Ensuring Successful Collaborations During and After COVID-19

Jami Yazdani is the Founder and Chief Strategist for Yazdani Consulting and Facilitation. She’ll present the session “Using Project Management Principles to Ensure Successful Collaborations” on May 8, at 1:25 pm EDT. Her guest blog post follows.

 Like most organizations grappling with social distancing and stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries rushed to move more services and work online. After meetings, committees and project teams pivoted to online communication tools, many librarians have discovered that being able to communicate at a distance isn’t always enough to keep collaborations going.  How do we ensure successful collaborations during and after COVID-19?

Beyond the tools teams will use to communicate, those leading collaborative endeavors should also consider other factors in supporting successful collaborations:

Take a step back and think more broadly about your collaboration.  Given the challenges facing our organizations and team members, is this collaboration still a priority?  Review and discuss the project or committee’s purpose with your team and key stakeholders to decide if and how to proceed.  If you do need to postpone meetings and activities, when will you reconvene?  Be sure to set a timeline for making decisions and share that with your team.

Go back to the collaboration’s fundamentals.  With your team and key stakeholders, review and discuss the collaboration’s purpose, deliverables and schedule.  What does success look like now?  What might success look like in a few weeks or months?  Consider how you can scale your activities and expectations to this revised vision on success.

Focus on the quality of communication.  Provide opportunities for open discussion, inquiry and feedback, both as a team and one-on-one.  Now, more than ever, make time to talk with your team and key stakeholders.  Be clear, respectful and reasonable, and create a space where team members feel comfortable offering ideas and asking for more time to think about decisions and complete tasks.

How is COVID-19 impacting your collaborations?  Are you postponing projects and initiatives or continuing to pursue deadlines established pre-COVID?  Want more strategies to support successful collaborations?  Join me on Friday, May 8, at 1:25 pm EDT, to learn more about “Using Project Management Principles to Ensure Successful Collaborations”.  Leaders at all levels can apply project management principles and best practices to projects, committees and other collaborative endeavors to ensure positive outcomes. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below (login required).

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One Comment

  1. If folks want to continue the conversation on ways we can ensure successful collaborations during and after COVID-19, I’m hosting a small group discussion on Thursday, May 14th and I’d love to have EXCHANGE attendees participate. We will talk about the challenges to our collaborative projects posed by the pandemic, and strategies we can use to ensure successful outcomes. You can register at https://yazdaniconsulting.com/supportingcollabs

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