How to Encourage Team Collaboration With Ease

How to Encourage Team Collaboration With Ease

Many project managers fail to encourage team collaboration even after years of experience. Irrespective of your leadership style, today’s workforce should be part of strategic brainstorming sessions to feel valued. How can you make it happen? In her blog article, Susanne Madsen shares seven effective steps to encourage team collaboration.

Power Up Team Collaboration

Do you think involving the team in the planning phase is too early? The generation of workers you are dealing with now likes to be empowered. The more you include them in the early stages of a project, the more ownership and engagement you get in the development phases. How do you do it? Here’s a seven-step process that you should follow to encourage team collaboration:

Explain the Scope

Let’s say the project scope is already documented. Share it with your team so that they can understand how impactful their work will be. Understanding the purpose and envisioning the goals will help them align with the project scope.

Discuss Aligned Tasks

Once the team members know where the project is headed, they can discuss how to take up tasks per the assignment. Ensure everyone documents the steps they will take to complete tasks. This silent brainstorming activity helps both extroverts and introverts in the team.

Shortlist the Best Ideas

Collect all the ideas. Delete similar opinions and consolidate those that you think would be feasible for the project. Explain to the team your reasons for selecting or rejecting an idea.

Categorize a Workflow

Now that you have the action items, classify them into appropriate topics like finance, communication, tools, etc. You should have five to ten categories in the end. Make sure that you have a wall to display the types for better team collaboration.

Set a Deadline

Establish a timeline on top of the categories from left to right. For long-term projects, you can also provide monthly milestones. Draw ‘swim lanes’ for easy identification of which tasks must finish by which date.

Schedule for Dependencies

You can finish some tasks early while others have dependencies. Place the quick-win assignments on the left and dependent tasks on the right. Everything should be done within the timeline, so team collaboration is heavily recommended here. By the end of the task, you should have a high-level timeline even though you do not have all the details.

Get the Milestones

You have the categorization and the high-level plan. Now, move on to creating milestones for your project team. Though milestones are zero-duration tasks, they help you convey progress reports to influential stakeholders.

Designate Task Owners

You have everything in place. The next step is to assign owners to the tasks you have decided through team collaboration. Task owners are not always task performers, but they are accountable for task completion.

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