Increase Team Collaboration Productivity: 11 Tips

Please read the original post, published on OnePlace Blog on August 17th, 2010.

We’ve all heard by now that effective team collaboration can greatly impact the productivity and success of the business. In a recent study, over 80% of businesses stated that collaboration was the key to future success. This sounds great, right?

Absolutely! But there are many businesses who are hesitant to jump on the collaboration bandwagon because they aren’t sure exactly how collaboration will benefit them. A big concern is that the new collaboration process may not be as productive or beneficial as they want it to be.

In all honesty, there is a learning curve with collaboration processes and tools, as there is with almost everything else in the business world. The key is to agreeing to get around the curve as gracefully and successfully as possible to begin enhancing the communication and collaboration in your business.

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Accept Project Management and Team Collaboration In Your Corporate Culture

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.

Offer Encouragement

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.

13 Ways to Increase Productivity and Get More Done

View the original post at the OnePlace Blog

Do you ever have those days where you were really busy, but didn’t end up getting anything accomplished? Or when you can’t overlook the amount of work you have to complete, so you just don’t do anything?

The team at OnePlace knows how important it is to keep on top of your goals to get work accomplished. Heck, that is why OnePlace was created! We believe that task management and team collaboration can improve the efficiency of any small business team and make them more productive.

Here are some easy to follow tips for improving your business productivity:

  1. Schedule Your Work – Outlining exactly what you have to accomplish each day and managing your tasks gives you a nice visual of all your work, and allows you to choose which to work on next. And nothing beats the feeling of checking things off your to do list! (read a blog post on scheduling here)
  2. Take Notes – Have you ever left a meeting and forgotten your next steps? Take notes when in meetings, on the phone or anytime they pop into your mind. This saves time by not having to revisit the conversations later.
  3. Organize Your Workspace – A chaotic workspace can distract you from the work at hand. Make sure your desk and computer desktop are neat and organized prior to beginning your work.
  4. Open the Doors of Collaboration – Brainstorming with team members is a powerful tool. So is the opportunity to run an idea by a coworker to see if you’re on the right track. Team collaboration tools help to open the doors and keep team members connected all day.
  5. Love Your Job – If you don’t like your job, you are automatically going to suck at it. Make sure that you are doing the best for your boss and yourself by finding the right job for you. If it helps, take a career assessment to find out what skills match your personality best.
  6. Know When to Procrastinate – Procrastination is one of the worst time-sucks in the workplace – but there is a time and place to procrastinate. By managing your tasks, you can complete what you feel like completing, and move the other items out to another time.
  7. Attack the Big Rocks – There are some tasks, however, that need to be worked on right away. Start working on those “big rocks” first thing in the morning. Once you get them done, you’ll feel more accomplished for the day.
  8. Delegate to Team Members – If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the work in front of you, ask a coworker for a bit of help. Taking 5 minutes to reassign a task and explain it to someone else will free up a lot of task time for you to accomplish everything else.
  9. Exercise – A mid-day heart rate boost can increase productivity for the afternoon. If you can’t do jumping jacks in your office, a lunchtime walk works just as well.
  10. Keep Team Members in the Loop – By sharing your to do list with coworkers, you are instantly held accountable for completing that work. Ensure you are using a team collaboration solution that offers transparency and allows team members to see other’s work easily to manage that accountability.
  11. Eliminate Distractions – Get rid of email, Twitter, Facebook, and other distractions on your computer and get to work. Without the distractions of questions, tweets and status updates, you will find yourself working harder on your task list.
  12. Work When You’re Productive – There are always going to be times in the day when you are more productive than others. For me, it’s first thing in the morning. Identify these times for yourself, and plan your work accordingly.
  13. Just Do It – Sometimes the best way to get stuff done is to start working. Get to work and see how much you can do :-)

Being aware of what you have to accomplish can help push you get more done. Learn what tools help you work more efficiently and continue to use them to wow your boss and feel good about your work.

What other tools do you use to keep productive?