Project management is valued by 89 percent of the world's highest-performing organizations, according to the Project Management Institute. In addition, this research indicates that organizations that take a structured approach to managing technology implementations are more likely to stay on budget, deliver on time and remain within scope.

Project management professionals can also lend a great deal of value to organizations by facilitating collaboration. By keeping employees engaged with a project's vision and promoting teamwork, project managers can ensure better outcomes. Let's explore a few pragmatic ways that project managers can enhance collaboration.

1. Project Transparency

A key duty of many project management roles is reporting. Engaged employees are twice as productive as their peers. According to Dr. Andrew Makar, an IT program manager, transparency drives "performance, task ownership, [and] accountability." Sending daily email updates or managing data dashboards of project metrics are two ways project managers can create transparency. These tools provide insights to stakeholders, who can volunteer in key areas if needed.

2. Shared Visions

Project management pros are often provided direct access to leadership's project visions. It's their job to summarize these goals and sell the dream to employees. Tech Republic's Donna Fitzgerald writes that a project manager's ability to consistently communicate vision can be a single point of success for IT projects. In project meetings, emails and training sessions, project managers should share how they hope the new initiative will positively impact the organization.

3. Frequent Communications

The Agile software development community has popularized stand-up meetings, or brief meetings that occur at the beginning of each day. According to the Agile Alliance, these daily meetings can prevent issues from "falling through the cracks" and facilitate peer-to-peer sharing, without a huge time commitment. A project manager who facilitates daily or consistent communications can keep team members -- and leadership -- well informed.

4. Documented Progress

Are you 65% done with technology training? Are you 30% ahead of goal when it comes to software testing? Project managers can share these insights with their team, even if the team isn't directly responsible for this area of progress. By providing a 100-foot view of in easily consumable project statistics, employees will feel more informed.

5. Shared Responsibilities

Project managers are often responsible for distributing tasks to ensure on-time project delivery. Project management leadership coach Susanne Madsen recommends sharing "assignment and decision-making" whenever possible to solve tough issues and keep employees engaged with the project's tasks. According to Madsen, asking for volunteers for tasks can help people "take more responsibility" and invest more in the project as a whole.

A project manager's duties don't just include hard competencies, like budgeting and monitoring goals. Project managers are also required to be soft skills champions. Taking a collaborative approach to project management ensures better outcomes and more engaged employees.

Alastair Mitchell

Co-founder

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