Using Google Workspace Groups for Project Management
Google Workspace Learning Center provides a thorough, exhaustive knowledge base that helps you use Google Workspace Groups to their fullest potential while working remotely or inside the office.
Google Workspace has a lot to offer, and it is easy to get lost and tinker with settings and possibilities.
Instead, have a look at our suggestions about the best Google Workspace Groups features for project management. In this article, we will list all of the group types, what is their intended use, and how to make project management easier with them.
A Brief Overview of Google Groups
Google Groups is one of the features of Google Workspace. The main purpose of a Google Group is to enable communication among select organization members that belong to the specific group. Coworkers who belong to the same group share a common group’s @gmail-address.
Google Workspace Groups come in two versions:
- Free, for everyone who owns a Google Account;
- Version for organizations, the one you’ll need if you intend to use Google Groups for work, school, or to collaborate with more people on the same project.
Before You Create Google Workspace Groups
Before you set out to form a Google Workspace Group for project management, you need to be specific about:
- The group’s purpose — which tasks will the group resolve with the help of the Google Workspace Group;
- Who does and doesn’t belong to the group — decide who are the project contributors and establish a permission hierarchy (what actions can individual group members perform)
- Whether there’s a need for the (new) group at all — if there’s an existing app/tech stack that works perfectly fine for your current project management needs, setting up another one can be a productivity killer. “Work about work” is a sneaky enemy!
How to Create and Set Up a Google Group
Once you have established the purpose and contributing members, it’s fast and easy to create a Google Group by simply clicking Create Group. The next steps are:
- Adding a group name, email, and description;
- Choosing privacy settings: who can search, join, post, and view conversations and members;
- Adding group members, managers, and owners other than yourself, along with a welcome message and a subscription tier (each email, digest, abridged, none).
These are the essentials; in Advanced settings, you can get specific about conversation labels, privacy, posting policy, and group moderation.
Explaining Google Group Roles: Owners, Managers, and Members
There are three roles group contributors can have in the Google Workspace Groups ecosystem, each with different permissions:
- Group Owners — All permissions, and they can set anything to be owner-only;
- Group Managers — Everything owners can do, except delete the group, make another member or themselves an owner, and change subscription settings or owner’s roles.
- Group Members — Viewing, posting, and seeing other members; managers and owners can expand or limit their permissions.
Anyone on the web is another option that appears when you create the group and assign the initial permissions. Public groups are handy for schools and fields that require wider transparency.
The Four Google Workspace Group Types: Use Cases for Project Management
With Google Workspace, you can handle every stage of project management; Google Workspace Groups, however, are best suited for Planning, Monitoring, and Control:
To perform these project management tasks, you have four types of Google Workspace Groups at your disposal: Collaborative Inbox, Email List, Q&A Forum, and Web Forum.
Each group type is different, so let’s see their features and how they help with specific project management tasks.
1. Collaborative Inbox
Collaborative Inbox is a group that serves as a shared mailbox and a collaboration tool for specific groups within an organization.
All members of a Collaborative Inbox can see the incoming tasks and questions, and split the assignments between themselves, assigning each other the best-suited tasks according to their skills and knowledge. Members can volunteer to resolve the issue or tag them so the more experienced coworkers can take over.
Collaborative Inbox can also be used to re-assign tasks during the vacation season and, with the help of a leave management tool, manage the workload when most of the staff is taking time off.
2. Email List
Email List is the most commonly used Google Group, and it serves as an email distribution list (mailing list) for all the group members.
It has a unique email address you can use to message each group member at the same time. Another handy use case is calendar scheduling: enter the group name, and you can invite all of the group members to an event simultaneously. You can then view the RVSP list, export it to Sheets, or update the event for everyone invited.
3. Q&A Forum
As the name implies, a Q&A Forum is made to post questions and receive answers from coworkers within the group.
This group type has three practical, unique features to facilitate the research:
- Me Too! Button (marking the frequently asked questions);
- Best Answer mark;
- Question Template.
The Q&A Forum is the best way to interview the whole department at the same time and gather responses. It’s useful for new employees in training, and groups working on new additions to the company/product, and it can work as an internal Help desk.
4. Web Forum
Web Forum is a type of Google Group that lets members post announcements and questions, as well as send, receive, and respond to messages — much like a regular forum.
Everything is public and visible on the Google Groups dashboard.
This group type helps with task coordination and topical discussion; members can receive important updates from the Web Forum via email. Topic assigning, filtering, and tagging help with group managing and finding the desired information. It’s best for discussing ideas, brainstorming sessions, and general advice.
Google Workspace Groups come in four “flavors” to facilitate communication and collaboration within larger organizations:
- Collaborative Inbox is best used as a shared inbox and splitting the tasks;
- Email List is a mailing list with a shared email for all the members;
- Q&A Forum is intended for gathering the answers to specific questions;
- Web Forum is a multi-faceted, public forum for discussion, announcements, messaging, and work coordination.
With specific permissions for group owners, managers, members, and the public, Google Groups are scalable and practical parts of the Google Workspace ecosystem you should definitely implement into your stack. They are easy to use, reliable, and popular for a reason!
A journalist turned content writer – Anja uses her investigative skills to produce high-quality SaaS, Marketing, and HR content.