Podio is one of the tech tools that is making it impossible for me to finish the chapter on Project Management Tools for Release Your Inner Nerd. Here’s why:
Podio combines the project management systems with integrated modules (it calls them “apps”) that extend the functionality to cover almost everything you could possibly do in a business.
On the simple side, you can track time and keep schedules, just like you can with many of the simple tools. But from there, the possibilities look truly infinite. Here are a few of the things you can do with Podio:
• Create a customer relationship management (CRM) system to help you and your colleagues track leads and conversations
• Integrate your products and sales into your projects
• Institute an employee reward and “attaboy” program that gives them kudos for achievements
• Establish a living library of shared documents
• Keep up with the activities of your business through a social media-type update page
• Customize workflows and activity lists to fit your business model
• Capture institutional knowledge in shared wikis
Podio is priced very reasonably, especially for small teams. Five or fewer active team members are free, and then you’ll pay $9/user per month. The problem with the system is not the price – it’s the time it’ll take you to personalize Podio to make it do everything you want it to. Podio lists several partner companies that will customize the system for you, but a quick call to one partner revealed a price range of $1,000 to $30,000 for the service. That probably translates into 10 to 50 hours minimum on your end if you want to do it yourself. Setting up Podio for basic services takes as little time as an hour; but to maximize the functionality, I think you’ll need a Christmas break with no email, lots of cupcakes and the time to really think things through.