Groove Networks targets project management

Groove Networks has rolled out a project management version of its desktop collaboration software, which has been designed to...

Groove Networks has rolled out a project management version of its desktop collaboration software, which has been designed to help distributed project teams work together more effectively.

Groove Workspace Project Edition bundles project-based collaboration tools from TeamDirection, whose offering includes project creation tools, status view, role-based permissions, and integration with Microsoft Project. TeamDirection Dashboard, meanwhile, provides cross-project views, filtering and sorting capabilities, and related discussion access.

Because project management tools are separate from collaboration and communication products, cross-team and cross-company projects usually require the use of multiple, disconnected applications. This often forces project managers to re-enter project updates manually into a static project document, which is then distributed to team members.

To simplify that process, the Project Edition of Groove Workspace lets project managers create a workspace and add data manually or through a link to an existing project template or Microsoft Project plan. Team members, who are invited to the workspace via e-mail or instant messaging, each receive a shared, synchronised copy of the tools and project data.

Groove software's multilevel presence awareness shows which team members are online and active, allowing immediate decision making and problem resolution,. In addition, Groove can synchronise project changes to each team member's PC  automatically, even if the workers are offline.

One of the biggest benefits of the Groove and TeamDirection offering is that it helps distribute project accountability throughout the team, said Richard Eckel, vice president of marketing communications at Groove.

"In a Groove space the whole team can see the tasks. If I am responsible for delivering something, it is now shared with everyone on the team as opposed to me sending an e-mail to team members," he said.

"By working in the TeamDirection project management tools all members of the team are aware of the project status."

Cathleen Moore writes for InfoWorld

Read more on Business applications