We can all remember those group projects from years past in school and college. One member was always doing more work than the others. Someone was always just doing the minimal, but the project all came together. Many of us, unfortunately, learned to dislike group projects because of these experiences. However, group projects, also known as collaboration efforts, are an important part of a successful business.
Collaboration doesn’t have to be something difficult. In fact, our Zebrafi platform enables our sales person and client to review and revise together in real-time on our live sales software interactive platform. This process of working together is indeed the basis of collaboration. As we and your team, rely on each other, we can find ways to build stronger collaboration efforts. Actually, here are 13 ways you can do just that:
1. Clear Expectations. A clear understanding of what is expected through the process, how the project’s success is measured and the desired end goal is the basis for a good collaboration effort. This can include making clear delegated responsibilities, the importance of communication and holding ongoing meetings. It also means being clear on the roles of each team member on the project.
2. Build Trust. Those failed group projects of years past likely come down to not trusting, or even respecting, coworkers. As team members work together, they must trust each other to be successful. This includes further communication with each other and making sure respect is at the center of different personalities, roles, ideas and even strategies.
3. Welcome Questions. A healthy collaboration effort will be open to questions when team members need more information or clarity. It isn’t just about waiting for the question though. It is also about anticipating any questions and preparing those answers in advance to have ready or make easy to find for your team members.
4. Continue Growing. Team members can learn from each collaboration effort. It is always helpful to review during and after a project what went well and what can be improved. We can all learn from each group project.
5. Have Deadlines. Deadlines are important to keeping team members on task and the workflow manageable. Even those small, clear, established deadlines are valuable.
6. Provide Assistance. Often times what starts as a project responsibility may grow for a team member. We all know the worries and dangers of scope creep into projects. Make sure you have a system in place for team members to ask for assistance for any reason at any time.
7. Evolve through the project. Throughout the project you may find your team members change, the project may change or even situations may change. It is important to still be flexible throughout the project and be willing to adapt. The COVID-19 pandemic is a good example at how we all had to adapt quickly in the workplace. While most evolutions aren’t on that large of a scale, they are still important to work around in flexibility.
8. Share Information. The remote work environment of the past year has reminded us of the importance of sharing documents easily and quickly. It is important for your collaboration efforts to have an easy way to share those documents and materials most important for your team members to access. As our sales software is already virtual and remote, we have this in place.
9. Meet Effectively. Meetings aren’t just for filling time. They have a purpose and a role, especially in team projects. Not all meetings, however, are effective. A good process is to review your own meetings and determine what works and what doesn’t within them. Many times it goes back to having a focus, sharing an agenda and keeping the meeting within it scheduled time frame.
10. Identify Strengths. Your team members come with their individual strengths, weaknesses and creativity. It is important to be aware of this so you build your project team to be the most effective and successful for your business as well as for your team members.
11. Resolve Conflict. Conflict is a natural part of life and teamwork. Conflict doesn’t need to be feared. In fact, healthy conflict can create a stronger project and eliminate the worry of groupthink. That conflict, however, needs to be resolved so the team can continue moving forward.
12. Celebrate Success. Success can come in varying forms during a group project. Of course, success comes in meeting your project goal, but it can also come throughout in smaller successes for the team members and the overall team. In the midst of your team members working diligently to meet your goals, don’t forget to celebrate those successes on an individual and group level. Even more, a simple thank you can go a very long way for team morale.
13. Provide Tools. Any successful project needs not just team members but also proper tools. While many options exist, our Zebrafi sales software actually provides tools for your team to be successful at finding, closing and retaining your zebras, which is what we call your perfect-fit customers. Call us today at 1 833-594-7120 or email us at email@example.com to learn how we can help your next collaboration be more successful.