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Today there are just as many virtual teams working on projects and jobs from various locations around the globe as there are face-to-face working in the same building at the same time. Keeping every member of your team on the same page and up to date is at best a challenge and at worst a nightmare. Areas which present challenges to getting everyone on a team in sync include communication, scheduling and information sharing. What solutions are available for aiding communication and collaboration for groups and teams who need to stay connected wherever they may be?
Fortunately there are many choices available to assist in online team collaboration. These sites serve as communication and collaboration "meeting places" where groups of all sorts can interact as a virtual team. Basecamp, Staction, 5pm, SmartSheet and Member Hub are but a few of the choices available which provide team members the ability to come together as a unified entity. MemberHub co-founder, Matt Harrell says, "Effective communication is essential to any organization!"
Matt gives his top five benefits to using project collaboration and communication applications:
- It keeps everyone informed and ensures that vision and goals are shared
- Communication channels are clear and everyone knows how to reach the group and each other
- Members feel more connected and have a greater sense of community
- It encourages participation and sharing of ideas, which leads to refinement of objectives
- Instant communication to user's cell phones with text messaging can save much time
Features offered by these communication and collaboration applications include Group Discussion Areas, Access to Member Contact Information, Ability to Make Announcements and Provide Progress Updates, Schedule Events and Reminders and Share Files and Photos. Each service presents the information in a unique manner and the degree of detail varies from application to application. Matt suggests that his users appreciate a clean and easy to use interface - why visually complicate while trying to simplify a process?
According to Matt, "MemberHub provides a single place for member-driven organizations, like churches and nonprofits, to connect with their members in secure online hubs." While organizations will certainly benefit from Memberhub, those features that make it ideal for them are the very features that can assist your team tackle its collaboration challenges. Each member of a team can be in and remain in the loop as updates are available for all who need to see. Whenever a meeting is scheduled, new ideas are offered or any other pertinent information becomes available, members can have access to it.
Rather than suffering from miscommunication, missed deadlines or missed opportunities, get your team working like a well-oiled machine with a project collaboration application. The better informed each individual member is, the more your team can move forward with the job at hand without the excuse of, "But I didn't know…"
What hinders your team's communication and collaboration efforts?
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