Enterprise software were never fun to use. For years, in the name of “professional looking”, a boring user interface was listed as most enterprise software’s major USP, it seemed. Microsoft Outlook remained as the path breaking collaboration (!) tool for decades. It ruled the roost until the another equally legendary social collaboration tool, Sharepoint, arrived. Slowly, very slowly, companies are embracing SaaS apps, but they are often not much better.
Everytime I use a leading project management and collaboration web app, I can’t fathom why such a clunky tool is used by millions. Naturally, I was skeptical when I heard about WorkSimple, which claims to be a social enterprise platform. To learn if WorkSimple wiped the doubtful smirk off my face or not, hit jump.
WorkSimple helps build better work relationships with a focus on social goals, communication, and recognition. Besides listening to the pulse of your team the web app lets you stay on top of the latest priorities, goals, and work that is influencing your company.
WorkSimple offers three different subscription plans including a free plan. The funny thing is that the costliest plan itself costs only $9! While the two paid plans come loaded with features, the free plan is no slouch either. It has got enough features to collaborate with your team effectively and sets the stage for upgrading to paid plans if you need additional features like admin dashboard, reports, private teams etc.
Creating Social Goals
The process begins with the creation of goals. Before jumping into that topic, I would like to note that team WorkSimple has done a great job highlighting the new features and some cool ones without making them annoying or intrusive to the user. Coming back to goal creation, it is fairly simple. After getting past defining and describing a goal, assign it to an appropriate priority bucket.
Add all the pressing goals to the Now bucket, the ones that need follow up should make the Next bucket and the rest to the self explanatory Someday bucket. Use the Advanced Options to add a specific due date, assign to people, define goal metrics among other things.
Sharing Social Goals
Share goals to help every employee make smart decisions. As I mentioned earlier, you can invite people to work on goals on a case by case basis. If you plan to invite people in large numbers, use the Invite CoWorkers link from the right pane. From this page, you can invite people in bulk, either by typing in their email address or importing a list from a csv file. The invitation preview is available in the same page as well.
An invite doesn’t mean that folks can jump in straight away and start working on goals. Either they will have to create an account for themselves or you can create one for them from the admin area.
Communicating with the Team
WorkSimple works hard to supercharge your team’s communication on goals and accomplishments. A Twitter like micropost system makes it quick and simple to convey your thoughts. That isn’t all. Your team members can pitch in anytime with a realtime feedback on a goal. An appreciation system to add accolades to the team (or a member) after accomplishment of a goal or a helpful comment is a nice feature to have.
Being a social collaboration app, the app has deeper integration with LinkedIn, the professional social network, the most I have seen in any other web app. WorkSimple makes it a breeze share the progress of your career diligently every step of the way, adding social proof to what you do for a living.
Tracking All Activities
From the dashboard, you can stay on top all activities. Toggle the view to switch between the team’s progress and your progress. The activities feed is tastefully designed, but there seems to be a minor design flaw where a tiny box overlaps the goals. It doesn’t hurt the flow of work, but is an eyesore nonetheless.
WorkSimple is for sure a better way to share goals and to get your team and coworkers involved. The interesting thing is that there is no mention of the word project or project management in their copy. However, in essence it is a project management app that is very much refined. Since there are way too many project management apps around, I guess the developers have smartly chosen the word collaboration instead!
Currently I’m evaluating the Wunderkit beta which looks so cool. But right now, it’s unsure what its pricing model will be, and hard to say how well it will work for enterprises which might eschew Wunderkit’s social features. The former is über cool and the latter is effortlessly functional. If I had to choose an alternative to Basecamp right at this very moment, Wunderkit and WorkSimple will be at the top of my very short shortlist, but for an enterprise, seems like the cards are stacked in WorkSimple’s favor.
Share Your Thoughts!
How do you collaborate with your team these days? Will WorkSimple make you move to the cloud to improve the productivity of the team?