As a project management professional, you want both the skills and the street cred as someone who produces successful projects. You also want to be relied upon as a team member that the organization can rely on to deliver the complicated assignments successfully. To do this, you need to harness the power of collaboration to get the most out of your team’s ideas and effort.
Bottom line: Powerful team collaboration delivers better quality projects. Here are nine reasons why:
- Collaboration moves beyond the power of one to the power of team. A project team is created because the deliverables are too complex or numerous for one person to complete. A group of people with the appropriate skills can always do the job better or faster than a lone worker. With collaboration, the project manager doesn’t need to have all the ideas or skills for the task, but you need to know how to organize and tap the talents of team members. When you work collaboratively, you declare yourself open to the input and wisdom of everyone. Plus, you focus more team power on the project.
- Democratizes information, documents and workflows for your team. Your team will function better with full knowledge of the project’s details and goals, and with complete transparency about who does which tasks, and updated status access. When the inevitable hiccups arrive, you can tap the team (and not just yourself) for solutions.
- Nurtures better brainstorming. Bringing together several intelligent minds to think through a problem is always better than one. This social element of collaboration can also improve not only the quality of ideas, but can remove barriers to implementing them.
- Allows the project manager to move beyond controlling the project to optimizing it. With team members aligned on both the big picture and their immediate tasks, you have the opportunity to look for ways to improve quality instead of simply trying to keep everyone on track. Team members can do the same. “Social business collaboration provides a place for more ideas to live and breed,” notes Liquid Planner co-founder Charles Seybold in his blog, In the Future Everyone Will Be a Project Manager.
- Improves project team morale, spirit and enthusiasm. Happy workers are more productive. As employees collaborate, they get to know each other better, and they gain a better understanding of individual work styles which saves time and energy.
- Builds trust with your clients and peers. To succeed as a PM you need the confidence of clients and colleagues. Working collaboratively makes both audiences feel comfortable with the direction and progress of the project.
- Speeds completion.Collaboration allows you and team members to solve problems together, thus expediting the process of finishing a task.
- Avoids communications breakdowns. Project collaboration almost always has a positive impact on communication, even in scenarios where employees have a hard time working with one another.
- Makes it easier to work remotely with colleagues. Working as part of a remote team, or managing remote workers requires a different set of skills than working with a team in the same location. As a leader, you need to foster a connection that makes remote workers feel that they’re part of the team and project workflow—which requires effective social interaction among team members. It’s easier to build the social connection in a collaborative way than to issue orders. As a team member, you want to be vigilant about communicating and staying connected on a regular basis. Whatever your role, make yourself a bridge to bringing remote colleagues together on project details, problem solving and working together in an engaged and successful manner. Then, watch those project outcomes deliver!
What kind of great project results have you experienced from your team collaborations?