The Essence of Collaboration: Extending our Reach and Potential Impact

Darren Dalcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


It is sometimes said that competition makes us faster, but collaboration makes us better. The Oxford Dictionary defines collaboration as “the action of working with someone to produce something”.
While collaboration enables two or more parties to work together on a shared purpose in order to attain a particular benefit, implying a good fit with project practice, the various project management bodies of knowledge and IPMA’s newly released Individual Competence Baseline say little about what it is and how it may apply to projects. Major initiatives and projects often require collaboration across a team, or between different teams and organisations, in order to enhance competitiveness or performance.
Collaborating teams are often large, virtual, diverse, specialised and distributed.
Collaboration can therefore take place in one of two forms:
 Synchronous, where the team interacts in real time (often as a co-located team
housed to facilitate physical collaborative and joint working in close proximity,
or electronically, via online meetings, instant messaging, Skype or other joint
working platform)
 Asynchronous, where interactions are time-shifted, geographically dispersed, or
are simply designed to allow a group to collaborate at times that suit individual
participants. Shared documents, workspaces and Wiki pages allow such teams to
work together. More recent examples include crowdsourcing efforts, combining
the best of crowd participation and outsourcing to tackle complex, detailed and
demanding assignments by groups of interested participants who are able to
divide the work and focus on achieving the wider purpose through this division
of labour and expertise
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalPM World Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


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