How to Collaborate Better with Project Stakeholders

Collaboration is optimized when you communicate well with everyone on your internal project team, so you undoubtedly want to optimize communication/collaboration with your external stakeholders as well. Projects are more successful when you can collaborate externally while continuing to maintain internal team integrity and security.

This post discusses how to collaborate better with tools like Slack and Yammer with external stakeholders and vastly improve your project collaboration.

What Are These New Communication Tools?

Although Slack and Yammer are both modern communication tools, they have many differences. Yammer debuted as a social networking tool, whereas Slack was a team messaging app from the get-go. Their functionality, however, is converging for project teams; they now share many high-level functions that project management teams can leverage to collaborate internally and externally.

These high-level functions include the ability to:

  • Privately message team members, company employees, or any community you choose
  • Form sub-teams (Slack “channels” and Yammer “groups”)
  • Upload pictures, videos, and more
  • Restrict group access

Collaboration Happens Faster

Slow decision-making often bogs down projects. To prevent that, you could use Yammer and, for example, establish a private group of stakeholders to make external approvals faster. Rather than running down a path internally, awaiting a response from the client’s key contributor (only to find she disagrees with you), you can include her in your Yammer group and get real-time feedback. It’s especially helpful when you add multimedia to the conversation – it helps your client decide more quickly, as she can see more context.

If a project element is of high importance, you can host an online discussion forum, enabling all internal and external stakeholders to have a say in the decisions. This is critical to achieving buy-in from partners and customers and ensuring there are no end-of-project surprises.

Imagine being able to post multiple product options to all stakeholders, poll them to find the most popular option, and present the results within several hours. Moreover, imagine the time saved in iterations around the choices people make. In reference to the posted options, people can ask questions, you can refine your positioning, and so on until there’s enough of the right information to make educated choices. Now your decision is made faster and is more well informed.

Integration is the Key

Having your project management tool integrated with a communications tool means everything is easier. For example, you can use Slack’s Slackbot to automate status updates or routine tasks so everyone can see upcoming roadblocks. Or you can elevate more important items by calling them out with @mentions that request each recipient to confirm receipt with emoji reactions.

Beyond having the ability to perform new, modern, and context-rich communications in real time, you gain a single location for everything, both historical and current, about your project. As a result, when you have a project management tool like TimeLinx that’s integrated with your CRM and the collaboration tool, you gain the power of streamlining your processes for ‘connecting the dots’, moving away from an outdated process of working with customers to an improved way to work with them now.

In the end, the more you have integrated with your project management tool, the better your understanding becomes for delivering the right results – easier and faster than ever before.

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About TimeLinx
TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.