Charles Darwin possibly said it best: “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
Good business collaboration leads to the sum being greater than it’s individual parts. We can achieve more, deliver extraordinary outcomes and feel more inspired by working in teams and groups. And as solopreneurs, we can take on bigger projects when we collaborate. I’m a big believer in collaboration. I have however heard (and experienced) a few horror stories – where collaborations went wrong. And I have heard of (and experienced) fantastically successful collaboration stories too – where the outcomes where better than expected and where all partners truly enjoyed working together.
In this series of articles, I aim to explore a few ideas to help all of us have better collaboration projects. In part 1, I looked at steps we need to take before entering into such a project. Part 2 looks at hints and tips to use during the actual project, and (this) part 3, aims to find ways to end the project and collaboration, upon (and directly after) completion.
Time to de-brief
Once the project is completed and delivered, it really is vital to have a proper de-briefing meeting. It is a good way to end the project and collaboration, but most importantly, it provides an opportunity for all partners to learn and evolve. This helps each partner in future collaborations they might want to be part of. A few ideas on discussion points for the de-briefing:
- Were all the desired outcomes met? At the beginning of the project, there must have been a set of specific outcomes the group wished to achieve. Were these achieved? If not, why not?
- What went well? Discuss all the aspects of the project that went really well. Maybe the project management software was new to the group and it performed better than expected. Possibly, the project (or parts there-of) was easier than expected and all deadlines were easily hit. It could be that the project lead did their job exceptionally well. Whatever went well, list it and discuss it. These are the points partners can look for in future collaborations.
- Where can we improve next time? Discuss all the issues and challenges each project partner experienced. Find ways to avoid these same situations in the future.
Apart from the de-briefing, there are a few other actions the project lead and all other partners may want to consider.
- Remember to close off and finalise all project management tools and software. You don’t want project information “floating” out there on the web. Make sure all information is secured and closed down.
- How can we leverage PR even further? The end of a project does not necessarily mean that project partners can no longer leverage it’s PR opportunities. It might be a good idea to discuss this as a group. Do you want to continue promoting the project on social media (where appropriate)?
- Celebrate the success of the project. We often forget this very important part. The project went well, the desired outcomes were achieved and all partners worked well together! Celebrate it.
And once the celebration is over, start looking for the next collaborative project you can get your teeth into.
Tiana Wilson-Buys is a Business Coach and Productivity Strategist. She offers a free 30-minute virtual meeting to help you get organised. Book your slot here.