Online teamwork, document sharing and collaboration have been set free with project management platforms built to enable groups to interact across oceans, time zones, cultures and cyberspace. But as companies and their teams learn about the possibilities, interesting questions are raised about what it means to work in a group, share knowledge and communicate.
How It’s Been
People are used to relying on all kinds of signs, tells, tricks and clues to help them understand each other and express themselves. This might include their tone of voice and how they make eye contact, or it could be how they say hello by the photocopier or offer to make a cup of tea. Now while unquestionably some, if not a lot, of that daily exchange could be a distraction or of minimal worth, equally, much of it allows people to interpret situations, communicate nuance and, ultimately, form typical, functional bonds and groups.
And it is within that context that people have learnt to manage and lead. Certain leadership styles rely heavily on charisma, others on regime, but all methods of uniting groups and focusing them on specific challenges have their merits and the potential to extract great things from individuals and teams.
How It Is
But now many of those ways of interacting and forming bonds have become redundant. Gone is the chance meeting in corridor; gone is theidle conversation across desktops; gone is the pat on back. And so too are gone old leadership styles and hang-ups. All that energy spent on getting bums on seats, on keeping an eye on the minute hand? Outmoded: let go.
Instead, skills for team building and interaction are centredon the written word, on long-distanceempathising, on remote communication.
How It Will Be
People, teams and leaders alike, then, will have to embrace their newfound freedom. And why not? Groups will be able to work more cohesively, better understanding each other’s roles and progress – albeit with greater value placed on their online than physical presence – while team leaders will have a better global view of their projects, be able to keep team members on target and, finally, deliver their objectives.
Project management platforms: the future of delivering projects, on time, and now.