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Collaborative Work Management at Work: Real-World Use Cases

Published By Zach McDowell
Collaborative Work Management at Work: Real-World Use Cases

As teams juggle multiple projects and work with more people around the globe—both within and outside their organizations—it’s becoming increasingly challenging to accomplish their objectives. Consider these paradoxes:

  • Teams are virtual and spread out…but they need everything in one place
  • Teams have more tools than ever…but this can make them less productive
  • Teams have more work than ever…but they spend too much time trying to collaborate

This is why teams need a new way to organize their work, going beyond one-off solutions such as instant messaging, Intranets, apps of all stripes, and e-mail. Collaborative work management is gaining ground as a solution to help teams from any industry or department accomplish their objectives.

Here’s a look at what collaborative work management is and how teams are using it to get work done.ProjectPlace Workspace

Collaborative Work Management Defined

Collaborative work management combines planning, resourcing, workflow, communication, document management, reporting, and more, all in one solution. According to Forrester1, collaborative work management solutions enable employees to:

  • Create a workspace for teams to collaborate in order to deliver an outcome: Distributed teams need a business home. A cloud-based solution ensures that virtual teams—everyone from external vendors to customers to co-workers across the planet—have one place to plan and execute projects.
  • Capture conversations in the context of the work they’re performing: No more searching through various e-mail chains, Intranets and other applications for notes and documents related to a project.
  • Plan and manage projects without having to adhere to a formal methodology: Users do not have to be certified project managers to plan, manage, and execute projects.
  • Personalize the workspace to support the way an individual works: These solutions combine capabilities such as collaboration and task management. This prevents employees from having to switch between applications as much, which improves productivity.

Overall, collaborative work management solutions enable team members to communicate directly with anyone, plan projects and workloads, keep current on project deliverables, access and update project documents, and ensure that things get things done—all in one place.

Collaborative Work Management Software and Tools – Planview

Collaborative Work Management in Action

Here’s how various teams in different industries are using collaborative work management to complete their projects and achieve their goals.

Increase Work Outcomes

An $8 billion international hardware and software design company had trouble completing its projects. The IT department only finished a handful of its projects on time. Less than half of its 105 forecasted projects were fully concluded by year’s end.

“Project management and project collaboration were being done in spreadsheets, SharePoint, email, and other tools that were disjointed and siloed,” said the IT PMO Manager. “This created chaos that led to overcommitted resources, unrealistic estimates, long project durations, and missed or delayed deadlines.”

To solve this issue, the organization introduced a Collaborative Work Management tool to ensure everyone speaks the same language, collaborates effectively, and tracks all work in one consolidated platform. Mobile users can access the tool from anywhere via the cloud. It eliminated email for project-related activities and status reporting, improving communication and reducing the risk of errors.

As a result, the next year the organization realized a 94 percent on-time project completion rate, up from only about 50 percent.

Speed Communications and Problem Solving

When a mining construction company took on a huge facility project, more than 1,300 people with site access had to be kept up-to-date at all times across the project timeline. The company’s shared collaborative work management solution provided a common forum on the internet where all internal and external stakeholder groups could coordinate and share important documents in a secure way.

This saved hours of time spent searching for the latest versions of documents on email or in an internal system. It also cut down on the need to distribute large files via email. In addition, the company reduced the costs associated with paperwork. Now, all the master documents are electronic and features such as document review requests and change alerts minimize the risk of errors caused by using old versions of documentation.

This benefit of a collaborative work management solution also extended to a builder of extensive fiber optic networks. Several of the company’s subcontractors have laptops connected to wireless Internet in the excavators used to dig at various sites. With access to a central online site for everyone involved in the project, they can quickly resolve any issues they encounter while digging – right from the excavator. The increased adaptability enables them to solve problems more quickly and prevents project delays.

Improve Productivity

A spirits consultancy with a highly distributed team of consultants wanted to grow its client base and help its geographically dispersed clients launch successful beverage brands faster.

