Working in groups

February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Interesting questions are never answered by one person alone. Not that they once were, and then now they are not, but the romantic pretension of one author-one text has been loosing traction in many fields for a long time. So what is the app for teamwork?

I see there are actually tons.

Google Apps, Skydrive, iCloud and the new Mailbox/Dropbox interface all let you work collaboratively. Adobe Cloud and all major suits are offering cloud integration too. You have the usual suspects in desktop applications: Conceptdraw Project, Merlin, OmniPlan, xPlan all of which have a considerable learning curve and demand a very significant amount of time to input data if you want them to be useful. Some interesting programs such as ProjectX and Mori no longer exist.

There are many cloud-based project management apps that seem to be more flexible. A simple Internet search shows some of the top contenders for small projects used to be Basecamp, Jira, Asana and Trello but that people are fleeing away from Basecamp in large numbers and Jira needs a degree in Jira before being useful. Asana is oriented towards CEOs and Trello towards team members. Mark Suster wrote an interesting comparison of them here. Flow, Convo, Podio, Mavenlink, ProWorkFlow, NetSuite, Wrike, Insightly, Liquidplanner, Freshbooks, WorkZone, OpenProject… the list seems endless. Streak adds  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to your Google email, Boomerang adds functionality to your Google calendar, etc. Some of those apps seem to be suited for business, others for architects, I haven’t seen one clearly directed to research groups, although I have been invited to collaborate on some research using Google Apps and Adobe Cloud.

An interesting fact is that you can find 2014 reviews of the “10 best Project Management software for Mac” that do not cite any of these apps!

What app would be better to manage a small research group / think tank? The question is still open…



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