The Business Trends: Project Management and Client Coworkers

For many businesses that are on the cutting edge of new business paradigms, the concept of a geographically isolated business is becoming obsolete. It is entirely possible to put together a business consortium or a project team made of subject matter experts spread across all time zones and from around the world. In fact, this kind of decentralized management of business projects is becoming more of the norm than the exception in the twenty first century business environment.

Blogs, wiccis, and shared working environments. Group sharing environments on the web are becoming more and more common. By setting up a tool set on line in which team members can post status reports, leave emails, update the project management software, file expense reports and stay in touch with each other, you facilitate the kind of communication that keeps the team moving forward successfully. Blogs, private message boards and wiccis are also excellent means by which an ongoing “conversation” can be carried out between team members that anyone can check into and get caught up with the content of what has been done and what is being planned for the project.

IM staff meetings. IM can be expanded so it doesn’t just bring in two participants. You can schedule your weekly staff meetings using an IM conference room and capture the entire proceedings in the IM log thus assuring yourself that nothing that was said will “fall through the cracks.

The client coworker

The idea of being customer service and customer satisfaction oriented is not a new paradigm in the business world. Even in businesses that are not directly working with the public, the idea of structuring the company to satisfy the needs of the people that make it possible for the company to stay in business – its customers – is a core value for a large percentage of businesses, especially those that are successful.

It’s a noble effort to try to alter the traditional culture of an office based business setting. The traditional culture of a “cubicle farm” type of office setting often resembles the comic strip Dilbert. That strip can be painful to read if you are a manager trying to keep a creative and proactive team moving forward in a business setting. But Dilbert does point out some of the communication problems that are common in an office setting. The distrust of management, the tendency by employees to drift toward unproductive attitudes and behavior and the low morale of many office settings is lampooned by the strip.

There are some real values to be had by introducing a customer service attitude even to internal support functions within the company. When combined with other empowering techniques such as process improvement and open communications with all levels of management, it can unify an office and put some real life into your staff.

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