As a young and dynamic company, which operates in two countries and four cities, it is more than clear that we can not escape from the reality of virtual team management in our projects.
Luckily for us there is a wide variety of online collaboration tools that we at 42coders use on a daily basis in order to better plan our project workflows and to operate our business in the most efficient way.
In this blog post I would like to line up the top 5 online collaboration tools that make our workflows smooth and simple.
Slack is a widely used platform that offers instant messaging, transferring files to a single teammate or within some specific channel and integration with other tools.
The conversations within Slack are grouped into different channels devoted to some topic i.e. “general”, “bitbucket”, “random”or to a specific project.
Slack also supports video calling and screen sharing, maybe two most valuable features when it comes to overcoming the absence of face-to-face communication.
Remember Spider Solitaire? 🙂
Well the Trello interface resembles the once popular card game and allows you creating boards, lists and cards for your projects. You can easily move cards from one column to another, assign them to your teammates and set due dates. My personal favourite are checklists that allow you to keep track of subtasks within a card.
The visual layout of Trello allows you to easily monitor your project progress and to see on which tasks your colleagues are working on.
Furthermore, with notifications enabled your team will always be up to date with everything that happens within the boards.
Zeitgeber is a very handy time tracking tool that we use on a daily basis. The straightforward time tracking interface allows employees to easily drag and drop their tasks to the daily overview. Since all projects are color-coded, the daily or weekly overview can look quite colorful.
Besides time tracking, creating new clients and projects and an overview of budgeting features, the tool allows employees to easily submit for vacation time or personal days.
GitLab is a DevOps platform, where teams can manage source code in the most efficient way.
It allows creating teams and adding various permission levels to single team members. Any team member with read access rights can propose a code change by forking the repository, adding the change and creating a merge request.
The owner of the repository can then review the change, make some comment about it (if the code needs some improvements or modifications) and eventually approve it.
The projects are also equipped with issue tracker, but external trackers can also be integrated.
Same as GitLab, Bitbucket allows developers to easily collaborate on code, test and deploy it. Basically both GitLab and Bitbucket serve the same goal and provide their users with the same methods, but unlike GitLab, Bitbucket does not offer an open source version.
If you are a fan of Atlassian tools, you will find Bitbucket quite handy, as it allows seamless integration with other Atlassian tools. (JIRA sounds familiar, right?)
As you can see, online collaboration tools come in many forms. But one thing they have in common is that they increase team productivity and allow cleaner and faster exchange of information, which creates the perfect base for managing successful projects.