Online Project Collaboration

In the last magazine I had written about ways to share information and files online (article link). In particular, one of them was about project collaboration sites. Since then, there has been requests to elaborate on this subject matter, so consider this post a very late add on.

Functionalities of a project collaboration site will differ depending on the provider, but the gold standard should contain all of the following:

  • Project organization
    • Create projects and assign companies and or people to them
    • Decide who can see certain projects and who shouldn’t see them
  • The ability to allow for upload and download of large documents
    • For all those times when your large attachments results in a “talk” from your IT department
    • For all those times when your large attachments take as long as snail mail to arrive at it’s intended recipient
    • To help keep track of all the collateral flying around, especially if the project involves several people/companies
  • To do list
    • To keep everyone involved on top of things, even if they forget…
    • Due dates can be posted and emails are sent by the site as reminders
  • Timeline for the project
    • Can integrate with Microsoft Outlook (2007) to give more reminders
    • Things from the to do list can be part of the timeline
    • Can assign tasks with due dates from timeline to specific people just like the to do list
  • Organizing everyone involved in the project
    • Keep track of who’s been given the permission to which projects
    • Can even be used as a cloud stored contacts list
  • Visual customization
    • At the very least a logo to denote that this project collaboration site does indeed belong to your company
    • Often times the background color and font colors can also be customized to fit your corporate standards
    • Good for keeping company brand continuity (unless your company colors are white and light yellow)

Full disclosure: we do currently use Basecamp as our project collaboration site. However, many reviews I’ve encountered tout it as the gold standard; and no we do not receive discounts or free service as a result of my articles.