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There is no shortage of specialist apps claiming to boost your team’s effectiveness and performance. But which are worthwhile, and which are overhyped? When is it worth choosing a specialist business app?
After all, it’s important to carefully weigh up the pros and cons of adopting a new app. Doing so requires the expenditure of resources, in terms of both money and time. There is bound to be an adjustment period when a team moves away from one particular app and learns a new one.
Or course, different teams have different needs. There is no such thing as ‘the right app for everyone’. However, most teams will benefit from choosing a specialist app for three purposes in particular.
Today, we’ll share our thoughts on three categories of apps most teams would benefit from, the advantages of choosing a specialist solution, and suggestions on how to choose the right option for your team in particular.
Task Management and Planning
Getting the maximum amount of productivity from a team is a key concern for modern managers.
When competition is fierce, you inevitably want to get the highest level of output possible. Often, this means working smarter rather than harder. Don’t push people past their limits. Instead, find more efficient ways to work that produce better results.
One method to boosting team productivity is to use a specialist task management and planning app. These offer several advantages over other ways of working, such as emailing task lists back and forth. Options such as Trello and Asana have become very popular.
So what are some of the key considerations when choosing a task management app for your team?
- Interface. If a task management app is confusing or cluttered, it might well end up harming productivity more than helping it. Before settling on an app, ensure that the interface will be intuitive and useable for every member of the team, especially those who may be less literate in tech than others.
- Mobile. Many teams like to be connected even on the go. If your team works in that way, it’s important to choose a task management app with a reliable mobile version. Ensure that the mobile and desktop versions sync seamlessly and that the mobile app is as fully functioned as its desktop counterpart.
- Support and Reliability. You’ll inevitably run into some challenges and problems when rolling out a new app across your team. In such cases, you want to ensure proper customer support is in place. Having to wait for technical assistance can put a serious dent in your team’s productivity.
Having project and task management handled by an app can help work run smoothly, increase transparency, and reduce the need for meetings and reports, as team members can monitor progress in real time. Choose the right one for your team’s needs in particular, rather than just going with a popular option.
Gone are the days of teams communicating by endlessly confusing email chains, or even worse, by fax machine!
So what are the advantages of switching to this type of communication, and why should you consider it for your team?
- Focus. It’s a lot better to use a dedicated app environment for work-related messaging. When people use a specialist instant messenger for business app, it ensures they are in a work state of mind. Letting people communicate over text or the messaging service they use for their social life is a recipe for distraction and reduced productivity.
- Security. Methods of communication, such as email, are vulnerable to hacks and other security breaches. When handling sensitive internal company info, this is a risk you can’t afford to take. It’s a lot better to invest in an encrypted means of communication, to help keep your valuable, sensitive data away from the wrong people.
- Remote teams. If you are part of a remote work team, specialist communication apps can be your best friend. They help keep people in different time zones connected, and have notification settings to ensure that people won’t be disturbed at unsociable hours. This is a lot more worker-friendly than a mainstream solution such as SMS messaging.
It’s always astounding when serious work teams use a mainstream communications solution not suited to the needs of their business. There are so many better methods for internal communication that there is no excuse not to use them.
Have you ever experienced the pain of a corrupted hard drive deleting an important file? Or felt the frustration of emailing back and forth a draft document between collaborators, leading to problems with version control?
Cloud-based working is one of the best ways to get rid of these problems. Using an online solution such as G Suite enables teams to collaborate securely in the cloud.
So what are the advantages of this way of working?
- Transparency. With online cloud working, it’s easy to see who is working on what, and the changes they are making. This saves a lot of time and inefficiency compared to emailing progress updates back and forth.
- Security. If someone’s hard drive dies, or they lose their cellphone, their work is not lost. As it’s stored remotely in the cloud, there is no risk of losing an important file due to hardware failure or loss.
- Integration. Ideally, the best specialist team apps shouldn’t exist in isolation but should be part of an integrated process. The best cloud working solutions integrate with other apps, such as task management or communications, to ensure the most seamless working experience possible.
The time and energy people put into work projects is too valuable to run the risk of loss through hardware failure. Why not boost your security, as well as your team productivity, by switching to a cloud-based way of working?
Choosing The Right Apps For Your Team
Now that you know three categories of specialist business apps that most teams will benefit from, let’s end on some final thoughts about how to choose the right ones for your needs.
If you’re selecting a range of apps, you want to ensure they are compatible with your team’s devices. It’s also important to check there is plenty of support and technical documentation, so your team can learn how to make the most of the new apps as easily as possible.
You also want to make sure the apps are intended for a team of your size. Finally, you want to have buy-in from the team before making the switch.
There will probably be a few teething pains when making the switch to a specialist business solution. However, when implemented well, the benefits massively outweigh the drawbacks, and your team’s productivity will be greatly enhanced through the right tools.
Author’s Bio: Nikola Baldikov is a digital marketing and tech enthusiast, specializing in helping companies’ success in these areas. Besides his passion for digital marketing, he is an avid fan of football and dance. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.