Monday, March 10, 2008

Google Sites - Putting it to the test

I was eagerly awaiting to see what Google would do with the wiki software company, Jot Spot, that they acquired quite some time ago. From the acquisition, Google has created Google sites, which is this hybrid wiki/project management application that is really quite interesting and easy to use. I must admit that I am a huge fan of using technology effectively to make things better. However, the only way to truly know it's deep value is to put it to the test in a real life team and project management situation. So lets do it. I just designed and am now beginning to implement a google site for my team to use. My logic in developing my team's Google site was to give each team member their own wiki page to help them manage their own projects, invite collaboration, and track their own status, while simultaneously sharing with the group what they are doing. In addition, everyone has a file upload page, which is linked to their wiki page. I've also created a dashboard (this is a custom template provided by Google sites), an ongoing projects page (custom template to easily add and track projects), an Announcements page to communicate with the team (also a custom template), and a Team Wiki page. The beauty of the system is that it is incredibly easy to use and enables the team to be productive on their projects while giving managers a snapshot of our workloads. Most project management software systems are clunky and not this easy to use, so I give it props for ease of use. The question is how effective this method will be for team collaboration and project management. It seems that it is off to a good start, and I'll report back in about a month on my thoughts of the system.

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