Choosing a team management system is certainly no walk in the park. With so many options out there and so many factors at play, you can feel paralyzed by the options.
What’s more, with an increasing number of teams moving to home offices, your software should also guide you on how to manage a remote team.
Luckily for you, we've put together some of the key features you should be looking out for as you make your decision. Some of these will be extensions of features you already have on your radar, but others could be some you’d never even considered before.
So turn off Netflix and focus — it will save you a lot of time and work in the long run.
Whatever kind of team you’re managing, communication is going to be at the heart of your day-to-day. Whether it’s departmental meetings, quick-fire instant messages, or video conferences, every task you take on will involve it at some stage, so when you’re choosing a team management solution, make sure you have all the communication tools you need and more.
Remember to use your communication tools wisely. Keep task instructions to your project management tool, and use your instant messaging app for collaborative tasks — don’t overload it with unstructured thoughts.
One obvious part of your internal communication is meetings, and with the right team management software, you can make them productive and stress-free.
Preparation is key for your meetings. When you’re choosing a team management solution, look for one with shared documents so you can keep a running record of all your meetings that is easy for everyone to refer back to. You might also want to restrict access to your document to stop anyone from making any changes by mistake, so check your software has access rights.
Another factor that will go into your meetings involves the timing of your meetings. This is especially important when managing a remote team, where you can’t easily see people and check their availability.
Therefore, choosing a team management solution should always involve careful analysis of calendars. The best team management tools will allow you to have multiple calendars so you can organize your department, specific projects, your company as a whole, or anything else you need to follow. Add the appropriate subscribers to each of your calendars and make sure you can see everyone’s availability so you don’t surprise them with the dilemma of overlapped commitments.
Calendars will also come into play when you’re organizing your team’s tasks. Link your calendars to your project management tool with Gantt charts for a clear view of everybody’s work schedules.
Within your project management tool, you can assign tasks to your team and track the progress of your work. Add users to each project as subscribers and they’ll get notifications when changes have been made.
With one place for all the necessary documents and project-specific communication, project management capabilities should be high on your list for team management software.
By monitoring the time each task takes, you can make your project management even more precise. Time tracking is too often associated with micromanagement, but if used correctly, it can be an excellent tool for team management.
Firstly, if you have repeating processes, choosing a team management solution with time tracking will let you have a deep understanding of how efficiently your team can work. You can plan projects well ahead with a specific time attached to each task.
Another area where time tracking works really well is when managing a remote team of freelancers. Get them to punch in the hours they work and you can easily check their invoices at the end of the month.
Now you’ve organized your team, it’s time to organize yourself.
With so many things to do in your day-to-day, you shouldn’t be worrying about small, repetitive tasks. Using automations, you can take the stress out of remembering a hundred small tasks, and get your software to do its fair share of the work.
Your ideal project management tool should come with automation built in so you can automatically distribute tasks among your team, send automatic replies to clients, and approve time-off automatically.
Agile methodologies aren’t just the latest buzzword. After becoming part of daily life for tech teams, they’re now the approach of choice for all kinds of businesses. When you’re choosing a team management solution, check if the software allows you to use agile methods, because if you aren’t using them now, you might begin in the future.
One of the most common agile visualizations is the humble Kanban board. Often displayed as sticky notes on a wall, many products out there now offer dynamic, easy-to-use digital versions. This is a great work team management idea that everyone can immediately see — and your tasks won’t blow off the wall with a gust of wind.
Don’t forget your HR responsibilities
It’s not all about your tasks and responsibilities though. Work team management involves all the admin side too, and a powerful HR feature is a welcome addition to your arsenal of applications.
A lot of software only focuses on the project and task management side of things and neglects HR processes such as holiday approval, an online employee directory, an entire intranet, and more. You can really hold your team together with an onboarding process that lets your new recruits get up to speed as quickly as possible.
As you’ll have figured out now, there are a lot of features you can take into account when choosing a team management solution. Most project management, HR, and communication tools out there opt to specialize in one area which limits your capabilities and forces you to use clumsy integrations and processes to link them.
On the flip side, a lot of the tools that do combine all your features together are poor quality or come with an extortionate price tag.
However, options do exist that will give you an all-around team management tool without draining your budget. Bitrix24 is a seriously powerful option that checks all the boxes, and it’s absolutely free, so get started today!