January 17, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Benefits of Using Nuvro Project Management Software

By Adrian DeGus

Nuvro project management softwareEvery company struggles to manage projects and teams effectively. From small startups with tight deadlines to large conglomerates making long-term strategic moves, they all need to balance resources with requirements, and future work with current operations. In my experience with this whole range of environments, I’ve had varying degrees of success with project management tools. I’ve used big, cumbersome legacy tools and compared them with small, simple, free apps.

Nuvro, a new option that was recently released, promises to offer a balance. I’ve been trying it out, and it has a great, clean interface, but also intuitive options to get all the way down into the details. Nuvro is sleek like Asana, but has Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) features similar to Wrike. Teams of all sizes can reach peak performance using Nuvro as their tool of choice.

The tools I have experience using all include task assignment, organization, and tracking. Most of them consolidate project management and collaboration, not always with the most effective result. They have a lot of similarities, which helps becoming familiar with them. I have several frustrations with the options on the market today, and they all seem to share those frustrations, as well. Nuvro offers a fresh look, solving several of my frustrations.

As with most modern software, no one person or office uses every single function available. There is some degree of customization just by focusing on those PM features important to your organization. Nuvro, likewise, has numerous features, and here are the most important and game-changing for me and my organizations.

Elegant Design and Aesthetic

Nuvro Project Management softwareProjects, tasks, and task details are the first thing you see when opening Nuvro. Each is neatly organized in its own column, to get a quick overview. Each shows progressively more detail, and the amount of detail is selectable. Specifically, the project folders in the left-most column can be expanded and collapsed to your preference. The middle tasks column is high-level, while the right column with task details gives you the opportunity to address more immediate or short-term concerns.

I was quickly able to start a list of tasks, and see the convenience of the main page layout. Every single feature is not immediately visible, but that is actually preferable to many project management layouts. You have what you need, when you need it, and can quickly navigate throughout the site to find a plethora of options.

Nuvro is one of the few that gets the subtleties of an activity feed. I have used many project management tools that flood their executive displays with distracting, irrelevant activity feeds. Technical support might need a full audit trail of activity, which Nuvro provides, but we don’t all need to see it all of the time. Nuvro makes it available with a simple click of a tab in an expanded view for clarity. This is just one example of the right information at the right time.

Throughout the modules of Nuvro, this thoughtfulness for end users comes to light. There is great flexibility, while making the default view the most useful and intuitive one. I appreciate Nuvro treating me as a professional, with mature processes and practical demands for workflow management.

Workload and Availability Views

Nuvro project management softwareWhen I logon to Nuvro, it shows project folders and tasks. It also shows me a calendar of my assigned tasks organized by due date. This is convenient, because I can concentrate on those that are overdue or shortly due.

Often, the short-term tasks are paused, or have dependencies that do not include me on the critical path. Then, I can focus on tasks due in the next week or later, and begin to complete my portion of those duties. It makes sense to see immediate concerns up front, followed by less pressing issues.

Nuvro is leading by example in this area. Not only for myself, but for each of my teammates, these dashboards allow us to coordinate and plan for competing workloads. We can attend team meetings to discuss who has slack in the schedule and who is overworked. Our management can redistribute the load based on a simple layout that is consistent across the team.

Integrated Messaging

There are numerous time management and relationship management techniques for optimizing email, because many people get overwhelmed with it. Messages get lost, associates feel ignored, or opportunities are missed.

Nuvro improves on the old idea of email. It connects to tasks to make sure things don’t get forgotten, and limits the audience to only those already on my project team. I can concentrate on project details in Nuvro, and switch gears when I have to address the real world.

The methods and techniques you learn for managing your Inbox can be useful in Nuvro, but they should no longer be necessary. With its integrated solution, Nuvro messages are directly connected to calendars, coworker dependencies, and tasks.

Performance Views

Nuvro project management softwareNuvro presents organization and individual performance information in a unique and novel format. Unlike any other tool I have used, Nuvro tracks performance in real-time, visible to the appropriate levels of the organization hierarchy. As with workload, managers can access this information in a consistent format across our teams. Performance dashboards show current productivity as a predictor of future results.

Managers can spot problems with individuals, make corrections, and establish team goals. Executives can use the performance information to evaluate teams and the entire organization. My organization is competitive in a friendly way, so executives sometimes challenge teams to push relative performance above each other.

