The technological developments which enable remote working are the cornerstone of successful remote collaboration. With remote work, there is no opportunity for casual conversation across the water cooler, or for colleagues to observe each other working. Nevertheless, thanks to technology, remote teams can be as productive as if they were in the office.
There is a tool for almost every situation that may arise while leading a dispersed team. The sheer quantity of options available now is staggering.
So, how can you figure out which project management solution would be the most useful for coordinating your globally dispersed teams?
The obvious solution is to go with a programme that caters specifically to your company’s requirements.
With such a vast array of project management solutions available in today’s market, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your needs. A great way to start narrowing down the options is to ask yourself certain questions about how you plan to use the tool. This will help you to identify which project management solution is most suitable for your requirements.
Here are ten things to consider before buying a project management software for a distributed team.
- Where do you find clients for your company’s projects? (artistic, manufacturing, software, human resources, printing, etc.)?
- It would be helpful to know the average scale of a project.
- To what extent do you juggle many tasks at once?
- If there are remote employees involved, how many people are working on each project at once?
- How does the process play out (is the work done and submitted, or is the full project done on a collaborative platform, or is it a mix of the two)?
- Do you use third-party providers who need to be kept informed?
- Do you send hourly invoices to your customers or pay your remote workers by the hour?
- What other software packages do you use (that your project management software will need to communicate with)?
- To what extent do you need the chat function of a project management application, and how about the invoicing capabilities?
- Costs associated with using a remote project management tool?
Tools for managing remote teams and their projects.
It is essential to consider the previously mentioned questions before settling on a final choice of project management software for a remote team. There are a variety of software solutions available, so it is important to ensure that the right one is selected.
A Minimalist Project or Enterprise
Basecamp: Basecamp is an ideal solution for any organisation that wants to give their remote teams the autonomy to work independently yet still maintain a high level of efficiency and communication. With Basecamp, remote teams can keep track of their individual projects, plan and assign tasks, and stay connected with one another. This platform is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, as it provides regular updates and automated check-ins at a fixed rate of £99 per month, regardless of the duration of the subscription.
Samepage: Samepage is a real-time editing and collaboration platform that connects with services such as Slack and Salesforce. It provides a range of features including video conferencing, file transfer, scheduling and electronic mail, and can be used in multiple languages, making it ideal for managing international teams. Subscribing to the Pro plan costs $7 USD per month per member, while the free version offers a substantial range of features for up to 10 users.
Quip: Quip is an ideal choice for any remote team looking for a flexible collaboration tool. It enables you to quickly share spreadsheets and write code, making it perfect for a variety of purposes from product development to sales, HR and recruitment. The Live Apps feature allows you to store all the related applications and software for a project in one convenient location. For a group of five people, the cost is $30 per month, with an additional fee of $10 for each additional person.
Wrike: If your organisation is in need of a system to manage multiple projects or requires a customised process, Wrike is an ideal solution. It provides the ability to monitor tasks, due dates and priorities, as well as providing the ability to track results and generate reports. There is a free trial period available and subscription options start from just £7.83 per month per user.
ActiveCollab: ActiveCollab is the ultimate tool for project management, offering everything you need to manage multiple projects from various locations. With its customisable workflows, allowing you to use Gantt-chart-like timelines, Kanban boards or simple lists, it’s easy to use and highly versatile. It also offers additional features such as timekeeping and billing. ActiveCollab is available as server-hosted or in the cloud, with a free trial available and monthly cloud hosting plans starting at $25.
Projects in zoho: It is not surprising that over one million businesses have chosen Zoho Projects to be their project management software of choice, due to its comprehensive range of features for online collaboration. Zoho Projects makes distributed team collaboration effortless, with powerful communication tools, document sharing, and insightful analytics. Furthermore, its mobile platform, compatibility with multiple programmes, and API support make it suitable for any organisation. There is also an affordable pricing plan starting from £25 for 20 projects.
Significant Enterprise or Task
Assembla: Assembla offers an effective solution for major organisations looking to migrate their operations to the cloud and integrate their work with the latest software such as Git and Jira, whilst also meeting rigorous security standards. Companies across a range of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare to video game development, can take advantage of the services Assembla provides. Every step of the process, from project creation to building and testing to deployment, is addressed within the platform, and monthly project management costs are set at just $7.50 per user.
Asana: If your business has multiple remote teams working on a variety of projects, Asana may be the perfect solution for you. It offers a comprehensive set of features, while also being intuitive and easy to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy. You can use Asana to assign tasks to team members, securely share confidential information, and even create templates to streamline routine tasks. Prices start from $9.99 per user per month, and there is also a free option for startups.
