In recent years, companies have been urging their employees to collaborate to new heights. In an ideal world… teamwork comes up with bright new ideas, get things done and beats the competition. In the context of a consulting firm, managers are having to adapt this popular buzzword to the hectic workflow that derives from consulting. Indeed, firm managers have to wrestle with consultants’ chaotic schedules, connecting with everyone remotely and bringing together all sets of skills within a project and towards a deadline.
So how can team leaders create the right environment for successful collaboration?
1 – Keep communication flowing
Bringing the right people together for a presentation can sometimes require the same amount of energy as the presentation itself. How can a manager stay focused on the job and keep the flow of information going?
A messaging app based discussion instead of a long thread of emails ensures all information is in the same place. This less formal media puts everyone a bit more at ease and can be easily caught up by latecomers. Conversations can be broken down into topics or projects to make sure only the relevant contacts have access to the information. You’ll know exactly where to get the information you remember reading.
2 – Consolidate Different Workflows
Another big energy waster is finding out who is doing what and when. If this is a recurring issue in your consulting firm’s routine, a little help from technology can save the day. With the right project management program, managers can clarify roles and task through a shared virtual billboard. Update progress and never miss a delivery with useful features like labels, deadline settings, and reminders.
While being a good manager doesn’t necessarily mean remembering everyone’s schedule and working habits, respecting each team member’s process and getting things done on time can be a serious challenge. Machine learning and automation features mean messages and reminders are sent out at optimal times for each consultant. Time to get that sea of post-its in order!
3 – Create Insightful Reports
Writing up a report after each brainstorm session, project update and other meetings is not the most rewarding part of a consulting firm’s management position. Make more time for what you are passionate about with reporting tools that create clear and accessible documents in no time. Get consultants involved through shared files, accessible from anywhere so they have a chance to contribute. Remote access to documents ensures all team members are updated at all times so work stays on target.
4 – Cultivate Strong Relationships
We are in an age of transparency. Put all the information on the table to build trust and make sure everyone is working towards the same goal. Instill a greater sense of responsibility in team members by including them in strategic but also financial decisions. Communication is a two-way street, connect with consultants regularly to throw ideas around, get feedback and make the most out of their expertise. Stay open to suggestions when you hit a roadblock to get things rolling again.
5- Boost Collaboration with Innovative Tools
Streamline cooperation with technology, SharePlace brings teams together wherever they are, minus the time wasted on deciphering schedules, letting managers focus on quality. Information flows freely thanks to a secure access to data from any remote location. Shared dashboards show tasks, deadlines, and deliverables so that each specialist can plan his time accordingly. Reports can be generated to show progress at any given time to get a clear picture.
Managing a team of consultants in the age of collaboration has never been so challenging, but with a little help from technology, you’ll be on the right track to showing the competition who’s running the game!