From start to end, the programming and development process necessitates a complex network of cross-functional collaboration and continuous improvement.
Early in the engineering process, collaborative engineering brings decision makers together. In our interconnected world, a collaborative engineering approach is critical to enlist the best resources, no matter where they are. This also leads to increased productivity and efficiency at work.
Simply put, collaborative engineering software serves as the foundation for a standardized and modular process that allows for production planning and manufacturing to take place anywhere and at any time.
So, today we’ll discuss the importance of collaboration and a list of the top 8 engineering collaboration tools for increased productivity.
The importance of collaboration across engineering teams
While collaboration is necessary for business efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation, it’s also necessary for successful product design and manufacturing. This is why:
- Most of the time, multiple engineers are involved in a single piece of coding, which can be chaotic without proper collaboration.
- Implementing a collaborative engineering approach entails involving all key stakeholders in the engineering process. This saves time and eliminates the need for rework.
- Costs can skyrocket and times to market can be slowed due to a lack of collaboration across departments and with third parties.
Run efficient meetings, come to a decision, and get back to work
Level up your meeting habits to boost engagement and productivity with a collaborative meeting agenda. Try a tool like Fellow!
8 best engineering collaboration tools
Best for: Engineering meeting management
Fellow is a meeting productivity tool that helps teams collaborate on meaningful meeting agendas and notes.
For engineering teams that have many recurring meetings, Fellow can be used to provide a meeting template to guide the conversation. Whether it’s one-on-one with your manager, a cross-functional sync with the design team, or a retrospective meeting, Fellow has templates for every type of engineering meeting. Or, you can even create your meeting templates in Fellow!
Fellow also has a feedback feature and post-meeting action item tracking to help build accountability across your team. Fellow also connects to your favorite work tools to help you stay organized. Keep your meeting agendas, notes, and action items in sync across your tech stack with Fellow’s integrations, including Slack, Jira, Asana, Google Meets, Zoom, and Zapier.
- Collaborative meeting agendas
- Engineering meeting template gallery
- 360-feedback feature
- Action item tracking
Price: $0 for teams of up to 10 people
Best for: Managing all your work from one place
SmartTask is a workflow management software that can manage tasks, projects, and teams all in one place, regardless of team size. The platform’s scalability and flexibility can benefit individuals, teams, and startups.
SmartTask enables you to assign tasks to each team member, set deadlines, and communicate with one another, avoiding long and clumsy email threads. The time tracking, workload, and timeline features make it super easy to monitor and manage all your work, both project-wise and individually.
The tool includes a plethora of useful features, including project portfolios, workload views, time tracking, Gantt charts, custom fields, custom charts, and customer relationship management (CRM). It even integrates with almost every tool you need, making moving and collaborating across different apps less painful.
- Project and task management
- Multiple views—board, task list, calendar, timeline, workload, and portfolio view
- Time tracking
- Real-time team collaboration with group chatting, video conferencing, and voice calling
- Analytics and reporting
Price: $0 for unlimited users, projects, tasks, and contacts. The premium plan starts at $5 per user/month when billed annually.
Best for: engineering tasks collaboration
Plaky is task management software that enables engineering teams to collaborate and manage projects efficiently.
With Plaky, you can coordinate your engineering projects with clarity and precision. Each project has its own board (in kanban or table view) with lists of tasks. You can prioritize, sort, and filter tasks to track the project’s progress easily. You can also assign each task to a team member.
Plaky offers a variety of customizable templates, including bug tracking, product roadmap, and product launch templates to help engineers organize their work quickly.
Engineering teams can easily collaborate in Plaky by keeping all task-related communication in one place. Team members can add comments, @mention others, or subscribe to a task to get notifications about all updates.
- Task management through various columns (status, person, date, priority, tag, etc.)
- Bug tracking and product roadmap templates
- Unlimited number of users, projects, guests, and workspaces for free
- In-app and email notifications about updates on tasks to which you are assigned
- Public and private boards
Price: Completely free.
