Category Archives: Startups

BYJU’S Becomes Second Highest-Valued Indian Startup
  • The Series F round was led by MC Global Edtech Investment, with participation from B Capital and others
  • Collectively, all the investors have collectively acquired a 3.53% stake in the company in this round
  • Media reports suggest that BYJU’S will raise about $700 Mn in this round, reaching the valuation of $15 Bn

Bengaluru-based edtech giant BYJU’S has now become the second highest-valued Indian startup, trailing only digital payments giant Paytm, after raising INR 3,328 Cr (about $460 Mn) as a part of its ongoing Series F funding round.

The funding round, which valued BYJU’S at a whopping $13 Bn, was led by MC Global Edtech Investment Holdings with participation from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and others. Tiga Investments, TCDS India LP, Arison Holdings, XN Exponent Holdings, Baron Emerging Market Fund, and Baron Global Advantage Fund also participated in the round, together with picking up a 1.21% stake in the company.

According to the ministry of corporate affairs filings, BYJU’S has approved the allotment of 1,40,233 Series F compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) at a face value of INR 10 and a premium of INR 2,37,326 per share. Lead investor MC Flobal has invested INR 1,628 Cr (about $225 Mn) for a 1.73% stake in the company. B Capital participated in the round through two entities, infusing about INR 561 Cr (about $77 Mn) in exchange for a 0.59% stake in the company. The round was first reported by Entrackr.

Read Tiger Global invests $200 Million in BYJU’s in Jan 2020

The development comes a week after reports emerged about BYJU’S looking to raise another $600 Mn to $700 Mn from new and existing investors, at a valuation of $15 Bn. Reports added that the company is in talks with the investors and the round could grow even further than the stated amount as the talks continue.

BYJU’S doubled its valuation last year, from $6 Bn to $12 Bn in less than 12 months, which included multiple acquisitions. The latest round represents a 2.1X or 116% increase in the company’s valuation from $6 Bn at the end of 2019 to around $13 Bn now. In case, the company manages to hit a $15 Bn valuation, it would represent a 150% increase.

Besides being the highest valued edtech startup in the world, BYJU’S also has a sizeable number of users. The company had added 25 Mn new students to its platform between March 2020 to November 2020, growing its user base to 75 Mn students, including 4.2 Mn annual paid subscribers.

The company has also been relying on impactful and big acquisitions to get a deeper control of the edtech market in India. Last August, it had acquired coding for kids startup WhiteHat Jr in August 2020 for $300 Mn. This year, the company is said to be in the advanced stages of talks to acquire Mumbai-based K12 rival Toppr and test prep giant Aakash Educational Services, which has over 200 physical coaching centers for engineering and medical entrance test prep.

The acquisition of Aakash would be the biggest acquisition in the Indian edtech space and would help BYJU’S make a mark even on the traditional and offline education ecosystem.

How to run your business more productive

In this blog, we going to see the top 5 tips to run your business more productive.

When it comes to success, productivity is the name of the game for many business owners. After all, when the business is organized and your employees are satisfied, it’s easy to keep up with the tasks.

Will you want to improve your productivity? We’ve put together a list of five tips to run your business more productive to help you in achieving your goals. Trust us: the business will be smooth sailing with a few rapid changes and some fine-tuning.

Let’s see the top 5 tips to run your business more productive.

#1: Delegate Tasks

Delegate tasks are one of the key tips to run your business more productive. We know that it’s tempting to do it all by yourself. However, no matter how productive you are or how hard you work, you will never be able to complete all of your tasks. Delegating tasks to the employees is part of running a successful business. Assess the workload to see if you can better delegate responsibilities. There’s no need for you to do it alone!

Delegating not only eases the workload but also encourages a sense of teamwork in the workplace. Employees would feel included and respected at work if you encourage them to take on responsibilities. It’s a win-win situation for everybody!

Read Top 5 Task Management Tools Of 2021

#2: Focus on One Task at a Time

Multitasking has become an expectation in today’s world of busy workdays and instant access to information (especially when your employees are working from home). You may believe you can research products, respond to emails, and take phone calls all at the same time, but trust us you’ll be much more productive if you focus on one task at a time.

If you focus your attention on the task at hand, you are much more likely to complete each project. Instead of having several half-finished projects all up in the air, you can review your to-do list and move on to the next task.

#3: Integrate Software Tools

If you haven’t already upgraded your business software, integrating new tools would significantly improve the productivity of your business. This is one of the important tips to run your business more productive.

Here are several great ways to integrate technology into your business:

  • Accounting Tools – Instead of hiring an accountant or keeping track of paperwork stacks, update your business with an accounting tool. Accounting Practice Management Software streamlines the results, so it’s all in one place. Plus, you can view all of your information at once to get a complete picture of your finances.
  • Social Media Management – Consolidate your social media accounts into an easy-to-use dashboard. Schedule the posts, see the interaction and respond to the comments, all without missing a beat.
  • Project Management Software Project management software improves the team’s productivity by enabling you to easily delegate tasks, outline projects, and schedule deadlines.

Also, read 3 Must-Have Project Management Tools for Startups

#4: Automate

When you integrate software tools into your business, you will have the potential to automate more tasks. This means less time spent keeping track of small information and more time focused on your goals. When you automate monthly to-dos including payments and invoices, you’ll streamline your finances and avoid hours of tapping through pay stubs.

Also, automate your digital marketing for increased customer engagement with clients. Schedule email alerts or news updates for best times without the need to set a million reminders for yourself. Your clients will engage with your brand in this way, and you won’t need to think about handling emails.

