of solution. The benefit of SaaS is the ability to only pay for what you need in a solution. There is no need to pay for a server, install software, and do maintenance on a product, allowing you to manage projects online with a monthly fee for the service. Some companies have a yearly subscription for this type of service which can be somewhat binding, but it is still cheaper if you only need the service for a short time of you want to keep your IT costs to a flat rate monthly or yearly. 2tasks offers this in a monthly installment that can be paid through your credit card or PayPal. If you have a single project, you have the ability to only keep the account active while you need it and cancel when the project ends. You have the ability to include as many people to a project as you see necessary. There is no need to have them signup and pay a subscription to participate in your project. The target of such options makes it possible for small businesses manage projects, or a family to organize a vacation in an affordable manner. The down side to SaaS is that you are losing control of your data to another firm. Though it is secured, as the NSA can tell you, nothing is 100% safe from prying eyes. Of all of the aforementioned options, SaaS gives the end user the least overhead for the fastest launch of a project. When selecting a Virtual Project Management software solution, be sure to find one with a 90 day trial period. This gives you three months to try the product and see if it will meet your companies needs. Many of these plans have some limitations, like limited participants or no advanced options.
- Virtual Project Management (part 1) (2tasks.com)
- Five Tips to be an Effective Project Manager (jasmineengineering.wordpress.com)
- Project management and project administration. (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Ratio Of Engineers To Sales People In Billion Dollar SaaS Startups (tomtunguz.com)
I am going to do a series on Virtual Project Management. I plan to cover the evolution of Virtual Project Management, the benefits, and weak points. There are many companies competing in his arena now. Some are based on a Software As a Service model, others are simply billing monthly for the license, and as usual there are even free open source projects. In my opinion, no solution is better than the other. I just depends on what you are looking for and the money and time involved to achieve your goal.
I will start with the open source option. Though I will not list names of specific products in my write ups, those who are searching for a viable solution will know which software I am referring to. The positive side to open source project management is that you get to host the service where you choose. This is attractive to some organizations with the knowledge to install IIS or another web hosting solution. The cost is free and there are large forums of fellow users who can answer questions or have already resolved your issue and posted it in a FAQ or sticky somewhere on the site. A problem with this solution is it is time consuming and has a soft cost which may be inhibitive to a lean company.
The very thing that makes open source an attractive option is what makes it undesirable to others. All software hosted locally requires maintenance. Instead of filing a ticket with a help desk, you must resolve all issues on your own with the help of forums and YouTube. This can take time away from your companies core competency. Anytime you do this, you are losing money and valuable resources. Plus if it is down any amount of time, you could take a hit to your companies reputation with clients, depending on how you are using the software. Security is another concern. Because everyone can see the code to your project management, there is no secret as to what measures you have in place to protect your data. This may not concern some companies, but it can be a disaster for others.
I have tried many free options over the years and have had varying levels of success. I always end up back at a hosted solution because of the time involved and other financial costs of maintaining my software. If I have to pay to host it on a server through a host anyway, and then support it myself, why not pay a couple extra dollars and give someone else the headache and let me focus on profit for my business?
- Adapting Early to New Technology Yields Great Results (workzone.com)
- Why GitHub is not your CV (jcoglan.com)
- GitBadger: Bridging the Disconnect Between Developers and Project Managers (tech.co)
- Project Management News Digest w46 2013 (pmadvisor.co.uk)