Collaboration Tasks: In larger organisations, teams often operate in silos, without knowledge of the activities of other departments. However, Teamwork Projects is the perfect solution for ensuring all teams can communicate with one another while acknowledging their interdependence. It also allows remote team members to understand their specific role in a project. This online collaboration tool has all the features you need, is secure and easy to use, and the Pro package starts from just £9 per user per month.
The Top Choice for Coders
Atlassian Jira Software: Jira is widely recognised as the leading choice of software engineers working in agile teams, as it offers a comprehensive solution for planning, tracking and deploying new software. The platform is highly customisable, enabling it to be adapted to any software development process, from the initial planning phase to the final bug-hunting. It is also suitable for teams using Scrum, Kanban or a Mixed Methodology, regardless of the team’s location or rate of expansion. Furthermore, Jira’s secure communication channels, extensive Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and over three thousand additional integrations make it the ideal choice for distributed development teams. For teams of 11-100, the monthly cost is $7 per user.
Dropbox Alternative: Atlassian BitBucket BitBucket is an ideal solution for organisations who need their remote developers to have access to Git repositories but also need to protect proprietary code. It offers a range of useful tools such as code review and inline comment, making collaboration on programming projects much easier. This platform is also highly scalable, meaning it can be used by both small and large teams. The cost for medium-sized teams is just $2.
GitHub: Working with GitHub enables developers to collaborate with one another, regardless of whether the software being used is proprietary or open-source. This type of platform can provide remote engineers with the assistance they require when working on their code, while also allowing project managers to keep track of individual contributions and the progress of a project as a whole. GitHub provides a centralised hub for assigning tasks, monitoring progress and sharing files, which can all be managed for a monthly fee of £21 for business users.
The Gold Standard for New Product Development
Productboard: Productboard is an exceptional product development solution, offering all the elements you would expect including a product roadmap, feature prioritisation and team, client and customer communication. What sets it apart from other platforms, however, is its ability to create a service or product in direct response to consumer needs and desires. The features of this software are designed to make your product as fail-safe as possible; they include customer feedback, the study of current trends and their relevance to your strategic objectives, and the analysis of competition to give your product an edge. For a monthly fee of $49 for up to 20 contributors and 5 projects, Productboard also offers a 15-day free trial.
Aha!: When developing a new product remotely, it is essential to have a system in place that allows for more than just an overview of the project but also enables the sharing of ideas, the gathering of feedback, and the implementation of these ideas. Aha! provides a comprehensive solution to all of these needs, and more, including the formation of a strategy and a visual roadmap for the development of the product. Additionally, Aha! helps to thoroughly explain the product, thus increasing its marketability. With regards to pricing, start-ups can take advantage of this tool for free, with premium subscriptions starting from $59 per month per user.
Best for Marketers and Creative Agencies
iMeet Central: iMeet Central (formerly Central Desktop) is an excellent solution for marketing teams and agencies who collaborate with numerous remote suppliers and creatives located in different time zones. It enables them to effectively manage campaigns, review creative work, and modify processes with ease. Furthermore, the iMeet Central REST API supports JSON-based integration, so you are able to incorporate it into your existing programmes. Marketers and advertising firms may subscribe to the service for a cost of $45.00 per user per month.
Ideal for Content Marketing to Other Businesses
Kapost: Creating content that is both relevant and useful is the foundation for any successful B2B marketing strategy. However, without the use of a project management platform such as Kapost, it can be difficult to keep up with the demands of producing large amounts of material. Kapost enables you to accelerate the generation of content, identify any content gaps, and ensure the right material is being distributed to the right leads. It is a platform specifically designed for teams to collaborate on a document, communicate their progress, and give and receive feedback in real-time. The cost of the service is $3,500 per month.
Advantageous to Service Providers
Scoro: Scoro is an all-encompassing software solution designed to assist service providers and creative companies in project, resource and financial management. With an emphasis on remote working, Scoro provides the perfect platform to keep track of all elements of a business, such as the facility to set custom rates, generate quotes for projects and distinguish between billable and non-billable tasks. For those looking to take advantage of the comprehensive suite of features, monthly fees start from just £22.
Recommended for Artists and Craftspeople
Abstract: Abstract is an innovative platform which enables designers to work collaboratively, share their sketch files, get feedback from other professionals, and promote their final designs. By using Abstract, modifications to designs are fast and easy, and all changes are automatically saved, allowing users to seamlessly combine different versions of their work. Abstract provides the perfect tools to work together on design projects, whether it’s a team of visual designers, front-end developers, or campaign storyboarders. The subscription cost for each contributor begins at just $9 per month.
Ideal for New Buildings and Renovations
In the Studio of mydoma: Mydoma Studio is an all-encompassing platform that allows interior designers to streamline their projects with features such as creating a creative brief, sourcing goods from multiple websites, keeping clients up-to-date and monitoring progress reports. For a one-off fee of just $59, all users can benefit from this comprehensive system.
