If there is one key ingredient when it comes to running a successful project, it is undoubtedly effective collaboration.
If your team is not collaborating effectively, you are going to be struggling to achieve your goals and deliverables, as there will be too much inefficiency. This issue can be further compounded because many teams are now working from different locations and even different time zones. Discover some of the different ways you can improve collaboration amongst your team to avoid inefficiencies and deliver all your projects successfully; and keep your customers and clients happy.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you prioritise projects effectively. This is where many project managers go wrong. They simply deem every task to be important and they give themselves and their team an impossible mountain to climb. If you do not prioritise tasks, there will not be any synergy in what team members are working on. You need to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what needs to be tackled first.
Know what everything is doing
It is up to you to figure out what is going on once a project has been initiated. This does not mean that you need to follow-up with everyone all the time, as this is just not practical. Neither does it lead to a self-motivated team ethos. However, everyone should be updating you on what they are doing – either via in-person, via email or, preferable, using a project management tool such as Trello (my personal favourite), Microsoft Planner, Asana or Basecamp.
Prepare for constraints, dependencies, and risks
One thing you can pretty much guarantee that will happen during a project is something unexpected will occur. In order to understand your dependencies and constraints, you need to brainstorm them. This is the only way you can put measures in place to ensure that your project is not completely derailed if something goes wrong.
Use project management best practices
The next step is ensuring best practices are being followed – this is key to project management success. Also consider whether team members require some project management training and development to ensure they all follow the same processes and methodologies. When team members are all familiar with the same procedures and approaches (such as an Agile approach to project work) then they will collaborate much more effectively.
Communicate as you collaborate
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that communication and collaboration are the same thing. Communication is one of the most critical ingredients when it comes to collaborating effectively. This involves speaking about and discussing the real issues, as well as scheduling regular check-ins with your team and using the right mediums for communicating with your team.
Maintain accurate records and files
Last but not least, you need to ensure you have a good system in place for maintaining accurate records and files. Online document sharing is a good platform that enables everyone to review the work done, plus stakeholders and supervisors know where to go to approve and monitor the work.
As you can see, there are a number of different approaches you can take to boost collaboration amongst your team today. If you follow these simple steps you should notice an instant and on-going improvement to the way your team works with one and other.