Project management was a demanding job even decades ago. But it seems that nowadays as projects become more complex and teams more disperse (online environment’s fault), the project manager’s job is even more difficult. These changes in the working environment take their toll mostly on collaboration as a big aspect of project management. Making sure everyone is on the same page, and does the part required to complete the goal of the project will be the difference between success and failure. Following are a few tips to keep in mind in order to improve collaboration in your team.
Provide clear instructions
Providing clear instructions is of vital importance especially if the team is not located in a single location or communicates informally on daily basis. If instructions are not given personally and individually there is little too much freedom for personal interpretation and misunderstanding. Usually the best practices include providing written instructions in a format that is agreed upon by the team including Microsoft Word file, Excel table, mind maps, PowerPoint presentations etc.
Exploit technology solutions
There are many software solutions available that allow for better project management and easy collaboration. Whether this is a simple platform for exchanging documents, fully featured project management software, project viewer or a simple chatting app like Skype all these will play their part in easing collaboration in your team. As a project manager, you simply cannot allow your team members to waste time waiting for feedback or approvals.
Define different goals to different project members
Although everyone is working for “the greater good” Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related goals to different team members should be defined. These are usually short-term goals to give users a sense of priority and an idea of how their performances will be measured. They will keep your team members occupied, provide them with a clear picture of how far the project has come and how much is left to be done and at the end of the day promote collaboration.
Promote regular meetings
One of the major collaboration tools is actually not a software solution. It is a simple pen and paper meeting where your team members exchange opinion notes and requests. As a good project manager you’ll need to get your team members together on a regular basis. This will build trust in the team and ensure that they build effective working relationships with each other. The frequency of the meetings depends on the stage of the project but make sure everyone meets everyone else at least once a week. As trust grows within the team, so will collaboration and so will your project chances to succeed. Hopefully, yours and your team members’ paychecks will grow accordingly.