Choosing messaging app for PMO

Choosing the Right Messaging App for Your PMO

Getting the message across to your project management office (PMO) team and your project managers is essential to keep your projects moving towards completion. With so many messaging apps on the market, how do you go about choosing the right messaging app for your PMO?

Whether you’re launching a PMO and want to get your messaging set up from the get-go, or want to rationalise and consolidate your communications across your PMO, you need to know what to look for. We’re going to look at:

  • The qualities that are important to a messaging app for business
  • Three different messaging apps you can consider for your PMO
  • Things to remember when rolling out a new messaging app to your team

What do I need to look for in a PMO messaging app?

Messaging apps have come a long way from MSN and AOL chat. They’re a logical evolution from emailing, which has become the bane of so many people’s office lives.

Sending chat messages can make your team and office communications:

  • Fast
  • Brief
  • Easy to follow
  • Simple to tag people
  • Adaptable to changing needs

If a messaging system can’t offer these basic qualities, move on to one that can.

Communication can be synchronous or asynchronous with messaging apps. It’s easy to schedule your team to all be online to chat at the same time, but also to have a space for ideas to be dropped and collected whenever they occur.

It’s important when you choose a messaging app that it can work across a range of devices. Unless you provide everyone in your PMO and project teams with the same device, you need as wide a compatibility range as possible. Think about, Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and MacOS devices when settling on your messaging tools.

Being able to share a range of file types is also necessary. You likely work around file types like:

  • Microsoft office docs
  • PDFs
  • .jpg and .png images
  • Bespoke file types for your internal software

Be sure that whatever system you pick can handle everything your team will need to share. A messaging that requires you to say, “I’ll have to send it over by email” isn’t a good look.

What messaging apps work well in a PMO?

Slack

Slack is a favourite messaging app for many businesses. It’s very versatile with options to set up impromptu groups, split a conversation off, and control access to chat memberships. The phone and desktop apps have great compatibility and notification options that your team will appreciate.

It’s not the cheapest messaging app to use across a big business, so be sure that it covers what you want.

Google Hangouts

If your collaboration software of choice is G Suite, then your PMO already has access to Google Hangouts. It integrates perfectly with Google Calendar, Gmail, and everything on Google Drive, as you’d expect.

There isn’t a standout feature that would make you choose Google Hangouts specifically, but if you’re already using G Suite then you should take advantage of this useful tool as part of the price you already pay.

WhatsApp

There won’t be many people in your PMO that can’t use WhatsApp – it’s one of the most popular messaging apps so you won’t need to have detailed training. It’s a simple system that gives you control, for example you can set a groups so that only admins can send out messages.

There are drawbacks to WhatsApp, even though its very useful. Your team may feel the work/life boundary is being erased if they use the same app to message their husband as their boss.

How do I roll out a new messaging app in my PMO?

Having a communication plan for your new messaging app will get in embedded easily. You need to make sure the level of informality is understood, how quickly replies are expected, and whether non-work chat is acceptable.

You can choose to have more than one chat system depending on your team needs. Using WhatsApp to organise a Friday team lunch whilst using Slack to send new coding solutions is perfectly viable.

The take home

Choosing the right messaging app for your PMO will mean your office will have engaged staff who are kept in the loop. Assess what your needs are and what is already available before choosing a system to commit to. Getting your messaging system organised and on-track will streamline and PMO and should aid projects being delivered on time.