The standard format of these charts allows management to compare and discuss issues across the organization. Tech support managers can discuss underperforming teams with engineering. As a group, managers can compare best practices for improving performance with a full history. This history can be aligned with major management style changes to identify when effective behavioral measures started and finished.

Maximum Organization

If you’re like most of us, you have brilliant ideas for how to organize your life, but the execution of those ideas leaves you sometimes disappointed. Some of us use sticky notes. Some use cell phones. Some use personal assistants, whether paid or unpaid, such as overworked spouses and family members.

Nuvro offers to consolidate that information, too. Instead of feeling disconnected at your desk, it has helped me realize my job is where I can reach the pinnacle of organization and scheduling. The todo list app is invaluable for projects as well as personal items.

To Do lists stay private from your associates, so you can feel free to include sensitive information. Of course, that is limited to compliance with any applicable laws and regulations. It helps me to see work To Do items for the beginning of my day organized next to extracurricular items for later. That way, I can remember to pickup snacks for sports on the way out of work, and I don’t need someone to bug me about it constantly from home.

Smart File Sharing and Collaboration

Like a network share drive, Nuvro’s online document manager hosts files that are common to the organization and team. Due to its tight integration, however, I find that I prefer keeping files in Nuvro. That way, I don’t have to open a separate window to upload or check on someone else’s uploads.

At the organization level, we stay consistent by maintaining:

  • Letterhead templates with the official emblem and approved formatting. This is the “blessed” version, and always current.
  • Company handbook for employees. We can use the comments to record that everyone does a bi-annual review.
  • Business development and sales decks. Since sales teams are constantly travelling, they need online collaboration more than most.

Feeling anchored with a flexible tool

Nuvro has helped inspire confidence that we have a firm grasp our projects, our progress, and our future. At the management level and the executive level, we feel more secure in citing precise numbers for individual projects, employees, and the organization overall.

Nuvro helps me personally feel settled, since I can focus my efforts on one tool, instead of multi-tasking through various software, apps, and mobile and desktop formats. The front line of the company can also relax, since I approach them less often for reports. When they periodically update the Nuvro site on their specific responsibilities, we can see that information rolled up at the top level.

Nuvro has improved the morale of our teams, and helped change corporate culture. It highlights the shared responsibilities of the team, but also frees diligent members from catching flak if a couple coworkers are causing the team to perform below average. We can use the performance graphs to identify precisely which parts of the team need corrective action.


Nuvro has built the better mousetrap. Although it’s inconceivable that email or spreadsheets will ever be replaced, they are constantly supplemented by tools that excel at their specific responsibilities. Nuvro does several things better than other PM tools, and integrates all of its features very tightly.

About Nuvro:

Nuvro makes online project management surprisingly easy with the mission to help you and your team improve work efficiency by providing easy, intuitive, enterprise-grade project management software.

PMO are you Looking for PPM Software with a Difference?

Today I would like to introduce an interesting concept, the democratization of project management. What this means, is to ensure that professionalized project management is no longer a privilege available to only a few.

It’s based on providing access to all organizations – regardless of size – to professional, organized and simple project management. It must be equally accessible to a certified specialist as it is to someone who has never heard of PMI, for example. This is according to ITM Platform, providers of a Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Software with a difference.

The democratization of project management consists of bringing to everyone what was previously only accessible to the largest players. How has this philosophy made ITM Platform different from other PPM software?

ITM Platform PPM software

How ITM Platform differentiates itself

  1. We facilitate use of the system by everyone involved in the projects.Clarity and ease-of-use are not incompatible with a system that offers comprehensive features. Our efforts are focused on offering a complete and user-friendly system that adapts to your company and product. The market contains some very simple and visual tools, but they fall short in terms of functional characteristics. Others are highly comprehensive but entirely unusable.
  2. We offer deployment periods for our solutions that range from five minutes to four days.Other solutions with comparable feature sets range from six months to one year. We achieve this with a native cloud-based model, a series of predetermined configurations that facilitate start-up and user-friendly and easy-to-understand training materials.
  3. We provide the complete freedom to complete a deployment without the need for consultants.Having to contract another organization to launch a tool at your own imposes limitations. Consultants should only be necessary when they are going to provide methodological value, when they are going to help transform the organization or transfer knowledge.
  4. We offer all the features you could wish for, but delivered in an intelligent fashion without requiring clients to follow steps that are not natural for their organization and without restrictions that add nothing to the project.
  5. And, above all, we are accessible in terms of price.We have made great efforts to create a “fat-free” company with only what is absolutely essential for delivering what our clients need.

