AdminProject can be an invaluable tool for collaboration. It’s great when everything works perfectly and your team members complement each other like cogs of a well-tuned clock. We at AdminProject perfectly understand the challenges of efficient and effective collaboration. This is why we use AdminProject ourselves to organise our workflow, improve communication and document sharing.
Collaboration is simply a way for a group of people to work on a shared task (or tasks) to achieve a certain goal. Having your team on AdminProject and motivating them to use it every day can improve your workflow efficiency and de-clutter your e-mail inbox.
Smaller assignments that do not require a breakdown can be easily handled with a Task. If you haven’t had the chance to create a task you may want to check the steps in the User’s Manual.
Collaboration in a team requires some basic assumptions. The person who creates the Task should be the one that specifies the result and the person who is monitoring the progress. That should fall on the shoulders of a manager or a team leader.
The name and description of the task at hand are crucial. Nothing impedes collaboration like unclear, ambiguous goals and lack of transparent decision-making process (and sticking to it).
When creating a new task, ensure that the name is meaningful and will enable easy identification on to-do lists of tasks and on the Gantt chart. Think of something fairly short, something that communicates the actions to take e.g.
- Review the application wireframe,
- Write newsletter #2
or based on the deliverable of the task
- Review of the application wireframe,
- Content for newsletter #2.
The approach depends on your taste and the conventions agreed with the team.
The description should obviously expand on the subject of the task. Take a moment to think and plan it accordingly. Avoid ambiguities and unclear goals – being straightforward will save time you would have wasted on clarifying them to confused team members who might have misunderstood your intent.
Assigning tasks to teams and individuals is not rocket science. The questions a leader should answer if the task requires a group effort. If not simply select the one person you want to give the task to.
Group collaboration task should involve the team responsible for delivery of the results or achieving certain goals. In AdminProject you can also add people who are not working on a task but are its stakeholders – staff from other teams or departments who are either the “clients”, the recipients of the result or experts and specialists who can provide insight on the work in progress.
Good communication in the team is the basis for success. That is why it is so important to update the task and inform other teammates and the leader with your progress. The easiest thing is to move the progress slider in a task to indicate how much work has been done.
This way the person who assigned the task will know if the team is able to meet the deadline or should they take any remedial steps to help the team in reaching the goals in time.
Comments under tasks are a great and efficient way of communicating with all stakeholders. Everyone present in the task, regardless of their role receives an e-mail whenever anything changes (unless they explicitly switched task notifications off) to keep them in the loop.
Replies to comments can not only be made in AdminProject, but also from your favourite e-mail client. Whatever you send in a reply to a task comment notification will become the latest comment and if you attach files to your e-mail they will automatically become attached to tasks.
The best practice is to make sure that everyone knows where the team and each individual is at. Team members should communicate problems and obstacles as soon as they arise, therefore the team has more time to handle them. Questions and requests for decisions should also be voiced in the comments to prompt the task leader that an action is needed to further the work towards the goals.
End of Part 1
In part 2, we are going to talk about the organization of tasks into work packages, organization of files and using discussions for universal internal project communication.