#5: Communicate With Your Team

Not surprisingly, clear communication between team members is a key element of any efficient business. It’s easy to get things done when everyone’s on the same page!

  • Talk Over Video Chat – Whenever possible, have a face-to-face meeting to clarify your responsibilities. We know that face-to-face meetings are challenging these days, so use video chat to update team members about your expectations.
  • Keep Meetings Frequent and Brief – It’s a good practice to check in with your team. However, long, aimless meetings are not conducive to productivity. Instead, give priority to the points you discuss at each meeting and try to hold meetings for less than ten minutes.

You may read 15 Productivity Tools for Your Remote Team

Create a Team-Oriented Environment

No matter how you approach increasing your business’s productivity, one thing is certain—a strong relationship with your employees is vital when it comes to running a tight ship. When you communicate your needs, delegate tasks, and integrate new software, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve!

Project manager at office

In this article, we going to see the 5 important Project Management Skills for every Project Manager must-have.

With the sudden change to remote work forced as a result of the outbreak of COVID19, the need for effective project management has increased significantly. This has increased the responsibilities a project manager usually handles.

Handling a remote team and coordinating multiple projects becomes challenging when the project manager has to work on specific deadlines. To achieve all this and ensure quality results, the project manager must have certain project management skills.

Here are five important project management skills a project manager must have:

1. Time Management Skills:

Time management skills are a must for any project manager to effectively handle multiple projects without delaying them. Effective project managers use project management tools to manage tasks well and deliver projects on time.

The best project management software comes with in-built time tracking tools to help managers understand exactly how much time a certain task takes. This helps to create a clear timeline for team members to achieve the project goals within a given timeframe.

Read Project Management Challenges And Ways To Overcome Them

2. Organizational Skills:

A project manager needs to be able to perform multitasking effectively without confusion within the team. This needs strong organizational skills to prioritize tasks. Keeping all aspects of a project organized means designating tasks and documenting processes for future reference.

Organizing the workflow for best results is crucial to ensuring the processes run smoothly. Without organizational skills, the team will not be able to prepare and deliver work successfully. They may also find it difficult to face any unexpected challenges.

3. Leadership Skills:

Project managers assign tasks to a team that is working towards a common goal. To lead and motivate a team, a project manager must show strong leadership skills. They are vital to ensuring that everyone is motivated and performs to the best of their abilities.

Leadership skills come with the responsibility of setting goals for every team member and ensuring that they are accomplished faithfully. This makes it essential for a manager to walk the talk and not just dictate. While leadership skills come with experience, project managers must keep giving their sincere effort towards learning it.

4. Interpersonal Skills:

Often known as social skills, interpersonal skills allow managers to communicate with their team members and develop strong working relationships. These skills test the manager’s ability to deal with a social environment through verbal and non-verbal elements.

Interpersonal skills are essential for a project manager to build a healthy working atmosphere. They require personal interaction as each team member is different from the other. These skills also help to promote collaboration among team members leading to a united workforce.

Also, read 8 Steps To Improve Project Collaboration Between Teams

5. Risk Management Skills:

Having risk management skills means being able to foresee, analyze, and mitigate the effects of a risk that could adversely affect an organization’s financial situation or reputation. A manager must possess risk management skills to combat all possible risks that their team could face during a project.

Having risk management skills means being able to predict, analyze, and reduce the probability of a risk that may adversely impact the financial condition or reputation of an organization. A manager must have risk management to combat all possible risks that the team will face during the project.

Conclusion:

Conflicts in a team are inevitable. Apart from all the skills mentioned above, the project manager must also have conflict management skills to ensure that remote team members work together and deliver quality work. It ensures that the project is performed from beginning to end with more efficiency.

Common challenges of Project Management

In this blog, we going to see the 10 most common Project Management Challenges faced by every Project Manager and the ways to Overcome them.

A Harvard Business Review study found that almost 70% of IT projects face delays in completion. One of every six projects costs more than 200% of the planned amount.

As a project manager, you must manage and balance various project elements—time, scope, money, and people. In other words, project management is not a cakewalk. You need to ensure good communication while also anticipating potential risks, among other things.

To assist, here’s a list of the 10 most common Project Mangement challenges faced by every project manager and how you can overcome them.  

Most Common Project Management Challenges

Challenge #1: Keeping Teams on One System 

One of the major project management challenges for every project manager is to ensure that all team members remain aligned. Moreover, with the increasing remote working culture, it has become more difficult than ever.

To run smoothly, the project manager needs to know how every individual is working on and what they need to remove the possibility of duplication of work.

How to deal with it?

It’s essential to keep your whole team on the same page. You can do this by bringing all the project communication to a single platform.

There are many project management tools, such as Restyaboard, Trello, and Asana, that allow managers to assign and schedule tasks to every employee. Project managers should have a clear view of the calendar and stay at the top of the schedule.

Challenge #2: Lack of Clear Goals 

A study showed that 30% of projects failed due to a lack of well-defined project goals and objectives.

Clarity is one of the main criteria for the successful completion of the project. Without clearly defined goals, project managers and other team members may not know exactly what to expect from the project.

How to deal with it?

The best approach is to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Practical, and Time-bound. The project manager has to come up with a way to measure the success of the project by setting various goals.

Challenge #3: Inadequate Team Skills 

In simple terms, the success of the completion of the project depends very much on individual ability levels. You can create an ideal working atmosphere for your team members. But if they are not qualified enough to perform assigned tasks, the development of the project will be put at risk.

