Where project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools & techniques to execute against project requirements, project collaboration focuses on the way people, teams, departments and even companies come together to achieve that one common goal: Project success
Effective project collaboration requires open communication, an environment that fosters idea sharing and transparency between teams, whether co-located or remote. This means that in a lot of instances, traditional project management methods can introduce barriers to this more fluid way of operating. This is because with traditional project management all communication tends to flow from and to the project manager only, but with project collaboration teams become more self-managing, still interacting with the project manager, but also directly with each other.
At the end of the day, good project management will most certainly get the job done, but there are many reasons why project collaboration should not be overlooked. At Analyze, we’ve summarised these into 4 key areas:
- Increased productivity & reduced time to market
When you have one person working in isolation, likely trying to support more than one project at a time, progress will be limited to what that individual can realistically achieve in a day. By distributing tasks, you’re not only splitting the workload, but you’re also allowing team members to work together and apply their combined minds to a problem. This leads to increased productivity which in turn leads to a reduced time to market – something which all business strive for.
- Improved communication across the board
We’ve yet to see a project where project collaboration has not had a positive impact on communication across all levels. In a collaborative project environment, the project manager is no longer burdened with the task of “sole communicator”, and with communication freely flowing across various channels, nobody’s left out of the loop.
- Stronger employee relationships & improved employee retention
To many of us, the people we work with is as important (if not more important) as the company we work for. This is because as human beings we feed of each other’s energy in order to achieve more. A collaborative project environment gives employees the opportunity to interact with people from different teams and departments which stimulates personal development, relationship building and general workplace happiness.
- Reduced costs due to flexi hours and working remotely
The more people collaborate on getting the job done, the less they need management to watch over their shoulder. Online collaboration tools (of which there are many to choose from) also make it easy for employees to stay in touch with each other without being in the same place at the same time. This allows people to work more flexible hours, or even from home, which eventually should lead to a reduction in operational costs.
When project management and project collaboration come together you have an unbeatable recipe for success. It will take some time to research and select the right collaboration tool(s) for your company, and your employees will likely need to go on collaboration training, but the end result will be well worth it.
Need some help getting your company’s collaboration skills up to scratch? Give us a call on 021 447 5696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.