Project Management

Measuring Collaboration

Al Taylor is an independent IT contractor in Ontario, Canada.

A clear consensus in PM literature is related to the importance of the communication activity in projects. Ask a PM professional how much time should be spent on the communication activity, and you will often get an answer in the 50% to 75% range.

One could suggest that in fact the substance of the communications is more important than the amount of time that one spends on the activity. One could further suggest that communications that represent the output of collaborative activities have much more meaning and a much higher degree of influence and effectiveness than communications that do not.

A fun and interesting activity would be to measure your project’s level of collaboration by developing a metric. Three numbers are required:

  1. The first is a number on a scale of 1 to 10, representing how well you would like your team to collaborate
  2. The second is a number that represents how well you think your team is currently collaborating—be reasonable in both cases. These are the easy numbers.
  3. To determine the third number, you need to gather up information that will allow you to accurately measure your team’s actual current level of collaboration. This can be done by defining a set of variables, rating them on a scale of 1 to 10 and calculating the average. You can assign a weighting to each variable that …

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I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they choose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas.

- Jack Handey