Most frequently, tasks are assigned based on availability and not based on their expertise. This is a huge project management challenge that can be overcome with experience.

How to deal with it?

For the first time, the professional project manager decides the core set of skills required to fulfill the workload. They would then assess the strengths and limitations of the available workforce. This allows them to decide whether they need additional staff or need the training to develop their skills.

Read 3 Must-Have Project Management Tools for Startups

Challenge #4: Team Work Challenges 

To effectively manage teamwork, equal participation from each participant is required. However the team is made up of various personalities, and meeting the needs of each individual can be a challenge for the project manager.

With so many individuals participating in the project, certain differences are bound to occur. It will have a negative impact if it is not properly treated.

How to deal with it? 

As a project manager, you need to find ways to help your members communicate. For example, you can schedule a happy hour meeting every week for the sole purpose of encouraging members to get to know each other.

This would help to minimize any issues or negative consequences between them, encourages a healthy workplace environment. Building trust among team members can go a long way.

Challenge #5: Unrealistic Deadlines

In this world of heated competition, clients and stakeholders are also seen to be setting unrealistic goals on the part of their employees. As a result, most project deadlines fail due to an unrealistic schedule set for completion of the project.

A well-disciplined project manager would know the strengths of the project team. They should discuss the project schedule accordingly so that the quality of the work is not affected.

How to deal with it?

The best approach is to take input from all stakeholders and to collectively decide on a deadline. This project management challenge can be solved with careful planning and alternative analysis. 

Challenge #6: Resource Deprivation

Another reason for a backlog of projects is the shortage of resources in general. It could be about money, resources, or even time. Most project managers consider financial problems to be one of the main hurdles to the completion of the project.

Management must have adequate resources to run the project effectively.

How to deal with it?

A proper planning procedure must be followed by the project manager. Avoid making any unrealistic assumptions to avoid overruns of costs and aim for better results.

Challenge #7: Risk Management

Projects rarely go as they were expected. One of the essential aspects of project management is foresight in detecting potential risks. Risk management is one of the most common challenges faced by managers in handling projects.

These risks could be in the form of hidden defects in the project plan or fluctuating market demands. But these unknown factors will have an impact on the success of the project.

How to deal with it?

It is difficult to predict every potential risk, but with strategic planning, the risk can be minimized. Also, it is the responsibility of the project manager to formulate new strategies if the projects begin to spiral out of control.

Many risk management solutions collect and evaluate both past and current market data to help detect and mitigate risk.

Looking for Project Management Software? Check out the Top 10 Project Management Tools in 2020 

Challenge #8: Project Quality Management

Project managers are also often seen struggling to maintain the quality of the project established. They have a hard time keeping track of the success of every team member and ensuring that they comply with quality standards.

How to deal with it?

Luckily, there are many quality management tools available on the market. The trick, however, is to choose the right technology for your project team. Well-designed quality management software ensures that you are completely aware of all your tasks. It also sends out immediate warnings in case the quality of the work drops from the pre-defined level.

Challenge #9: Lack of Communication

Often lack of communication, or miscommunication, may get in the way of delivering projects on time. If you are giving instructions or finding information, there is always a challenge to maintain open and clear communication.

Good communication is key to a successful project. Deloitte found that 32 percent of professionals described communication as the most important issue in project management.

How to deal with it?

To prevent any problems or delays caused by miscommunication, the project manager must create a clear communication line. They can rely on a collaborative platform to ensure that all information is communicated to all involved, without misunderstanding. 

Challenge #10: Lack of Accountability

Accountability is very essential, but there are just a few teams. When team members feel accountable and try to take responsibility for the tasks assigned to them the project team will perform well as a whole.

How to deal with it?

This challenge of project management can be easily overcome by clearly identifying the roles and responsibilities of each individual. Once the tasks have been identified, it will be easy to trace the accountability of the completed task.

Conclusion

Project management is much more than just the goal of completing the project on time. It is a skill that needs patience and perseverance. Effective project management skills can be acquired with experience and appropriate training to help evaluate and improve one’s skills.

Primer, the fintech helping merchants consolidate the payments stack, raises £14M Series A and The round was led by Accel, who I understand was very aggressive in persuading Primer to take the money from the VC firms.

Gabs and Paul, Co-founders @ Primer

Primer, the UK Fintech that wants to help merchants simplify their payments stack and easily support new payment methods in the future, has raised £14 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Accel, who I understand was very aggressive in persuading Primer to take the money from the VC firms.

The young company wasn’t aggressively fund-raising, having quietly raised 3.8 million pounds of funding announced in May. Instead, the team set out to build up the product and woo potential buyers by hosting technical workshops and in-depth Zoom interviews with 100 merchants—an activity that didn’t go unnoticed.

Existing investors are also participating in Series A: Balderton, SpeedInvest, and Seedcamp, who was joined in the round by the new backer RTP Global. Sonali De Rycker, partner at Accel, will join the board of Primer.

Founded by former PayPal employees – via the acquisition of Braintree by PayPal – Primer wants to offer one payment API to hopefully) rule them all with the clear aim of bringing greater transparency to the merchant’s payment stack.

The view is that larger merchants, particularly those operating in more than one geography, need to support a variety of payment methods that carry significant technical overheads, poor user interface, and lack of transparency.

Primer, now described as a “low-code” platform, carries out a lot of this heavy-lifting on behalf of merchants while remaining steadfastly payment method agnostic. By doing so the idea is to minimize friction by introducing new payment methods as they come onto the market and to be able to provide more visibility into things like how well each checkout option is performing.

