Project managers like to play up the advantages of team communication, where teams update management about project progress, but communication is a two-way street. Transparency involves keeping the team in the loop as well—and not just about team activities. Sharing the project context and management perspective can be very beneficial to team productivity and task management.
Here’s how transparency can help:
Fosters Project Awareness
Compartmentalizing your project may increase project security, but it can also blind them to the overall project status. When team members can place their work within the larger context, they’ll be able to see more value in what they’re doing and be motivated to perform their tasks better.
A transparent approach to task management, where everyone can see task assignments, can promote communication between team members and encourage cooperation. An at-a-glance display of tasks assignments and statuses is an efficient hands-off way of updating the team without the need for meetings or reports. This is an especially big advantage when teams are split between different locations, and physical meetings are impossible.
Most project management software allows you to publicly assign tasks to individuals. Everyone can see who is working on what. This allows teams to keep each other accountable when working on parent tasks. A delayed parent task can have a huge impact on the timeline, so it’s important for the person assigned to stay focused and be aware of how his work will affect others down the line, and for others to know who they should go to in order to follow up the task.
Increase Team Productivity
The increased access to and sharing of project information will help teams become more productive—not only individually, but also as a group. This is especially important for remote teams, since they can’t just walk over to a co-worker’s desk and ask a question. Being able to coordinate efforts and tasks will also increase working efficiency and help with resource loading.
As you can see, transparency can have tangible benefits to project success through team cooperation, coordination, and morale. If you can make this a part of your regular process, it can lead to consistently faster and better quality projects, and a more motivated and effective team.
Image credit, Flickr, fabi42