Business world is all about collaboration these days, teams are constructed from different organizations and locations in order to gain maximum profit and benefit for all sides. However, with more and more collaboration, more problems tend to arise as well and solutions have to be found for them.
In order to help your team solve the problems that have risen or to help you avoid them altogether, we decided to take a look at the top 5 collaboration problems and provide you with possible solutions. You should keep in mind that the solutions provided here are the most universal ones and could be adopted to various teams in trouble. Therefore you should look at these solutions more as guidelines instead of the absolute truths.
One of the biggest problems team face is the management of tasks. Deciding who is doing what and when they are doing it is vital for the project to move forward. However this process often causes a lot of confusion and frustration simply because there are no clear rules how it is done. Some team members send updates by e-mail, others by phone and there are no records of what has been done and what is coming next. To keep this from happening, you should start thinking how you will manage your tasks early in the process. One possibility is appointing a person to be in charge (usually the project manager), however it takes a lot of their time. Therefore a better solution would be adopting a task management software that would allow all the team members to access and update the information in one place.
Another hassle for the collaborating teams is the management of files and content. When working on a project, a number of team members edit and review the same files and soon enough it gets really hard to track which of all the versions is the correct one and which person has updated it. What teams usually do is send countless e-mails back and forth upgrading and tweaking the files they are working on, however having a place where they could edit and save the same file, while leaving comments would be a lot more efficient. File management solutions are what we would recommend for teams facing this issue, because they are exactly that – a place to edit and share files for the whole team.
Workload management proves to be yet another problem collaborators face in their day-to-day work. With big projects and a lot of team members it often happens that the estimation of the team’s capabilities are too big and too many tasks happen to be planned for a short period of time. To avoid the bottlenecks where the progress of the whole project comes to a halt, workload management tools should be used. These tools give an overall look of the whole team, their availability and the planned tasks, allowing them to see where they could have trouble and how that could be avoided. Using this type of software allows the teams to plan more efficiently.
Having team members in separate locations can prove to be difficult as well. While having team members from all around the world brings lot of benefits to the team, communication with them can burn a lot of time. These team members are usually kept up to date with e-mails, phone calls and video conferences, however that takes time from the rest of the team that could be used elsewhere. In this case, the solution we suggest is project management software that can be accessed from different locations and that gives the team members the overall look of the progress of the project as well as the small updates made by the team. By using a software like that you would save time on the small stuff leaving more time for work and the more important meetings.
Lastly, the teams often struggle with keeping track of all the small moving parts. Usually this is done by the project manager and when they have a big team and a large project on their hands, it often gets too confusing to track the progress efficiently. Project managers tend to spend a lot of time getting progress updates and figuring out what the team should focus on next, often finding themselves at a complete loss. In order to avoid that, project management software should be used. It will allow the project manager to see the progress of the team, the problems and bottlenecks they are facing, get reports and live updates which will allow them not to worry about getting all this information but instead to solve the problems the team is facing.
In order to solve and avoid the problems arising out of collaboration, teams should use project management tools, however it is very important not to forget the established methodologies and strict rules that help keep the team intact and define the work process. At the end of the day, the tools should add to the methodologies being used and not in any case replace them.