As well as payment service providers (PSPs), the platform has connectors for fraud providers, charging systems, subscription billing engines, BI tools, loyalty, and reward platforms. Both payments and non-payment services can be “seamlessly connected to checkout experience and payments flow via workflows, enabling merchants to unify their fraud migration activities, create sophisticated transaction routing, and solve complex flows – all without a code” says Primer.

Primer says that additional funding will be used for the growth of international business and the expansion of its team. Billed as a remote-first company, Primer has 23 employees across six countries and says that it has already gained traction across mid-market and large e-commerce enterprise merchants across Europe.

You may read: Fundraising, productivity critical this year for co-working startups

Comments Paul Anthony, Primer’s co-founder and Head of Product and Engineering: “During our time at PayPal, we saw first-hand the technical burden that online merchants face in trying to provide the best payment experience to their customers worldwide. Our low-code approach enables merchant payment teams to control and extend their payment ecosystems and maintain a sophisticated payment logic with a familiar UI workflow.”

In the meantime, the new investment takes Primer’s total funding to £17.8 million and comes just a few weeks after the initial launch of the company’s platform.

Small business technology

To produce better results, the use of technology in your small business will do wonders.

You can get good returns at minimal cost and small-maintenance with smart use.

Controlled technology implementation is the right step forward. Here, we cover five must-have cost-effective technologies for SMBs:

1.Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps SMBs attract new clients, increase sales, and assist in marketing. You can make use of features such as customer service, data analysis, database management, etc., all under one roof.

You get an organized interface that means you know about business procedures, financial projections, customer demographics, and more. Advanced CRM software also comes with an integrated attendance management system that lets you keep track of your staff’s regularity. You can receive sales reports, create team performance charts along with business suggestions that can help you scale your business.

2.Contactless Payment 

Convenient payment options are always a benefit. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the concept of payment convenience. You need to establish social distances at all times. This forced tech vendors to optimize contactless payment options.

Contactless payment is robust, secure, and simple for users to access these applications. Payment wallets, bank-to-bank transfer apps, etc., offer valuable merchant collaborations. Provide trouble-free payment services to your consumer-base and experience the magic of seamless transactions.

Read 10 Tools to start a Small Business

3.Chatbots 

The implementation of chatbots is a perfect example of the proper use of technology in business. An AI-driven chatbot is a software program that is compatible with websites and mobile applications. It supports users during their on-page time and resolves queries instantly.

You can also collect contact details from the visitor and integrate the chatbot with your CRM to conduct an in-depth analysis of the results. It also opens the doors to email marketing campaigns and other strategies that involve direct communication.

Chatbots run 24×7, making it a must-have technology for small business owners. They are effective because they manage most of the queries without human interference.

4.Data Security 

Digital breaches can cause severe trouble for business owners. So, include an up-to-date server and data security tool to safeguard your other business assets. End-to-end encryption programs, robust firewalls, cybersecurity solutions, etc., comprise worthy data security for small businesses.

Digital breaches can cause severe problems for business owners. Include an up-to-date server and data security tool to safeguard the other business assets. End-to-end encryption programs, robust firewalls, cybersecurity solutions, etc., provide valuable data security for small businesses.

5.Team Collaboration and Management

Miscommunication between team members can occur during the execution of the project. But SMBs can use team collaboration tools to fix this problem. You can manage attendance, share a list of daily activities, and evaluate your daily performance.

Work-from-home has been the norm of 2020 because of the constraints imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19. It’s tedious to monitor the whole team over phone calls and messages. Using the office management software to track daily progress, while also providing valuable feedback on work in the same application.

Conclusion

The needs of small business technology are cost-effective and efficient. You don’t have to go crazy with technical solutions by investing huge amounts of money. Instead, spend more time in analysis and customize the best resources of your business without compromising your budget. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has increased the use of contactless payment options and team collaboration tools. Cybersecurity and CRM software remain vital to secure and well-organized business functioning.

What technologies do you use to make your business work more efficiently? Let us know in the comments section.

In this blog, we can look at what is Agile Project Management And How Can Your Team Benefit?

Most of the world’s teams work in fast-paced, ever-changing environments. That’s where the term agility comes into play. You’ve likely heard the term before, but what does it mean in today’s workplace? Stemming from the IT world, agile capabilities evolved in the 1990s when “thought leaders sought ways to quickly build working software and get it into the hands of end-users.” During this period of transformation, IT began focusing on software solutions combined with more fluent applications needed for a productive work environment.

Agility is essentially a way to simplify the way you work and coordinate together in regards to workload processes. If you’re asking, “What is agile project management?” and wondering if your team can benefit from it, know that it distinctly involves improving systems, processes, and timelines to empower your team members and help you organize work in a way that’s simplified and meaningful.

Agile Project Management

So what is agile project management exactly? It is a method of applying intuitive software and tools to the lifecycle of your team’s project management processes. Agility enables you to multitask for improved collaboration, teamwork, and productivity.

Agile project management takes agility a step further to represent the task and project management steps, systems, tools, app integrations, and execution capabilities necessary for enabling project teams to establish a streamlined, effective workflow—even in changing environments.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), project teams “increasingly embrace agile as a technique for managing projects” with 71% of organizations reporting the use of agile project management approaches “sometimes, often, or always.”

As evidence has suggested, Agility models thrive in communicative and adaptive cultures where team members are connected via a single dashboard or source. These teams use collaboration tools where team members can quickly adapt to project changes, leading to greater workflow and productivity benefits.

