Collaboration is a mainstay of successful business interactions. By integrating talents and resources across individuals, teams, and even companies, you’re able to build on strengths to create success that can exceed the sum of its parts.
However, as business models shift in response to scaling up, internationalization and changes in technology, collaboration is especially beneficial, even critical. Consider that just a decade ago, a majority of firms operated primarily on a time-and-materials engagement structure. Now almost half of all projects are based on a fixed-time/fixed-fee structure as client organizations demand greater predictability, accountability and value for their services spend.
The shift in approach to a fixed-time/fixed-fee pricing structure puts increased pressure on planning accuracy and operational efficiency, requiring more precision and insight to avoid over- or under-utilizing staff and resources, and to stay on top of ever-changing project needs and goals.
A key component to planning and allocation success is collaboration, breaking down barriers between individuals and teams in order to share the right information and take the right action, using tools that are custom-built for the modern project lifecycle.
Let’s take a look at those aspects in a little more detail.
Siloing of information and teams is no longer tenable, and it is vital for your organization to embrace a new level of transparency to build a workplace where it’s easy for professionals to find and share information about clients, access all available expertise, and apply preferred practices widely. Encourage the free flow of information and make sure to build transparency into your process and question what stands in the way of sharing information.
As you remove barriers, you will notice several benefits:
- Greater ability to react in real time or near-to-real
- Greater efficiency in decision making
- Synchronized perspectives as all team members are working from the same data
Information sharing should be a cornerstone of any modern, efficient process.
Empowering team members allows for more accurate resource allocation and better ongoing management of those resources. Plus, you get a more productive, more loyal workforce.
Spreading project responsibility more broadly across your team and fostering individual contribution and creativity can result in benefits such as:
- Greater accuracy in planning and resource allocation
- Greater ability to assign the right roles and right skills per project
- Increased speed and alignment in decision making
- Improved job satisfaction and team retention
One word of caution—approach any increase in shared responsibility with a plan. Make sure your team is trained, aware of best practices, enmeshed in project insights, and armed with the tools to help them succeed.
3. The right tools
Software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA) can provide an end-to-end process framework that facilitates collaboration across internal and external teams, and brings together many disparate but necessary elements of your project.
By providing a single system of customer engagement for sales, resourcing, delivery, and billing, you can increase operational visibility and improve process efficiency, not to mention allowing for scalability and increased security.
A few additional benefits of PSA software include:
- Visibility into services that yield the highest profitability and growth potential
- Enhanced resource visibility leading to efficient staffing and enhanced staff productivity
- Standardized and streamlined selling, quoting and delivery processes
- Improved service delivery quality, consistency and repeatability
- Efficient billing, cash collection and revenue recognition
In conclusion, today’s systems allow organizations to be agile, flat, and adaptive. And the more collaborative your teams are, the stronger your chance of shared success.
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