Four Essential Requirements for a Project Collaboration Solution

Four Essential Requirements for a Project Collaboration Solution

Insights from 200 professionals who participate in collaborative projects

When it comes to connecting modern teams and keeping track of projects, everyone wants to talk the talk about “working smarter.” However, we still rely heavily on traditional tools such as email and spreadsheets. In fact, email has the unique distinction of being both a collaboration hurdle and our go-to tool of choice, according to an Appleseed Partners survey of 200 people based in North America who manage or participate in projects.

So how do we improve collaboration and share ideas more effectively? Of those queried in the survey, 43% expressed an over-arching need for an all-in-one online solution. What do they want in this solution?

Four “must haves” surfaced to the top as requirements for effective project collaboration:

  1. Document sharing – 46% want version control and iteration to keep track of actions. Look for a document management system that is secure, structured, and easily accessible. Project members should be able to view, organize, and share content in a central location.
  1. Project planning, scheduling, charting, and milestone tracking – 44% want Gantt charts and Kanban boards to keep people connected. Look for a solution with Kanban boards as they provide a new level of visual productivity, depicting an overview of project progress. With Gantt charts, project owners should be able to plan work and easily keep track of goals. Look for Gantt charts that connect to Kanban tasks for a complete view and hierarchy of activities.
  1. Workload visualization – 44% want to see a project’s status and easily identify overcommitted team members. Look for a solution that can provide a visual overview of work and cards relation to the plan, enabling you to prioritize work using social interactions to reach your goals. This transparent and highly visual approach can improve motivation and team engagement.
  1. A dashboard to track multiple projects – 42% want to easily access updated information. Look for a solution that incorporates dashboards for managers, team members, and stakeholders so everyone has an instant overview of a project’s progress, status, and performance. It also makes follow-up on project deliverables easier and more accurate.

Four "Must Haves" Infographic

At the end of the day, what do these four requirements have in common? Transparency. For those surveyed, moving past the status quo means creating a single, virtual, secure workspace. Modern, productive collaborative teams want to work across boundaries – both physical and virtual – to get a clear view into bottlenecks, opportunities, and outcomes.

I hope you found these requirements helpful and that they help you in your search for a project collaboration solution.

I invite you to listen to a webinar related to this topic. I am hosting it with special guest Alan Lepofsky vice president and principle analyst, Constellation Research. During Webinar: The Future of Work is Here we will discuss new research findings and the tools that bring together the best of project management and collaboration to empower people to get work done together more effectively. Join us!



  1. […] Clearly, both continents want to move away from chaos toward completing projects on time, on budget, and at a high quality. Instead of causing stress and wasting time and salary on inefficient collaboration practices, they would rather increase morale and gain transparency. For a deeper dive into the project collaboration requirements, read Jason Morio’s blog on Projectlab titled: Four Essential Requirements for a Project Collaboration Solution. […]

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