Read Top 7 Product Management Tools for Product Managers

Iterative is another term you may hear around the topic of agile project management. It represents the agile life cycles or significant steps involved in project completion. This approach focuses on the empowerment of team members via easy-to-use collaborative project management tools for maximum productivity.

How Can Your Team Benefit from Agile PM?

Fostering success through agile project management and iterate processing often begins with dynamic adaptability. Your project and your team must demand interaction, collaboration, and accountability, as well as the ability to shift and change according to project and client, needs as you go. 

This means that tasks can be assigned, dated, and set as recurring as needed. You can also assign project team members where necessary, and even assign subtasks and add notes or files as you strive through the agile project management process. And the benefits of this are endless, especially when working with an all-in-one project management software platform. 

Here’s an overview of the many opportunities your team can take advantage of within this system:

  • Optimize team communication and productivity.
  • Foster a culture of learning and evolution where one centralized and goal-oriented task management platform supports your project. 
  • Support in-office and remote team members with agile project management tools.
  • Bolster team communication and workflow empowerment with:
  • Assignments that are easily set up via templates or email.
  • Reminders can be sent to keep team members on schedule.
  • Easy attachment of files and notes for project clarity.
  • Real-time communication via a built-in chat messaging system that allows task creation directly from a chat channel.
  • Team member accountability through the calendar and timeline integration and reporting, including customizable views from high-level project timelines down to individual task lists. 
  • Cultural collaboration and productivity support through task and calendar sharing, including the ability to:
  • View projects and tasks by timeline, individual, or team.
  • Prioritize tasks, set start dates, due dates, and due times, and update them as each project progresses. 
  • Add followers to a task and add task comments so everyone stays in the loop on updates or timeline changes. 
  • Allow collaborators to view real-time updates on tasks as due date changes, comments, and completions so they understand the progress.
  • Project management planning, intention, and successful execution, allowing teams to create a powerful project result that’s on time and productive. 

From a single project management tool, you’ll be able to integrate all of your teams, projects, apps, and timelines to accomplish goals and provide leadership and quality results for your team.

Taking Advantage of Agile Methodology, Leadership, and Teamwork

Agile project management, now more than ever, requires first choosing the tool you wish to work with each day. It involves planning with timelines, tasks, and processes in mind for effective collaboration.

Through agile project management processes, you will streamline your workflow. And the “what is agile project management” question begins and ends with empowering people. What better way to do this than providing your team members with a modern collaboration app that integrates all of your project tools, tasks, and calendars within one intuitive, task management system?

Restyaboard provides a feature-rich, all-in-one collaborative platform that’s both scalable and simple enough to learn in minutes. To learn how it can improve your team’s workflow, try the demo today! 

2020 has forced the whole world to work remotely. It has also made people realize that remote work works. But remote work is not all rainbows and unicorns. It is a challenging feat to pull off. It can be difficult to keep your head around managing a distributed team. But if you have the right productivity tools in your magazine, you can cultivate an empowering, rewarding, and effective remote work environment for your team.

While you will see many remote productivity tools on the web, we’ve rounded up the best ones to bring your team’s remote work experience to a new level. Let’s check each of these productivity tools and how they benefit your remote team. 

Productivity Tools for Remote Work

Team Collaboration Tools

Collaboration can be tricky when you need to keep work flowing smoothly despite geographical distance and time differences. Everything must be accessible to everyone at any given time. Communication must be instantaneous and seamless. This helps teams get an experience as close to how they would normally collaborate with their teammates when they’re co-located. Invest in these productivity tools to ensure there are no blockers to team collaboration.

Team Chat App

Slack is widely used by remote teams worldwide. It’s easy to set up and organize topics into channels. Direct messaging is also seamless. You can bring all the project discussions into one place. You can also make calls and screen share within Slack. 

Cloud Storage and File Sharing App

This might be a close call between Google Drive and Dropbox. Both are widely used by remote teams for its ease of use and accessibility. Even with a free plan, you get a generous amount of storage to start with. You also get full control of how you share your files. 

Read Best Tools To Support Remote Work in 2020

Video Conferencing App

Zoom is a strong contender for this one. I find video calls in Zoom are more stable than other apps. It’s a reliable option, especially for big team video meetings. You can also do screen sharing and collaborate on an online whiteboard. You can use Zoom Breakout Rooms to split your discussions into groups if you ever need to have smaller focused groups.

Video calls are far more effective than communicating through email or a phone call. You can see your teammates’ gestures and expressions and makes you feel more connected to them.

Connectivity

Stable and consistent connectivity is important for remote teams. These productivity tools will help your team stay connected anywhere and anytime they need to.

Mobile Hotspots or Pocket WiFis

While your teams may have reliable and fast internet at home, it’s recommended to have a backup. This ensures everyone can get to work anywhere or when their internet home connection is down. Your teammates should check with their local internet providers and see what options are available. What I usually do is ask for recommendations from my teammates living nearby or through online remote workgroups I’m a member of.    

Remote Desktop App

There will be times when your teams will need to access their office desktop remotely. If this is a requirement, having a remote desktop app will be beneficial. Some popular options are TeamViewer and Chrome Remote Desktop

Security

You need to ensure all your team files and assets are secure and only those who have authorized access can get into your systems. Security tools are one of the most important productivity tools your team needs to have. With security in mind, maximum productivity is achieved.

