The traditional workplace has been and is continually shifting toward a globally sensitive and complex digital environment. This means operating environments are impacted by increasing automation, required continuous advancements in technology, increased mobility, a faster pace of change, constant connectivity, the need for increased transparency, and accountability. Just to keep up, organizations are recognizing the need to make changes in how they plan and execute strategically focused projects, utilize resources, communicate and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders.
A recent report by CMSWire and Digital World Group (DWD) shared the top five challenges organizations face within the digital workplace:
- Budget constraints
- Limitations of current platforms
- Lack of cross-departmental collaboration
- Siloed systems and data
- Limited cross-functional alignment
The report goes on to also list the top five workplace priorities below, citing that not only is collaboration a key consideration, but further, “intranet effectiveness is tied with collaboration for the top spot.” The top five workplace priorities they mentioned were:
- Enterprise social and collaboration/Intranet effectiveness
- Culture and change
- Employee experience
- Mobile services and adoption
- Search and information findability
What is the nature of work today?
The new digital workplace has become more globally dispersed, changing the dynamics of the workplace. The constantly shifting digital workplace has accelerated the need for more remote workers, instant communication, and on-demand project collaboration. Here’s why.
Increased rates of remote work adoption
Remote worker adoption rates are growing rapidly within the workplace, especially within project management. A recent Gallup report showed that 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. According to the survey, more than 15,000 adults work remotely while other reports estimate that 34 percent of the workforce will be comprised of remote workers by 2020. These reports outline a trend indicating a shift in how teams are working. This shift is making it essential for companies to hire top project managers and also develop well-thought-out collaboration and communication protocols to ensure vital tasks and goals do not go unmet. Even with all of these protocols in place, remote teams can still pose great challenges in projects. Organizations will need to intentionally enable collaboration through the use of secure platforms that are scalable, easy to use, and provide a seamless way to communicate and interact among widely-dispersed virtual teams.
A growing need for instant communication
Disbursed and localized teams are always encountering communication challenges in terms of sending and receiving important messages to other team members or stakeholders in a timely way. The ability to utilize instant communication tools to keep tasks on schedule is vital to a project’s overall success and helps team members keep track of the progress of a project. Project teams need the flexibility to use their existing instant messaging tools in conjunction with their current project management platform or preferably have a comprehensive, integrated means of instant communication. Instant video, audio, or chat tools allow teams to become more productive and spend less time monitoring and waiting for emails.
On-demand collaboration improves accessibility and sharing of information
With more project teams working remotely and on the go, being able to collaborate on-demand is a must. Having access to on-demand collaboration platforms via mobile devices means project teams can access and share mission-critical information when they need it most. Project teams and stakeholders are able to easily and quickly create, store, provide feedback, and share files on the go. Having this capability increases the chances of meeting timelines, tasks, milestones, and companywide objectives with ease. On-demand collaboration tools also reduce risks associated with scheduling issues such as time-zone differences and varying work schedules.
Real-time updates and reporting increase visibility
Real-time updates and reporting requires all stakeholders to be able to tap into the same data from one centralized location, maintaining data integrity while creating confidence in the information being sent and received. Regardless of your role, it is important for stakeholders and executives to have access to timely updates and relevant reports with data needed to make smart and timely decisions. Without the right information at the right time, increased visibility and accountability, costly mistakes are inevitable.
Why project collaboration must be the top priority
Effective and timely collaboration takes on a more significant role in the world of project management when stringent timelines, enormous budgets, exact quality specifications, final deliverables, and company-wide strategic goals are at risk. In fact, insufficient, infrequent or ineffective project communication and/or collaboration ranks within the top four reasons projects fail and accounts for almost 30% of project failures. When frequent and effective collaboration exists among project stakeholders, risks are reduced, and the benefits can be huge, such as:
- Accurate and timely information
- Successful task completion, aligned objectives, and achieved goals
- Increased morale
- Increased stakeholder confidence
- Increased stakeholder buy-in
- Improved performance and increased agility
- Successful project completion
Establishing timely and effective project communication policies, adopting scalable tools to facilitate collaboration, and ensuring stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities can greatly reduce the negative impacts mentioned above. Not surprisingly, approximately 71% of the executives surveyed believe that soft skills like project collaboration play an essential role in projects. It is clear that collaborative communication is key to improving project success rates.
With the workplace rapidly becoming globally complex, trending toward dispersed teams, and the increased need for more transparency and higher levels of accountability, frequent collaboration is essential to the overall successful execution of project and company-wide goals. Effective project collaboration facilitates more accurate and timely information, increased team agility, higher task completion, and increases the chances of project success and organizational goal attainment.
Are you ready to start collaborating on projects more effectively? See why modern professional service organizations choose Mavenlink for managing projects.