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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sept 2012
32 Project Manager career centre Why is collaboration important? Increasingly, the scale and size of many modern projects mean that no single organisation is capable of delivering every aspect. Different agencies have different skills and specialisations that are essential for effective project delivery. contractual arrangements – such as alliance contracting, public-private partnerships and engineering-procurement-construction m a nagement contracting – demand a collaborative approach (see case study, page 33). At the other end of the scale, collaboration systems enable teams within smaller organisations to work cohesively in order to compete for, a nd deliver, larger and more profitable projects. It is also accepted that the introduction of a ‘collaboration system’ can help overcome pre - ex isting non-collaborative cultures and build trust among project participants. Most importantly, an effective collaboration system has the potential to make projects more cost and time efficient. such a system also reduces risk s by prov iding secure and easy access to a central database that provides the single ‘source of truth ’ of all project information. traditionally, each project participant attempted to create and manage their own filing cabinet of project information. This typically requires e xtensive maintenance and leads to risk and uncertainty with transfer of information, as well as the obvious duplication of effort. What should characterise a collaboration system? Fast and simple. once a project commences, there’s often little time for establishing a project management system. Therefore, these systems should be fast and easy to deploy, require little in the way of formal infrastr ucture and be simple to use. Accordingly, ‘cloud-based ’ software -as - a-service (saas) offerings dominate the project collaboration space. Increasingly, communication using Web 2.0 social media- style ‘Internet foru ms’ (similar to blogs, facebook and LinkedIn) is seen as an advantage, broadcasting information and reducing the need for tracking multiple copies of ‘back and forth ’ cor respondence to resolve an issue. Traceability, auditability and governance. collaboration systems provide a mechanism for project participants to capture and share project information. such systems should also be expected to apply project governance a r rangements (workflows for project approvals and the like) and be tailorable to the requirements of the project management methodology and the terms of the contract. More sophisticated collaboration systems a lso permit the linking of traditionally disparate information in a cohesive way (for exa mple, the relationship between project cor respondence and financial outcomes), enabling a traceable audit trail. The most capable systems also provide the capacity for data integration with enterprise software applications, giving organisations access to live validated data. History, continuity and redundancy. As a data capture tool, and if deployed at the right time, a collaboration system has the capacity to provide a complete record of a project from initial concept through to operations. Importantly, collaboration systems should cater for the transition of many personnel during the life of the project, often in the same role, providing access to all information and tracking outstanding actions. Web-hosted systems jaKE KEarSlEy MaiPM CPPd, rEGiOnal ManaGEr fOr ViC, Wa and Sa at PrOjECtCEntrE A sysTEm HAs THE cApAcITy TO prOvIDE A cOmpLETE rEcOrD Of A prOjEcT Cloud collaborating One of the key trends for 2012 is the move towards collaboration software systems. Although the idea of ‘collaboration’ is well understood, projects are often still characterised by adversarial contract clauses and tense relationships, both of which contradict the trend. so, how do you beat the obstacles and work together?
Project Manager June July 2012
Project Manager Oct Nov 2012