This is how to make project management accessible to all. The concept of project management democratization goes beyond the tool itself. PM knowledge is shared also via regular publications and webinars.

PPM Tool Selection

When selecting a tool, go for an option that offers value to both project managers, program managers, and the portfolio team. While many PPM tools offer a great value for the latter, they may be difficult to adopt for the basic project planning needs of ‘accidental’ project managers, and perhaps add even less value to team members.

The less attractive a tool is for project teams, the worse the quality of project data. This means that you should look for a tool that allows for easy project planning and execution: not just portfolio management and Business intelligence.

If you would like to try ITM Platform for yourself, please visit PPM Software here.

Agile? 3 Benefits of Managing your Projects with Eylean Board

By Dovile Miseviciute

Within the fast paced world we live in today, staying on top of things is one of the most important and most difficult goals we give ourselves. Whether it is in our personal or our professional lives, we often find it challenging to keep up with the latest information, understand the whole picture and to make the right decisions fast. The good news is – we have tools like Eylean Board, to help us stay on track and see our projects to completion with ease.

Like many other great products, the story of Eylean Board starts with a small group of people struggling to find a tool that would fit their needs and like many others before them, deciding to create one of their own. Five years later, the small group of people is known as the team of Eylean, the tool is called Eylean Board and it is used by teams all over the globe.

You may wonder what is it that makes Eylean Board so great? Amongst multiple layers of projects, tasks and subtasks, time tracking, reports and integrations, there are three key benefits that put this software on top.

#1 Visual boards to represent every important detail

Eylean Visual boardOne of the most important things in project management is being able to see both the big picture and the important small details. However, analyzing the details takes time and thus we are left to rely on our team to give us the information. Needless to say, many things get lost in translation this way and we end up struggling to make the right decisions.

With Eylean Board however, the important small details are right there in the big picture. You can see who is working on which tasks, how much time they have taken, what problems they are facing and monitor the due dates represented in color-coded notifications on the board. And if you want to know more – simply expand the task details to see descriptions, commentary, attachments and more.

#2 A tool that is easy to use

Eylean Task detailsBeing able to understand and use the software immediately is another big problem companies are facing today. Introducing a new tool to your team usually means hours of training, followed by weeks of confusion and the wait for actual results that may never come.

The beauty of Eylean Board is that the whole user interface is based on intuition. Tasks can be moved, assigned and tracked all with a simple drag and drop. The software is self-explanatory and the ability to modify the board gives you an opportunity to duplicate your previous solution in order to have a smooth transition period for all. Contrary to some other tools, Eylean Board can be used by developers, sales, marketing, finance and any other department in a company at the same time.

#3 Latest project management methods at your fingertips

Eylean Agile templatesLastly, you need an innovative tool to keep up with project management practices that are moving forward. Eylean Boards is just that – you will find templates for Scrum, Kanban and Scrumban boards or will be able to create your own templates modifying and improving the Agile methods to be just right for you. Furthermore, the Eylean team is fully emerged in following the latest Agile trends and can help guide your Agile journey.

Eylean Board is an intuitive and easy to use project management software that allows your team to realize their potential. Intrigued? Start the two-week free trial with no strings attached.

About the author: Dovile is the marketing manager at Eylean. She has been actively immersed in the Agile project management field for two years by working within the methodology and writing a blog about the newest trends and shifts in the industry.

10 Reasons Why There Is Always Need Of Project Management

By Shikha Menwal 

10 Reasons Why There Is Always Need Of Project ManagementAt some point you might have wondered: “Do I really need a project management for my company?” Well, project management is to business what food is to the body. The former is integral to the survival of the latter. So, there goes your answer! But what really makes project management such a crucial tool for thriving in the industry? The reasons are plenty, but here are some major points that make project management such a critical ingredient in the recipe for entrepreneurial success.

#1 To avoid the likelihood of reworking!

Who doesn’t like to get things done in the very first go? We all want to avoid reworking the same thing. According to a survey conducted by Carnegie Mellon, 70% – 85% of the total rework cost in projects occur due to the failure to specify all the requirements during the analysis phase. Also, 25%-40% of money gets wasted as a result of having to redo a major chunk of work.