Taking new beverages from idea conception to sales means that the organization needed constant, real-time visibility over project timelines and a way to communicate quickly with clients. Previously, the team relied on email and Excel to collaborate, manage projects, and share team updates. This led to mistakes and an estimated 40 percent drop in employee productivity as the team tried to correct them.

“We have no choice but to communicate electronically as we’re rarely within the same four walls or the same country,” said the company’s strategy and brand development director. “We faced the constant battle of using multiple platforms to collaborate, monitor timelines and manage project deliverables, which led to huge inefficiencies across the team. This in turn was having a direct impact on our bottom line.”

Using a collaborative work management solution that includes project management, collaboration, document sharing, and communication in one seamless solution, the company now better communicates with remote clients and employees. Together, they are able to set priorities, collaborate, and communicate regarding all project deliverables in real-time. This has resulted in a savings of 1,300 man-hours per year and increased customer satisfaction. They are able to launch products more efficiently and faster.

The Planview Collaborative Work Management Solution, Powered by ProjectPlace ®

The Planview solution for collaborative work management brings teams together to get things done. Whether your team is down the hall or on the other side of the globe, ProjectPlace provides everything teams need to set direction, communicate, execute tasks, track progress, and ultimately achieve goals, no matter where or how they work.

ProjectPlace provides one collaborative work tool that does more, not more tools. It work with teams however you define them – internal, external, or hybrid. It is easy to use whether you’ve managed hundreds of projects or none at all.

ProjectPlace offers:

  • Project and Work Collaboration: Set up your team and your plans for success. Use the Planview solution for collaborative work management to develop the workspaces you need—for unstructured, structured, or long-term plans. It flexibly adapts to your changing requirements and empowers you and your teams to collaborate and execute effectively to deliver work on time, no matter the work.
  • Team and Individual Task Management: Sharpen your focus and boost your team’s productivity with instant access to views of what’s on tap. Individual, Team, and Workspace Overview screens consolidate all work types in the Planview solution and bring issues to the surface before they become roadblocks. Increase your organizational efficiency with this digest of upcoming, ongoing, and overdue work for yourself, your teams, and your workspaces.
  • Team Workload Management: Know what work teams are doing now, and what they are committed to, across all projects. The Planview solution for collaborative work management gives team and project leaders new visibility into who is working on what; a person’s current and upcoming workload; and who might be available for upcoming work.These insights improve resourcing and delegation, help to eliminate burnout, and can give a boost to team morale.
  • Performance Reporting: Enhance stakeholder visibility into workspace progress and streamline the reporting process. The Planview solution makes it easy for project leads to organize workspaces and provide custom views for complete status reporting. This simplifies decision making for stakeholders, and eliminates time spent creating and communicating reports for teams.
  • Templated Project and Workspace Processes: Get to work faster with powerful process templates. The Planview solution provides a robust template tool that streamlines and simplifies work creation, saving you from reinventing the wheel each time while adhering to your company procedures. Go from planning to execution quickly with project creation and workspace templates that are tried and proven.
  • Real-time Communication and Progress Visualization: Kanban boards represent the workflow visually, enabling people to work together, communicate in real time, and share documents securely, no matter their location. All team members can see how work is evolving and interact to keep projects on track. Tied to project timelines, the Kanban boards keep communication alive, streamline execution, and optimize productivity.

Check out the collaborative work management software demo for a more in-depth look into how it can help your organization. I’d like to hear from you. How are you currently collaborating to get work done in your organization? Share by leaving a comment below.

1The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Collaborative Work Management, Q4 2016 by Margo Visitacion, October 17, 2016

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Written by Zach McDowell Director, Product Marketing

Zach is a senior product manager for Planview PPM Pro and Planview Projectplace. He has managed teams across three continents at Planview and largely focuses on driving innovation for mid-market project management and PPM. He led one of the largest releases in Projectplace’s 20-year history and continues to grow and support its global user base.