Tips for Better Project Collaboration with Clients or Internal Teams
If you work with projects on a day-to-day basis, you know that one of the biggest challenges is keeping everyone on your team, the client team, or other internal teams all on the same page with clear communication and access to critical information and assets throughout the project life cycle. To ensure successful project collaboration you have to continually be mindful of the things that cause roadblocks, miscommunication, and confusion - and overcome them.
Every project you work on has stages that you go through like project kick-off, project planning, project management, project implementation, and project closeout. These project stages are very important because they all serve the larger goal of completing your project successfully with no major hiccups along the way. If your projects often seem to be derailed by miscommunication and people not being on the same page, then this article will offer some good tips and hints you can use as a starting point.
One of the most important elements of successful project collaboration is transparency. Today, there are so many different channels for communication such as email, instant messaging, file sharing sites, text messaging, and phone calls. The more you use different channels of communication, the greater the chance for different team members or clients being left out of important conversations or information. Communication becomes fragmented, and team members miss out on key details and information which leads to mistakes and frustration on all sides. If project collaboration is important to you, then the first thing you need to do is consolidate all project communication onto one platform.
This doesn't mean everyone has to always use the same project management software tool like Trackfront, Basecamp, or Asana. It just means that all project communication needs to happen within one project management software system and not distributed across multiple channels of communication or multiple platforms if you want things to not get lost in the shuffle.
One of the worst culprits for communication confusion is email. How many times do you find yourself digging through your inbox, sent box or folders for that one particular very important email from your client that you can't seem to place? You swore they sent you those details, but now it's nowhere to be found. Or maybe it was forwarded to you by another team member. Things get missed and project collaboration & management becomes a nightmare.
Even instant messaging apps like Slack or Google Chat don't help the situation. Conversations become fragmented and not everyone is in the loop on important updates. Plus when your conversation threads involve multiple topics across multiple projects, trying to find specific details or information is almost as tedious if not more than searching through your email.
That's why project collaboration is so much easier if all project communication is consolidated onto one project management software tool. It makes it easy for you to find the project details and information you need, quickly. And when you have everyone on the same project management platform, things are always more transparent.
The next thing to consider when looking at ways to improve project collaboration with your team or internal teams is project documentation which also includes assets, deadlines, milestones, and other details necessary for success during the planning stages of your project. If these assets are shared via email attachments or multiple file sharing sites like Dropbox, it can be very difficult for anyone viewing them to keep track of changes, updates, and revisions made by each person who worked on them.
Ideally, you want a project collaboration software platform that keeps everything in one place - all communications, shared files & assets, deadlines, milestones, project stages, reviews, feedback, and approvals. When all of this is in one place, organized, and available to all team members to quickly view and act upon, projects go tremendously smoother.
The next area to consider when project collaboration is important to you is project management. This involves everything from project planning, tracking, task management, and reporting project progress. Many project collaboration software tools offer not only project creation & documentation but project status updates, task delegation, assignment of responsibilities, time tracking and project reporting capabilities in one place.
It's a huge benefit for everyone involved in a project when they can see all the key aspects of a project in one glance without having to open multiple software programs or log into various websites. All team members across geographic locations know exactly where the project stands with no surprises or questions about what needs to be done next. And best of all it's easy to add new team members as needed or the ebb and flow of the project changes.
Another key feature to look for is the ability to share files or link to shared documents such as Google docs. No software platform can do absolutely everything, but you want to look for flexibility to work and integrate with other tools and platforms easily. While file-sharing sites offer many great benefits, they fail by allowing communications and conversations to happen in yet another place. Take for instance Dropbox. Once teams start to comment on a Dropbox file, now additional email notifications start coming in, and conversation fragmentation starts to happen again. A month down the road, trying to find that particular comment or link to a shared asset can become very difficult.
Trackfront is one of the best platforms keeping conversations all in one place, seamlessly combining general posts and replies alongside comments, feedback, and annotations on file assets all on a single project communication wall. It's a project collaboration tool built for project managers and project team members to work together in one place, on one project platform.
All project managers are aware of the challenges that come with project collaboration. The good news is, it doesn't have to be so difficult. There are software tools available today to help teams of project managers, clients, and team members work seamlessly together in one place for project success.
Project managers, clients, and team members work seamlessly together in one place for project success. In summary, project collaboration is the most important aspect for project managers to consider when bringing clients or teams on board. With project collaboration software platforms, there are so many great benefits project managers will enjoy when it comes to project planning, task management, and reporting project progress.