Password Manager

There are free and paid apps that your team can use. A popular paid option is Dashlane. It even comes with a VPN and secure file storage. It can even scan the dark web for data breaches and will notify you if your data has been compromised. But it can be a little pricey. So another option to look at is LastPass. It comes with a free version and even has multi-factor authentication as an added security layer. Even with the paid version, it’s still reasonably priced. 

Multi-factor Authentication

Most apps come with two-factor or multi-factor authentication and we highly encourage your teams to enable this feature. When generating tokens, you can use an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator

VPN

While we strongly discourage using public Wi-Fi when working remotely, sometimes it cannot be helped. But when using public networks, security can’t be guaranteed. To keep your remote teams secure wherever they are, require the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN). VPNs create secure tunnels that mask or encrypt any data you send and receive on the fly. For all these security-related productivity tools, check with your IT department on the best options.

Time Management

Time management can be difficult when working remotely. It can be challenging to establish a fine line between your house chores and your work responsibilities when you work from home. This is why time management is very important. Productivity tools that focus on time management help you get more done with whatever time you have. 

Time Tracking

Time trackers shouldn’t be seen as the ultimate gauge of productivity. Instead, it should be seen as a tool to understand the time consumed on work and how best to improve it. If you’re a team manager, having your team members track their time while they work remotely can provide valuable insights as to where their time is being spent on. You can then review with them how it aligns with their goals. You may also see some indicators of work inefficiency through time data. Time Doctor and Restyaboard are some of the well-known team time tracking apps in the market. It also has reporting and analytics that will come in handy for remote team managers.

Scheduling

I’m a firm believer in the saying, “What gets scheduled gets done.” Anything else that pops up in the middle of the day that is NOT in your schedule, shouldn’t be your main focus. Scheduling and planning are essential productivity techniques that remote workers should master. It’s hard to stay motivated when working alone. So you have to encourage your team to develop discipline and structure. 

We recommend using a calendar app that’s already integrated with your other work tools such as your email. This way, it’s easier to sync them to your other activities like meeting invites, events, and other alerts.

Task Management

Every team should have a task management tool, especially for your remote team. Your task management tool should be easily accessible, secure, and has the right features to encourage collaboration within your project teams right then and there. It’s one of the productivity tools remote teams can’t live without as this essentially becomes their virtual office. 

Restyaboard is a project and task management tool that allows teams to collaborate on projects in one place. It’s a highly visual tool that enables teams to maintain transparency and achieve seamless collaboration. Restyaboard is much more than just a Kanban board. It’s built around the Kanban methodology and has rich and easy-to-use features that bring out the in-person work experience into the virtual setting. What’s great about this is you not only have a productivity tool, but you and your team will also have a framework to manage your work.

Focus

One of the key elements to productivity is maintaining focus. Our attention gets challenged every second. There are plenty of distractions especially when you work from home or remotely. What may seem to be a harmless 5-min check on your Social Media feed could turn out to a 30-min waste of time. Focus apps are essential productivity tools to instill discipline and accountability. 

I like using the Pomodoro Technique especially during times when I need to engage in deep work. You can use any online timer available or even use a physical one that you’d put on your desk. You could also explore focus apps that limit your access to and alerts from social media apps and even your email inbox. The important thing is to keep unnecessary distractions to a minimum or none at all when you need to focus on work. Share these focus-centered productivity tools with your remote team to supercharge their efficiency.

Automation

Repetitive manual tasks can be a pain. If a task is done repetitively and routinely, there’s a big chance it can be automated. Your team can then spend that time doing more meaningful work. Automation means taking your time back and letting technology steer the wheel. Automation tools are undoubtedly one of the top productivity tools every remote team should have.

Discuss with your remote team what process steps are candidates for automation. Some examples would be consolidating information and transferring task lists from one system to another. After you’ve identified your candidates for automation, explore automation tools such as IFTTT or other web-based service apps that enable system integration without or with minimal coding involved.

Employee Engagement

Happiness and engagement at work affect employee productivity. As a remote team manager, you should also stay on top of your team’s overall well-being. Remote working can be tough on your team’s mental health, so it’s important to check with them every so often. It’s also best to have programs that are designed to encourage employee engagement. 

Virtual Team Building

Who says remote workers can’t have fun? It’s all about being creative and resourceful. Even though your team is not co-located, schedule team-building activities every so often. You can use your video chat tool to facilitate this event and use an online whiteboard to do some charades or to do some team quizzes. 

I also encourage you to schedule virtual celebrations for team and project milestones. This will help your team feel more connected to the rest of the company and stay engaged. 

Rewards and Recognition 

It’s always a different feeling when you’re recognized for a job well done. And it’s these kinds of things that can easily get forgotten when working remotely. But it’s one of those “indirect” productivity tools that will help managers reap more rewards. When employees are appreciated, they are encouraged to do better. This creates a culture of meritocracy and makes your employees feel they are contributing to the company even if they’re working remotely. 

Rewards and recognition tools can be as simple as sending virtual gift cards to your top performers and recognizing them during your virtual town halls. You can also go a step further and use a rewards and recognition platformApart from peer to peer recognition and in-app rewards, it also has social media and gamification that makes a fun and innovative engagement program.

Investing in Productivity Tools for Remote Workers

If you want your remote team to succeed, you need to invest in the right productivity tools to support them. And whether you like it or not, remote work is here to stay. More companies will shift to this model and more employees will expect and demand flexible working arrangements. But having the right productivity tools is only half the battle. Your remote teams should also have the right mindset when it comes to productivity. You need to make them realize that these tools are not meant to restrict them but to empower them and bring team collaboration to a whole new level. This will create a culture that’s uplifting, empowering, and productive for remote work.

