Managing Project Mayhem

Posted on Mar 24, 2016 in Blog, Insights

School communicators inevitably are multi-taskers, and project management can seem like an elusive dream. Choose and use a tool to keep you organized and on schedule. Here are our recommendations to help keep your important projects on task and (relatively) stress free.

  • Basecamp is a private, secure online space that allows all participating parties to share documents, communicate via messages and email, and track project progress. Basecamp keeps files easily accessible for all involved and helps to reduce the incidence of communications falling through the cracks. $29 per month gets you 100 GB of file storage for an unlimited number of employees.
  • A robust tool for tracking staff time and measuring project progress is FunctionFox. Staff can post their time to projects and track deadlines through action schedules. Measure your team’s time and ability to meet deadlines—an important reality check on workload and staff productivity. Reporting features allow you to assess by project, task, personnel and action steps. Pricing is predicated on the number of users and is charged monthly. Costs range from $5 per user per month to $15 per user per month, with the number of services increasing as the price rises.
  • Wrike is a web-based online management tool. Facilitate collaboration by bringing tasks, discussions and documents into one place. Wrike makes it easy to see the big-picture, too, with visibility across teams and projects. Another useful feature is the ability to create interactive Gantt charts that allow users to visualize a project from creation to completion. Pricing plans start at free for 5 users, 2 GB of storage and basic task management then increase to $150 per month for 15 users, 5 GB of storage and planning and collaboration tools.
  • An online tool you may see in your classrooms for keeping track of interesting finds on the web is Diigo. The service allows users to digitally bookmark websites and articles for future consumption. You can share saved information with colleagues, and saved material remains accessible even after a host site has discarded the content. And Diigo is affordable with free access for unlimited bookmarks yet only increases to $5 per month for unlimited bookmarking, cache and image storage. Prices are per user.
  • A favorite of Cheney & Company is DropBox. This file sharing service is offered as a free option for 2 GB of space and increases to $99 per year per user for 1 TB of storage. Share extra large files easily and without clogging your institution’s email system.
  • And of course there is Google. A favorite of schools and for-profits alike, Google Drive makes file sharing and editing easy. And Google Calendar makes planning easy, too. Use it to manage your email and social media calendar as well as meetings and campus events. All you need is a free Gmail account to access all of Google Drive’s resources.

Convene a small work group (you, director of IT, business manager) to check out options based on your needs, and then adopt a system to help you plan and manage your work. Technology can do wondrous things, but it still needs capable humans to set up and follow through.