Until recently, the collaboration tools that I use to communicate with my crew have had one critical failing: none of the free screen sharing options on the market can be used with any kind of reliability.
At Uzanto we use a Project Management technique called SCRUM.
It’s basically a short team meeting every day where each team member says
1) What they’ve done since the last meeting
2) What they plan on doing since the next meeting
3) Any roadblocks or dependencies that are holding them up
Om Malik has a nice piece on the growning backlash against Skypes apparently lousy billing / customer service. Skype (the organization) is obviously experiencing some growing pains.
I use Skype 2-3 hours a day to talk to people halfway around the world, and I’ve never paid them a dime, so I can’t complain myself. However, I have noticed a distinct drop in audio quality since the latest release of the Skype client. In particular, the volume of the call will sometimes sporadically drop almost to 0. Is Skype (the technology) also experiencing growing pains?
Working closely with people that aren’t in the same physical space is never easy: much communication is nonverbal, and not being able to read body language and facial expression data means that everybody has to work hard to prevent misunderstandings. That hard work slows down communication. The tools for supporting this kind of work ARE improving every day, however.