C. Myblog

How Collaborative Is Your Team?

July 18, 2013

It takes a village to raise a child. To raise a project, it takes a great team. If your credit union has ever tried to implement a new project, you might have discovered that one of the biggest factors influencing it is the people you have involved—they can either help or hinder your project’s success. It might be time to find out how capable your team is of collaborating toward a common goal.

What is collaboration? It is working with others in order to achieve something. We have found that significant projects mostly require a team of people to complete the project on time and within budget. This team may span multiple departments and job titles. The team’s ability to collaborate resources can have a material impact on completing a project successfully.

If your team seems unable to collaborate as-is, you might consider the following:

  • Self-assess: On a scale of 0-10 (0=low, 10=high), how collaborative is the project leader? Using the same scale, how collaborative is the team? Is it possible that the team is (unwittingly) mirroring the collaborative tendencies of its leader?
  • Find out who is resisting: Sometimes a member of your team is not collaborating because they are resisting the project. This could be caused by lack of understanding the purpose of the project or because buy-in was not achieved before the project began
  • Set agreements: Does everyone know what is expected of them, and by when? If the answer is unclear, the team might assume that someone else is taking care of the project, or that they have time to work on it later when that may not be the case
  • Work on communication: You can’t fix something if you don’t realize it’s broken—that’s why communication is an important piece of collaboration. If someone on the team is falling down, others can help solve the problem but they need to know it is happening first

Sometimes a truly collaborative team can bring a project to completion through sheer willpower alone. When the team is working together for the greater good of the credit union—everyone wins.

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