Digital pink image of a magnifying glass over a sheet of paper.

Systems can mean tools such as software and ways of organising information. 

An effective project relies not only on a good team working together but on having the tools in place to track and monitor your progress. Choosing the right systems can help with all these tasks and keep you on top of everything. 

If your team is spread out across locations, or working remotely, then digital systems will be central. 

Some questions to consider are:

  • Do you have the right systems in place to do the jobs you need to do?

For example, you may wish to use spreadsheets to monitor your budget and spending, but use a more flexible system to keep track of what tasks are complete or in progress. Software like Open Office contains free spreadsheet, presentation and word processing documents which work on most computer systems. Some tools, such as Trello, allow team members to keep lists tracking their work that use visual and audio content as well as text. These platforms are free to use (at the time of writing) but may charge for certain services or features. The same applies for software like Discord and Slack. Many people find Google Docs have good levels of accessibility, and with a Google account this opens up use of folder sharing and storage through Google Drive as well as virtual hangouts and calendar and email integration.

Tapping into your team's creativity when organising your project can be a great way to make the most of the experience. Using systems that allow for everyone to contribute, no matter what format or media they prefer, supports this well. Above all, it supports the flow of ideas and communication.

Zoom logo. Google office suite logo. OpenOffice logo
Slack logo Trello logo Discord logo

  • Are all these systems accessible to all the team? You may be fortunate in all your team being able to use the same tools, but sometimes this will not be the case.

For example, the person tracking the budget may find spreadsheets accessible while other team members may not. When the team's access needs are known from the outset, it should be easier to create workarounds that ensure everyone is informed and supported, therefore able to do their tasks and support the wider team. In the case of spreadsheets, there is flexibility to redesign them with access needs and barriers in mind, but you may also prefer to visually represent the data through things like charts and infographics, or simply to talk through the material in conversation. 

It's all about what works for your team, so the right people have the right information at the right time.