In this article, we provide a list of Project Management Tools that can be used by any startup company to develop a highly productive organization.

Starting a new company or working for a startup is exciting and nerve-wracking in equal parts. Budgets are often tight in a startup environment and the traditional processes that keep companies going are often lacking. Such a productive work atmosphere can be punished for even the most experienced employees because there will always be new problems to tackle and insufficient resources to tackle them.

Most how-to books will tell you that it takes a combination of hard work, good employees, and enough funding for a startup to succeed. But most of these books do not address the project management tools that the best entrepreneurs in the world use to organize and manage their companies. That is why we have gathered this list of project management tools that can be used by any startup company to develop a highly productive organization.

Here is the list of project management tools that can be used by any startup company to develop a highly productive organization.

1. Work Management / Task Management Software

In reference to collaboration, there is one proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is particularly true in the start-up world, where having a strong collaborative culture is a key to success.

To achieve success as a team, all employees need to move in the same direction and work towards the same goals. Smart entrepreneurs have figured out that using a collaborative work management tool is the way to achieve this.

Work Management Software

“Work management” is a relatively new form of software designed to provide a central place for teams to digitally collaborate and work together. Work management software combines project management, task management, document management, and communication into one place to get all employees on the same track.

Restyaboard has a task list view, which displays all of the tasks related to a project, along with key metrics.

Benefits of Using Work Management Software

  • Keep things From Getting Lost in the Shuffle: Startups are fast-paced and dynamic, so there’s always something new that needs attention. Without a central collaboration tool, employees find their own ways to keep track of their to-do lists, which may lead to tasks not being completed and general frustration. This problem is resolved by a central collaboration platform.
  • Get More Visibility: Startup employees are always busy taking care of their work and do not always have time to communicate with management and keep them in the loop. When all work is managed and tracked in one place, managers can see everything that their employee is working on, eliminating the need for constant check-ins.
  • Improve Accountability: A central work management platform ensures that all employees are accountable for their work. When management can quickly see what all team members are working on, underperforming employees cannot fly under the radar. Conversely, this provides another way for management to recognize their best and most efficient employees.

2. Kanban Boards for Building Workflows

It is necessary to establish visual processes in a start-up environment that serve as guidelines for employees to follow to be successful. The use of Kanban board software is one of the best ways of creating these processes.

Kanban board software is a simple startup project management tool that’s used to visualize and track all of the different tasks happening within a company or team. Each task is created as a “card” that can be dragged-and-dropped into different areas of the screen to indicate the status of the task.

The kanban board shows anyone looking at it what work needs to happen next, what work is in progress, and what work has been recently completed.

Kanban boards are an incredibly useful visual tool for managing workflow. Make your kanban board with Restyaboard today!

The simplest way to use a kanban board is to have three columns: to-do, doing and done. When a new task needs to be added, it goes into the to-do column. Then, when someone is ready to work on that task, they drag the kanban card into “doing” so that everyone on the team can see the task-in-progress.

However, kanban boards can also be used to build more complex processes in the form of custom workflows. This is done by creating custom columns for each stage of the work process.

Kanban Workflow Example

For example, let’s assume your startup does marketing for clients, and you need a good way to manage all of the work requests that clients send in. You could create a kanban board with the following columns:

  • New Work Requests
  • Information Gathering
  • Doing
  • Client Approval
  • Done

Each column represents a step in the workflow or process.

  • When a new work request comes in from a client, the employee who received the request creates a task in the “New Work Requests” column and assigns it to an account manager.
  • When the account manager is ready, they move the task into “Information Gathering” and contact the client to get all of the information needed to start work. They then re-assign the task to the marketing team and move it to “Doing.”
  • The marketing team now works on the client request. When finished, they move the task to “Client Approval” and re-assign the task to the account manager.
  • With a new task in “Client Approval”, the account manager now knows the work is ready to send to the client for final approval.
  • Once the client gives their approval, the task is finally moved into “Done” to indicate the process is finished.

As you can see, the kanban board is used to build a step-by-step process for work requests. As the whole team has access to the board, everyone knows the status of all of the work that is happening. Kanban boards are a great way to eliminate problems and confusion by giving the team a blueprint for how work should flow through the team.

3. Project Management Dashboards

As discussed previously, visibility into your employee’s work is important to successfully manage your company. This is why savvy entrepreneurs choose to implement key performance indicators (KPIs) across their companies.

Read 8 Powerful Tools to Make Your Startup Smarter in 2020

The motto of “measure everything” is useful in startup companies because data allows the company to pivot quickly when things aren’t working—and to double down on things that are. There are many different types of dashboards a startup company can implement across the business, but the most important one is the project management dashboard.

Project management dashboards passively collect data from your project management platform, turning the information into helpful charts and graphs. The dashboard will update in real-time, giving you all of the information you need to make decisions across the company.

Project management tools dashboards can quickly show you information about several project metrics.

  • Workload: see which employees and teams are over or underworked
  • Project Progress: see how specific projects are progressing
  • Time Tracking: monitor where and how employee time is being spent
  • Budgets: learn the real cost of employee time and resources to make smarter budgeting decisions

Implementing Project Management Tools for Startup Companies

Startup companies are dynamic, exciting, and always growing. And as a company grows, it needs to change over time. However, establishing the right project management tools and processes early on will give your startup a solid foundation to build upon.

