No job ages a person quite like the President of the United States, but project managers everywhere can attest that they’re not getting any younger.
Tasked with orchestrating team collaboration without the proper tools would make you want to pull your hair out too (if you’re lucky enough to still have some). The chaos inherent to project management is prototypical of Project Management Stress (PMS), a classic symptom of Collaborative Dysfunction (CD). CD affects millions of teams worldwide, most of whom don’t even know they have it.
SYMPTOM: Project Management Stress (PMS)
Information is scattered throughout email, hard drives, and shared network drives, causing team chaos as deadlines close in.
In other words:
- The information your team needs isn’t in one place and can’t be accessed by everyone.
- There’s a lack of transparency about what needs to get done and by whom.
- Communication, decisions, and status updates are reliant on email and meetings.
CURE: 3 Ways Confluence Alleviates PMS
Confluence, team collaboration software, alleviates Project Management Stress by providing one place to create, store, share, and discuss the work your team needs to get done.
1. Create, share, and update project plans in one place
By creating a single project planning page that tracks all of the work that needs to get done and by whom, Confluence provides the transparency needed to make your teammates self-sufficient. No more uncertainty, incessant clarification emails, or taps on the shoulder. A planning page becomes a project’s single source of truth for the rest of the business allowing the project team to stay heads-down focused on the work that needs to get done.
Below is a screenshot of the project planning page we created on Atlassian’s internal instance of Confluence for the Collaborative Dysfunction (CD) marketing campaign. Key stakeholders for the campaign could access this page anytime, anywhere, make contributions, and ask questions using comments. Rather than having one project manager haul everyone across the finish line, we could work cooperatively and asynchronously to achieve our goals.
2. Assign tasks to keep your team on-track
A key element of the Collaborative Dysfunction project planning page was Confluence Tasks. Confluence Tasks are contextual as they’re tightly integrated with all of your work in Confluence.
Creating tasks from the project planning page cut down on the back-and-forth, status meetings, and uncertainty that are all too common for team projects. We assigned tasks to teammates for all the project deliverables from the project planning page. This let everyone know what they needed to get done, by when, and where they could report on the status of their deliverables.
3. Reach decisions online
Throughout the CD project we sent nearly zero emails and held just 5 meetings. The project planning page kept everyone informed and focused on what they needed to get done removing the need for status meetings. If someone had a question, they commented at the bottom of the page and we kept the conversation where it was relevant, rather than siloing it in our email inboxes or even calling a meeting.
The meetings we did have were pointed and focused thanks to using a Confluence page as our meeting agenda. We made extensive use of tasks so that my 15 minute meeting with the other project manager answered just three questions:
- What did you complete last week?
- What are you working on this week?
- Are there any blockers?
Using Confluence to store all of the content, tasks, and communication for the project enabled us to run a project without a reliance on email and meetings. The project planning page was our single-source of truth and literally kept everyone on the same page.
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