Perfect your project planning: effective solutions for better team collaboration


Teamwork feels good when you all get together to get something done, and it can be a whole lot easier to find some effective solutions to any number of problems, when you work out the best way of achieving the best team collaboration possible.

Software that is developed by someone such as www.avaza.com to fulfill the potential of a collaborative approach should help you to get your business where it needs to go, and there are a number of different initiatives that should help you to perfect your project planning.

It all starts by defining your project

The first building block of a collaborative plan is to define what the project is all about and what it is ultimately intended to deliver.

A clearly defined project where everyone involved in the process has a clear understanding of what the final goal is and how and when this goal is going to be attained, will have much greater chance of success if you start out by defining your project before things get underway.

A good way of getting everyone in the loop and knowing what their role will be and what approach is needed, will be to arrange a workshop where everyone involved in the project can get together and talk it through beforehand.

Getting the team together like this not only helps to resolve any potential misunderstandings before they cost time and money later on, but it also helps to iron out any potential wrinkles, by channeling input through the appointed project manager.

Brainstorming works

A popular management concept, brainstorming might sometimes get a bad press amongst those who have not used it in the right way, but there is little doubt that brainstorming can be a great way of getting people engaged in the project.

What you don’t want a brainstorming session to do, is to turn into organized chaos.

A good way of avoiding this scenario would be to encourage everyone to write down their thoughts and what they think needs to be done to get the project completed. If you avoid the temptation to restrict or criticize people at this point, you will get more out of the brainstorming session.

Grouping tasks and assigning responsibilities

The fundamental aspects of collaboration are all about working together as a team towards a common goal and delegating tasks and responsibilities so that there are no overlaps.

The project manager should assume the responsibility of reading out all of the tasks required and assigning them to individual people, so that everyone in the meeting clearly understands who is expected to do what and when.

Grouping tasks into categories will help improve efficiency. There will invariably be minor and major tasks that need completing during the term of the project, and although some are more important than others, attention to detail for even the minor tasks, will often pay dividends.

It is often the small details that can get overlooked and what you can find if you don’t group and categorize every task, is that an element of overlapping occurs, meaning you lose efficiency as a result.

A milestone plan

When you are working together as a team towards a final goal, it makes a lot of sense to create a milestone plan so that you can check on your progress on a regular basis.

In order to create a viable plan, discuss and agree the timeline for each particular milestone.

Creating a milestone plan as a team is definitely going to be a challenge, as input from team members might vary about what is a suitable deadline to work to for each different clearly defined step along the way to completing a project.

Once you have thrashed out a suitable timeline for each designated milestone, you can incorporate this into the project planning, so that everyone then knows exactly what they have to do and when they have to do it by.

It is often acceptable to make certain assumptions and even estimate the duration of certain timelines, especially at the beginning of the project, but at least you have a plan to work to and the dates can always be adjusted once the collaborative process is under way and everyone has a better idea of how accurate or realistic initial estimations are likely to be.

Teamwork definitely helps to get things done more efficiently, so it makes sense to work on using methods like software and other management tools, in order to get the best returns from your collaboration.


About the author

Morgan Howell is a project manager / team leader who is always pushing herself, and her team, to work better as a team. She has tried numerous techniques, software and applications and now has her recipe for success. She shares her tips online at business blogs.