You’ve analyzed the various methodologies, chosen the frameworks most suited to your project, your team, and your objectives, and found a project management tool that fits your needs. Throughout the entire project life cycle, you’ll have to work with your individual team members to function as a cohesive unit.
Just because you’ve selected the right people with the right skills to accomplish the work, doesn’t mean they will collaborate the way you want them to. Different work habits, communication styles, and short-term and long-term goals can throw your entire team (and the project) off track.
Clarifying the behaviors you want your team to practice, and establishing the values you want them to stand for from the beginning starts everyone on the right foot.
We’ve assembled several best practices for setting up and managing your project team to encourage collaboration for optimal performance.
Before we get into building a collaborative team environment, let’s discuss why collaboration is important. Without collaboration, your company will stagnate. It takes a team’s combined ideas and work to pull off a complex project, to innovate, and to come up with the product that beats the competition.
Collaboration is important for two main reasons:
When internal teams use tools and work processes that make communication and collaboration more efficient, goals can be met faster and better quality work can be produced. Internal productivity increases with smoother collaboration.
Some proof: A study by McKinsey & Company shows that implementing collaborative processes and networking tools improved productivity by 20-30% in global software development teams.
And California chipmaker Xilinx reported a 25% increase in engineer productivity by using tools that encouraged peer-to-peer collaboration.
When you seek feedback from your customers, partners, and vendors — aka your external stakeholders — and are able to use their feedback to improve your product or service, the customer’s actual wants and needs will better align with your product’s features.
Today, companies who try to do everything in-house are limited — It’s impossible to be good at everything all the time. They need outside ideas and feedback to grow. The same works for your project team. When teams work together, they can achieve amazing things.
So, now that we’re on the same page about the value of collaboration, let’s take a step back and discuss what makes a project team and how you build one. Merely assigning people tasks is not the same as building a project team.
A project team is a group of people who are all working towards a common goal by bringing valuable and unique skills to the table. Identifying your project team members, defining your team’s identity, and standardizing its operating practices are all critical to a successful project.
So what should you consider when assembling your project team?