5 Great Solutions for Team Collaboration and Workflow Management

To complete a large and complex design project, a diversity of skills is generally necessary.

The team leader’s challenge, is to take a diverse set of individuals, each with their own skill set and degree of experience, and get them working toward the same goal. recognizing that a good team is greater than the sum of its parts.

Part of this challenge is to encourage collaboration between team members. When a team is first assembled, it’s often the case that not all team members, or even a majority, have the necessary collaboration skills. This is an area where choosing the right project management tools, including those that encourage collaboration, can be a blessing.

Even with tools like this in hand, team leaders still need to subscribe to the following principles:

1)    Role Clarification: Necessary to avoid oversights, duplication of effort, and confusion.

2)    Assigning Responsibilities. Responsibilities should be explicitly defined, and assigned to individuals, and not to groups or to the team as a whole.

3)    Assigning Decision Making Responsibilities. When assigned to a group, the mechanism for reaching a decision should be spelled out.

4)    Reviewing Project Goals: This needs to be done up front and periodically. If not, teams and individuals tend to lose focus.

5)    Acquiring and Using the Right Tools. Using specific tools for specific functions will make life easier for everyone.

These 5 tools can smooth project workflows, encourage collaboration, and boost productivity. Entrepreneurs and freelancers will also profit by using one or more of them.

Wake

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Wake provides the fastest way to get your ideas, and your work, in front of your team. The beauty of this app is that it enables you to do so without having to interrupt your workflow. Wake connects directly to Sketch, Photoshop, or Illustrator, making visibility across designs easy and seamless.

For example, if you want to share sketches from your notebook, or a flow chart you’ve created on the whiteboard, you can use Wake’s iPhone app to snap a photo and immediately send it off to your team. The iPhone app also allows you to keep in touch with team members, your project’s status, and other happenings while you are out of the office.

Check out the Starter or Pro Custom plans, but before you decide to purchase, try Wake for 30 days for free.

InVision

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InVision is the world’s leading design, prototyping, project management, and collaboration platform. This powerful app is packed with features, including Workflow 2.0, its design-driven project management package.

Your ability to manage your prototyping, project management, and collaboration activities from a single platform not only makes work easier, but it is much more efficient, and it will definitely boost your team’s productivity.

With InVision, prototyping is the easiest of tasks. Upload a design file, add transitions, gestures, and animations, and you’ll have a high-fidelity, interactive prototype up and running in no time.

General Motors, Apple, Sony, and PayPal are among the 2 million who make up InVision’s user community. Discovering what InVision can do for you is easy. Simply sign up for a free trial. You can work with a single prototype for as long as you wish.

 

Active Collab

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Designers and design teams have the same problem: instead of designing, they have to waste time on business-related issues. Active Collab has the solution. Active Collab is a project management tool that allows you to keep track of everything you’re working on, collaborate with clients, and prepare estimates and invoices in less than a minute.

This app, which runs on the cloud, lets you break down work in to-do lists, keeps your workflow organized, and encourages team collaboration. Sign up for free and you’ll be up and running in less than a minute, no setup required. You can also run Active Collab from your own server for a one-time fee.

Over 200,000 people use Active Collab, including design agencies, startups, large corporations, and freelancers. Try the 30-day free trial and see if Active Collab has everything you need.

 

Paymo

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If a tool that makes project management as easy as can be is a priority of yours, give Paymo a good, hard look. Paymo is an ideal choice for small to mid-size business teams. Customize its visual Kanban boards and Gantt charts to fit your workflow, and Paymo will help you schedule your tasks in logical, sequential steps.

Paymo’s dashboard is a genuine time-saver. It provides a real-time snapshot of project status, and of the time you’ve spent at work and working with your clients. Other project-related financial information can also be displayed. Paymo’s real-time collaboration feature is another huge time saver.

Pinnery

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The first step towards project success lies in its planning. Project planning is where Pinnery shines. If you can pin notes on a board, you can use Pinnery, and Pinnery provides an infinitely more organized approach. Place ideas in one column. When an idea is worth pursuing, place it in the next. Soon, you’ll have your plan; a color-coded, ordered list of project tasks.

Everything is kept organized, and everything can be shared with the parties involved. Collaboration among team members is also facilitated. No installation is required, and you can begin by using Pinnery for free.

 

Ending Thoughts

If you need an app to manage many design and project tasks from a single platform, try InVision. If you need one that allows you to share information without disrupting design sessions, Wake is worth a good, hard look.

Active Collab and Paymo offer excellent solutions for those experiencing project management and/or collaboration needs.

While with Pinnery, you can get your project planning activities off to a quick start. Most of these tools are well-suited for use by individual designers. All offer excellent solutions for project leaders and teams. The best way to determine which will work for you through a free trial. Since these apps are online, no special setups on your part will be necessary to try them out.

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