Sunday, August 17, 2008

Managing a cross-agency/government project online

I believe that one of the keys to successful projects is to maximise time spent on the project goals and minimise time spent dealing with project tools.

In the past I've seen projects fail or delayed due to the difficulty in managing project teams across different areas of a single organisation or, worse yet, across organisations.

The tools used to manage project teams often do not translate across organisational silos.

Fortunately, in a connected world, we can do better. Below is one vision of how to run a major project (at low cost) using secure and well established online tools.

You'll see most of them in my Top Tools list - and, yes, I've eaten my own dogfood.
  1. Create a secure Govdex group to centralise project information and allow project team members to collaboratively develop project documents (as wiki pages)
  2. Use a Yahoo group or Google group to manage an email discussion list and calendar
  3. Use Mindjet to brainstorm the project
  4. Use Google docs to collaboratively work on project tasks and formal documents such as a risk register and issues list
  5. Use Basecamp or Copperproject for project timelining and gantt charting
  6. Use Webex for video conferencing across the team, or free voice conferences via Skype
  7. Use Flickr or Photodump to store photos and images
  8. Create and manage a project blog/diary via Blogger (public or private)
  9. Share PowerPoint presentations via Slideshare
  10. Share project videos via YouTube


  1. Hello from Mindjet, makers of MindManager. I work in Customer Advocacy and would love to talk with you further about your use of mapping software for government projects. Feel free to connect with me at:



  2. These are all good tools. Another thing they have in common is that they're almost all blocked in almost all government departments in Canberra, requiring such expensive and painful workarounds as having separate computers and internet accounts paid out of petty cash and separate from the work network to access tools that are increasingly mainstream; endless arguments with IT sections about how being on the internet *is* part of your job; re-inventing each and every wheel in every dept to get functionality that's available for free on the internet; etc. Senior managers and IT security tossers, wake up!, the internet is here, now, and it's normal.