Even with the best project management software, a lot can go wrong

Collaborative Project Management is finally on the radar of many organizations.  Well, I have been a practitioner since before Mark Zuckerberg went to Harvard (or maybe even high school).  In the old days, we simply called it Project Management.   Now that we have online project management software, virtual whiteboards, crowdsourcing tools, and instant communication that bypasses emails.  It is time to give it a name.

Andy Warhol probably never managed a project. But views on change are applicable to the adoption of Collaborative Project Management.  “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”   Will the passage of time, the ubiquity of social media technologies and the entry of Millennials to the workforce bring Collaborative Management to the organization?

No. It takes commitment to implementation.  It takes an investment of resources in new practices.  It takes the selection of tools. These are the building blocks of Collaborative Project Management.   Or as we used to say: “People, process, and technology.”

Let’s look at some of the challenges (or excuses) that you will hear about why CPM adoption is hard.  We will also look at what you can do to address these concerns.

Collaborative Project Management is only for Millennials.   The argument is that Collaborative Project Management is for new employees entering the workforce. Traditional Project Management is for everyone else.

A more careful analysis is that collaboration is not only applicable to Project Management. It should be part of the overall organizational culture.   This means aligning compensation to the adoption of collaborative practices.  This requires that senior management must provide sponsorship.  This needs to happen before the words Scrum, Sprint or Gantt chart software are uttered.

The current Project Management methodology already works.   If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  We’ve selected a Project Management methodology, we train our employees and are seeing the results that we like.

The logic is correct but based on a false assumption.  Collaborative Project Management is not a new process or methodology.  It’s about taking existing methodologies and infusing them with common sense principles.  Tapping into the knowledge and expertise of the organization to improve team performance.   Whether the organization has a tailored process of their own or uses Agile or Waterfall, Collaborative Project Management practices apply in equal measure.

Collaborative Project Management tools are expensive that require system integration.  We are ok with our employees engaging in open dialog and sharing information widely, but we don’t see a need for even more tools.

If there wasn’t push back from the business about spending on technology something would be wrong!  At the same time, collaboration does not happen on its own.  If you try to use free social media tools such as Facebook for team collaboration, don’t be surprised if productivity levels plummet.

The good news is that the investment in Collaborative Project Management tools does not have to be costly.  Nor should it be disruptive to existing systems. The Binfire Collaboration and Project Management platform starts at $19/month and is delivered as SaaS, thereby eliminating the need for IT integration.   The other good news is that you can try out Binfire for absolutely no cost by clicking here.

David Robins


David Robins is the founder and CEO of Binfire. David studied at both Cornell and MIT, and was the Director of Software Engineering at Polaroid for 11 years.

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