Project management encourages collaboration. Collaboration helps enlist all the requirements right in the beginning when details are discussed. You can avoid do-overs altogether and get it right the very first time.

#2 Getting off on the right foot!

No one likes to hear things such as ‘could have’, ‘would have’, ‘should have’. With a strong work foundation, you won’t have to hear such statements. Project scope definition, statement of purpose, identifying business risks and limitations, and defining the objective of project; all this is part project management and will ensure that you get off on the right foot. Business analysis and project management let you make necessary adjustments in the plan and see if the scope of a project sounds feasible or not.

#3 Exercising control over change!

When running projects, get ready to deal with many changes in requirements because things are never as simple as they seem. This is where change management philosophy comes in. It allows managers to find an exhibit through various conflicting priorities. They are able to seamlessly integrate new changes into ongoing activities without disrupting the flow of work.

#4 Improved communication at all levels

According to one of the studies conducted by PMI, it has been observed that around 90% of problems in most projects arise due to lack of communication. With right project management, teams get to know their responsibilities, priorities, and what is expected from them. It would lay down simple and effective channels of communication. It helps to align everyone’s understanding of overall work.

#5 Documenting successes and failures

Learning never stops! This is the prime focus of project management. Project reviews documents the highlights where teams have excelled and the areas where they could have performed better. As the project reaches completion, both positives and negatives can be documented for future reference. A project manager would know which mistakes to avoid and what practices should be implemented that proved successful in the past. It’s like implementing learnings from one project for future endeavours.

#6 Selecting the optimal course of activities

There can be multiple ways to achieve the same output! But, a project manager needs to know which way is the most optimal one. A project is about implementing a series of activities in succession. But, which course of action is likely to have least possible constraints and challenges? Project management answers such questions and enables you to select the most optimal series of activities in the right sequence.

#7 For maintaining focus

Focus is the essence that makes the impossible possible. Someone who knows the art of project management inside out will keep everyone focused by helping them see the bigger picture. Project management leads the team towards the end goal. It wards off unnecessary distractions that team members might face. It’s the way to making sure that each and every thing in the process is properly planned, documented, and completed on schedule.

#8 Time and budget limit

Any project execution is challenging, because it needs to be done within certain constraints. Project managers define the deadlines and decide how much cost is likely to be incurred. Project management is about achieving goals while staying within the said timelines and budget.

#9 Keeps everyone posted!

We know that projects happen to be multi-dimensional. Several departments work collectively for the attainment of common goals. Lack of coordination brings chaos, which is the last thing a project needs. Project managers coordinate work across all the departments and ensure everyone is aware of the progress. When everyone is on the same page, communicating changes and discussing further details becomes easier.

#10 Prepares everyone for the unforeseen events

Projects are bound to come across multiple challenges and risks. Project management prepares everyone to handle most unexpected happenings in the most natural way. Being prepared for anything will keep you going in the right direction.

In conclusion, by inculcating project management principles and theories, project managers can streamline all the tasks and guide teams to work collectively towards a single goal.


About the Author: Shikha Menwal is a writer at ProofHub. Her academic credentials include a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences. From lifestyle, to technology, and management, etc. she has written about myriad of industries in her writing career during the last three years.

Unconventional Uses for Gantt Charts

By Matthew Jagiello

Gantt charts are already very well-known among project managers around the world. They are de facto an industry standard, used by thousands of companies and institutions – if not far more! SoftwarePlant has looked at some of their clients to see whether Gantt charts can be used in a creative way, in industries very foreign to classic management and businesses themselves. The results are stunning!


Everyone used to be a child at some point in time. This leads us to schools. Remember all these lesson plans, charts of teachers’ free days, duty hours, announcements, etc? Most likely your school was doing all of this using only a printer (or even pen and paper). Nowadays, some schools use project management software* in order to optimize workload and make everything run smoothly. In fact, universities and colleges also do.

Physical work

Project management” is still too often perceived as something strictly related to cleanly shaven people in business suits. But our customers beg to differ – some of them construct buildings, roads, railways and many other things. Gantt charts and risk matrixes help them manage deadlines*** and serve the public in a timely manner.


When we follow political campaigns, we usually remember only a few key people from each party. This is precisely what the so-called spin doctors are for. But the truth is, political parties are as big as some corporations! In the US, the Democratic Party has 43.1 Million members, while the Republicans hover around 30 Million**. This is a massive number of people, all working on the same projects around the whole country – and good project management software does help them achieve the results they yield.



