Collaborative Project Management is not a fad but a new methodology which came about due to advances in Internet technology. The sharing and communication seen by using social media was a huge motivator behind creation of collaborative PM. It is a new way that organizations manage work and collaborate. It helps to improve inefficiencies due to the lack of communication and brings products to market faster by harnessing the team’s collective knowledge.
The organizations that embraces Collaborative Project Management will benefit from improved productivity and employee satisfaction. This in turn will ultimately improves productivity and will impact shareholder equity and the company’s bottom line.
For this discussion, we will focus on the benefits that Collaborative Project Management brings to Project Managers, Project Teams. stakeholders and the overall organization.
Collaborative Project Management makes PM role more strategic
Collaborative Project Management represents a fundamental shift in the role of the Project Manager. From primary gatekeeper and organizer to facilitator and mentor. If the old Project Management discipline represents a top down approach, Collaborative Project Management democratizes the discipline. It taps into the vast resources available within an organization and uses them wisely.
Traditional project management tools such as Microsoft Project were built on the assumption that the Project Manager’s job is to plan, monitor and manage with little input from individual team members. This meant a project manger was part policeman, part midwife and part bureaucrat. Many Project Managers allocated a significant amount of time to get status reports from team members, create PowerPoint reports and share that information with senior management and the customer.
With Collaborative Project Management, the team members will assume greater responsibility by reporting and keeping track of their own progress. This collective responsibility greatly frees up the time of the Project Manager for more important tasks like problem solving and mentoring.
Instead of an enforcement role, the Collaborative Project Manager is a coach– identifying the strength of each player and ensuring that the overall team coordinates their efforts. Instead of serving a bureaucratic role by chasing down update reports, constantly on email and setting up status meetings, the Collaborative Project Manager can spend his or her time doing meaningful work. Like facilitating cross-team cooperating and serving as a sounding board for individual team members. In short a project manager becomes a contributor instead of a cost center, a leader instead of a boss.
Freeing up the time of the Project Manager also enables him or her to focus on strategic issues and to assume more of a leadership role. This can do wonders for the team’s productivity and the sense of belonging.
Collaborative Project Management improves employee engagement
Employee Engagement has become an increasingly important metric within the corporate world. Research shows that companies with higher levels of employee engagement report higher level of employee productivity and business results.
In a Harvard Business Review article titled “Employee Engagement Does More than Boost Productivity” the author defines Employee Engagement as “people want to come to work, understand their jobs, and know how their work contributes to the success of the organization”. When employees love their work they do a much better job doing their tasks. They don’t get bored and will care greatly about the success of their projects. Because of democratization of the work environment, everyone in the team feels ownership and tries to do the best he or she can. This means great sense of responsibility, accountability and ownership for the successful outcome of the project.
Collaborative Project Management boosts productivity and profitability
Collaborative Project Management unlocks a core corporate asset – the untapped knowledge and expertise of its employees. In parallel, it reduces time wasting practices that slow progress, thereby increasing productivity.
Collaborative Project Management facilitates knowledge transfer between team members by using crowd-sourcing of knowledge to generate new ideas or solve pressing problems. Rather than rely on formal channels of communication, social media type tools allows the individual team members to communicate and collaborate with the whole team. This causes the organization to gain a broader perspective of work and encourages broader collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Collaborative Project Management is particularly beneficial in distributed teams whose members do not have the opportunity for face-to-face dialog. A team member in New York can communicate in real time via social media tools embedded in the Project Management platform and gain immediate access to expertise of a colleague in Madrid, Shanghai or Sydney.
Individuals can provide real time feedback and updates to the whole team, thereby reducing the amount of time consuming face to face status meetings and email updates. Collaborative project management frees managers from mundane tasks of gathering project information and endlessly writing reports. This lets them to be more productive by analyzing and finding problems and risks in the project and finding answers to those issues. The new project manager acts more strategically instead of constantly reacting to events and do firefighting.
Collaborative Project Management is here to stay and is gaining more momentum in today’s distributed work environment. As more teams adopt this methodology, the individual team members, the project’s outcome and ultimately the company’s bottom line will all benefit.
It is important to choose the right Collaboration Software for your team. Good project management software includes great collaboration tools. It streamlines the work of both the manager and individual team members. We at Binfire integrated collaboration tools in our project management software from day one. Try binfire for free and see for yourself how it can help you and your team do more.