Collaboration is a critical ingredient for any project team. If your team does not work effectively together, you won’t be able to achieve the high levels of quality expected of you, nor will you meet deadlines. Plus, just to make matters even more complicated, most project managers today need to manage teams all over the world. So, with that being said, let’s take a look at some useful tips to help you improve collaboration amongst your project team.
Use a collaboration tool – This does not mean that you should use spreadsheets and emails. They are no substitution for real business collaboration tools. Yes, emails can be an effective method for communication with someone, but they are of no use when a project or conversation involves more than one person. Instead, you need a platform whereby everyone can communicate in real time and get access to the documents they need.
Define roles and goals – You need to make sure that everyone on your team fully understands their role and the overall goals of the project. This helps everyone to see the bigger picture and to see how he or she plays a role in it. A lot of employees feel disconnected because they don’t understand how their work fits into the bigger picture. By explaining this from the beginning, it can help to boost the collaboration of the entire team.
Give feedback – It is important to give feedback to your team members, but make sure that this includes positive feedback as well as constructive advice. Make sure you praise both the team and individuals. A simple gesture, such as thanking someone for his or her good work, can go a long way. It makes people feel more valued, and they will then become more engaged in the project.
Never stop learning – With every year that passes, it seems that new technology and methods are developed, especially with regards to collaboration and communication. This is why it is important to never stop learning. Take regular project management courses to enhance your skills. Your team will respect you for it too.
Consider remote working collaboration carefully – Aside from the points that have already been mentioned, you need to consider remote working with caution. More and more businesses are working on a global scale today and so it is likely that you are going to have people in your team that are not necessarily in the office. You need to look for ways to collaborate with them more efficiently. You will need to download a free VPN so that everyone can access the same websites no matter where in the world they are. Also, sites can differ based on where people are based, so everyone sets their location to same IP address, it will really help. Furthermore, you should schedule regular check-ins and make sure that you don’t always set the burden of staying late onto those in remote locations. Managing the time difference is going to be one of the most important things here.
Respect cultural differences – Another important part of project management, especially when remote workers are involved, is respecting cultural differences. You can even go one step further. Let’s say you have a department in Spain who you are collaborating with for a project. Why not get your UK team to do Spanish lessons? This is a great team building activity and it will mean a lot to your workers in Spain, which will make everyone feel close.
Break your silos down – Last but not least, breaking down your overall task into smaller pieces comes highly recommended. It can be difficult to get things done when the end goal seems so far away. Moreover, that approach makes it easy for people to get off track. Instead, you need to break everything up to manageable chunks.
If you follow the advice that has been provided above, you should notice immediate improvements with regards to how your team collaborates. This will only get better and better over time once your team gets used to the new methods and technology that you have implemented. Most experienced project managers would agree that collaboration is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to project success.