We all love to go to a concert once in a while. But even professional project managers from other fields rarely stop to think about the sheer scale of some of the cultural events they attend. The scene/stadium, sound systems, lights, tickets, everything involves a lot of hard work, and the deadline is permanently set in stone – it is pretty much impossible to postpone a concert. In order to ensure proper start and finish dates, some of SoftwarePlant’s customers install JIRA with the plugins and look at the risk matrix like a hawk guarding its chicks.


Logistics, engineer corps and administration amount to far more people than actual combat troops. Each soldier needs to be fed, dressed, transported and equipped on time, often abroad and in harsh conditions. The US started using Gantt charts around WW1****, and continues to do so until this very day. Even there the SoftwarePlant’s software has certain uses among military organizations, though details are (as expected) strictly classified.


SoftwarePlant is a start-up company. The interesting thing is, their product is used by many other start-ups, sometimes even from the same industry. They are pleased that other young entrepreneurs like their solutions and wish them luck with their ventures. After all, Skype, a small Estonian company before acquisition by Microsoft, could not have been developed if not for Gantt charts.

These are the cases that were found the most interesting – but what about you? Do you have an unconventional use for Gantt charts, be it practical or hypothetical? If yes, we encourage you to contact us and share this wisdom. Who knows, there may be great rewards…


* http://www.smartsheet.com/blog/Gantt-charts-for-sixth-graders

** http://2012election.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004483

*** http://archive.excellencegateway.org.uk/media/KSSP/scheduling.pdf

**** http://www.chroniclegraphics.com/community/blog/a-brief-history-of-the-gantt-chart/


BigPicture_logoSoftwarePlant is a Polish-American start-up company that produces software for Project Portfolio Management. Its main products are developed for the JIRA platform, but custom development, training and implementations are also available.


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Wrike – Project Management Software that Makes a Difference

Software Review by Linky van der Merwe

Wrike project management software was founded in 2006 and has over 6,000 customers in 55 countries, including Google, Stanford University and eBay. Wrike was included in the “Cool Vendors in Collaboration” 2014 Gartner Report. In addition to this success, the company has won multiple industry awards. Wrike is available in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Portuguese, making it a top global provider of online project management software. Although Wrike is used by giant companies like Google and McDonalds, it’s also a favourite of charitable organizations, non-profits, and numerous small business ventures.

The company is led by its passionate founder and CEO, Andrew Filev, a former software entrepreneur and experienced project manager. He launched his first software development venture at the tender age of 17 and grew it into an international business with more than 100 engineers.

As his company grew, Filev realized he needed a collaboration tool for distributed teams running several projects simultaneously. Thus, Wrike’s project management tool was born. It connects data across multiple projects, gives an overview of project status and progress to managers, and provides a central hub for smooth, real-time collaboration for the whole team.

Easy Access to Your Work

Workload-management-in-WrikeWrike is a cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) app and does not require downloads or updates. Users can access Wrike from any internet-connected browser, on any operating system or device. The number of users allowed on a specific account is defined by your chosen subscription plan, but account administrators are able to invite an unlimited number of collaborators completely free of charge. Users have full access to Wrike, and can create or edit tasks, view reports and charts, and add comments. Collaborators, on the other hand, can only view the actual tasks assigned to them, upload any associated files, and leave comments.

Subscriptions & Pricing

Wrike offers both free and premium (paid) subscriptions. The free package provides basic project management features for small business or teams who don’t need advanced features. The free version includes 5 users and 2 levels of project folders, along with 2 GBs of storage. All users benefit from Wrike’s 24/7 customer service and support.

Professional and Enterprise plans offer advanced project management features for larger teams, including subtasks, customizable Dashboards, Custom Fields, visual analytics reports, an interactive Gantt chart, and more. Wrike offers a free, one-month trial of their software, and does not require you to provide a credit card number.

For details of all subscription plans or a feature-by-feature comparison between the free and premium options, click here.

Ease of Use

Team collaborationWrike is very customer-oriented, and learning to use the software is made easier by video tutorials, help pages, and optional implementation assistance. In addition, Wrike offers free, live webinars of about 40 minutes that walk you through the software.

