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One of the most vital elements of project management is being able to effectively communicate with your team. If your band of brothers are scattered, the art of communication becomes even more crucial. Many Project Managers are under the illusion that a distributed team begs for a costly ‘bells and lights’ zillion pound video conferencing system to keep tuned into the progress of every member but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many project managers work effectively using free or low cost forms of communication. This article examines some of those methods. The Skype’s the limit Talk is cheap, in fact, it is free. With Skype, you can set up instant chat and telephone communication in just a few minutes. If team members also have Skype, then all of your communication is free. This is a great tool for contacting team members any time of the day, even if the user is not online as you can leave a message which will be read as soon as they sign in. Whether your team is scattered far and wide or within a huge office block, Skype gives you the freedom to stay at your desk, focused on your tasks whilst you communicate with Jackie in Engineering who is based on the fifth floor. For projects which demand quick turnaround and precision timing, VOIP communication is the perfect way to make use of every minute as it gives you the chance to relay information to your team when you need to, thus enabling you to quickly manage your task force without even having to rise from your chair. Be in two places at one time Desktop control software is an excellent resource which equips you with a remote desktop version of any PC that you wish to access. A great way to keep all information at your fingertips, even if you have different data stored on other PCs, so there is no need to worry if you forgot to print out that project plan from your laptop. You can even access your desktop from your Blackberry or iphone and thus, have full control over your project even when you are on the move. Now you can log into PCs of team members and assist them with a problem, monitor their performance or staff training. This all happens in real time so your team members can actually watch you manipulating your mouse on their PCs, as they look on! If your project is likely to encounter a lot of troubleshooting then this free tool is the perfect way to keep everyone brushing along nicely. All together now Gather your team in one place for meetings, online presentations or demos using web conferencing software. There are many webinar resources which give you the freedom to bring everyone together in one place at one designated time. Make use of your webcam and speak face to face with your colleagues even if some are on the other side of the world! You need never have to pay to go to a meeting again. You can even record events and store them for your reference or for your team to review at a later date. Great for anyone who was unable to attend as everything is captured and can be viewed with just a few mouse clicks. Share and share alike Yes, it most certainly is with Google Docs. This is another free tool which gives you the freedom to compile, upload documents and share them with your chosen team members. A great way to network as participants can view and make alterations to documents simultaneously. Document revisions keeps you informed of which members have made changes and alert you to the time that changes were actioned. Nothing to download, with GoogleDocs your documents, presentations and spreadsheets are always just a log in away. Day by day With Yahoo Calendar or Google Messenger, this is certainly true. Setting up emails with either of these two accounts will equip you with a shareable calendar, thus keeping your team aware of deadlines, tasks and events. As Project Manager, you can keep a schedule of your appointments or forthcoming events and add any long or short notes to jog your memory as the date approaches. Create a happy space With WikiSpaces you most definitely can. Build yourself a private environment where you can rest safe in the knowledge that all of your data will be shared either privately, publicly or in protected mode. Decide which team members are able to access relevant information. Upload anything you wish to share and carry on with your own duties, assured that the information has been sent securely using an SSL encrypted server. Totally free, giving you the freedom to quickly answer questions, get fast answers or just participate in online discussion with your entire team. The list could go on, but the above is just a small example of the free or low cost facilities available online to make project management a breeze. With tools such as these readily available, you truly can manage all of your project requirements from one centralised location, allowing you to drive your team members in real time. Use them to stop any team friction as you can collaborate, participate, communicate and stay accounted for everyone’s actions as you view, assign, schedule and observe every move from your own personal control centre. Try taking advantage of some of these facilities and you will never miss a step in your project milestones again. 相关的主题文章: