When any new project begins, success is rarely guaranteed. Collaboration helps improve the quality of work by bringing in extra brainpower, but coordinating efforts between multiple people comes with its own challenges.

These 12 experts weigh in on how to make sure your team is primed for collaboration success:

Initial Project Communication

Initial Project Communication

Communicate the Purpose of Work

“Make absolutely sure that everyone knows the purpose of the direction the team is going in, and the reason that their part in it is critical in achieving that end.” —Alexander Ruggie, 911 Restoration

Show How Work Aligns with Larger Goals

“Make sure that the team goals are clear. Demonstrate alignment in two ways from those goals: one, to the larger organization or company vision, and two, to each individual and the importance of the role they play." —Susan L. Lauer, Certified Business Coach Principal, Aspire Consulting

Get Buy-In for the Vision

“Collaboration increases when the goals and objectives are really clear. Also, if the team members are involved with the development of the goals and objectives, the buy-in is even better.” —Tatsuya Nakagawa, VP Marketing & Strategy, Castagra Products, Inc.

Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page

"Get your team onto the same page, aiming for the same goal. Sit down with the team and explain your short- and long-term goal, and be open to their suggestions. Discuss how you have planned to hit those goals, and then assign each of them their respective work." —Anant Mediratta, CEO & Founder, WiseCalvin

Organized Project Roles

Organize Project Roles

Know the Strengths of Your Team

"Knowing the strengths, motivators, and behaviors of the individual team members can help you put together a better team. Knowing the same about each other will enhance their collaboration.” —Susan L. Lauer, Certified Business Coach Principal, Aspire Consulting

Assign Everyone a Specific Project Role

"Clearly designate who is responsible for each segment of your project. Your staff needs to know exactly who is in charge of what, regarding the project in question. That way, they'll know who to go to for help and who to follow up with as they move towards project completion." —Andrew Schrage, CEO & Co-owner, Money Crashers

Identify a Project Lead with Strong Leadership Skills

"A clear group leader is necessary. To define the group leader, someone with strong leadership skills will be the best choice for the team. What constitutes leadership skills? The ability to problem solve (outside of situational training received), to listen, to energize, to support, AND at the same time to add their knowledge and expertise to the outcomes of the team." —Jess Dewell, CEO, Infusion Principle

Ask Your Project Lead to Consistently Gather Feedback

"Designate a project lead who will accept responsibility for the project and seek lots of feedback from other team members. The team lead creates accountability, and the high degree of project feedback creates short, frequent check-ins on how the project is progressing." —Sam Balter Marketing Manager, Waterfall

Discuss the Flow of Work from Person to Person

"To eliminate bottlenecks, you need to delegate tasks on the front-end. Make it absolutely clear what each person's responsibility is, and then discuss the flow of project from person to person.” —Trent Erwin, Co-owner/Project Manager, Genesis Net Development

Day-to-Day Operations

Day-to-Day Operations

Implement Scrum Methodology

“I founded a startup financial tech company in 2012 and recently implemented Scrum, which has turned out to be fantastic way to get my team to collaborate.” —Jonathan Wallentine, AmcoInvestor

Hold Regular Meetings for Problem-Solving

“We meet almost every day where I ask: What do you need to move forward on this project? Where is it stuck? What can we do to get to 'done'?” —Beth Bridges, Marketing Manager, J - I.T. Outsource

Try Setting Collaboration Hours

"Set hours for specific collaborations times." —Trent Erwin, Co-owner/Project Manager, Genesis Net Development

Use Specific Tools for Specific Functions

“Use specific platforms for specific functions — don't mix them up! Messages via Slack over Email. All documents need to live in our team Dropbox account. All projects and tasks get defined in our project management tool. No rogue activities! Define and post them so others can see progress/status without having to consult you." —Kenny Jahng, Founder & CEO, Big Click Syndicate LLC 

Leave Email for External Communication

"Use a chat system for exchanges and collaboration other than email. Leave email for coordination with customers/clients." —Trent Erwin, Co-owner/Project Manager, Genesis Net Development

Standardize Organization & Naming Conventions

"Standardized file naming conventions. E.g. Date first on all files using YYMMDD format, like 150612 for June 12, 2015, so that files sort nicely in folders; and include a client/project short code in all file names (so it is searchable).” —Kenny Jahng, Founder & CEO, Big Click Syndicate LLC 

Your Team Leadership

Your Team Leadership

Empower Your Entire Team to be Leaders

"Give your team freedom to take initiative and implement new ideas; that will make them feel empowered and they'll perform well." —Shreyans Jain, Marketing Manager, EduPristine

Don't Micromanage, Allow Them to Make Decisions Together

“It’s like parenting: How do you split the last chocolate cookie? One child cuts, and the other chooses. Managers should see this as a guiding principle in collaboration. Instead of micromanaging, give a general directive and deadline, then let your team divide up the work amongst themselves.” —Angelique Pivoine, 911 Restoration

Show Appreciation for a Job Well-Done

"Recognize the efforts put in by your team and appreciate it, this will make the team members feel good and it will also increase their interest level and productivity. If a team member has spent several hours on fixing issues, motivate him/her by showing gratitude and announcing his/her achievement to the team." —Shreyans Jain, Marketing Manager, EduPristine

What collaboration advice can you share?

Have you had to coordinate effective team collaboration? Do you work on a team that collaborates well every day? Share your experiences and advice in the comments below!

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