Collaborative Project Management: Make the Leap

Eamonn McGuinness
By | Updated June 23, 2016 | 5 min read

If you’re in an organization and you want to do something new, strategic, exciting, challenging, difficult – it’s a project.


Click to download our free book, Collaborative Project Management


A project is a way to transform, to bring an organization, to bring a group to a new place. A project is a way to realize ambitions. A project is a way to help people in some cases achieve their dreams. A project is from here to a new place, to a better place, to an exciting place, to a different place. A project is a way to get to where you want to go.

Project management should be enjoyable both because of the destination you want to reach and the journey you’re taking. With a project you should be thinking: “I really want to get there. It’s important to me. Or it’s important to my group, or my team, or my organization, and I’m enjoying the journey.”

Proper project management, exciting project management is both an enjoyable journey and a fabulous destination.


Collaborative Project Management

There was a time when the workplace was different and some people were very rigidly trained in project management and the other people did what they were told.

The workforce has changed. By the year 2020, half the workforce will be millennials. These are people who enter the workforce after the year 2000. By and large, these folks come to work expecting to work for a purpose and not a hierarchy. They understand what’s happening. They’re willing and able to contribute to the projects.

While some of the more traditional focus on rigid process has fallen away, we are getting a lot of smart and energetic people joining the workforce. There needs to be a way to tap into the talent of these new people, who desire to help with the projects. This is where collaborative project management comes into play.

Collaborative project management has transformed from the old command and control structure: “You’ll do what I tell you!”. Proper project management, real project management, exciting project management is about collaborative project management. It’s people working together, enjoying the journey on the way to an agreed destination.



Implementing Collaborative Project Management

Collaborative project management is the way to go, but it’s difficult. Project success is unbelievably important to organizations. Organizations often need guidance on how to deliver collaborative project management.

The challenge is, even when you give an organization an approach, success is not yet assured. It’s one thing to understand a project management approach. It’s an entirely different thing to live it. In order to live it, you have to practice it one day at a time. You have to change from where you are and move to a new place where you’re collaboratively managing projects.


Change Management and Start | Evolve

BrightWork and its partners help organizations adopt and implement collaborative project management. This, in turn, helps organizations be successful with their objectives.

Some people find it hard to make changes. They get stuck in a rut. But there’s no need. As a result, the questions become: how do you get out of it? How do you move? How do you change? And one of the things they say at BrightWork is, “Start|Evolve.”

What you really want to do is make a start. Just get some momentum and keep going. Aristotle put it well when he said, “that which we learn to do, we learn by doing”. You have to do something in order to learn. It’s the doing that helps us change. It’s the doing that brings us along.

The BrightWork philosophy of “Start|Evolve”, is a very pragmatic way of implementing collaborative project management.

Information has a very short half-life. So the problem with picking up a new piece of information is unless you do something with it, you forget it very quickly. We tend to confuse reading a lot of books, hearing a lot of stuff, with making a change.

One of the other challenges is that an awful lot of what we hear and read, like what you’re reading in this article, is common sense. And as the old adage goes: “Common sense, unfortunately, it’s just not that common!” And the reason it’s not that common is that we don’t practice what we learn. And if we don’t practice what we learn, it doesn’t become a part of us. It doesn’t become a part of the way we work.

At one level change is hard, but at another level, when you understand how to change it’s very easy. Just start. Go for it and don’t be afraid to fall.


Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from our free book, Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook


Eamonn McGuinness
Eamonn McGuinness

Éamonn McGuinness is the CEO and founder of BrightWork. From 1995, Éamonn has been involved in the development of commercial software products on Lotus Notes, Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365, with the same basic product mission (process-driven and people inspired collaborative project management).

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