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Establishing Collaboration Success Criteria in Your Company
Putting together a list of collaboration success criteria does not have to be a dreaded task. Before you start to assemble such a list, you should determine the goals of your project. For instance, if the goals of your collaboration project include producing a deliverable of some sort or another, then one of the criteria for measuring success is whether all members participated or if the responsibility for finishing the project fell on one or two individuals.
Be sure when you establish collaboration success criteria that you communicate your expectations to all team members. By keeping an open door of communication, through which your collaboration partners can walk, then you can be sure that your collaboration efforts will be much easier. Here's a list of suggested criteria for determining criteria success in your projects.
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1. Level of Communication
What is the level of communication taking place in your collaborative project? It is absolutely vital to continuously work on communication in projects, especially when those projects require collaboration. Be sure that all individuals know what is expected of them, who they need to talk to, and that they are communicating with others as to what they have accomplished on the project.
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2. Level of Cooperation
In order for a collaboration project to be successful, it is vital that the members of the team cooperate with one another. To measure the level of cooperation, observe your team members. Does one person tend to take on all the tasks? Do team members balk at sharing? Collaboration success occurs when all team members work together, remind them that it's not a competition.
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3. Decision-Making Occurs Jointly
Related to determining the level of cooperation occurring within a collaboration project, it's important to make sure that all decision making done by the team occurs as a joint effort. No one person should be the sole decision-maker. If there's a problem, all team members should work together to come up with a solution. Should you see a single person running the show, work to help her step back and let other members talk.
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4. The Creation of Shared Goals
Collaboration projects are more likely to be successful if your team members agree on the goals of the project. A collaborative effort is likely to go askew if one member of the team has the goal of creating a flashy website and another has the goal of creating a practical website. Before starting the project, all team members should sit down and discuss - and agree upon - what the goals of the project should be.
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5. Minimizing Whining and Other Negative Expressions of Emotion
We all know her - "Debbie Downer" - she can wreak havoc on an otherwise noble collaborative effort. How much negative talk is going on in the project? Is anyone complaining about the amount of work, lack of communication, etc.? While sometimes this can be a valid expression of what's not going right in a collaboration project, often, there are individuals who tend to whine or complain. While in an ideal world Debbie Downer won't be part of your project, in the real world, expect to have at least one individual who is a chronic complainer. Work with that individual to minimize the amount of negativity expressed while giving him or her a voice.
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6. Producing a Quality Deliverable
Finally, you'll want to be sure you're producing the highest quality project, product, or service possible. Any project should monitor quality very carefully, but this is especially important when you're producing a collaborative deliverable. All sorts of mistakes can occur, so be sure to check and double check one another's work before handing the collaborative project in or handing it to your client!