Online projects are projects which are realized by people living in different cities and countries. These are projects that don’t require an office in the real meaning of this word. Instead of a traditional office, employees use a virtual office where all the required information on the project is stored and collaboration and communication between project participants take place. Online outsourcing and remote staff can also be treated as online projects, although in these cases the company usually has a physical office.
The online project management system is a project oriented working space for conducting one or several projects. This space is available for all the participants over the Internet.
As a rule, online project management systems consist of:
- Project tasks and people responsible for their execution
- List of employees with a possibility to look at their workload
- Gantt Chart
- Reports on the project
- Time tracking system
- Blog, forum, chat, or notification system
- File and document repository
These services usually have special data access control rules which allow the access to the information only to the appointed employees, clients, or freelancers participating in the project.
The economic feasibility of such projects is evident. You don’t have to spend money on renting premises and infrastructure. Moreover, using freelancers is quite typical for online projects, which reduces significantly the amount of taxes and optimizes the number of project participants. But the biggest advantage of online projects is in the following: the choice of professionals for the project is not limited to one city. The manager of the project can employ the most skillful, talented, and suitable workers for the project from all over the world at freelance markets.
Freelance markets are special web services for searching for remote staff or executors for some definite task.There you can place the description of your project or task and get a number of offers form freelancers. Before outsourcing your task to a freelancer, you can compare the prices and dates, as well as study his profile at the market. As a rule, a profile contains a short CV, a freelancer’s rating at the market (made by customers), the history of the completed projects, feedbacks, and portfolio.
Many markets offer special tools for communicating with freelancers, planning tasks, and task tracking software. Moreover, markets can be a guarantee of your deal, i.e. you pay money not to a freelancer but to the market that for some interest will ensure that a freelancer will perform his obligations on time and won’t disappear with your money.
Moreover, under the correct management remote employees can work more effectively than in traditional offices. Firstly, they don’t need to waste 2-3 hours a day on commuting. Secondly, they can organize ideal working conditions for themselves – a comfortable working place and suitable schedule. Thirdly, in a quiet atmosphere (outside the office) labour productivity increases and a person can generate great ideas. However, under the wrong management the advantages of virtual working groups can turn into disadvantages.