Mode 5 is all about finding the best tools to make your team as productive and effective as possible. There are tools for everything – from project management and virtual communication to ad planning and analytics. The key, is to find the tools that work for your teams and projects and integrate them into your daily workflow.
Since there are so many different types of tools out there, let’s focus on a few we like for project management. The goal of your suite of management tools should be to keep the team on track and clients updated on the status of the project. Here is a brief intro to a few of our favorites.
Now on its 3rd major release, Basecamp is a great tool for project updates, file sharing, and to-do tracking. For every client, we set up a Basecamp project, provide a written introduction for our team, share all important files (logos, brand guidelines, etc.), and set up our work schedule. From there, we use Basecamp as our main tool for client communications. Since everything is organized in discussions, it’s easy to find the information you need at any point in the project. Through much trail and error, we’ve found Basecamp to be most effective for large client updates instead of daily internal chatting about a specific deliverable or question.
Slack came on the scene in a big way in 2015 and became the daily tool we rely on most for project management. We set up each client with its own channel and invite all assigned team members to participate. Every day, we can ask questions, chat about ideas or discuss any roadblocks the team is running into. Slack combines the convenience of instant messaging with the transparency of being able to discuss things as a group.
Another tool that rose to prominence in 2015 was Invision. In the last year, Invision has become the only way we share design with clients. Since it allows you to easily create clickable prototypes, clients can click through the site design and leave comments. All without any development being done. If your design team is not using Invision yet, we highly recommend it.
Once we get into development, we use Trello to organize all tasks, no matter how small or large. Each section of the site gets its own cards with checklists. This has been a great tool for our developers to have a clear view of the work ahead. Once a task is handled, it is moved to a Review group for another team member to QA. If it passes QA, it moves on to the Completed group. If not, it goes back to the In-Progress section (with detailed notes) for the developer to address again. We typically do not provide clients with access to Trello but use it more as an internal tool.
Know another great tool we should be using for project management? Leave it in the comments and we’ll check it out.