Regardless of your job's nature, collaboration is one of the most crucial pillars of success. It is no exaggeration to claim that the outcome of every project is heavily dependent on the level of collaboration taking place between the different members of the team.
In that sense, effective collaboration emerges as the backbone of success for every organization.
For that reason, it is vital for all project teams to identify any severe bottlenecks at an early stage. Like that, they will be able to tackle the emerging problems and ensure that their project progresses according to the agreed plan.
To make your life easier, we did some research, and have presented some of the most crucial bottlenecks that can hurt team collaboration and lead your project to a dead-end.
Shortly, here are the main problems you need to look out for and some smart techniques that you might need along the way:
1. Poor Leadership
It goes without saying that team spirit is extremely important when it comes to creative collaboration. Nevertheless, it’s not the only element that counts. Strong leadership is another substantial factor in the outcome of your endeavor.
By leadership, we are referring to that individual (or group of individuals) who will be in charge of setting up the core processes and guidelines thanks to which a team will be able to collaborate and evolve.
An essential responsibility of a team leader is to clearly define the role that every member holds during this collaborative journey. In that manner, there will be no confusions, and everybody will feel able to contribute to the common goal.
Furthermore, leadership should be based on respect and not fear. It may sound like a cliche, but it’s true. Using fear as the catalyst for your project can work for a while, but it will eventually lead to failure. Therefore, try to talk with your team and build a solid mentor-mentee type of relationship.
Related Read: Do You Need Thought Leadership in Project Management?
2. Lack Of Team Spirit
The ability of a team to collaborate and work collectively toward a common goal is fundamental. According to a 2014 study by Stanford University, even the mere idea of working together on a project or task can boost our performance.
More specifically, those individuals who were primed to work together remained engaged with their assigned task 64% longer than the subjects who worked solitarily. Lower levels of fatigue and an increased rate of success got reported.
In other words, just the perception of participating in a well-connected group can motivate and help you have the right mindset when it comes to task-execution.
With that example in mind, it becomes evident that establishing a trust relationship between the different members is more important than you might think.
Try to bring every individual together by sharing your vision and vulnerabilities with each other. Only then, you can put in place a problem-solving mechanism which in the long run can be valuable.
3. The Absence Of The Right Communication Tools
Finding a way to lead and unite your team is a first solid step toward creative collaboration and project success. Providing them with the right tools to communicate their concerns and develop their talent is what’s coming next.
Primarily when we refer to larger organizations and projects that consist of countless members, the need for a proactive and efficient communication plan is necessary.
Good news is that modern technologies have made that easier thanks to real-time project collaboration software. However, many industries seem to keep underestimating the difference that such tools can make.
The construction industry is a very representative example. As reported by McKinsey & Company, the IT spend in the sector is only 1% and it’s higher only from the agriculture and the hunting industries.
It comes as no surprise, then, that the building sector is losing around $1.6 billion every year due to productivity and collaboration bottlenecks.
Based on these shocking numbers it is clear that communication tools which connect the different project members and allow them to exchange updates, ideas, and knowledge in real-time could make a difference regarding creative collaboration.
4. Too Much Control
Staying on top of your team’s collaboration and project progress is good, as it allows you to prevent costly mistakes and pave the path for a successful outcome. Nonetheless, too much control can be harmful to the creative collaboration process.
In many cases, team members may not have full freedom to develop their ideas and competences due to the strictly defined limits set by the leader/manager of the group. This increased control is necessary only in situations where many inexperienced individuals are working together.
But, in cases where a team consists of experienced and creative people, there should always be room for experimentation and innovative ideas. In that way, you can genuinely get collaboration to a whole new level and create new long-term strategic partnerships.
5. Unshakeable Beliefs
Last but certainly not least, the tendency to prioritize beliefs instead of facts. When a disagreement emerges in the team, it is vital to follow a knowledge or data-driven way to resolve it.
There is no room for dogmatic opinions and behaviors. Every piece of information or suggestion should be challenged and tested against objective truth.
Otherwise, there is a good possibility that the winner of a potential dispute won’t be the right but the louder side between the two. For that reason, as a team leader, you should always try to highlight the importance of sticking to the facts and reach to data-driven decisions.
Setting in advance a well-articulated framework that is widely based on historical and predictive data can be extremely beneficial for the outcome of your project. Plus, it can allow your team to develop its creative thinking on solid and accurate foundations.
Wrapping It Up!
To sum up, it becomes clear that collaboration plays a decisive role in the success of every team project. That’s why you need a smart plan in place before you begin your effort. The use of accurate and simple to use collaborative tools can also boost your performance and open the way for a more inclusive and efficient working culture.