Loop, Microsoft’s office productivity software, can also serve as a lightweight project management tool for teams that don’t need a more robust feature set like Jira or Trello.
Analysts and users said Loop, which Microsoft introduced earlier this month, will make it easier to track a project from start to finish without switching between apps or downloading multiple copies of the same document. This will save you time and reduce inaccuracies while showing project progress.
“[Loop] can be used as lightweight project management for companies looking for a less structured project management platform,” said Michael Goldstein, CEO of IT services company LAN Infotech in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Occasionally, Traditional project management products are highly structured and too disciplined for the average user.”
The Loop software breaks apps like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word into snippets that users can share across Teams, Outlook, and OneNote, along with the canvas-like Loop app. Clips update in real time wherever they’re shared, and the Loop app comes with a status tracker that teams can use to see where they’re at on a project.
Employees at managed services company Synoptek in Irvine, Calif., don’t have to worry about whether the latest version of a proposal is in OneDrive, Teams or an email sent last night, according to David Ditsworth, regional CTO at Synoptek. The snippets they need will be in the same place and updated as the snippet and in the original document.
Ditsworth said Loop is not a project management tool because it lacks resource planning and management. “That said, someone could use it for project management in [a] stripped down fashion as people use Excel or Word to manually track schedule, resources and tasks.”
Darrell Webster, consultant at you.K.The WM Reply-based IT services company highlighted Loop’s status tracking feature as a project management necessity. Status tracking allows a team to track the progress of a project by designating document owners, due dates, and levels of completion.
Other project management apps have more features, “but sometimes you want something quick, and you don’t want that challenge of [creating] a planning council”, Webster noted.
Loop has overcome many of the challenges companies faced when working on projects with distributed teamsaccording to Raul Castanon, analyst at 451 Research.
A 451 search on worker productivity challenges found that among 491 companies, 35.4% said finding and sharing information was the biggest problem, 32.6% said it reduced the types of repetitive work, and 29.5% said that this made it possible to better organize the work.
These challenges previously required project management software, according to Castanon. But the organization of work and its sharing between teams can now be done in Loop.
Similar software, like the Notion project management app, has been popular among small businesses for collaboration, but doesn’t include Loop’s tracking capabilities and project management tools.
Mazin Ahmed, founder of UAE-based cybersecurity startup FullHunt, said that while his team uses Notion to manage projects, Loop features like tracking due dates aren’t in the game. Notion.
“It would be nice to have it,” he said.
Maxim Tamarov is a news writer covering mobile and end-user computing. He has already written for daily news in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and the Transcript of the Sun in Winthrop, Mass. He graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @MaximTamarov.