When the responsibility of the success of a project rests on your shoulders you need to encourage collaboration on your project team to get the job done.
You may be at the helm of each and every project but collaborative management is also a vital part of your role. Working with a team and recruiting the right staff lays the groundwork to ensure that necessary tasks are completed and the end goal achieved. So just how do you encourage collaboration within your project team?
There is no getting away from the fact that project management is all about the good old-fashioned notion of getting things done so the first step is to be properly organised and that starts with you. You will need to have an initial plan of what needs to happen, by whom and when, in order to deliver the project on time and within budget. However, this plan does not have to absolutely be set in stone. The initial plan can then be brainstormed with your team so that everyone’s views and opinions are considered and incorporated and everyone feels that their input is important to the final outcome.
It is no secret that collaborative management software can be a handy tool to keep your team feeling like a team – even if they are scattered across the country, or even the world! Even if the team is under the same roof but working alone on individual tasks – collaborative software can be a focal point to check in/update and track progress of everyone involved in the project throughout the day, week or month.
Nothing beats regular meetings to hear what each member of the team has achieved and how their individual progress is affecting the overall progress of the project. If the majority of your team works within the same building – designating a separate office area for collaborative working can provide a real sense of unity and allow space and time for trouble-shooting and new ideas to flourish. If the team is dispersed, then consider a Google hangout or Skype conference – and make sure to introduce those who haven’t worked together before so that everyone feels part of the team.
A good project manager will appreciate team input and be prepared to go back to the drawing board if a team member hits on a better idea of how a task can be completed. Employees can find themselves struggling if an original plan doesn’t fit in a real-world scenario; or they may come up with a way of executing a task that is quicker or more cost effective. A good project manager will encourage creativity among team members and adapt tasks to suit.
Quality of work has been scientifically proven to be linked to staff morale but building a successful team can be a long process due to different personalities and methods of working. A strong project manager aims to build a great team via collaborative working whilst still respecting individuality and ensuring everyone is a contented employee whether working alone on a task or as part of the team.