By Kristi Tan and @JackieClews
Project management includes a lot of parts, especially when content is thrown into the mix. A million shared docs, a never-ending email thread, questions left unanswered — these things are what raise our blood pressure and sometimes make us want to throw our computers out the window. This is why a comprehensive, reliable, easy-to-use project management software is absolutely crucial to build in the early stages of a growing agency, as well many other businesses. So I wanted to share some feedback on other systems I've tried and Podio, the software DMD began using recently, to share how they all compare.
TeamWorkPM and Basecamp
I’ve worked with numerous project management systems, Basecamp and TeamworkPM probably being the most well-known.
Basecamp is not organized in a very intuitive, user-friendly way in my opinion, which often leads to confusion and system abandonment by team members. It’s also built so that sharing among members only happens on tasks related to the project, not the whole project generally, which can cause confusion because the sharing is devoid of all necessary context.
I feel TeamworkPM is not very customizable, which can add a lot of clutter (and again, confusion) to workspaces when there's the opposite problem from Basecamp: too much irrelevant information. The notifications are not very customizable either, which can quickly fill a team members inbox and then what’s the point of the system if it’s supposed to cut back on email?
One of the biggest issues I had with both was getting my team to use it (as anyone who’s ever tried a PM system can attest to). I don’t think members chose not to use it because they preferred email, but because the system wasn’t working for them the way they needed it to. Every business's needs are different, but so far Podio seems to offer solutions for many of the problems listed above by offering a more customizable, but still fairly intuitive, product.
There are three main advantages I see with Podio, so far. Today I want to dig into just the first one mentioned above, customization.
Advantage #1: The Podio Workspaces Are Highly Customizable
While Basecamp can often give too narrow of a view and TeamworkPM can give too broad of a view, Podio allows for a lot of customization so that each member's view is just right. The project manager can customize the apps for each project's workspace and then each member's views and notifications can be customized, as well. Each account has a workspace made up of apps customized to fit each account’s need. Here’s a small sample of available apps:
- Time sheets
- Buyer personas
- Content planner
Project managers can build their own apps or download apps and app packs from the app market. As you can see, there are plenty to choose from:
Then you can further customize within the apps.
For example, at DMD we have different editorial processes per each client's needs. Some accounts might have four steps from idea to posting, while some might have six. Some might prefer the steps be by the name of the person responsible, while others might prefer them to be by task, such as “approve outline.” Here’s a simple example of a process once the blog post topic is created in the content planner:
- Writer writes
- Editor edits
- Client approves
- Blog is posted
This customized stage process helps eliminate dozens of emails back and forth as edits are being made. Furthermore, unlike many systems out there, with Podio all team members can easily customize their notification settings to improve efficiencies without sacrificing any lapses in communication.
What’s your editorial process? Tell us below or go here to get in touch.
Posted by Kristi Tan
Kristi is the campaign manager for DMD. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and on her free time likes to try new recipes in the kitchen.