Teamly: Collaboration With Priorities

Most collaboration tools focus on assigning tasks to the people on your team who will get them done. Teamly takes a different approach, encouraging your team to look for the priorities in your project and exercise a little autonomy.

The Logic Behind Teamly

Scott Allison, the creator of Teamly, was scratching his own itch when he started creating the system: He’d gone from one employee to ten and was having trouble keeping track of the commitments each of those employees made. His organization was a little more loosely structured than other businesses might be, making most project management systems seem like overkill. All Allison needed was a clear picture of what his employees were doing and a way to comment on it. He wanted to make priorities a priority.

Teamly focuses on creating very short priority lists — just five things. The web application allows for setting daily, weekly and monthly priorities. It also allows managers and team members to review those priorities and provides real-time feedback for managers. The tool’s statistics make it easy to see how well an individual is doing at completing the priorities set on any given day.

Allison says, “Most to-do software suffers from the problem that they simply encourage very long and demotivating lists to be written, which you never get round to. By having a short list you think about what you are going to do, and what you are not going to do. Once you’ve achieved it you can be satisfied knowing you’ve done a good day’s work.”

The Right Place for Teamly

It’s unlikely that Teamly would be a good fit in a structured enterprise. Rather, its approach is better with loose systems because it allows for more self-direction for each team member. It can be a good fit for creatives or other professionals who have their own ways of doing things — Allison has gotten responses from GTD users saying it has been particularly useful for providing a high-level view for managers while allowing employees to work within the task management structures that work for them. The best indicator that Teamly would be a good fit for your team is if you’ve felt overwhelmed by the features built into more robust collaboration tools.

Allison notes that Teamly’s future growth will be constrained by the need to keep the tool simple: Additional privacy controls on individual team members’ priorities, a way to keep notes on tasks that aren’t priorities but shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle, and similar features are in the pipeline. Teamly’s creators are also looking at opportunities to integrate Teamly into other applications and create mobile versions.

Teamly is currently in beta and offers a free version for a single user.

Let us know what you think of Teamly in the comments.

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Report: The Real-Time Enterprise

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