What is your favorite tool for managing temporary (contract or project-based) team workers, and why?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
We have a smaller team of 12 people right now based all over the world, and 20+ contractors that do temp or contract work for us. Basecamp is one way we keep all of this organized and in the same place. It’s amazing to be able to track progress of everything and keep track of your team.
Asana is just the best project management tool, hands down. Our dev team rarely even uses emails now. We’ve moved almost everything to Asana. It’s a great tracking tool, and it’s also a great accountability tool. It helps avoid confusion around deadlines, expectations, etc. It also increases transparency across the board for the team. We all know the important projects people are working on.
3. Time Doctor
Time Doctor has been a huge help managing our outsourced team. We can see when they work and what they are working on, much like oDesk, but for all members of our team (not just the ones we hire through other platforms).
With Zoho, you can manage projects and tasks with your remote team, but it’s also great for managing client contracts, freelance team members and temporary team members. It helps keep track of progress and timeliness, and is accessible and functional anywhere.
A relatively unknown in this crowded market, Slack is the latest project from Flickr Founder Stewart Butterfield. Not only is Slack beautifully designed, but it does away with the slow, clunky email process altogether. Instead, it is set up like a very robust, task-based IM client. The killer feature though is that it is highly searchable. Referencing a file or conversation from last year is easy.
Flowdock is by and large the way we communicate. All of our contract and project-based team members are remote, so it allows us to communicate with them efficiently, just like we can with the rest of our team in Argentina, Turkey, Spain, Los Angeles and elsewhere. It also gives us the ability to find the best talent because we aren’t limited to a single office environment. We can hire anyone, anywhere.
Since we have a decentralized team of seven, which often includes freelancers, it can be difficult to track progress, hours and billing. More than a project management platform, Podio streamlines everything for us. There are hundreds of plugins you can use to track time sheets, project milestones and approvals. It even offers tools that foster creative collaboration sessions.
oDesk has a large network to help you find the workers you need, but also the tools to manage their workload and pay them on a timely basis. One of the niftiest tools is the time-tracking feature that shows you what they were doing on-screen during the hours they were employed by you.
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