Collaboration among project delivery teams has never been more important. The days where companies unilaterally execute large-scale projects are long gone, particularly in capital intensive sectors. Today, the costs and challenges involved in managing many of the world’s biggest projects mean that operating companies are increasingly happy to compromise on the rewards if it means finding someone willing to share the risks. Obviously with more and more projects involving teams spread across continents, never mind countries, this has made effective collaboration between teams more difficult. Time-zones, not to mention the changing dynamics of the workplace environment, has made the utilisation of cloud-hosted management tools essential for facilitating the levels of collaboration necessary for ensuring project success.
But how has collaboration technology helped project managers and their teams to bridge the gaps caused by the changing face of projects in the 21st Century? Here’s a break-down of five key areas that have benefitted:
Poor planning leads to an inefficient allocation of time and resources and invariably kills a project before it has really begun. The implementation of a collaborative cloud-based tool that enables every team member to visualise both project plan and milestone timeline is essential. In today’s day and age, it really needs to be accessible through any smart device so that all team members can contribute fully.
Creating and sustaining a collaborative culture and adopting a system that complements this helps project teams to address the skills and experience gaps present in all teams. An accessible, centralised planning and management platform that is socially enabled will create an environment in which every skill is utilised and the effect of every weakness is minimised. It will provide clarity on progress, resources and individual responsibilities.
Creating an Engaged and Social Environment
Historically, means of communication have not been conducive for either giving or receiving real-time updates on project status. As well as being time-consuming, stressful and often unproductive, outdated structures can lead to individual team members hiding from responsibility. A model of open communication and transparency is preferable because it streamlines work practices and promotes accountability. The social features within many of today’s collaborative tools make it easy for project managers to keep track of who is doing what and when, and who has not completed a task on time.
Supporting Workforce Mobility
The days of project teams doing a 9 to 5 day and never straying from their desks are long gone. It is vital to use a collaborative system that reflects this fundamental change in the way people work. Information should be readily available to access from anywhere, on any device. Every action should be visible to every team member, as well as the ability to respond instantly.
Building Team Trust
In the age of mobile working, the promotion and protection of the principle of individual responsibility is hugely important, as is the need for project managers to trust their teams to uphold it. This is made more achievable with the use of modern collaborative systems, which can help employees realise their importance to overall project success by involving them more in decision-making, no matter where they are based. Unlocking the full potential of each team member is likely to result in a greater sense of personal responsibility towards completing individual tasks that are critical to achieving the project’s overall objectives.
These are just some of the areas where technology will continue to have a positive effect on project collaboration. But as with all systems, their effectiveness can be undermined somewhat if the project management processes required alongside them have not evolved to reflect today’s project demands. ILX Group, through our best practice training courses and project management consultancy, can help you implement standardised and repeatable principles that will enable you to maximise your investment in collaborative technology and achieve sustained project success.