How to combine project management and collaboration

The collaboration software market has gotten a bit crowded, with dozens of virtual workspaces offered, each tool taking a slightly different approach to appeal to business needs. These days any office manager or administrator looking to choose one can easily become overwhelmed. 

Many of these workspace collaboration tools go beyond simple chat, online meetings and file sharing. These collaboration workhorses turn conversations into action, letting you quickly create and assign new tasks, while making sure multiple, simultaneous projects are hitting their deadlines. 

Here we’ll take a look at ways collaboration tools incorporate project management, or how to outfit your existing tool to get the job done. 

Three collaboration options

You can take one of three different approaches for using workplace chat and project management tools in an office setting: a multi-tool approach, third-party apps or a hybrid chat and planning tool. 

In the first scenario, an organization might decide to use one app for collaboration and another tool for project management. The collaboration software is used to send instant messages to coworkers — remote and on site — share documents and other files, start audio and video calls, and share information across the organization. A second, separate, app is used for keeping projects on track, with features for assigning tasks, developing calendars and creating Gantt charts or other timelines. 

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An alternative approach is to use collaboration software that lets users or administrators install third-party apps, sometimes called integrations. A project management integration could allow coworkers to create and assign tasks inside their collaboration tool, reducing the need to open another program. Inside their chat tool, team members can…