While the concept of project management is always accorded with the importance it deserves, many a time, we forget about another equally vital aspect that comes with it, i.e. team collaboration.
Thanks to globalization, technology and the Internet, the idea of collaboration has taken a more holistic turn, due to which it has become more important than ever in the business world. Today, there are several web-based software and applications that have made team collaboration easier and more effective.
If project management is all about taking up tasks and seeing to it that they go through properly from their inception to their final outcome, then project collaboration is the process wherein people working together on a project ensure that they are equipped with the tools required to bring it to fruition. Getting this job done would fall under the purview of a responsible project manager.
In modern times, the term ‘team collaboration’ is more applicable when used in connection with web-based business software and intranets. Such software empowers small and medium-sized businesses by offering a common meeting platform to remote workers/teams in order to discuss projects and perform specific tasks within that virtual space. It allows users to share files and ideas, and manage projects from their commencement until their completion – all this without having to be anywhere around each other.
Many would say that this is future of collaborative work in the globalized business arena; and they would be right as this trend is only becoming increasingly popular.
Looking for ways to create stronger and better team collaboration? Mentioned ahead are a few tips that can be helpful to project managers.
- Get the Best Ideas Onboard
All good project managers, typically, brim with ideas and plans related to their work. However, the most effective ones will be those who invite ideas and suggestions from their team members and work those into the goals to be achieved by the team.
Employing Agile practices to complicated, multidisciplinary projects can be helpful as that way you will involve innovation from all stakeholders. Apart from that, using real-time data will help team members understand how far along they are and make adjustments accordingly.
- Respond, Don’t React
An effective project manager would make an effective collaborator if he knows how to transform ideas into practical solutions. This can only be achieved through good listening. Understanding new ideas and strategies involves actively listening to discussions with a view to determine the most plausible outcome before mapping a course of action.A competent collaborator will not react, but respond most effectively once all the members have been heard. By doing so he will not only have a plethora of ideas, but team members will also feel valued.
Most managers like to believe that their staff is working optimally. An effective and collaborative manager will ensure to infuse inspiration and vigor into the workspace and making the team feel valued by appreciating a job well done.When it comes to offering criticism, doing so kindly and making sure to critique the mistake rather than the worker can be helpful. Of course, there will always be several issues which will need to be addressed, but all of that can be done in a way that can get the team motivated.
- Give Credit Where It Is Due
Another characteristic trait of effective collaborators is that they will think about solutions rather than problems. They give credit where it is due and keep their work processes transparent.Apart from that, effective collaborators put across their expectations and share relevant information clearly and articulately across the board. This works well because sharing project detail builds a sense of community and adds to the spirit of collaboration. This is the kind of environment that teams need to flourish.
- Keep an Open Mind
Keeping an open mind will not only make you more accepting of innovative ideas, but also build an atmosphere of trust. Team members will feel more comfortable to put their suggestions/concerns on the board.Being open to new ideas, endeavors and constructive criticism empowers the entire team. This, in turn, results in quicker problem-solving, better teamwork, greater trust and ultimately enhanced performance.
- Overcome Limitations
Most modern workplaces have the capability and the resources required to work without setting limitations. Making collaboration a goal and holding each team member answerable for their participation can go a long way in enabling this.Constant communication, frequently connecting through technology and a sense of purpose will add to the spirit of collaboration.
Benefits of Team Collaboration
There are several benefits that come with successful team collaboration, which are as follows–
- Faster Production
When a single employee, or an uninitiated group of employees get together to work on a project, it can take longer for it to start and complete. This phenomenon becomes even more ubiquitous when someone takes on or is saddled with more work than he can handle, as that can give rise to frustration and slow things down.Effective collaboration, however, enables employees to solve problems together, which expedites the completion of tasks to a great extent.
- Better Participation
Working on projects entails finding solutions to the various problems that may crop up from time to time. When employees work in a team, they have the added benefit of being able to pool their ideas through brainstorming and hence, provide better inputs. This makes it easier to solve all the hindrances that may stand in the way of achieving the goal.
- Enhanced Communication
Too many times, projects fail due to a lack of proper communication channels. While improving the quality of communication among employees may be of tremendous importance, it becomes more difficult when team operate remotely. Team collaboration is bound to have a positive effect on communication, even when the members are operating from different places.
- Space Management
For several startups and small businesses, owning or renting a physical office space may not be possible, thanks to the exorbitant costs associated with it. Collaboration tools enable remote team members to work together in a professional manner without having to assemble physically at an office. In fact, such tools can help entrepreneurs save a ton of money which they would have otherwise had to pay for buying/renting the office space.
- Improved Employee Relations
Improving employee relationships can be perplexing, but using collaboration tools can go a long way in helping you do so. As employees collaborate with one another, they not only get to know each other, but also better understand each other’s style of work, which saves time and effort in the long term.
Effective collaboration mobilizes teams to achieve goals that are important to organizational growth. Most modern businesses have taken a shine to this phenomenon and are using it to their advantage. The above tips should give you a clear idea of what team collaboration entails. Make sure you apply them adequately to your business practices and take your company to greater heights.
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