Using innovation to future-proof your project team

Innovation is all about change; changing the way you do things to produce better results.  Innovation can take many forms and be applied in many ways. Here we look at 5 ways of using innovation to future-proof your project team. 

1. Drive innovation from the top

All innovation is change and change is part of a process.  To be open to innovation it is important to develop a self-belief in the positive benefits of change and communicate them within your project team to instil a positive change culture. Creating an environment that allows and encourages new ideas to surface can spark positive improvements and changes.  

It is important for project managers to ask the why and what questions, listen to team members feedback and learn from the people around them. Those leaders that approach innovation with curiosity and a willingness to learn, empower their team to do the same.

2. Continuous learning

The truth is that most project managers want to have a settled project team. They want each member of the team to know their role and responsibilities and deliver them on time. But this can hold a team back as it gives very little opportunity to look outside of the project to see what’s going on in the industry.

Most industries are advancing at a faster rate than ever before, so it’s essential project teams are given the time to read trade magazines, attend conferences and spend time with people they can learn from and be inspired by. Teams that work in isolation will be less exposed to new ways of working and less likely to come up with new ideas.

The 'tool box' of project management skills and qualifications is evolving day by day and team members need the opportunity to keep these current.  Continuous learning helps both individual team members and your project team to evolve and innovate, contribute new ideas and new ways of doing things to deliver projects better and faster.

Organisations that actively embed a programme of continuous professional development and learning within their culture will have a readily available bank of skills without the need to employ new staff thus saving money on hiring and training. It also gives individuals an opportunity to grow personally as well as professionally.

3. Sharing new ideas

There’s no point giving a project team the opportunity to be inspired by ideas from the wider world if this information is not shared effectively within the team. Ideas that are shared with the whole team can be improved upon, made workable and ultimately integrated.

Effective communication is an essential part of every innovative team and information needs to be able to flow easily between team members. The growth of project management software that offers the ability to create a central and fully accessible location for your project that is visible to the entire team and that everyone can access makes information sharing easy.  Shared spaces along with social updates improve visibility, communication and drive collaboration, and documents and information can be shared online across multiple teams and locations.     

Further reading: Best-Practice tips for managing your people and their skills.

4. Sharing one vision

Innovative teams are made up of people with different but complementary personality types and skills. Some organisations like to hire similar personality types in the hope that workers will get on, but make it too uniform and you lose the ability to generate and implement new ideas. Innovative teams are typically made up of creative thinkers, but also technical experts and more pragmatic individuals who can refine and implement those ideas.

Finding a balance within your team of skills and personalities is a continuous process but how they fit within your organisations culture is also important. Regardless of the personality types that make up your team, if they understand and share the same vision and values they will be able to move forward together even if the way of doing things changes.

5. Supporting innovative teams

The future of your industry is changing, as is the way projects are delivered.  Innovative project teams are turning to new dynamic software to support their ability to deliver projects more effectively.  Hydra Cloud is designed to drive innovation and grow your project team's capabilities organically.  To learn how Hydra Cloud can help future-proof your project team watch our free demo or contact us to find out more.


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