Macronimous is in the web development business and has been, since its inception, in the remote working space. By default, as with most businesses like ours, client-centric communication is our key strength – the ability to communicate well and transform client visions into Internet reality.
A collection of solid social collaboration solutions takes advantage of an organization’s network by bringing together the people, data, and processes needed for improved engagement and informed decision making.
Our clients often introduce us to new tools that we, mostly, adopt to go further up our learning curve as an organization. One example was Zoom which a client introduced to us in 2013 that we had some early reservations about, at the time. The rest is history.
We use an eclectic mix of communication tools for web teams:
- E-mails – Probably seen as the snail mail of today, e-mails continue to serve an important purpose among which are correspondence regarding initial requirements and pre-sales questions. This also helps keep records of client communication at all stages of the project which eliminates confusion and increases transparency.
- Zoom, Google Meet – are quite similar in operation. Both have collaboration tools, share screen, breakout rooms, and support call-ins. The difference is with the overall price and the maximum number of participants that can join a meeting. These two conferencing tools are what our clients presently prefer, and they are, thus, the tools we work with. Like everyone, we at Macronimous started using them extensively, after the pandemic.
- Skype – This is seen as among the first VOIP systems to break traditional communication barriers. We use this to make quick calls before and during the project start. Skype also helps in the traditional area of phone calls; investing in a VOIP device with call recording is worthwhile. We have set up a Skype phone number in the USA; our local clients reach us while incurring no additional charges for international calls.
- Basecamp.com and Teamwork.com – We use web-based project management software as part of our box of remote team communication tools. They help ensure that everything is organized and our team continues to work seamlessly on multiple projects. They make both simple and complex projects easier to manage.
- Trello – For our clients who like Kanban boards, Trello works well. Trello is simple and good for smaller web projects. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable teams to organize and prioritize projects in a flexible way. It is easier to track – all on its dashboard – with easy-to-move cards-based navigation.
- Adobe XD – is a screen-based design tool that helps our developers effortlessly share interactive prototypes with team members and our clients. Our developers create all the screens in a web app flow letting our clients get a feel of the entire product.
The chances of client frustration are low as this process of visualizing the proposed product would reduce any scope creep or deviation. It saves us hundreds of hours per project by lessening the number of e-mail exchanges.
- Bugzilla – is a robust bug-tracking system that allows our teams of developers to keep track of outstanding bugs, enhancements, and other change requests in their products.
We are open, however, to adopting our client’s preference of any other web-based or locally installed equivalent bug tracking tool.
- Slack – is a collaboration hub that brings people, information, and tools together to get work done. It ranks among the most popular communication tools for remote web teams. We use Slack within our development team. However, not all our clients are ready to get onto Slack, so we adapt to their software of choice, where necessary.
- FreshBooks – is the application we use to invoice, record expenses, and track time. This is a simple but relatively expensive tool. Apart from Freshbooks, we are use Hiveage, which has many payment integrations other than PayPal.
There are many similar applications for payment receivables and payables operations. However, we work with FreshBooks as it is a standard for most of our clients.
Loom – this is a new and easy-to-use video messaging business tool that is gathering traction in this space. You can send a one-way video message the way you would send a text message using Loom. The video can include a recording of the screen for more technical/ visual topics along with voiceovers. It is free! We send our clients explainer videos, project flows, etc. via Loom and they provide feedback, similarly, thus saving hours of inputting text. For instance: to explain how to delete an image in a post in the WordPress block editor, we would create a video and send it to the client and then deal with the client’s feedback. When our communication with our clients has to be asynchronous without their presence for a screen share, Loom videos become visual documents.
When we work remotely on multiple projects that involve different stakeholders who are allocated their separate tasks, staying organized can be a challenge. However, we have created our effective working environment using a wide range of software that we optimize for our operations.