Collaborative Project Management: A Comprehensive Guide

Jahnavi Vekaria

Jahnavi Vekaria

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: July 6, 2021

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Project collaboration is built around having team members actively plan task management, communication, and teamwork. The control of activities is no longer solely assigned to just managers, but it becomes an open panel for all project members.

Since the project manager can distribute complex projects across various teams, collaborative project management helps decentralize tasks. Not only it helps in improving team coordination but also in cross-department communication.

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Almost 86% of employees cite a lack of communication for workplace failures, so project collaboration focuses on engaging all the team members. Each employee can participate in the project execution’s overall planning process, which helps in increased coordination.

And that is the reason why many online collaborative tools have taken off pretty well due to the coronavirus pandemic. With an increase in remote working, collaborative tools allow teams to work together to achieve goals.

As per a recent survey, 80% of organizations have used social collaboration tools to enhance business processes at some point post-pandemic, making it easy for employees to absorb the shock of working from home full-time well.

What is a Collaborative Project Management?

Earlier, a manager used to divide work between team members. He used to make sure the project is running on time and that each employee is reporting to the project manager while assuming his/her responsibility and accountability.

Unlike the traditional top-down project management practice, collaborative project management provides a centralized database. It gives information to all the members of the project without location constraints.

Each project member can actively participate in project planning. This improves communication between the team members, and they can collectively resolve any bottlenecks in the project execution.

Why Does a Business Need Collaborative Project Management?

The specific benefits provided by collaborative project management depend on each project’s attributes handled by your organization. But, here is what you can commonly expect from utilizing agile project collaboration software modules in your business.

#1. Promotes Creative Input

Collaborative project management helps you take the decision-making process from the boardroom to team members. Employees working on a project can have a say in the project management process. Ultimately, it helps them brainstorm better and develop more creative ideas, allowing everyone to reach qualitative results.

#2. Better Communication Across Organization

On a collaborative project management platform, managers and team members can communicate with each other regularly. This builds real-time communication channels and active transparency. Also, with better communication, employees can understand their responsibilities better and self-monitor themselves.

#3. Improves Service Delivery Time

A project with collaborative efforts from all the members emphasizes the speediness of the process. With better disclosure of accountabilities, managers can remove any bottlenecks in advance. Members can continuously monitor their progress to achieve more outstanding results.

#4. Supports Remote Teams and Employees

Today, companies are taking advantage of subject matter experts from around the globe. Various employees are working from remote locations to implement the best knowledge on the tasks in-hand.

In this situation, a collaborative project management solution becomes vital to ensure the efficiency of the project. Various in-built communication tools such as chatbox, cloud-based file sharing make remote working much more manageable.

Challenges That Companies Can Face in Project Collaboration

While collaborative project management benefits are clear, the execution of a successful project has its obstacles. We have listed a few challenges or problems of project collaboration –

#1. Indecisive Decision Makers

When there are several stakeholders involved in decision making, not everyone is on the same page. This results in indecisiveness, and team members will have no idea what path they should take, which can lead to delayed deadlines.

#2. Miscommunication

Despite cooperation between the employees in collaborative project management, there will always be room for miscommunication and misinterpretation. When team members have no clear understanding of their goals, their energy and time can mislead the execution of the project.

#3. Too Many Feedbacks

It is good to get feedback from employees. But when too many employees get involved in every task of the project, all that feedback can do more harm than good. Too many voices and different opinions can put people in different directions and result in blurring objectives.

#4. Lack of Proper Training

It is highly unlikely that each team member has formal project management training. There will be gaps in knowledge and managerial ability from member to member. Due to this, many employees need special training to get them on board with such an extensive way of working on a project.

#5. Remote Working

Growing remote teams working from multiple international locations may pose another difficulty for collaboration. Having a geographically distanced team makes it harder for everyone to have the level of contributions that the project requires.

Collaborative Project Management – The Stages

To make project management easier to execute and control, it is advisable to divide it into various stages. These project management phases can be split into individual tasks that help in achieving a different milestone.

Step 1: Initiate the Project

The first stage marks the beginning of the project. At this stage, organizations need to develop a charter for the project and identify all the stakeholders involved in a particular project.

This step aims to understand what work all the team members must do to deliver the desired results. This understanding is essential to start a project and complete it effectively.

Step 2: Plan and Setup the Project

At this stage, a project plan is developed. In developing a project plan, managers and executives consider the costs that are attributable to the project. The resources are determined, and project requirements are defined clearly.

While determining the costs and resources, risks are identified and planned for, and communications are established accordingly.

Next is to identify dependencies, i.e., the tasks you need to complete before starting other tasks. This is where you can involve your team in the planning process.

Step 3: Start Work on the Project

This stage is where the project execution is carried out. At this stage, an organization procures all the resources related to the implementation of the project. Once the project starts, you will need to use the resources and manage stakeholders’ expectations effectively.

Step 4: Track and Re-plan the Project

While working on a project is essential, it is equally important to monitor the results. This will help you to look out for any deviations, if any, and take corrective actions for the same. This is the stage where quality is monitored; cost allocations are checked to ensure that the project is within the budget.

Often organizations uses project tracking software for the progress and project execution, which helps identify deviations early for corrective actions.

Step 5: Close the Project

At this stage, the project is finalized, and the deliverables are given to the customers. Once the delivery is done, all the stakeholders are informed about completing the project, and all the resources are given back to the resource managers.

Final Word

Collaborative project management is useful for organizations with large teams working from remote locations. As the world is becoming more connected than ever, effective collaboration is required in every field to give a competitive edge to organizations.

By adopting collaborative project management, your organization will be better placed in the market for delivering projects on-time and on-budget.

How do you manage your project collaborations? Let us know in the comments below.

Jahnavi Vekaria
"Jahnavi Vekaria is a Senior Content Writer at an E-commerce company, that has offices in India and the USA. With a savvy understanding of language and search, Jahnavi grew her love of the IT and SaaS industry's technical side, gravitating towards learning about SEO, audits, crawls, and other aspects of digital marketing. Jahnavi is a proud post-graduate of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, where she studied Business Entrepreneurship in New Enterprise Creation. After starting her career as a Portfolio Associate, she realized her love for writing and has been an expert content writer since 2017. Outside of the office, Jahnavi spends her time watching lots of movies and shows like a nerd. She also runs a movie blog (Movies2binge.com) that recommends the best movies and shows to binge-watch. [Link: http://movies2binge.com/ at the word 'Movies2binge.com]"

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