Looking for a simple and easy project management tool? Here’s how I would set up Podio to cover the basics for managing my projects. You can always add more apps and complexity if you need it, but this will get you started on most projects.
1. Get the Right Apps
An easy way to start is by installing the Collaborative Project Management apps here. With this app pack you can define all your projects, work on deliverables, and organize meetings with your team, clients, and suppliers.
Once you have installed your apps, have a look at each one and make it your own. You can easily change the wording and adjust functionality of each app by clicking ‘Modify app’. This way you can truly fit it to your very own way and language of running projects. You can add more projects to each app, so you’ll only have to do this once.
Tip: You can easily build your own apps from scratch by clicking Add app next to your app icons, and choosing Go to the App Builder.
2. Set up Your Project
You are now ready to define your project. First, add a top level description in the Projects app. The project description should describe the goals, responsible project manager, and finish date for the entire project.
Then it’s time to define the deliverables or phases of this project. The deliverable is where the rubber meets the asphalt and where most of the grunt work will be done on your projects.
That’s about it for now. Let’s get the team on board!
Tip: Start by setting up one project not to confuse your team members who haven’t gotten a chance to get familiar with your apps.
3. Invite your Team
First, let’s make sure everyone knows what this is about. Write a welcome message that lets your team know why you set up these apps and invited them to collaborate.
To invite your team to collaborate on your project, hit the green ‘+’ button in the right hand sidebar. You can invite people from your Podio or Google contacts, or import contacts from Outlook or vCard.
Tip: Make sure to add a personal message to your invitation, so everyone knows what to do and why they’re there.
That’s it! Podio will automatically loop your co-workers in via email notifications – even if they haven’t accepted your invite, so you can start collaborating on your projects right away and get things done.
The Project Management Basics On Podio
Here are a few definitions that are useful to keep in mind when setting up Podio to manage your projects.
Project: The top level description of what you’re trying to achieve and who holds the responsibility for reaching your goals e.g. ‘Fly a monkey to the moon’. Each project is defined in the Projects app.
Deliverable: What we need to do in order to reach the goals e.g. ‘build space rocket’, and ‘Train space monkey’. Deliverables are defined in the Deliverables app and linked to the relevant project.
Task: Quick action request attached to a deliverable (to do this, go to the deliverable and press ‘T’). They are often practical requests like ‘Please proof read this monkey training manual’.
Workspace: A workspace is a place where you can work with your team. You can add all the projects you work on together in a single workspace. If you need to work with a different group of people, simply set up a new workspace by clicking Create new workspace in the left navigation.
Need More Stuff?
And remember: as with all apps in Podio you can always modify the predefined apps to fit your needs, or build your own from scratch in minutes.
If you want to know more about Podio for project management, see the recording of our Project Management Pros webinar and read answers to all the good questions posted by project other managers.
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