Every project manager has had to learn how to keep his or her teams on target when their workloads may be pulling them in dozens of different directions. In some cases, that may mean working with other PMs to prioritize projects, or helping team members get (and stay) organized as the work ramps up, or it may mean giving team members – who may live in different cities, states or countries – the tools they need to collaborate effectively. And while project prioritization skills will come through personal experience, there is intranet software available that can help you not only keep your teams organized and collaborative, but that will also allow you to communicate effectively with individuals and your teams.
Of course, not all intranet portal software is created equally, so let’s take a look at four tools to look for in an intranet solution.
In order to keep everyone on track, it’s important for your team to know who’s responsible for what, and when. In addition, you’ll also need to give your team information on how to contact other members, details on how to access important web pages or documents (especially if they’re password protected or on staging servers), have the ability to make important announcements or post reminders, etc. So, look for a company intranet that allows you to seamlessly create team pages that can be customized for your needs. This way, you’ll be able to house, and share important information in a central location.
Collaboration software should, first and foremost, make it easy for your team to work together. So choose a solution that allows you to give everyone access to the same files, documents, images, meeting notes, etc. By giving you the power to create libraries of documents, labeled in a way that makes sense for your project and your team, everyone can find the most up-to-date information on your project, review past iterations of deliverables, see current artwork, refresh their memories on project requirements and more.
An employee intranet portal should include the ability for your team members to create spaces where they can share and manage information – and work on files together. To that end, look for collaboration software that features things like threaded discussions, as well as surveys – which can help make meeting planning and/or decision-making easier, shared calendars, task lists, and meeting spaces and where you can house all of your meeting notes, documents and agendas, etc. Like meeting spaces, an intranet solution with a work space tool can allow specific team members, like a graphic designer and copywriter, to work on the same file in the same space, without overwriting the other's work, which can ultimately improve productivity.
Integrates with Existing Tools
No matter how much intranet portal software promises to improve your productivity and collaborative efforts, if it's challenging to use or requires you to replace your existing tools (like your word processing, spreadsheet, graphic design, and/or email tools), it may be difficult to convince your team to use it. In order to achieve the level of productivity and organization you need, look for an intranet solution that integrates well with the tools that your team already uses. This way, your organization won't need to purchase costly, and possibly less effective, programs, and your team won't have to endure a steep learning curve.
When it comes to collaboration software, it should be simple, seamless, and customizable – giving you and your team the things you need to work together as a whole, and in smaller groups. When you choose a solution that allows you to organize your files your way, use your existing tools, and gives you collaborative tools that make it easy for members to simultaneously work on files, share documents and information, and track important discussions, you'll achieve what every project manager wants – an organized, productive team.