The ability to seamlessly communicate, collaborate and coordinate project-related information now extends well beyond using basic task management software and work management systems, leading to the creation of work coordination software (WCS). Similar to the manner in which everyone communicates on social media, WCS (also known as work coordination platform) links managing projects and social interactions to create a more holistic and familiar approach to how we communicate to ensure we engage more effectively with each other.
A WCS combines an internal social network, a project management platform and other business applications in a single solution. Using this, companies are able to improve company-wide performance and increase visibility for stakeholders.
Work Coordination Software Elements
To truly understand the value and benefits of WCS, it’s important to understand three other types of commonly used software with which WCS can be contrasted Task Management Software, Work Management Systems and Workspace Management Software.
Here are some of the key pieces of information you should incorporate in the SOW.
- Task Management Software - This work solution forms the foundation of all project management software and provides the ability to assign and track tasks. The result is a more efficient way of managing tasks and the people associated with them.
- Work Management System - This is a powerful tool, useful not only for managing project work but also for going beyond the project to measure other work being done and measuring the Return On Investment (ROI) for the business.
- Workspace Management Software - This software helps companies establish and manage workspaces (locations) and groups, no matter where they are located.
In contrast to these solutions, WCS can be viewed as an almost all-encompassing tool to help companies better manage all aspects of their projects, business processes, resources, communication, requirements, relationships, reporting, data, conversations, technologies, integrations and more.
5 Benefits of Adopting Work Coordination Software
WCS facilitates open collaboration and communication among internal, external and international stakeholders from all areas of a business, increasing a sense of inclusion and improving visibility. Customers, employees, teams, vendors and executives are able to connect with the data, the vision, their purpose and each other more readily, thus improving buy-in.
When business applications are more seamlessly connected, data is better able to move freely, quickly and accurately from one system point to the next without any data loss or misinterpretation. This enables a solid hand-off that improves the integrity of data and makes information available between all functional areas and with external stakeholders as needed. WCS centralizes data from across an organization so that everyone retrieves data from a single source. Data integrity and centralization afford all stakeholders and key decision-makers greater confidence when working, planning and sharing financial and operational results. Centralization makes it possible for companies to establish a stable and consistent process and workflow rather than having disconnected silos where each process differs.
A primary goal for leaders should be to increase transparency across all areas of a business. Transparency is essential to creating and maintaining buy-in and improving the culture and innovation within organizations. By ensuring that all areas of the business have access to the same data and are able to collaborate in real-time, transparency is increased.
When all stakeholders are accessing and working with the same information, it increases confidence, makes it easier for everyone to be on the same page and helps people become more productive. Having higher levels of productivity ensures more of the right types of work get done so that project-based and operational goals stand a greater chance of being achieved.
Innovative thinking stems from confidence, a culture of inclusion and an interest in making things better. To be effective, innovation needs to take place company wide, not just at the leadership level. By removing silos and centralizing information, reducing confusion around data and increasing confidence in the information being shared, innovation has a chance to flourish.
After identifying these benefits, it is essential to also identify the surrounding factors that need to be considered in developing or using a WCS. Here are just a few of them.
Key Factors in Evaluating in Work Coordination Software
What will be the impact of your current policies and processes and, conversely, how will the WCS impact them? This is not a minor undertaking and fairly significant changes will likely need to take place. It is vital that a change management expert is involved from the planning stages, throughout the entire project and beyond. This ensures there are no unaddressed concerns, problems, or business disruptions.
How various internal and external stakeholders will access information and identifying the types of information they should access is a vital factor when selecting a WCS. Some of your data will be more sensitive and more care will need to be exercised when granting access. Make sure to closely evaluate security protocols.
Effectiveness and efficiency in passing the right information between applications is one of the biggest factors in a WCS. It will be important to do a thorough evaluation of existing and potential applications to ensure all of them will integrate well without any conflict or data loss.
Depending on the nature of your business, there may be compliance issues that need to be adhered to and addressed. Ensuring your organization’s WCS supports all the appropriate regulatory requirements to avoid penalties and other types of issues is clearly essential.
Do not wait until after WCS has been put in place to discover that no real support exists or that maintenance was not part of the plan. With a system that impacts all areas of a business, the risks are far too great to ignore or push off until later. Make sure to flush out support and maintenance details with the provider to avoid being unpleasantly surprised when problems crop up.
Planning for the future is another vital factor when considering a WCS. Maybe your company would like to automate more of its processes, incorporate artificial intelligence, or change the way reporting is done or how business intelligence is gathered. The choice and use of WCS should be considered with these in mind. There may need to be a discussion with the software provider to see what future evolutions in business processes the solution will be able to accommodate.
Reputation, experience, support and many other factors should be considered when evaluating which WCS your business selects. This is an important step and should be weighed carefully in relation to your company’s policies and processes, security, integrations, support and compliance, amongst other things. The vendor your company chooses must be able to meet all of your needs today and far into the future.
Of course, there are numerous other things that need to be taken into account – like your industry, company size, location, culture, your company’s specific needs and more. Regardless, the future direction of your business, its goals and all of its operational needs must be incorporated when moving to a WCS.
Work Coordination Software can be one of the most powerful tools to help take your business in the right direction. The key is recognizing the benefits, understanding your current and future needs and selecting the right solution to get you where you need to go.
Selecting a WCS can be a big step for many businesses. Knowing where to begin and what to expect is important for starting off on the right foot. Make sure to do your due diligence and get help from professionals who are knowledgeable about Work Coordination Software.