Please read the original post on PMTips.net, published June 9th, 2010
Personal story alert: I used to work in a company that vehemently objected to implementing an online project management and collaboration system in their business. Their excuses were the same that we hear from many other businesses: It takes too long to implement. We would waste time. We don’t know how to research a solution. We don’t think anyone would use the solution we choose.
And eventually, the decision was made to overcome all those objections and just move forward with a project management solution, come hell or high water. And the results are were the same that we hear from many other businesses: Projects were managed better. Team members communicated more. Collaboration took place around business plans and documents. Supervisors were able to oversee all projects easily.
By now, we all know the benefits that effective project management and team collaboration can offer the modern business. But there are still the objections, the wariness, the suspicions of moving forward with accepting project management and collaboration practices into the business. And perhaps it’s because business owners just don’t know how to takes those first few steps toward improved business organization and communication.
So, here are tips for accepting project management and team collaboration into your corporate culture.
Test Solutions Together
Your team may resent a mandated change in which they have no say. Allow them the opportunity to test out project management and collaboration solutions before you select the final product for your business. They will be the ones using it most often, and their opinions will shape the way the projects are managed in the future.
Start With One Project At A Time
Don’t dive in head first with this new process. Pick and choose one or a couple projects to start out with to get everyone used to the new system. This way, your team will learn the new processes, iron out the wrinkles in the system and discover more efficient ways of managing their work before all the projects are there.
Create A Timeline
Even though you are starting out slow, you need to have an end in sight. Set a timeline indicating when all projects, work and communications will need to be 100% inside your new system. This will give everyone a goal to shoot for, and will ensure you don’t fall back into your old habits.
Everyone likes a little encouragement, right? When you see a teammate fully accepting and adapting to the new project management and collaboration system, let them know they are doing a good job! Encourage them to continue with their new productivity skills, and to help others if needed as well.
Make It Fun!
When first encouraging your team to get involved in their new project management system, make sure they have fun when they are there. Don’t just work on and collaborate around business stuff – play games and hold exciting discussions to keep people coming back. Offer a prize for the most creative project title. Collaborate together on editing photos of your teammates. Discuss what the mother-to-be should name her new baby. All of these fun little games can encourage people to enjoy using the new project management and team collaboration solution while also learning more about it in the process.
Once you’ve taken the first big step to deciding to move forward with a project management and team collaboration solution, you need to encourage the rest of the team to step along with you. By following the steps above, you’ll be working more efficiently and effectively in no time, and collaborating on improved outcomes together.