ManufacturingMay 4, 2021

Boosting The Power of Teams with Digital Platforms

The power of the team influences the success of a project.  And…
Avatar Jim Romeo

The power of the team influences the success of a project.  And the success of a project nowadays relies on digital collaboration platforms to bring teams together in a single version of the truth.

Let’s look at some typical project attributes, and how to improve them with the right digital tools to facilitate team effort.

  1. Today’s workforce is dispersed. It is common for teams to be virtual and not in-person.  The pandemic has catalyzed virtual teamwork and forced work to get done without being co-located.  For a project, with dispersed workers, collaborative tools where workers share, communicate, and think, are a must.  As collaboration tends to take place virtually, the platform they work within should connect workers together with features and applications to allow them to work in tandem, seamlessly, from anywhere – but as if they were in person.
  2. Small projects tend to become large projects.  What started small is likely to span the enterprise, bringing in assets and resources from multiple sources.  When it does, it’s critical to be working within a platform that can accommodate scale and allow the project to grow seamlessly, without disruption.
  3. Life is complex. And projects can get complex – real soon.  There can be many moving parts within the project: decisions must bemade; workers must meet across different time zones; workers may have a language barrier; some workers on a project are needed for only a small part of the project, while others are needed for its duration.  Digital tools must have applications that enable the project to be streamlined and simplified for the benefit of all and prevent workers to get mired in complex processes and details.
  4. There’s a fatal flaw in large and complex projects:  as it moves forward, sometimes you can’t see the forest, for the trees are in the way.  As complex projects advance, confusion sets in.   It’s important for project workers to perform within an arena where progress is monitored, clarified, and transparent to all.   When everyone works from a digital platform where one worker can communicate easily with others via a single platform, the project progresses.
  5. For some time now, complex projects have incorporated key measures of sustainability.  Are sustainable materials and products being used?  What the net effect on a carbon footprint?  How will any action align with sustainability goals of the organization?  Such questions can complicate the day-to-day workings of the project workflow.  With a sleek digital platform that incorporates sustainability goals and considerations, sustainability attributes can automatically become part of the project, or at least prompt project workers to consider any sustainability factors necessary to the project.
  6. Foster Innovation. Staus quo is an Achilles heel for innovation.  Projects seek bold and audacious goals and seek to incorporate the finest and latest innovations.  But incorporating such innovations can be daunting.  However, smart digital tools can enable workers to freely input ideas and iterations for consideration without risk to the project.  In addition, an agile project management platform will make innovation easier to implement and adopt.
  7. Think Human Capital. New knowledge workers enter the workforce every day, month, and year.  They are the next-gen workforce.They cut their teeth at major institutions of higher learning and come with a desire to be part of solutions that are innovative.  They hear and read about different attributes of like-kind software and applications.  When they enter your project, they seek and expect attributes of the digital tools they use, to have similar attributes and allow them to employ their technological, social, and higher cognitive skills.
  8. A Shared Common Vision. A pitfall of project management – no matter when or where it operates – is when team members splinter away from the objectives of the project, its schedule, and the overall intention of the project at large.  When working together, digital tools should serve to keep all workers fixed on a shared common project vision and work cohesively as a team.

At the outset of the pandemic, McKinsey & Company wrote in their article, Reimagining the Post-Pandemic Workforce, about the wares of a new hybrid model of teamwork: many workers are virtual, some are on premise, and others are a mix of both.  They stated:

“Many companies are planning a new combination of remote and on-site working, a hybrid virtual model in which some employees are on premises, while others work from home. The new model promises greater access to talent, increased productivity for individuals and small teams, lower costs, more individual flexibility, and improved employee experiences. While these potential benefits are substantial, history shows that mixing virtual and on-site working might be a lot harder than it looks—despite its success during the pandemic.”

But it doesn’t have to be harder.

Make it easy on your teams by providing the right digital tools to help corral the necessary attributes of successful collaboration and avoid some of the pitfalls – with the right platform.


Editor: Learn how 3DLean – anchored in the principles of Lean Manufacturing – can provide the framework to guide collaboration and improve team performance, enabling all team members to explore new ways to solve problems and improve operational issues with the ability to visualize rich 3Dcontent and data.

Download our e-book, Lean Without Limits here.

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