Crossing the Divide

Catherine Curtis

With information and workforces spread across offices, time zones and even cultures, making sure project teams stay connected can't be left to a leap of faith.

Remember playing the telephone game as a child? You'd sit in a circle and whisper a message in the ear of your neighbor, who'd pass it along to the next kid. By the time the last kid heard the message, it had undergone drastic, often comical changes from its original version. The telephone game was an early lesson in how easily information can become distorted as it makes the rounds. In the grown-up world of project management, this breakdown in communication is costly, not comical, especially when team members and clients are scattered across offices and around the globe. The need to communicate anytime, anywhere with dozens, even hundreds of people in different locations is the new reality on projects. And how well your project performs under these conditions depends greatly on how well you pass it along.

Projects@Work gathered a diverse group of seven companies to discuss the collaboration challenges they face, and the strategies and tools they use to help their project teams work together better. From software laboratories to construction sites to hospital rooms, these firms operate in very different project environments, with different demands, processes and issues. But each relies on technology to break down …

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