When we launched STCnetwork as a registered company for developing web apps and mobile applications, we never thought collaborating with team members, meeting deadlines, and sharing resources among project members would be that difficult. We relied on traditional tools like email correspondence, private bulletin boards, or sharing files using Google docs, but as we grew we needed a more reliable, faster approach to increase our work productivity. I started a search to find the best online project management software to help improve our performance and work efficiency. Fortunately, one of my colleagues from India recommended we try Wrike, an online project management tool used by companies like Google, Paypal, Amazon, and HTC to improve collaboration, save time, and get more done. Since then, managing our blog network, collaborating with team members, distributing our work load, and meeting deadlines has been headache-free.
Why Use an Online Project Management Software?
I’ll explain why we at STCNetwork collaborate, manage, and track all our projects, deadlines, schedules, and other workflow processes using Wrike.
Before I begin, allow me to introduce my team members:
- Ahmed Nasir from Karachi
- Ramesh Kumar Khatri from Karachi
- Abdul Rehman from Afghanistan
- Haris Ahmed from Dubai
- Nida Zaidi from Karachi
- Qasim Zaib from Islamabad
- Yusra Adil from Dubai
You’ll notice that our team is spread across several different cities and time zones. As a result, we have to put in extra effort to collaborate effectively, make sure we distribute our tasks efficiently, and stay on the same page regarding responsibilities and deadlines. This is where Wrike’s online work management and team collaboration tools come into play: because it’s a shared, real-time workspace, we each have full visibility into responsibilities and tasks, as well as high-priority projects and deadlines. All our work is easy to mange, and we’re able to track work status, share files, discuss new ideas, and get great work done together all in this one tool.
One of the features we rely on is the real-time Activity Stream, which displays updates for the tasks you follow. Any update or comment that a team member makes to a task can be viewed in real time by the rest of the team, so we’re all up-to-date without having to send emails or hold status meeting calls. We don’t have to worry about emails getting stuck in spam filters or being buried in busy inboxes. We also use the @mention feature in task comments to send instant notifications to specific colleagues or entire teams, which keeps the momentum of our work high since we don’t have to wait for emails to be read and responded to. Communication and visibility is immediate, so we get work done faster.
Since Wrike is an online collaboration platform, you don't need to download and install a large software kit on your operating system, and our team can easily access Wrike online through their laptops or smartphones by logging in from anywhere in the world. No headache of software installation, updates, or incompatibilities, and all our work data is stored and backed up through a secure cloud server.
Wrike has helped STCnetwork so much that we recommend it to anyone who’s looking for an easy solution to their work management and collaboration headaches.
How We Collaborate Online With Wrike at STCnetwork
We normally start managing an online project by creating a folder. Each folder houses a series of different related tasks. Tasks are then assigned to members of our team, with details and instructions included in the task description and a specific due date set. Here’s a snapshot of our folder structure in Wrike:
These are some of the projects we need to complete within the next 2-3 months. Here’s how we use Wrike to distribute tasks among our team members:
As an example, the Android Development Kit project covers our mobile app development projects. Since Ramesh handles the mobile app development services, all the tasks that he needs to complete are contained within this folder:
When you click a task, you get full instructions of what the task is about, what is its duration, who is assigned to complete it, and the current status of the task. With Wrike’s live document editor, you and your teammates can each update the task description simultaneously, and you’ll see everyone else typing and making changes in real time. You can also attach files directly to their related tasks, and edit those documents without saving them to your computer and reuploading them. No need to send email attachments back and forth ever again!
Wrike's editor includes formatting options, from text formatting to including checkboxes and tables. Nida often uses it to format blog posts. =)
Here is a screenshot of the task where I informed Ramesh about a client's SRS and asked him for a fresh Android APK:
Attach files either from your computer or from cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and Microsoft OneDrive.
Team discussions are included at the bottom of the task in the comments section.
You can schedule time duration during which the task must be completed.
If Ramesh forgets to update me about the status of his assignment, then we can send him an email requesting a status update.
Another one of our favorite Wrike features is the interactive Timeline view of your projects. This Gantt chart maker gives you a helicopter view of your progress and an overview of all the tasks involved in your project. We also use the Workload view to get quick insights into who may be overloaded with work and who is available to take on a new task.
Start Using Wrike For Free!
Wrike currently offers three pricing plans:
For small teams up to 5 users who need basic task management. We started with this plan and later upgraded to Professional our team grew. I strongly recommend this free plan if your team is under 5 members and you are in startup phase.
Free features include:
- Task management
- File sharing
- Real-time Activity Stream
- Free iPhone and Android apps
- Integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft Office 365, OneDrive and iCal
- 2Gb of storage space
For teams up to 15 users who need project planning and collaboration. This is the plan we are currently subscribed to. Investing $10 per user/month (less than our weekend McDonald's expenses!) on such a useful tool will more than pay off in increased productivity and efficiency.
Professional features include:
- Dynamic timeline (Gantt Chart)
- Mass actions with tasks
- Shareable Dashboards
- Search filters
- Email Add-ins
- Additional Integrations
(MS Project, Excel, iCal, RSS)
- Storage space starting at 5Gb
For teams with 5 to thousands of users who need robust project management, custom reporting, and advanced security. Contact Wrike for a custom price quote.
Enterprise features include:
- Custom Fields
- Custom Workflows
- Workload view
- Time tracking
- Critical Path
- Real-Time Reports
- User groups
- Custom calendars
- Salesforce integration
- Single Sign On (SSO)
- Extended security controls
- Folder permissions
- Controlled admin permissions
- Network access policy
- Branded Workspace
- Storage space starting at 100Gb
How Do You Manage your Projects?
Using Wrike’s marketing project management software is so far the only tool we at STCnetwork use to manage and track our projects, deadlines, schedules, and other workflow processes. Before Wrike, I was found it extremely difficult to keep emailing and texting my authors and developers about new assignments, but for the past 2-3 years, managing work has been extremely easy thanks to new technology and tools like Wrike.
How do you manage your development projects? How do you distribute work among your team members, and how do you keep track of progress? Are you able to meet all your deadlines? Share your productivity and work management tips with us!
Wishing you all a happy project management experience, free from stress and hassle. Peace and blessings buddies! =)
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