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Tips on Team and Project Organization from Web Project Manager, Matthieu Guignard.

MatthieuGuignard_cover

As the web project manager for a complementary health insurance company, I’m always managing several projects at once.

More specifically, I am in charge of redesigning our intranet two other websites (one corporate and the other dedicated to prevention). My team includes two web project managers, two webmasters, a marketing project manager, and our web division manager.

The team is small and can communicate quite easily but I found we lacked a tool to formalize and organize all tasks of our specific projects. I was not convinced by Outlook Tasks, especially on a collaborative level, so I started looking for a tool that combines ease of use, collaborative features and quick deployment.

I’m a big fan of using Evernote in both my personal and professional life. So at first, I considered using it for task management, especially for the reminder function. But its implementation seemed too complex to fit my team’s needs. Evernote is rather dedicated to a specific use of knowledge sharing.

I found out about Azendoo while I was surfing on Evernote partners’ web page, and I started using it alone to manage my project’s tasks.

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I tried many ways to be the best at getting organized but in the end, I decided to invent my own way of working. In Azendoo, I created individual workspaces for each project I have to manage. Then, for each specific topic within a project, I opened subjects in their dedicated workspace. For example, for our Intranet redesign workspace, I created the following subjects:

  • Setting parameters
  • Technical  Issues
  • Importing content
  • Graphical Aspects
  • Rights Management
  • Points to deal with the publisher and consultant
  • Functional test
  • Launch Plan

This is what it looks like in the app:

Capture d’écran 2014-03-10 à 19.53.38

Being able to assign tasks in a specific subject allows me to focus on each individual aspect of the project, and be more efficient with my interlocutors for each topic.

At first, all my tasks were in the “Today” menu, but I quickly felt the need to plan out which day each task should be performed. This helps me a lot with visualizing the project in a time perspective, and enhancing my personal time management.

I also appreciate being able to assign a task to a specific date and especially to a specific week. This allows me to be flexible when it comes to managing my weekly work load, and limiting the risk of procrastination. Last but not least, I really like the difference between Day / Week, which enables me to distinguish different task priorities. I really use this function a lot.

After two months of using Azendoo on a personal level, I wanted to test the collaborative functions in the application. I took advantage of the “Azendoo’s First Birthday” marketing campaign to invite all my colleagues in the workspaces that I had created earlier. As predicted, I was first confronted with the reluctance of my colleagues because they all had long-acquired project management habits, like using email and unshareable meeting notes. Changing the way an organisation handles sharing information is a well known difficulty in France, especially in complementary health insurance.

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My goal was to show my team how Azendoo could help to save time and make us more performant. I first decided to use Azendoo with one of our webmaster’s who already is a big fan of collaborative tools. My idea was to implement our interactions on various projects and then show the rest of the team all the benefits you get from using Azendoo. In few weeks, our information exchanges and every day collaboration greatly improved. My webmaster teammate was very enthusiast about the app and became an advocate for the team.

According to us, the strongest reasons for using Azendoo are :

  • Reducing email exchanges
  • Focusing on messages specific to a topic
  • Being confident about sharing updated documents with the team
  • Having a clear overall vision of the project’s tasks, including the possibility to focus on a particular issue.

After many demos, and with a lot of patience and perseverance, the whole team started playing the game. We are only at the beginning of this new to get organized and the way we work on our projects has already improved greatly.

My next step is to make Azendoo a central tool for all our project management, and to progressively use more features to develop new ways of using the app and collaborative habits.

Stay tuned for other post, where I’ll focus on specific features.

Matthieu is one of our Azendoo Rockstar Ambassadors, so feel free to contact him via Twitter if you have any questions or comments. Plus, while you’re at it, check out all the other Rockstars!

Thanks again Matthieu and we’ll talk to you soon. :]

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