The Elusive Unicorn: Team Collaboration

It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. One moment your project is moving along smoothly, and then suddenly you hit a stumbling block and things go off the rails, over-budget, or behind schedule. How did this happen? You think. How could we have missed the warning signs? Getting things back on track requires a ton of time-consuming, costly damage control and often involves making more than a few apologies. It’s a serious test of leadership and teamwork that every organization eventually experiences to some extent.

Common wisdom is that you can avoid this problem by sitting down with your whole team at the beginning of the project to agree on a shared vision. Identify your goals and objectives from the outset, and you’ll avert problems down the road.  It seems obvious, right? The problem is that getting, and keeping, all the members of a project on the same page is like the elusive unicorn of team collaboration. Even if everyone agrees at the outset on what you need to achieve your goals, once the starting line has faded into the past it’s only a matter of time before the team develops new ideas about the best way to get things done.  And don’t get me wrong, in  many ways this is a good thing. If everyone was forced to adhere rigidly to the same structure and process, that would stifle innovation and creativity, which are some of the most valuable assets of your business. But when people aren’t able to stay on the same page, it becomes difficult to spot small issues and head them off  before they become big problems. Projects can easily become derailed, and when you’re working with a deadline or limited resources, even the slightest deviation can lead to disaster.

Fortunately there is a cure! The best way to fend off the dreaded mid-project implosion is to ensure that you have good flow of information throughout the entire duration of the project, not just at the beginning, and not just through recurring “status meetings.” You should be checking in all the time, making sure that everyone is tracking the same goals and looking forward to the same objectives. Empower your team by giving them access to information and looping them into conversations that are relevant to them. The same thing goes for working with clients. By keeping clients connected to current project developments, you can avert surprises down the road. Projects are inevitably going to change and evolve as they move forward. Having everyone plugged into the right information ensures that people adapt with the project and maintain a cohesive unit.

For our team, the easiest way to achieve this level of communication has been through our product.  Trackolade keeps us on the same page, quite literally, by allowing us to keep all of our objectives, tasks, documents, and conversations in a transparent, centralized shared place.. As a project evolves, team members can see the changes unfold in real time. The information stream is highly visible and accessible to all team members, so no one gets left in the dark. It has revolutionized the way we work and made us a far more effective team.

So, if you find you and your team struggling to stay on the same page, grab the elusive unicorn by its horn and give Trackolade a ride. We have found it to be pretty magical.

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Trackolade (not to be confused with lemonade) is a project collaboration software that allows teams to easily organize, manage and track their work in a central place. Sign Up or Learn More, It's Free.
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