Prioritizing Time Management
Teamweek: If effective time management for a team is a priority, Teamweek is the ideal solution. By understanding how much work your team is already undertaking and when they anticipate completion, you can more efficiently allocate resources to new projects. The application is based on a comprehensive calendar, giving you a quick overview of the projects and teams assigned. It is free for up to 5 users, with certain restrictions, and there are four different pricing tiers available, starting from just £34 a month for a group of 10.
Agile Methods for Managing Complex Projects
Flow: This project management application is an excellent choice for those looking to manage their projects and campaigns in an easily understandable way. Flow can provide assistance for both large-scale projects, single resource work and for those just wanting a comprehensive overview of progress. Furthermore, for just a monthly fee of $16, it can cover up to three users.
Most Cost-Effective and Totally Free Alternatives
Freedcamp: If you are just beginning to manage projects, Freedcamp may be a great choice. Not only is it easy to use, but it also offers a wealth of helpful tools at no additional charge. From file sharing and editing to application integration, backup, white label work, password protection, and invoicing, you can keep your team working efficiently and cover all the necessary bases. The basic plan is free of charge, but if you require more features there are premium options available.
Paymo: With Paymo, you can rely on a comprehensive suite of tools for successful online collaboration, task scheduling, time tracking and cost management. From Gantt charts to Kanban boards, Paymo offers the resources needed to help ensure that projects are efficiently managed and that distributed teams can keep track of progress. Furthermore, you can enjoy all of these benefits at a highly competitive price of only £4.45 per user per month.
Simplest to Operate
Redbooth: Redbooth is a project management application which offers a range of functions comparable to other applications of its kind. This, combined with its core capabilities, makes it an excellent choice for small businesses undertaking straightforward tasks. What makes Redbooth unique is that it provides each member of the team with their own virtual office. Premium plans are available from just $9 per user per month.
Emphasis on Appearance
Trello: Kanban boards enable a clear visualisation of progress on projects, which makes Trello a great tool for managing multiple tasks. Through the delegation of tasks to team members, setting of deadlines and the ability to rearrange boards, Trello makes it straightforward to manage any project. Furthermore, Trello’s integration with other programmes such as Jira and BitBucket allows for seamless communication between teams. Although the basic plan is free, commercial options that include extra features such as app integration start at £9.99 per user per month.
Monday: Monday is an intuitive project management platform that provides an overview of all of your associated tasks in one convenient location. With Monday, it is easy to identify who is responsible for a task, and when it should be completed, all with a single glance. The platform is equipped with all the features you need to efficiently manage your project, from staying connected with your team to keeping your customers in the loop. The most affordable option for a monthly subscription is just $25.
Slack: Slack is an exceptionally useful tool for enhancing project management efficiency, enabling teams to remain connected and collaborate on projects, despite distance. With the help of tools such as Screenhero, multiple members of a team can work together on the same project simultaneously. Furthermore, as chats are archived and easily accessible, this promotes greater transparency and trust within a group. Small teams have the ability to use Slack for free, while premium subscriptions start from just £5.50 per month.
Stride: Stride from Atlassian is the ideal solution for those who place a high degree of importance on communication and collaboration within their project management. This latest release from Atlassian has been highly anticipated and is designed to enable team members to interact and collaborate, whether through group discussions or one-on-one conversations. With Stride, there is no need to rely on cumbersome emails or long chat sessions, as audio and video conferences can be used instead. Additionally, notifications can be disabled when users need to concentrate. The basic plan is free, while the premium plan, which includes additional features, is available for $3 per user per month.
“G suite”: G Suite is an increasingly popular choice for project teams who need to keep everyone, both internal and external, up to date with the progress of their work. Its suite of tools, including email, Google Docs, Drive, Calendar and Hangouts, enable easy collaboration and with Google’s Admin and Vault features, your data is kept secure. The most cost-effective monthly subscription package starts at just £5 per person.
Superlative in Every Way
In the Atlassian Confluence, you may… Confluence is a popular choice for businesses when compared to other project management platforms, with notable users including NASA and Spotify. This is due to its compatibility with a host of other programmes, such as Jira, that extend its functionality. Additionally, Confluence is user-friendly and comes with a range of powerful features, making it an ideal choice for organisations that wish to create a knowledge base, manage multiple teams simultaneously or complete various other tasks at a competitive price. For organisations with 11-100 members, the cost per user is just $5 per month.
If you are uncertain as to which project management software is the best fit for your distributed teams, you are welcome to try out a few options. Most of these programs offer free trials, so you can experiment and decide which one is the most suitable. However, it is important to remember that any project management tool is only as effective as the results it helps you to achieve. If everyone who is using the platform is not familiar with it, it is important to provide training to ensure the best possible results. If the current tool you are using is not working as expected and you are struggling to find an alternative, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always available to provide support in finding the best platform for your distributed teams.