Project Collaboration

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Easier project collaboration is just one of the benefits of an organized knowledge management system that any company can expect. Some software companies would have you believe that good collaboration software is all you need for successful project collaboration. In truth, the software is only part of the equation.

You need expertise and cooperation between different members of the team. If you have team members who are seriously incompatible, as opposed to occasionally indulging in a little sparring, then you need to consider whether this incompatibility will seriously undermine your project. It could be the project would have a better chance of success if one of them was excluded. Assuming you have adequate facilities and expertise for your project, the only other thing you need is a medium for your information.

Effective Collaboration Knowledge Management

One of the major benefits of collaboration software is being able to organize disparate pieces of information and being able to track where, when, and how changes have been made. It is a sad fact that projects are rarely finished on time and nearly always over budget--many of them above 40 percent over budget. If you are a small business worried about the extra expense of collaboration software, remember that often, the reasons for being late and over budget are the logistics of team members having to arrange meetings that involve expensive travel many times during the duration of the project.

With good collaboration software most of these meetings can be conducted online, leading to significant savings both in terms of time and money. Not just any software package will fulfill all the requirements of true collaboration software though. In order to get the results you need, make sure that the product you're considering offers asynchronous and real time communication, for example. Members of a team will make extensive use of forums, chat, and email to adequately communicate their ideas. In addition, all members of the team need to have full access to databases in order to adequately contribute.

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