Best for: Knowledge management and sharing
Notion is a fantastic note-taking and project management tool for teams working on product development because of its simple user interface, wide selection of templates, and adaptability. Notion is a tool that teams may use for creating product roadmaps, taking notes during meetings, managing tasks, creating wikis, and more.
Notion works best for lone users and small teams wishing to collaborate and streamline their project management process because it lacks reporting and budgeting features. In truth, Notion provides a respectable free solution that you can share with up to five other people if you’re seeking a straightforward task organizer for your organizational demands.
Except for enterprise users working on sophisticated projects, this product is incredibly user-friendly and reasonably priced, making it a fantastic entry-level project management tool.
- Easy editing for database
- Great note-taking and project-tracking features
- Bug spotting and fixing
- Unlimited storage
- Templates, integrations, and automation
Price: From $0 for up to 10 guest collaborators to $15 per user/month for up to 250 guest collaborators.
Best for: Agile project management for software developers
Jira is a project management tool that allows engineering teams and project managers to plan, assign, track, and review projects in real time.
Jira, now best known for its agile project management capabilities, was initially developed to track bugs during the software development process. It includes a bug-tracking template that makes it easy to track, record, and fix bugs.
Because all issues can be viewed in a single location, determining which bug needs to be fixed first is as simple as a single click. Also, you get powerful reporting capabilities, which give you real-time insight you can act upon.
However, Jira is hard to set up and get used to at the beginning. You can also consider easy-to-set-up alternatives to Jira such as SmartTask, Plaky, and Asana.
- Bug tracking and issue resolution
- Agile project management
- Iterative development
- Templates and customization
- Timekeeping and reporting
Price: $0 for up to 10 users. The premium plan starts at $7.75 per user/month.
Best for: General project management
Over the last few years, Asana has become a buzzword in project management, particularly among newcomers. It is a solid, user-friendly tool that meets the needs of the majority of users.
Asana is jam-packed with features, making it an excellent choice for engineering teams and managers who need to keep an eye on both the big picture and the details. Though Asana focuses on agile management, it still allows teams to customize it to their own flavor of agile and keep it flexible for work that doesn’t adhere to agile processes.
Though there are numerous aspects and components to Agile work that contribute to team success, the ability to easily track, manage, and plan this work in one location undoubtedly drives results.
- Multiple views and saved searches
- Task comments and project messages
- Rich text and proofing
- Goals, milestones, and portfolios
- Team pages and dashboards
Price: Asana offers a free forever plan while a premium plan starts at $10.99 per user/month when billed annually.
Best for: Communication
Slack is a powerful team messaging app with a myriad of settings and options. The tool allows users to move away from internal email and instead communicate with colleagues more concisely through instant messages.
Slack channels provide real-time visibility into project progress and team decisions. Collaborating on specifications, code reviews, and deployment statuses becomes easier for the entire team once valuable information is extracted from silos.
This level of transparency also enables teams to stay focused on their priorities while avoiding redundancies or misunderstandings.
- Instant messaging and calls
- Shared channels across workspaces
- Document sharing
- Screen sharing
- Slash commands
- Apps and integrations
Price: Slack offers a free plan while its paid plan starts at $8.75 per user/month.
Best for: Document management and collaboration
Google Workspace, once known as G Suite, offers a powerful, elegant set of office and collaboration apps suitable for businesses and professionals.
The productivity arsenal includes Google Calendar, Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, Keep, Meet, Drive, Chat, Spaces, and more.
This means you get to manage your files, documents, group meetings, and communications all from a single place. With Google Docs and Google Drive, you can work and collaborate in real time through comments, feedback, mentions, task assignments, and more. Moreover, as Google Workspace is cloud based, it makes working from anywhere, anytime, much easier.
- Docs for word documents
- Sheets for excel files
- Gmail for emails
- Slides for presentations
- Forms to collect information
- Drive for cloud storage
- Meet for video conferencing
Price: Starts at $6 per person/month.
Every engineering team needs a collaboration platform. It’s crucial to take into account aspects like features, convenience of use, integration, price, and support when contrasting various software solutions.
There are numerous options available when selecting a collaboration tool for software development. Pick up a pen or start a new document, then list the tools that catch your eye the most. This is the basis for this list, after all!