October 1st, 2019 • Project Management
Transparency is defined as “the quality of being done in an open way without secrets.” In the realm of projects and processes, it means creating a system in which all team members can access all relevant information about a project easily and efficiently.
While some managers feel that providing transparency poses risks to the project, the benefits of transparency far outweigh these risks. It is true that personal data of both employees and clients must be protected, and not everyone needs access to contract details and similar legal documents. Outside of those areas, concerns about over-sharing information usually stem from unhelpful fears. If a culture of trust and transparency is established, companies can share proprietary information with employees, and team members can communicate honestly about their ideas and progress. Project transparency leads to better outcomes for both the team and the project itself.
Here are some of the ways you can improve transparency in your project management.
Everyone wants to understand how his or her part contributes to the larger goals of the team or company. By giving your employees visibility on the overall scope and progress of the project, each person can see how his task fits in as well as what other team members are relying on him to finish before they can complete their part. If the whole team can view task status, a team member can jump in to help an overwhelmed coworker instead of turning to the manager to complain about slow progress. Giving every team member a view of the big picture encourages collaboration and initiative-taking.
Ever seen a report at the end of a project and thought “well if I’d known that before…”? Project managers must fight the impulse to keep report data and other information siloed. When everyone on the team has the ability to run reports and access data easily, each person is empowered to make better decisions and stronger contributions. For example, team members who can access reports on hours used vs. hours budgeted will be able to allot their own time more effectively and raise concerns earlier about tasks that have become more time-consuming than originally planned. Giving everyone access to project data gives every team member ownership over the project and the ability to see how their work is contributing to the team’s progress.
Teams that collaborate well get better results and a key factor in collaboration is communication. Open communication breaks down silos on interdisciplinary teams and keeps individual team members from working in isolation (even if they’re working remotely). Strong collaboration tools enable teams to identify and solve problems more quickly.
It may seem obvious, but it’s really helpful if everyone knows when things are happening. What is the stakeholder’s schedule and how does our project play into the bigger picture for them? What is the timeline for each task in our project? Who’s going on vacation next week (and how can I help fill in the gap)? What events are coming up that might affect our work schedule? Much time and frustration can be saved if everyone on the team knows what’s on the calendar.
Like so many things, project transparency requires the right tools. Choosing a project management tool that works well for your team can give you the framework you need to give your team the transparency needed to become even more successful. A good tool will show everyone the big picture and let each team member hone in on her specific tasks. It will have easy-to-use reporting features so no one needs IT to support to get access to project data. Project management tools can facilitate collaboration by providing a platform for immediate feedback, file sharing, and group discussion. And they can keep everyone on the same page with shared calendars and important alerts.
Kissflow is more than a project management tool. It’s a complete digital workspace, designed to help your organization see better results with intuitive features and world-class customer support. Kissflow’s easy to use kanban boards give your team the big-picture view; “In Progress,” “On Hold,” and “Done” status divisions for each project step keep the visual field uncluttered and your team more aware of the true progress of each task. It’s easy to generate helpful, customized reports in Kissflow or to run the pre-programmed reports that come ready to use. With user permission settings, managers can keep confidential information protected while giving each team member access to the data they need. Collaboration is made simple and seamless with file sharing and storage, alerts and notifications, and a real-time activity stream where task progress is updated and challenges can be discussed.
To experience how Kissflow can help you build a more transparent, more productive team, sign up for a free demo today.