This is why we recommend that every startup company implement a work management platform, Kanban boards for building workflows, and dashboards for measuring everything across the business, all as soon as possible.

Implementation of these startup project management tools might seem like a lot of work, but it’s well worth it. Additionally, there are plenty of software suites that give you all of the tools we’ve discussed with zero codings or training needed.

Product management tools

Product management is an organizational structure within an enterprise that focuses on planning, forecasting, production, and marketing of a product at all stages of the development lifecycle. The purpose of the product management tools is to design and develop quality products for the target audience of an enterprise while boosting the customer lifetime value (CLV) and creating measurable profits for the business as well.

Product Managers are trained professionals responsible for leading cross-functional teams to ensure the overall success of a product. It is they who set the product development strategy, roadmap, and marketing goals for products of a company.

However, to be able to create and implement a robust product management strategy, Along with improving product management skills, Product Managers must use the right product management tools and product management software. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today – the best product management tools and product management software that Product Managers around the world swear by!

Product management tools include product analytics software, product design tools, production management software, and development tracking tools. Since Product Managers are responsible for numerous strategic functions, product management tools make it possible to implement their ideas, organize them, and give coherence to the same. Product management courses from reputed institutions can help you understand more about various management tools and their functions.

The best product management tools and software that every Product Manager and aspiring Product Manager must know about! For new product managers, makes the career transition easy.

Top Product Management Tools for Product Managers

Axure

Axure is a wireframing-cum-prototyping product management tool specifically designed for midsize to large companies. The biggest selling point of Axure is that it lets your product and design teams create compelling prototypes without coding.

With Axure, your product development teams can create and document diagrams, customer journeys, or wireframes on the same page for easier collaborating and transparency. You can create diagrams comprising dynamic content, animations, conditional logic, math functions, and data-driven interactions.

Also, you can put together several different types of collaborative diagrams in Axure, such as flowcharts, wireframes, mockups, user journeys, customer personas, and idea boards. After you’ve completed a diagram, you can publish it on Axure Share and send a link to other team members to get feedback on the same.

Restyaboard

Restyaboard is a hot favorite among product management professionals. It is a highly visual web application that facilitates easy and seamless collaboration between team members. For instance, it offers visual boards, lists, and cards that allow you and your team members to prioritize and organize company projects. Every member can share links, input their comments/feedback, add attachments, and mention due dates via Restya cards.

The best thing about Restya is that it is highly flexible. It offers you the flexibility and option to customize and use it to fit your needs. And most importantly, it ensures full transparency between team members.

Read Top-rated product management software for Product Managers in 2020

Balsamiq Mockups

Balsamiq Mockups is a UI wireframing product management tool designed to suit the needs of small and medium-sized businesses specifically. It allows you to simulate the experience of sketching on a paper/whiteboard on your computer itself. Using this tool, Product Managers can quickly create multiple mockups for testing and user feedback.

Balsamiq encourages team collaboration. So, all the stakeholders involved in the product development and management lifecycles can collaborate throughout the design and development process for smooth operation. This is the perfect tool for your enterprise if you are looking for a tool to promptly create simple mockups (instead of full-blown, elaborate prototypes) for testing and user feedback.

Jira

Another exceptional product management tool suite on our list, Jira, is excellent for team collaboration. This tool not only encourages agile development, but it also helps you track and monitor the entire product creation process. Jira can be used on a server, a data center platform, and in the cloud.

Product management teams can use Jira to help plan, schedule, and monitor software releases. It enables you to create user stories and issues, plan sprints, distribute tasks, record and report bugs, prioritize tasks, and track the daily progress of your teams.

Furthermore, with Jira, you can set up Scrum and Kanban boards according to your preference. The tool offers numerous out-of-the-box, real-time agile reports to help you track the right metrics. To top that, there’s an agile portfolio management add-on as well – Portfolio.

Aha!

Aha! is a roadmap product management software. It allows you to create a detailed plan of your product strategy and also track the product features throughout the product development lifecycle.

You can use it to get a comprehensive overview of your products, set different milestones for your teams, crowdsource ideas, create workflow boards for agile/lean/scrum methodologies, define the features and requirements, analyze data, and much more. The best part is that businesses of all sizes can use Aha! – from small startups to large enterprises.

OmniPlan

OmniPlan is a roadmap software explicitly created to accommodate the needs of startups. The tool primarily focuses on task management. Thus, it lets you highlight and prioritize important tasks, set deadlines, filter tasks by specific metrics (date, priority, etc.), automatically optimize resources, and much more.

OmniPlan offers a wide range of planning products, including OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and OmniPresence. You can either use the Standard version that includes all the basic planning tools, or you can opt for the Advanced version that includes additional features (for example, Earned Value Analysis, Monte Carlo simulation, network diagrams, etc.).

MindMeister

MindMeister is a Mind Mapping Tool that lets you “capture, develop, and share ideas visually.” This cloud-based product management tool can be accessed on Windows, macOS, and Linux from your web-browser itself.

With MindMeister, you can share your mind maps with as many partners/colleagues as you want and collaborate with them in real-time. Any changes made to the maps are visible to everyone. Plus, all the stakeholders can add their comments, vote on ideas, or discuss changes via MindMeister’s integrated chat platform. The best feature of this tool is that it lets you transform your ideas in the mindmap into actionable tasks directly.

Conclusion

While there are many, many tools out there to handle different product management requirements, the choice of the product management tool/software depends upon your specific needs. Thankfully, there is a host of free product management tools and product management software that you can try first, before moving on to paid versions.