Part one of Collaboration in AdminProject highlighted the basics of a work management using tasks. In part 2, we will show how to manage larger workloads and projects, and facilitate communication with discussions.
Work Packages & Intellectual Outputs
Work Packages were the staple organizational unit for work in European projects for a couple of years and now they have been replaced with Intellectual Outputs. Their purpose in AdminProject is to group tasks under a common general objective, a type of tasks or a department responsible for a certain type of work.
How to use Work Packages (WP)? They should reflect general assumptions about the undertaken project and, therefore, should be defined before we start creating and assigning tasks. Each defined WP will become available for selection in a dropdown of a Task.
Additional information can also be provided under Deliverables and Milestones. They help in planning and organizing your work. Information that you enter under one of these headings will be displayed on the Gantt chart and help you in visualising where you are with your tasks and have you missed or met the deadlines.
They are generally useful for managing several teams working on different parts or different stages of the project.
The second type of grouping that is available in Erasmus+ projects are Intellectual Outputs (IO). On the functional level, they are very similar to Work Packages. Once defined, they become selectable in tasks and allow for grouping them under one common objective.
It is worth devoting some time for organising tasks into WPs or IOs. When the project is launched and the work gains pace, it is going to be much easier to keep everything under control. The visual representation will help the team monitor their progress in the Gannt chart and their To-do lists.
To keep the collaboration efficient and effective, the team has to understand the importance of clear and accurate communication. We have already mentioned one channel of communication – Task comments. The discussions work in a very similar way. They are the place to plan and argue over general issues, collect ideas, brainstorm and communicate announcements to everyone in the project space.
From the practical point of view, using discussions may declutter your inboxes and it doesn’t require remembering who is in the project. By creating a discussion, you include everyone on the notification list. It can be curated so that the message reaches only those who should be involved, and those recipients who are not concerned with a particular discussion can opt-out.
Since the project work is heavily relying on communication and collaboration all discussions are open and visible to all members of the project space. Opting-out only removes notifications from a particular thread.
A successful collaboration, regardless of the platform used, is highly dependent on effective communication. Don’t be afraid to speak to your colleagues, comment on tasks and open discussion threads. That will only help you and your team to achieve set goals when you want them ready.