As a project manager (these days I often wear my Instructional Design hat, too) I’ve constantly challenged myself to explore ways to best foster collaboration on projects. Enspire is a flexible workplace so my colleagues work from locations that best meets their needs on a given day. I’ve found that the following three resources have been especially helpful in facilitating collaboration between team members that are a few feet away or continents apart:
- Google Docs is free and allows users to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online while collaborating in real-time with other users. At Enspire, we also use enterprise Gmail, Google Sites, Google Hangouts, and a host of other tools in the Google Apps constellation. All these resources have been tremendous assets to our teams and help us to serve our busy clients better.
- Lucidchart diagramming software is integrated with Google Drive and allows us to collaboratively organize thoughts with colleagues. The intuitive drag and drop functionality truly simplifies the experience of developing our client experience!
- Balsamiq wire framing software can be used to create representations of early-skeletal GUIs. The wireframes have an appearance of a pencil sketch and help in planning page layout. We also use Balsamiq as part of our proposal processes. Clients that see a pretty good mockup assembled for a proposal may assume that they’re looking at the real mccoy, while clients seeing Balsamiq’s deliberately “rough” renderings will see them as intended: a representation of ideas and an invitation to collaborate. Speaking of which, Balsamiq’a integration with Google Drive allows for collaboration between team members.
Collaboration tools have developed enormously over the past few years. What collaboration tools do you use in your workplace?