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WorkSimple is a company pursuing an interesting niche in the increasingly popular social business market: It provides an app that enables users to share their goals with their co-workers. The company has announced that the basic features of the app are now free, which means that anyone with a company email address can sign up and start sharing goals.
Unlike apps like Yammer and Socialtext, which are trying to be more general social tools for the enterprise, WorkSimple concentrates specifically on the sharing of goals. Users can comment on shared goals and “follow” the people, teams and categories they are interested in, in order to get visibility of goals (and their progress) across an organization. While the app can be used for collaboration — by uploading file attachments to goals, and commenting on shared goals, for example — WorkSimple isn’t really designed to be used as a general communications tool.
As well as individuals sharing their own goals, users can also assign goals to individuals and teams. Reporting features allow users to track goal progress. The tool allows managers to provide continuous feedback through comments, goal tracking and goal reviews.
WorkSimple shares some features with many collaborative task and project management apps, such as Basecamp and Producteev, but it’s better suited to sharing and managing broader goals, rather than more granular, individual tasks. As its name implies, it’s also simpler and easier to use than many task management apps, which should make it easier to deploy across an entire organization. That ease of use is a necessary asset, because the whole idea behind the app is to create a transparent environment where everyone is provided with real-time visibility into what people are working on, what work needs to get done and how things are going — if only a few people use it, it won’t be anywhere near as effective.
I can see WorkSimple being particularly beneficial in larger organizations and those using distributed teams, where visibility of goal setting and progress across an organization can be a big issue. However, its lack of integration with other task management, collaboration and social business tools may prove to be a stumbling block for many organizations. Additionally, businesses with existing task management or social business tools in place may find it somewhat redundant.
The basic social goals features in WorkSimple are free. Advanced features, such as the reporting tools, require a paid Company ($5 per month, or less with volume discounts) or Manager ($5 per month) account.