There are three main factors that determine the success of a new project or campaign:
- Excellent top-down and bottom-up communication, so everyone is on the same page with progress, challenges, and achievements;
- Organized and collaborative project management to make sure all work is completed on time and within budget;
- Collaboration between team members and across departments to bring in more ideas and breed innovation.
But it's a mistake to think about these critical success factors for project management separately in today's innovative work environment. You can improve in all three areas by focusing on just one aspect of work: your collaborative project management. Refining this will enable everyone from the CEO on down to communicate with colleagues, manage projects and ideas, actively work together on tasks, and get work done efficiently.
The best way to improve your collaborative project management is to bring your team out of the dark ages of back-and-forth email conversations and introduce a software specifically made to do the job.
The Keys to Effective Collaborative Project Management
Whether you decide to continue using your old methods, or you're looking for a new collaborative project management tool, here are a few things to consider:
1. You need a tool that updates in real time
Some cloud-based and online software allow your team to share and monitor updates in real time; as soon as a change is made, that change is visible to everyone. That means your team will never accidentally work with outdated information (e.g. spreadsheets), so collaboration can move forward smoothly and efficiently.
2. Colleagues need to be able to work at the same time
Live collaboration is the new hallmark of the best teamwork. One of the first popular tools of this type was Google Docs — one person updates the online document, and another person can edit simultaneously or simply watch the process as it's happening. Wrike is a collaborative project management tool that provides the same real-time collaboration capabilities on tasks and projects.
3. You can discuss work right where its being done
Instead of keeping conversations in one tool (e.g. chat tools) and your actual work in another, you should find one tool that allows you to hold conversations right where work is being done. This way, if you bring someone new into your project or you need to pass off work, you can also give them insight into past decision-making and project-related conversations. They'll be able to get up to speed immediately, without you taking time out of your day to walk them through every project detail.
4. You need a consolidated place to store & manage all work-related information
It's common these days to keep information saved in many different places, such as email inboxes, cloud file storage systems, and on the hard drives of personal computers. That makes it nearly impossible to ensure your entire team is working with the latest information.
If you want to improve your collaborative project management, you need to find one place to store everything related to work — all your one-off tasks, long-term projects, files, conversations, meeting notes, and reports. Doing this gives your people immediate, always-available access to the information they need, without having to hunt through multiple tools.
5. You should be able to change project details & let the team know immediately
Every team will need to change project details or priorities at one point or another. Your process or tool should allow you to update work and let your team know immediately, so that everyone is always working on the most important projects with the most accurate information.
6. You should be able to see what's coming next
Effective project management software allows you to plan for future tasks and projects using scheduling, Gantt charts, task dependencies, and more. You'll be able to logically organize your tasks and projects, set up workflows to move work from beginning to end, monitor progress to make sure nothing falls behind, and check in with colleagues to see if they need help. As one project is ending, your team can immediately start on the next priority work.
Free Collaborative Project Management Tool
If you've decided to implement a collaborative project management software, try Wrike absolutely free for 2 weeks, and then upgrade or stay free. Invite your team to Wrike, complete a short project together using the tool, and see how we can help your team work better.