Team Collaboration

Wrike’s project management app uses email collaboration to the greatest advantage. Its email integrations allow users to discuss and comment on tasks within their inbox. Each task has a comments section so teams can easily discuss progress and collaborate on work, and they can @mention colleagues to direct a message to a specific user or group. All project updates for tasks you follow are shown in the real-time Activity Stream, making it easy to stay up-to-date on project status.

Wrike’s Project Management Tools


Customizable Dashboards show your most important tasks and keep them at hand. View complete tasks lists and drag-and-drop to prioritize, then click on the tasks to view the details, add comments, attach files, update the status, note the task’s importance, and more.

Activity Stream

Activity-Stream-in-WrikeWrike’s Activity Stream presents a linear view of the latest project updates It’s simple newsfeed is easy to scan and quickly check up on updates, task status, and the latest discussions.

Users can add comments to tasks directly from the Activity Stream, making collaboration easy since everyone knows the latest updates.


Wrike_timelineWrike’s Timeline is fairly basic, but adequate. It offers the ability to add tasks easily while in the Timeline view and you can refine its date and specifications or drag and drop the task to the desired location within the timeline.


Customer Service and Support

Wrike is highly rated for its excellent service and support. The customer service team at Wrike answers questions 24/7, and you can livechat with a representative if you need help immediately via Wrike’s website. A phone assistance line is also available.

Powerful Integrations

Wrike_Mobile appIn the complex IT landscape that most organisations are operating in today, you need project management software that integrates with the other web tools your project team already uses. That will empower them to use the software seamlessly.

This is one of Wrike’s strong points. It integrates with dozens of other online tools, including Google Apps, Salesforce, MS Project, Zapier, and Evernote.

Click here to see the complete list of current Wrike integrations.

Case Study

Recording artist, clothing designer, and entrepreneur Redfoo uses Wrike to keep processes consistent and communication efficient, making it easier to meet deadlines. The team consists of very creative people in the music industry who need to plan events, work on projects and collaborate on new ideas, documents and tasks. They’ve even started saying, “Wrike it down!” meaning put it in Wrike. According to Redfoo, if it’s not in Wrike, it doesn’t exist.


Wrike is an all-in-one software with a perfect blend of project management and social collaboration features that helps you become more productive and achieve your goals faster.

See how Wrike received the Supreme Software as well as the Best Project Management Software awards from FinancesOnline in recognition of Wrike’s  excellent features and customer support.

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Communication Challenges for Virtual Project Teams Part 2

Have you ever worked with virtual teams as a project manager? (Click for related articles) From my experience of working with virtual teams who are distributed and working remotely, we have to overcome the communication challenges by using tools like tele-conference facilities, instant messaging and email.

This article is Part 2 of a discussion of research findings about the challenges virtual teams face, communication preferences and recommendations. It is based on an online survey done by Software Advice’s Noel Radley (*) with professionals who regularly work on virtual projects, and who had an opinion on the challenges of virtual projects.

Virtual Team Members’ Preferred Communication Channels

Virtual team's preferred Communication channels


Preferred Communication Tools

The survey confirmed recent reports that email usage has not yet declined to the extent some predicted. To the contrary, 41 percent of virtual team members surveyed selected email as their most preferred communication tool. However, it was also stated as problematic by some (23%) due to long email threads.

After email, phone was selected by 36 percent of those surveyed as their preferred communication channel perhaps due to the benefits of a “real-time” collaboration tool. Surprisingly, tools designed for online collaboration were selected by the fewest respondents. Only 12 percent selected virtual conferencing as a preferred communication channel, and discussion forums and chat rooms were selected by just 10 percent.

Miller recommends instant messaging (or chat) as one of the more effective real-time communication channels for virtual teams. It’s a much better way to collaborate on something that’s in active progress, or to reach a final decision on an issue. It can also be used to link directly to Web pages or relevant documents that may come up in conversation.

When facing virtual workers who prefer traditional communication channels, managers may need to push adoption in order to help bridge the gap between the tools team members are accustomed to and the tools that help them collaborate most effectively.

Communication Channel Preferences by Age

To add further complexity, our findings revealed a shift in communication preference based on age. Generally speaking, the preference for digital mediums (such as email) decreased with age, while the preference for analog communications (namely, phone) increased with age.

Demographics: Communication Channel Preferences by Age

Preferred communication tools by age




Email preferences were greatest among the youngest team members surveyed: nearly half of those aged 25-34 had a top preference for email (46 percent). This preference was slightly less for 35- to 44-year-olds (41 percent), and lower still for 45- to 54-year-olds (36 percent).

