5 Cloud Based Steps to Managing a Project

by Marcy Hoffman on April 28, 2011

8 participating agencies/organizations.

5 potential projects that require evaluation.

13 participants, working from 13 locations.

Deadline: 30 days.

A three Tylenol headache?  Try taking a good Cloud Based CRM program and skip the meds.

I was recently invited to join a group of professional women who created a fund that mentors and invests in projects that impact woman and girls in our area. This amazing group has invested in  programs that provide life skills to young women who are leaving the foster care system, another that provides financial training to single mothers and yet another that, through monthly programs, works to build self-esteem to ‘tweens’ (between childhood and teen years) at risk.

This group is made up of busy, multi-tasking women and scheduling a meeting, let alone coordinating all the tasks, research and communication these investments require is challenging. How best to manage these projects in an effective and cost-efficient manner?

Off to the cloud.

Here are the 5 steps that we are implementing that will get us off to a great cloud-start!

1.  Intranet: Set up an intranet that houses all the information contained in Steps 2-5.  An intranet is a private, cloud based, secure environment that houses all the apps, tools and programs that your company uses.

2. CRM (Customer Relationship Management): CRM will allow us to capture, track and share crucial contact information and relationship history. Our projects are people intensive in that they include the various evaluation committees, prospective client contacts, potential partnering agencies, legal and financial advisers and on. With our cloud-based CRM app, all this information will be organized and accessible from any web enabled device.

3. Tasks: A good task system provided us with a smart way to create, share, distribute and track tasks. This efficiency tool will allow us to keep track of what needs to be completed, who is handling it, and when it actually gets done. Working with various teams, from multiple locations and on different schedules, our task tool will create accountability (taking the guesswork out of knowing who is in charge of a task and what the status is), keep us all on schedule, increases communication, allowing us to focus on priorities and of course, gain mobility.

4. File sharing: Email and IM are both terrific ways to provide and exchange information, but when it comes to sharing documents a reliable File Sharing tool is required. Word documents, PDF files, images, presentations, spreadsheets, etc can be uploaded and downloaded with just a Web browser. File Sharing provides all the involved parties with the ability to securely access needed information on-demand.

5. Integrated (and Free) conference calling: Cloud based conference calling is not new, but what our group needs is what I refer to as integrated conference calling. This system will allow us to upload shared documents, preview presentations, pull up the group calendar and add conference calling notes to our CRM tools.

In a few hours, we will have all the elements needed to move these projects along efficiently, accessibly and the whole package will cost under $70 a month.

To learn how these cloud apps can benefit your company, not-for-profit or organization, click here. I assure you it will be most productive link you clicked on today.

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