LotusLive – a tool for managing client project interaction

Previously I mentioned using LotusLive Engage and how I felt that it was a good tool for interacting with clients on projects and perhaps for clients themselves. I recently was interviewed by IBM to get feedback on the usage that the application had been put to and what benefits had come out of it. It got me thinking again about the tool and the other things I would like it to do. But first what do I use it for.

1) interacting with clients when scoping projects and remedial work – to capture and groups the tasks and further analyse requirements.

2) managing the delivery of work and providing the client with feedback on progress.

3) delivering information via the meetings function so as not to have to attend face to face meetings when a short remote “presentation” will suffice.

The things that I would add if I were capable would be project management and reporting tools like TeamworkProject Manager which I mentioned before here . I’d also like a graphical tool for whiteboarding with clients – along the lines of yellow sticky notes which could be moved around screen and used to allow prioritisation of tasks / ideas so that the client is able to participate more in the design and analysis of their own projects. I’d also like the ability to export my information for use in documentation and to import structured list – like project information from other tools like MS Project.

The rule of thumb for me is what tool do you reach for each time a project appears. If its consistently the same tool you are probably getting the 80% of functionality you need straight away. In the current distributed world of business – where clients can be in multiple locations but still trying to work collaboratively without breaking the bank – tools like LotusLive Engage and its successors provide a very important mechanism for facilitating cost effective and simple client interaction that leads to successful projects and other business interactions.