Collaboration software and badgers on the internet

A little earlier this week I attended a Webinar on PBWorks ProjectHub product.

Here is a link to a recording of the webinar:

I have used PB Works’ wiki product for years (anyone who remembers me from LCCH may remember me setting up a reference site which was based on PBWiki).

Right now, I’m using the “Freemium” version of ProjectHub to manage a small project I’m running. The project team is split across two countries (Ireland and Wales), so the opportunities of meeting face to face are limited, but thankfully we’re all in the same timezone and all speak more-or-less the same language!

It’s all going reasonably well, and I started to ask myself “why?”

I’ve used various bits of collaboration software on various different platforms for years now. Sometimes it works well for the project, sometimes it works less well.

With ProjectHub, I like the way that I can switch between a top-level view, to a short term  “what is the next focus” view, to an individual task view quickly.

One of the things which helps my team, is that we’ve known one another for quite a while and we’ve agreed:

  • the way that we are going to use the tool,
  • what our roles are, and
  • what our individual responsibilities are.

In order to keep things running smoothly, we have a role which I call “the badger”. The badger’s job is to spot when people have forgotten to complete updates (usually because they’ve been doing something more important and more interesting) and remind them. The good thing about something like ProjectHub is that the actual effort of adding a couple of line comment on a task, or ticking the “complete box” is easier than arguing, so things remain reasonably up to date. The badger doesn’t have to be the PM (right now it is me though), in fact, it’s better if it is someone else, because even the PM needs to be badgered sometimes!

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