10 Ways to Increase Collaboration on Project Teams

If you are someone who is running some projects this year, you might be tearing your hair out when you are thinking about how you can make people cooperate. Cooperation and collaboration are both key when it comes to making a project a real success, and you need to make sure that you are getting people excited about doing so. When so much of work in competitive, think about what you can do to make sure that your project teams get along instead!

1. Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities

Collaboration among team members is essential in completing any project successfully. Without allocating clear roles and responsibilities, everyone ends up with a vague idea of what needs to be done and who should do it – leading to frustration, lost time, and often inadequate results.

By assigning specific tasks, teams can work on their respective contributions in unison towards the overarching goal. Additionally, when each team member understands exactly what their role is in the project and the value they bring, it increases motivation and satisfaction levels, creating an overall positive experience for all involved. Allowing each individual to maximize their talents brings out the best of what collaborative teamwork has to offer.

2. Encourage Open Communication Among Team Members

Collaboration is essential for the success of any project team, and one of the most important things that can foster successful collaboration is open communication between team members. Open communication allows each member to feel heard and fully engaged in team conversations. This creates a positive environment where each person is an active participant and there are fewer misunderstandings or conflicts that could slow down progress on the project.

Encouraging every team member to come to meetings prepared to both share their insights and ideas, as well as being open to hearing those put forward by others will create an atmosphere conducive to creative problem solving, greater understanding of different perspectives, and ultimately a more collaborative approach amongst the team.

3. Skip Meetings That Are Longer Than 1 Hour

If you have broken everyone in to project teams, you are busy. Nothing makes people more frazzled and less likely to cooperate with one another than feeling like they are on a crunch. Keep your meetings short and sweet, and make sure that everyone who shows up needs to hear what is being said. Ideally, a good meeting only takes about 20 minutes, because that’s about when attention spans start to wander. Staying in constant movement rather than stagnating over a meeting is an important part of moving forward with your project.

4. Facilitate Team Meetings Regularly to Keep Everyone Updated on Project Progress

That being said, regular team meetings help to maintain communication and collaboration among project teams. Being informed of the status of a project, how it is progressing, and what areas could use additional support can help keep everyone in the loop, organized and on track. During meetings, team members should be encouraged to bring up any problems they may be facing in order to get feedback and ideas from the rest of the team.

Additionally, by setting up milestones within a project timeline and having regular check-ins at each milestone during a meeting can ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner. By facilitating team meetings regularly, collaboration will increase as transparency between all involved departments is improved.

5. Promote Accountability

One thing that prevents people from collaborating is fear. They are afraid that if they go along with something, they will be at risk. Thus, it is always in your best interest to promote a policy of accountability. Let everyone know that they should let you know as soon as a mistake or error has been made. Remember that people are more inclined to be accountable if they feel safe. Remind them that mistakes happen, and that the most important thing is going to fixing the issue, not punishing the person who reports it.

6. Mediate Conflicts

If you are someone who is invested in making sure that a project goes smoothly, you need to think about conflicts. No matter how much people want the same thing, there will be many different ways of getting there. Maintain an open door policy when it comes to handling conflicts and make sure that a solution has been reached before the two conflicting parties leave. In some cases, having the matter brought to your attention is enough; simply let the feuding parties know that they need to respect each other and work it out. If they cannot, they need to trust you to come to a resolution for them. Handling a conflict before it blows up can make a huge difference to how well your projects move forward.

7. Be Honest and Promote Honesty

When you want to make a project work, you are not going anywhere without being honest. People work best when they have all the information. You may want to restrict information because you feel it is unnecessary, or you may hold it back because you worry it will reflect poorly on the company, but the truth of the matter is that this is something that you should avoid at all costs. Being honest with your employees means that they will be honest with you. Be blunt if mistakes were made, talk to your employees about how it is going to affect them and remember that you would want to be treated in the same way. More honesty in the workplace leads to projects that can be finished with significantly more ease.

8. Skip the Team Building Exercises

Remember that time is money, but more than that, time is something that your employees need. There are too many offices out there who waste their time on team building exercises that simply leave people feeling irritable and embarrassed. If you want to run a team building exercise, schedule it for non-working hours and make sure that people get paid. This is far better than cutting into their productivity. Basically, if you really feel that a team exercise is worth it, you’ll be willing to pay for it.

9. Encourage People to Work Independently

One of the worst things that a project can suffer from is micromanagers. The people who are on your team are on it for a reason, and that means that you should consider them competent in their own right. Let them handle their own issues, even as you let them know that you will be there to back them up. You cannot go into a team project believing that your team is incompetent. Let them solve their own problems, though remind them that they might be called to justify what they did later on. Remember that at the end of the day, simply being reasonable can help you move your project towards its conclusion much more effectively.

10. Reward team members for their contributions

Rewarding team members for their contributions to increase collaboration on project teams is a great way to increase motivation and foster collaboration between team members. Recognizing hard work and great ideas through rewards, both big and small, shows that you are committed to the success of the project. It’s also important to acknowledge individual contributions and give credit where it is due, as this promotes an atmosphere of inclusion within the team. Not only will incentivizing teams create a spirit of collaboration, but it can improve morale, promote positive results, and help create teams that are united in purpose. Rewarding teams for their efforts will make them more likely to come together when they need to in order to take on projects or overcome any obstacles they may face.

If you are ready to undertake some team projects, don’t let be left behind when crunch time comes. A team project can be a real beast to get underway, so be ready for all problems and trust your team!