Collaborative Project Management

Collaborative Project Management

We should strive not just to be successful, but also of value: Collaborative online working brings project visibility and empowers teams to work smarter whilst maintaining transparency for the entire end-to-end project process.

The project management experience for many delivery teams tended to rely on update meetings, emails, spreadsheets and phone calls to get project updates. This led to frustration in getting the true health of a project and it was a struggle to make any sense of budgeting and resource planning. 

Today’s workforce, clients and project stakeholders are now mobile and spread across different locations. Collaborative working is about taking the traditional meeting room model and creating a dynamic space where people can share ideas, work together in real time and potentially remove the endless cycle of chasing people for updates.

The collaborative solution requires shareable project information and specific metrics to be made available to all project stakeholders. Project visibility includes clear definitions of the project scope, deliverables, project risk, budgets and project milestones integrated into a single software solution, along with relevant reporting and summary dashboards.

At Symetri I’m looking to use the service application Smartsheet to make project visibility a key business success and becomes a collaborative partner to be embraced across the business. This is currently a pilot initiative with a handful of collaborative online projects. One of the main goals of using Smartsheet is to centralise access to key project information and reduce the time-consuming manual updating of project progress using email trails, telephone calls and data collection from multiple file locations. In addition, project plans will be sharable to allow for suitable strategic planning around project risks and change control.

Key metrics include:

  • Project Status; link to a plan or delivery schedule
  • % task completed vs time used vs billed time
  • Projects tasks at risk
  • Resource planning and reporting

Keep it simple

Collaboration can fail if the user experience is poor. My aim is to thoroughly test our Smartsheet designs and dashboards and engage with our teams and project stakeholders to ensure ease of use, and that the shared metrics are ‘what people want’. The user interface will be simple and consistent across project teams, and where possible, standardised templates will be used to archive a consistent ‘look and feel’. The key driver allows project updates to be quick and easy.  This will give a real time up-to-date view of project progress and allow teams to make more informed decisions and improve efficiency around project delivery.

Adding value

To date our collaborative clients have welcomed the introduction of Smartsheet and the new way we have worked together to be more productive and achieve better outcomes. In a competitive business environment, we are always looking for an edge that can help us deliver projects and services efficiently, whilst also maintaining the brand integrity and quality you would expect from Symetri. Project management is of value when we use the right tools to a proven method or process to deliver projects on time, on budget, and within scope.

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In part 1 of our “Hybrid office: a longer term strategy” blog series, we discussed the technology routes your business can take if you are likely to keep an emphasis on home working. In this blog post, we discuss the options available if your business is more likely to take an office at core, home at edge approach.

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