Workgroups in Bitrix24: Efficient Project Management Tools for Small Businesses
Alex Reznor 13 August 2012
Project Management software has become a standard business tool for companies in nearly every business sector. Bitrix24 has a number of project management features that can be extremely useful for small and medium-sized companies to manage their daily workflow.
One of the tools present in Bitrix24 is Workgroups. Workgroups, which can be thought of as project groups, allow you to monitor all active projects or easily find information about finished projects which had been archived. Each Workgroup can be created and made accessible for all Employees of your Company, for the Employees of a certain Department (or several Departments), for any set of individual Employees, etc.
You can also create and manage Projects with for people outside your company using the Extranet (a place with restricted access that you can make available to business partners, clients, suppliers, etc., without compromising the sensitive data which is stored in your Intranet)
The actual process of using the Workgroups for Project Management can be divided into two major steps:
(1) Setting up a Workgroup
(2) Working inside the Workgroup
Once a new Workgroup is created and named, you may configure its general settings and access permissions (for example, if you what this Workgroup to be visible to all Employees, or for selected staff members only, whether or not this Workgroup can include people from the Extranet, etc.).
Also, you can fine-tune the features and adjust the tools that will be used by the Workgroup Members (that is, if the Workgroup should have a Photo Gallery, Wiki, etc.). Finally, after general settings are configured, you can invite people to join the Workgroup. Everything is really fast and simple - you'll need just a few minutes to create a new Workgroup.
Each Workgroup allows its Members a wide range of Project Management tools. With the appropriate permissions, each Member can start, monitor, change, and close a task. Convenient navigation inside the Workgroup is provided by a navigation bar listing all available functionality.
Thanks to the Activity Stream, all internal communications that take place inside the Workgroup are transparent and quickly retrievable by all Members, and are not available to non-Members. All Workgroup Members can use the Activity Stream for quick conversations with multiple participants and also share files (attach documents and photos to each conversation or a comment). The Activity Stream is a great tool for exchanging ideas and carrying out minor tasks that require flexibility and a quick response.
Tasks are the most commonly used tool for project management. Tasks are assigned to individual Workgroup members, and are visible to and monitored by the people in the Workgroup. Each task can have an unlimited number of subtasks. You can post comments, attach files, set deadlines, view progress using the Gantt Chart view, etc. Each Task's progress and all related notifications will also appear in the Activity Stream of the Workgroup.
Each Workgroup has its own File Deposit where you can organize your documents and multimedia data. You can create, change and improve documents with your Workgroup Members with full versioning and comments on each file!
The Workgroup Calendar is visible only to Workgroup Members and can feature Project millstones and events related to the Projects and people involved. The Calendar grid can be used for displaying the progress of certain Projects with deadlines and important events.
The Wiki-tool can be used for making Glossaries and Directories inside the Workgroup (which is very useful you invited specialists with different backgrounds who may not be aware if the terms that are commonly used by the Workgroup members). This tool allows you to accumulate knowledge in a structured and more thorough way.
There are two other very important elements which are present in all Workgroups: the Actions button and the Workgroup Search. The Actions button enables you to manage all aspects of your Workgroup (including the Workgroup Profile, Invitations, Subscriptions, Workgroup Roles, etc.).
The Workgroup Search helps you find any type of information (textual, files, events, people, etc.) inside the Workgroup only, thus filtering out any external information which is not needed.