How to use a Business Cadence to promote collaboration
Projects in their very nature are social. There must be constant and continuous interaction and communication between the functional groups, project personnel, executive management, sub-contractors, and most importantly, the customer, to have a successful project. One effective way to promote collaboration is through a Business Cadence.
What is a cadence?
At its most basic level, a cadence is defined as a rhythmic sequence. Within a business environment, a cadence refers to the frequency, format, and sequence with which a manager meets with the individuals on their team (such as a risk board or monthly review) and where employees have an opportunity to interact. While not a trendy, innovative workplace concept, the cadence has proven to pass the test of time as an effective means to managing resources.
How to start a cadence?
Starting a cadence is all about developing a rhythmic culture and routine within your team or organisation. In her article New Managers: How to establish your 'Rhythm of Business' (ROB) Model, Lisa Quast talks about creating your rhythm of business model, and the steps to follow to achieve this. But you can keep things simple to start with. Just gathering your team together at a set time in a set place so that they can share and discuss topics or making a set time each month to speak to individual team members on a one-to-one basis is all that is needed to start a cadence. Once people get into the routine and rhythm of the regular meetings or gatherings they will see the benefits that this social interaction can have.
The benefits of a cadence
When correctly implemented into a management routine, the fundamental role of a cadence is to drive collaboration amongst team members. The by-product of this effort manifests itself through four primary benefits
- Brings awareness to issues and facilitates change. Providing a forum for recognition of issues, identification of barriers and development of solutions allows resources to feel empowered to succeed.
- Affects the performance of resources and teams. Communication around employee and team performance, both pro and con, is an excellent instrument in building a productive workforce. Providing reinforcement for positive performance as well as addressing areas of need is fundamental to developing a productive, satisfied team members.
- Improves the morale of remote-based employees. Yes, there is a multitude of benefits to working as a remote employee. However, many virtual employees develop the feeling of being isolated from their organisation and out of touch. Providing a routine vehicle for engagement with the company and focusing on knowledge transfer is an ideal way to eliminate many of the causes for low employee morale.
- Social collaboration promoted by cadences can help to break down silos by improving communications across organisations of all sizes and enhance cross-organisational participation, employee onboarding, talent retention and knowledge sharing.
Get your business cadence, or rhythm, established early, so that it is embedded in your culture. Keep in mind that having great projects will develop an overall collaboration culture.