Collaboration is and always has been a central factor for project success. In times of international projects and virtual team environments collaboration is more important than ever. Technology can help overcome geographical boundaries to active collaboration. Indeed, technology has become an enabler of communication and collaboration. This is no call though for the introduction of more technology in our projects. Technology can enable, facilitate and promote collaboration. However, collaboration is not about technology. It is first and foremost about people and human interaction.
Effective collaboration in a project setting serves the purpose of the project; it is results-driven. Hence, the key to successfully introducing collaboration tools is not the understanding of technology. It is understanding the critical factors for project success of which collaboration is one element. In other words, collaboration is a means to achieve project objectives. This is why we have to nurture collaboration.
The good news is that collaboration tools can help us achieve this. Provided we are aware of the many possible pitfalls of collaboration tools. In my upcoming presentation at the PMI Global Congress EMEA in Dublin, Ireland (May 9-11, 2011) I identify these pitfalls. And I lay out a roadmap how to overcome them and successfully utilize collaboration tools.
First, we need to have a good understanding of the real collaboration requirements in our project.
Second, we have to select the right tools which help enable, facilitate and promote collaboration.
Third, we have to know how to use the tools effectively and efficiently.
Last but not least, we have to align all collaboration tools with the project objectives and keep them aligned throughout the project life cycle. Changing project environments require us to adjust our tools accordingly. It also means that we must never forget that a tool is always a tool and remains a tool. We must not let technology dictate our workflows and become an end in itself. It is up to us to overcome the obvious limitations of technology and utilize its huge potentials instead.
Have a look at the preliminary ppt-file of my upcoming presention in Dublin. Feedback is welcome and highly appreciated.