If new features are popping up in your favourite Microsoft apps, you may have just been given a first taste of the upcoming project management tool Loop.
The latest addition to Microsoft’s expansive productivity suite focuses on collaboration within small groups and the less formal stages of project planning.
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Loop follows the logic of popular collaboration apps like Notion and Miro board by allowing teams to collaborate in real-time over a digital canvas. Each canvas is then organised under ‘workplaces’ so that teams can track their progress and work with the most up-to-date files.
What separates Loop from its peers is its ability to integrate data from other Microsoft apps. It’s already a great advantage to be able to work directly with your trusty Word docs and Excel sheets, but Loop takes this strength a step further. Loop will be dispersed amongst Microsoft apps in ‘components’ to help progress projects no matter which app you’re working from. Components could be as simple as an agenda, to do list or more complex tools like a status tracker giving you a snapshot of your team’s contributions.
Of course, it’s no easy task to wrestle users away from the comforts of their digital workplace. If you’ve already invested in a collaboration app you might be thinking what’s the point of making the switch? We’ve come up with a few ideas on why you should get in the Loop.
1. Consolidate your tech stack
It’s always tempting to add a new application to your tech stack. However, a shiny new app can result in more time spent jumping between applications as well as higher operating costs. Loop jumps out as an opportunity to fold more workflows under one app family and integrate your data across every tool you work with. This prevents double handling of data, siloing of information that comes with using dedicated apps and inconsistent processes making you second guess your workflows.
Looking to build a lean tech stack? Check out our favourite collaboration tools
2. Work flexibly with colleagues
Loop is premised on collaboration and its ability to connect colleagues across departments and time zones. Obviously, collaboration takes many forms, but what’s got us intrigued is the ability to co-create with colleagues. It’s easy to imagine a hearty brainstorming session with team members adding their ideas to a virtual whiteboard that has all the relevant files embedded for easy access.
3. Maintain complete visibility of your projects
Without knowing what stage projects are at, your ability to manage resources and make progress is limited. We’ve touched on components like the status tracker but being able to follow every step in the development of a project is just as valuable. Next time you need to make a pivotal decision or adjust a timeline, you’ll be able to do so with full context by referring to the pages you’ve created with colleagues.
Loop’s release begins in November with components being rolled out across Microsoft apps then followed by pages and rounding off with workspaces. At this stage, there’s no confirmation as to whether Loop will be included in the 365 bundle or come at an extra cost. Until we know Loop’s final form it’s worth experimenting with what could be the next jewel in Microsoft’s crown.
If you’re looking for even more ways to refine your tech stack, collaborate effectively and ensure visibility over your projects, SuiteFiles could be a good fit for your business. We help teams collaborate internally with our task management tool and real time editing features which span Word Docs, Excel sheets or any other 365 app your team spends time in.
However, we’re also aware that businesses require more than just internal collaboration. Working efficiently with external parties is just as crucial and tends to require its own set of tools. To cover your external collaboration needs we’ve built a client portal to protect sensitive documents, a digital signing tool to securely sign and file away contracts as well as a host of PDF features including merging, annotating, and markup options!
Book in for a personalised demo or view a rundown of SuiteFiles in action here