While collaboration is essential and a practice that HTI encourages and enjoys, we’ve run into some challenges along the way. Good organizations are able to learn from both their successes and their mistakes so we’ve taken some of our challenges and are using them as powerful lessons to help us grow.
Below are 4 collaborative lessons we’ve learned along the way. We’d love to hear what lessons others have learned as collaborators.
Lesson 1: Learn Each Other’s Best Practices – Consulting firms and individuals that have worked mostly alone have established their own set of processes and procedures that work well. However, teams working together may not consider the importance of sharing these best practices. At the beginning of the collaborative relationship, each organization should come together to not only discuss the project, but also some of their individual best practices and collectively decide which ones will be used in support of the work.
Lesson 2: Understand the Difference in Work Styles and Approaches – The “HTI Way” is not just a methodology, it’s actually the culture of how HTI works. While snacks may seem like a simple logistical item for most, for HTI it’s actually a tool we use to create a warm, friendly and comfortable environment. Understanding the culture of the organizations that are collaborating is a great way to build synergy among the teams.
Lesson 3: Make Collaboration True Collaboration – It’s not enough to come together on paper for the sake of a project. It’s critical that organizations find ways to truly work collaboratively. This means consultation and coordination on all work documents, presentations, activities, and events. While time zones, geography, and schedules may be a factor, it doesn’t outweigh the importance of the former. When collaboration is true collaboration the results can be amazing. Remember, there was a reason to collaborate in the first place.
Lesson 4: Merge the Work Plans – The work plan is the anchor for your project. Separate work plans may be necessary, but there must be an intertwining of the plans in order to be successful. Collaborators that don’t merge the schedules, tasks and timelines may find themselves in an awkward crunch somewhere during the project. To avoid this, make sure to merge the work plans.