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What’s the Best Project Management Tool for Your Company in China?

Sometimes it’s hard to manage a small company. Unlike a big corporation, with an already established pyramid, everything goes by the rules, departments report to the CEO, and employees report to department heads. In a small company, most of the times, CEO has to multi task to act as a CEO but also as an employee, backstage, or human resource. It’s very important for small companies to function and keep things moving, therefore a tool for project management is significantly important.

At 2 Open, we have being relying on Basecamp for project management. Most people are familiar with Basecamp, it’s a simply management tool to help companies organize and keep track of projects. But is Basecamp working well in China? Can we have better solutions?

When it comes to project management, what’s important to you? I guess everyone will have different answers, for 2 Open, efficiency and expenses are two big factors to consider. We have searched many possible solutions but most of them can’t meet our requirement. Here is a list of different management tools, and the first biggest reason we think is not ideal. You can see the biggest problems we encounter are price and speed.

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Since 2 Open is an international company, we need to ensure that our management tool also works well outside of China. As you know, this really depends on the host. For example, if a company is based in the United State, the best option for them is to find a tool with USA host in order to ensure the speed and delivery. But 2 Open has office in China and Spain, it’s hard to find a service that works well in both place.

Basecamp is a great tool, but it’s slow in China, we need to use VPN in order to work efficiency around Basecamp. I guess with international companies, it’s common to use VPN, because we are dealing with multiple countries at once. So if everything is working well with Basecamp, and we can solve speed problem with VPN, is it worth switching to another management website?

First of all, Basecamp has all the functions we need, viewing different projects, look up progress of each project and each employee, and the price is relative fair; there are couple options you can choose from, starting from $20 per month, but they charger by project rather than user, this is specially important for small companies, since our employee rate is increasing or decrease more dramatic than large corporations.

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If the company is Chinese employee based, tower.im is a great alternative, its very similar to Basecamp, but the host is in China. But 2 Open has foreign employees, and tower.im doesn’t have English version. If a company cares about functions, or growing into a bigger company, then maybe huddle.net is better solution. Of course they are more expensive, but in order to manage the entire worker, it’s necessary.

Since 2 Open is using Zoho mail, Zoho also has project management tools, is called Zoho Projects. It’s similar to many other management tools. It’s hard to tell whether Zoho Projects is a suitable solution for 2 Open. We have to try it out, test whether they are compatible with our company structure. Other than the obvious cost in a small company, time efficiency and time management is also an expense. Is it worse to invest the time into Zoho Projects, or is it better to use these time on somewhere else.

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With the unique structure of 2 Open, or if you are a company that’s similar to 2 Open, Basecamp is one of the best solutions for us, price is fair compare to the functions they have, a clear theme with English version. If you haven’t start Basecamp, Zoho Projects is another great option, price is similar to Basecamp with almost the same function, it’s also available in English but with a Chinese host.

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