When Collaboration Goes Too Far
Project failure, stunted business growth, fixed processes—throughout our blog, we often credit these problems to a lack of collaboration. When information and departments are siloed, software projects tend to go astray as a result of scope creep or deficient training and support for users. Additionally, a lack of communication across your enterprise means innovative ideas often remain unheard, potentially causing your business processes to remain static. However, these exact problems can also result when collaboration goes too far the other direction, a phenomenon known as groupthink. When your employees and business leaders communicate so frequently that you all begin to think alike, you know your company has fallen victim to groupthink. Individuals have somehow, unknowingly, adopted the same opinions. Without unique perspectives and a little dissension, project teams won’t fix or even realize problems in their business processes, curtailing innovation and even causing enterprise software projects to fail.
How do you take a collaborative approach to your software implementation or integration without devolving into groupthink? We have communication tips and tricks that will keep your software project moving forward.
Assign Specific Roles
If your project team lacks distinct, clearly-defined roles for each member, there’s a good chance that the information provided in meetings will offer little relevance or insight into the project. On the other hand, when members are assigned specific roles and understand their duties, your meeting will benefit from diverse, detailed information that offers crucial knowledge into various aspects of your software plan.
In an earlier post, we outlined the nine project team roles that are essential for success. An example of one role is that of the engagement manager, the organizer of the project who performs initial business process review and drives project timelines. A business analyst (BA) will provide meeting notes and deliverables and ensure members adhere to the communication plan. You can see based on the differences between these two roles that each member manages certain tasks to ensure the team as a whole is moving forward. Without this division into separate roles, your team is at risk of lacking a clear direction.
Put the Business First
When we talk about putting the business first, we are usually referring to the software selection process. A business-first approach is the right approach when it comes to choosing a vendor, because software should adhere to specific business processes. In the context of ensuring effective collaboration, putting the business first is still crucial. Team members should never lose sight of their mission to contribute to the project team in order to implement software that benefits the entire enterprise.
If members don’t understand how their individual roles contribute to the goal’s completion, they likely won’t offer relevant knowledge and might just go along with whatever the project leader has to say. Furthermore, if individuals are afraid to disagree with other team members, they might hold back critical information. When project leaders explain how each person is supposed to add value to the team and consistently reinforce their shared mission to put in place a useful enterprise software instance, members will feel more comfortable sharing their insight.
Find the Right Consultants
The best approach to mitigating groupthink is to seek out third-party experts. If you choose a consulting firm with plenty of experience in both the software you are considering and your business sector, you will gain a useful outside perspective. Consultants might find inefficiencies in your processes or requirements for your software that your team never even considered. Simply put, an extra pair of eyes reduces risk and uncovers areas in need of improvement.
Other considerations you should make when finding the right consulting firm is reputation and credentials. Datix, the premier consulting firm for discrete manufacturing and value-added distribution, has earned Epicor Platinum Partner status, solidifying our reputation for providing optimal ERP solutions. We take our ERP services to the next level with Unity, our integration platform. With Unity, we can connect ERP with other systems including CRM and eCommerce to elevate your enterprise from end to end. Our commitment to software innovation and expertise in business process modeling enable us to provide crucial insight and guide you in every step of your software journey.
To achieve success in your next software project, contact Datix today!