1. Efficient Project Collaboration Tools

    collab-tools

    Over the years, BLUETUX has tried many different project management and collaboration tools to streamline and speed up communication and sharing in our projects. Unfortunately, no one uses tools the same way, or thinks the same way, so it’s taken a long time for us to whittle down to an efficient set of tools.

    Project Communication

    In 2006, we started using Basecampto manage our projects. It allowed for assigned tasks, timelines, messages and some simple file sharing abilities. On the whole, the company was relatively slow in adopting Basecamp simply because we didn’t have a properly defined management  process that was firmly enforced.

    When you are a young company, policies and procedures often fall by the wayside because everyone is busy working on a project — trying to get billable work in. However, if a company is to grow and mature beyond that initial startup “rush” then they must refine processes, create procedures and organize the flow of information and materials.

    It wasn’t till early 2007 that we were firmly entrenched in using Basecamp to manage our projects. Team members were responsible to outline their daily to-do list with short, actionable items that they could check-off or update as the day progressed.

    In 2008 and 2009, Signals37 started to really update Basecamp to make it extremely easy for different team members to converse about any part of a project, all the way down to a specific to-do item.

    We’re now using Basecamp to track our Leads, track project milestones, development and design processes, and even share comps with our clients.

    File Sharing

    Another invaluable collaboration tool we use is DropBox — a small program that allows people to sync files quickly over the internet between computers. People who share their dropbox can make changes and have those changes reflected almost immediately on the other computers.

    DropBox syncs only part of a file that where changed instead of the full file. In most cases only a few bytes of changed data is moved between computers making the process completely

    Our team uses DropBox to share design comps, and project files between all computers on the network. We often keep project estimates and brainstorming in the dropbox initially to allow you quick and easy access to project notes from any computer and without having to drag or copy files before heading out to a meeting.

    Disclaimer

    I wasn’t paid by the DropBox or Basecamp teams to write this email. I simply wanted to highlight some very useful tools that some of my customers and others might find useful and to highlight our process for project management and collaboration.