Effective project management is at the core of any company. The ability to see a project through from start to successful conclusion is the reason a good project manager is a huge asset to any company, possessing the skills, knowledge and attributes to deliver a project on time and within budget. They will be effective at managing people not just to deliver the desired outcomes but to add value to the project, to go above and beyond the task that was set.
Why project management matters
A strong project manager is key to developing a solid team that can improve efficiency and deliver productive workflow through the lifetime of the project and beyond. They will be flexible enough to adapt methodology and working practices and motivational enough to boost employee engagement and morale.
Good project management is effective at problem solving to increase efficiency and ensure the maximum is done in the timespan of the project. By streamlining the project, a good project manager saves time and money and, most importantly, delivers a quality outcome for your client. And client satisfaction is the most important metric for measuring success.
Collaboration in project management
Strong project management clearly delivers good outcomes – but how do you ensure that teams work closely and effectively together throughout the process? Why is communication and collaboration essential to delivering those outcomes?
Collaboration can take place in a physical office but that can present its own issues, not least the physical limitations of ensuring that all collaborators are physically present. Collaboration is far more effective when it takes place in the digital workplace running appropriate intranet software, where specific tasks can be carried out with the help of document management, wikis and blogs to ensure collaborators have up-to-date, accessible and reliable data to work with.
Digital collaboration has a raft of benefits for any project, particularly when it co-ordinates with strong project management and leadership.
Why intranet software matters
Intranet software allows employees to share tasks and expedite workloads to often stunning effect. If two heads are better than one, the brainpower of an entire team can produce effective, efficient and above all creative and innovative solutions when a project hits a stumbling block.
Where intranet software can be particularly effective is in promoting communication and relationships between employees who may not naturally relate in the physical workplace. The digital workplace can remove barriers by removing employees from their silos and encouraging them to work together in new and unexpected ways, promoting cross business understanding and working to build a new – and uniquely digital – culture.
Maximising intranet collaboration
Whilst intranet software and the digital workplace have obvious benefits for collaborative working, managing remote workers through the project process isn’t always easy.
First, it makes sense to run a training session, preferably through the collaborative software itself, to familiarise the team with their digital workplace. For any team member who is familiar with social media, collaborative software will be easy to comprehend – those team members have a valuable role to play in supporting those who are less confident in this environment. The nominated project leader can use the training session to assess the team and how effectively they communicate, which will be key to the successful outcome of the project.
Encourage the adoption of the new possibilities that the digital workplace has to offer – calendar sharing, instant messaging and more – but take the time, as project manager, to personally check in with team members and gauge their response to the digital workplace. Remember, this will be relatively new technology for some team members and they may feel the need for personal and present support, rather than a virtual message.
Command and control vs the digital workplace
Whilst fostering a collaborative culture in the digital workplace benefits from leadership to model desired behaviours, this is no place for micro management. Instead, a good project manager will use the benefits of the digital workplace to encourage the organic evolution of the group and the adoption of shared standards and good practices to feed into the evolution of the company-wide adoptions of collaborative working. The development and delivery of successful projects using collaborative intranet software help to drive engagement, adoption and cultural change.
The adoption of collaborative work practices gives transparency to the entire project – as the digital workplace seeks to open up opportunities for greater co-operation, it also opens up the visibility of the project, allowing the team to both appreciate challenges facing the project and to celebrate its successes.
And with greater transparency comes greater accountability – both to the team and to the company. When team members have an understanding of how their actions impact the team and have a wider resonance, they strive to achieve the best possible outcomes.