Excellent and well-managed coordination of internal and external teams can enhance projects by ultimately bringing out the best of what every party has to offer. However, managing internal and external teams can also pose challenges. A lack of successful communication can mean that teams become disparate, leading to jobs getting missed, or even to duplication of effort as one job is carried out multiple times by more than one person. One may also encounter issues surrounding security – how do you go about sharing with external teams whilst keeping things secure?
Here, we share some of our top tips for successfully managing both internal and external teams.
What is Best Practice for Managing Internal and External Teams?
- Identify the right IT for the job. The most significant barrier to successfully managing internal and external teams is communication. Having the right system in place will minimise this risk. It will likely be useful to develop a centralised system where all teams can share and collaborate on work, ask questions, assign job roles and post updates. The right technology will also include security considerations to protect anything that is shared with external teams – this can include permissions, a hierarchy of varying levels of access, password protection and so on.
- Meet regularly. The UC system you have chosen should have a meetings function, so arrange a regular, recurring meeting where teams can update on progress. It’s always beneficial to touch base; it keeps everyone in the loop and allows people to manage expectations in terms of what can be achieved.
- Avoid re-work. When a number of people or parties are collaborating on one project, there is always a risk of duplication of effort. Communication is the best way to avoid this. Identify responsibilities and make them crystal clear to all those involved; this could include using a task management functionality within your chosen IT system that can clearly assign job roles and manage deadlines.
- Strike a balance between control and flexibility. A lot of what we have touched on so far revolves around essentially “keeping an eye on” the various teams involved in a project. Whilst this is definitely important, and bearing in mind that project managers will often struggle to relinquish control, it’s important to avoid micro-managing your teams, as this will stifle creativity and potentially lead to conflicts within your project, which can be detrimental to the communication and collaboration we are setting out to foster. It’s also worth noting that, whilst meeting regularly is important, meeting too regularly can eat into time that could be better spent on carrying out important work within the project.
A successful unified communications and collaboration strategy, and one which effectively utilises IT, is the key in managing internal and external teams and will lead to a far more efficient project that allows respective parties to benefit from each other’s work, skills and expertise.
Discussing Best Practice for Managing Internal and External Teams at UC EXPO 2021
If you’d like to know more about best practice for managing internal and external teams, 4C Directors Gill Rowbotham and Paul Ridge are delighted to be speaking on a panel discussing just that at UC EXPO 2021, which takes place at the London ExCeL on 6th-7th October.
The panel takes place on Thursday 7th from 2:50pm-3:35pm and you can find more details here.
If you are attending UC EXPO next week and require any advice regarding your broader unified communications strategy, why not meet one of our consultants for a coffee while you’re there? We’d love to share some ideas with you. If you’d like to catch up, just call us on 01858 438938 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.