Today, the notion of collaboration or collaborative work is omnipresent, especially in project management. However, some people imagine that collaborative work is simply sending emails to colleagues. They are wrong. In reality, collaborative work is the pooling of the skills and knowledge of several people in order to achieve a common goal. This way of working increases productivity and optimizes resources.
Discover what collaborative work means, its benefits, and how it improves project management.
What is Collaborative Work?
Henry Ford said: “To meet is a beginning; staying together is a step forward; working together is success.”
The collaboration is not a new concept, but it has grown strongly in recent years thanks to the growth of the Internet and new information and communications technology (ICT).
Collaborative work is the interaction of the different members of a team in the realization of tasks that aims to achieve a common goal.
We leave the traditional hierarchical organization where a leader gives a task to a person. The collaborative approach goes beyond individual action and is part of a dynamic of collective action. It is the merging of individual contributions that enables the achievement of objectives and the realization of the project. Knowledge is shared and individual contributions feed on those of others. Responsibility is global and collective.
Sharing is the key value of collaborative work. Together, the team members share:
- A project with common objectives to be achieved
- Knowledge and skills
- Tools to coordinate and plan for the achievement of objectives;
- Values to create relationships and build trust.
Collaborative work involves constant communication between team members and a clear understanding of the progress of the objectives to be achieved.
Everyone’s efforts are coordinated to achieve the same goal or solve the same problem. Trust, motivation and interactivity are essential.
The benefits of Collaborative Work
Collaborative work has many advantages for both companies and employees.
This way of working fosters sharing and acquiring knowledge, and encourages innovation and creativity of project team members. It also improves relationships between team members as they interact continuously.
Finish the vertical hierarchy! The principle of collaborative work is to place all members of a team at the same level. This is called a network or a horizontal organization.
Each individual becomes a motor, can propose his ideas and take initiatives that will then be validated by the whole team. Responsibility is no longer individual, it is shared.
The talents and skills of each are used as efficiently as possible. Employees become more productive and productive through collaborative work tools.
There are very few disadvantages to collaborative work (we would not talk about it as much). Problems can arise from management or the behavior of some members of the team. Indeed, since the success of a project depends on each employee, if a person is not effective or becomes lazy, it delays the entire team. It is then up to the project manager to reframe and re-motivate.
Moreover, this way of working without hierarchy is not suitable for everyone and can thus generate stress.
Attention, collaborative work is not necessarily synonymous with efficiency and speed. It all depends on the involvement, motivation and skills of each team member. It is not enough to form a team; team members need to interact to create cooperation, productivity and innovation.
Collaborative work in Project Management
In project management, we know that teamwork is essential for success.
The success of a project depends on three factors:
- Excellent communication so that everyone knows the progress of the project;
- Good organization to meet deadlines and budget;
- The cooperation between the team members to develop initiatives reaps more ideas and encourages innovation.
Collaborative project management, if properly implemented, will take you to success.
To do this, you have to convince your team to abandon the e-mail exchanges that have become obsolete in favor of software specially designed for this purpose: collaborative project management software. It is the ideal tool for successful collaboration.
Collaborative project management software is a versatile tool that allows better organization and communication within your project team.
The advantages of this tool are:
- Monitoring and coordinating the evolution of your projects;
- Monitoring progress on tasks on a schedule;
- Timeliness and cost control;
- Facilitated collaboration and exchanges between team members;
- Centralization and sharing of work information;
- Online task management;
- Visibility and transparency.
In short, with collaborative project management software, you save time and simplify your life by using only one tool.
In recent years, collaborative work has emerged as the new way of working, notably through the Internet and new information and communication technologies.
This way of working revolutionizes project management because it:
- Promotes sharing and acquisition of knowledge;
- Encourages innovation and creativity;
- Involves continuous communication and interaction within the project team;
- Makes employees more productive and efficient with collaborative project management software.