Did you ever wonder how to work efficiently with your offshore team. I am sure you wish to have some better mechanisms than simple emails back and forth. When you like your customers to interact with your team, without spending much of your time, But at the same if you can monitor the projects without much of your efforts, I am sure you to need invest on some Web collaboration applications.
Web collaboration tools normally consist of a list web based applications which are capable of making people work together via internet. Such set of tools will simplify the communication and information exchange. For example a project team in different locations can work together with Web collaborative tools. Such tools normally consist of shared access to project files, share calendars, schedules and plans. They can have online discussions, share whiteboards and documents.
See my favorite tools below, But I recommend you to evaluate them before you start using them.
1. BaseCamp: Basecamp is a web based project management and collaboration tool, designed for small businesses, lawyers, publishers, manufacturers, and offshore web developers and outsourcing agencies. It has a very clean and interactive web based interface. It presents the clients and projects on one screen, you can make lists, add items, assign responsibility, upload files, categorize, sort and track versions. Message boards keep your communication centralized with no shooting emails back and forth. You can start practicing it with their 30-day free trial.
2. dotproject: This is a opensource application, written by several users, and it has the following features.
- User Management
- Email based trouble Ticket System, (Integrated voxel.net’s ticketsmith)
- Client/Company Management
- Project listings
- Hierarchical Task List
- File Repository
- Contact List
- Discussion Forum
- Resource Based Permissions
3. Twiki: Twiki, a flexible, powerful, and easy to use enterprise wiki, enterprise collaboration platform and knowledge management system. It is a Structured Wiki, typically used to run a project development space, a document management system, a knowledge base, or any other groupware tool, on an intranet or on the internet. Web content can be created collaboratively by using just a browser. Twiki also has several plugins such as, Actiontracker, Calender, Chart etc.
4. GoPlan: GoPlan! has number of collaborative features like Track project progress through task management, calendaring, note sharing and issue tracking. Additionally, real-time in-browser chat lets you converse with team members. Goplan also has developer API which allows you to integrate our system to the rest of your infrastructure.
There are number of free, paid script, and paid hosted solutions available, finding the one for your team and making your client to use it would be a bit challenging initially. But once when you start using it, you will make everyone in your team proud of you.
When you plan to outsource to India, or planning to work with a remote development team like us, these tools make make our colloboration easier on information, project details and file sharing.