The greatest preference for phone was held by team members in the 45-54 age category, at 41 percent, while 34 percent of the 35-44 age bracket and 29 percent of the 25-34 age bracket preferred communicating by phone.

These trends change when it comes to video conferencing and discussion forums and chat. The 35-44 group is less likely to prefer virtual conferencing and more likely to prefer chats and discussion forums than both the older and the younger age groups.

These differences may mean that companies with trans-generational teams run into subtle misunderstandings, as diverse communication preferences result in people not answering the phone or not replying to emails. To keep distributed teams on the same page, Miller recommends a “multifaceted” approach.

Recommended Solutions

In addition to using instant messaging, also consider mailing lists, a project wiki, and a project blog. A conference or face-to-face sessions where active project members are invited to get together is also a good solution. This works well at the beginning and end of projects.

Successful virtual projects, therefore, require more than just selecting the right communication tool for your team to use. Managers and project leaders for remote teams should supplement communication channels with engaging online information, collaborative environments and even perhaps in-person events to ensure that all team members stay in the loop.


Effectively managed communication will be more of a solution than a problem for a variety of issues, such as task management and team members with commitments to multiple projects.

Moreover, a multi-pronged approach, including instant messaging, agile project management tools, blogging and wikis, should be used to engage teams and foster effective communication. When confronting teams with diverse preferences, a comprehensive communication strategy involving a variety of tools and techniques can help solidify team connections, as well as improve project visibility.

According to Miller it’s important to keep enthusiasm and engagement high, and to make sure that team members’ direct managers or sponsors have easy access to meaningful information showing the value of the work and the overall return.

For reference, you can find the full report here:


(*) Software Advice is a company that researches and evaluates project management technology.

Communication Challenges for Virtual Project Teams Part 1

Have you ever worked with virtual teams as a project manager? (Click for related articles) From my experience of working with virtual teams who are distributed and working remotely, we have to overcome the communication challenges by using tools like tele-conference facilities, instant messaging and email.

This article is discussing research findings about the challenges virtual teams face. It is based on an online survey done by Noel Radley of Software Advice (a company that researches and evaluates project management technology) with professionals who regularly work on virtual projects, and who had an opinion on the challenges of virtual projects. It is divided into two parts. Part 1 is about the main challenges virtual teams are faced with and task management as a top threat to effective project communication.

Top challenges

  • Thirty-eight percent of team members said communication was difficult on virtual projects, making it the top-cited challenge.
  • Poor communication regarding task management was perceived as the top threat to project success, selected by 41 percent of team members.
  • Email was a preferred channel for 41 percent of respondents—though 23 percent noted long email threads were a communication pitfall.
  • The lack of the right software or technology was given by 33 percent.
  • A lack of productivity was seen as the biggest threat to project success by 28 percent, since many team members believed those who work remotely are held less accountable.

In addition to communication challenges there are also others based on feedback from Matthew Miller, a project leader at the open source technology company Red Hat who has worked with thousands of contributors on open-source operating system called the Fedora Project.

A deeper challenge of most remote teams is the fact that members are typically “drawn from other teams,” and thus have only partial responsibility to their virtual projects. Miller said that typically there’s more work that needs to be done than time to do it, and often commitments to virtual teams are the easiest to break. In view of the productivity challenge stated above, the issue may simply be that they have other commitments that take priority. Managers may need to consider analyzing the scope of a team’s commitments when assigning tasks or attempting to pinpoint problems.

Virtual Team Members’ Top Project-Communication Problems

Virtual Team Members’ Top Project-Communication Problems

Task Management

When analysing the top communication-related challenges of remote projects it was found that approximately 41 percent of respondents answered that the failure to clearly assign and update tasks, was the top threat to effective project communication.

For 23 percent of respondents, long email threads were the top obstacle to communicating effectively. For others (19 percent), they most experienced trouble scheduling virtual meetings and conference calls. And 16 percent of virtual team members experienced confusion about which communication channel—phone, chat or email—to turn to for which tasks.

Many turn to software solutions for task management. Software Advice found in a recent report that 52 percent of project management software buyers were seeking a task management application.

Although tools are important, Miller emphasized the importance of having established processes in place for your team, like regular group interactions for shared tasks for example.

For reference, you can find the full report here:


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