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Although collaboration is an essential principle for a modern and innovative organization, it is worth remembering that it is not recommendable to embrace collaboration at all costs. The definition of a collaborative culture will have to be oriented to different parameters specific to each organization.

Collaboration for PMOs: advantages and disadvantages

If you are convinced that your organization needs to improve project collaboration, you must make sure collaboration is properly oriented and directed towards the goals of the organization.

For example, collaboration is a priority in innovation intensive organizations dedicated to the design of new products and services: the more ideas are gained, the greater the innovative potential. In these cases it may be important to collect inputs from all interested parties and even to determine a iterative procedure, whereby each design phase is subject to an open round of discussions.

However, in organizations with more predictive projects, a culture of open and uncontrolled collaboration can be pernicious. Even destructive:

  • Hierarchical validation procedures are proportionately related to deadline compliance
  • Informal communication relies on people, not processes. That is why large organizations and teams with high turnover suffer especially when they fail to combine collaborative elements with standardized procedures.

1. Project Management

Despite the risks of open collaboration, the risks of not collaborating are also high. A project manager who does not delegate, share information, or accept comments beyond the established channels becomes a bottleneck that can choke the entire organization.

On the contrary, among the collaborative responsibilities of the project manager is the habit of sharing knowledge with all stakeholders: team members and executives, clients, suppliers, or public entities in the case of tenders.To avoid being lost in this web, it is very important from a certain complexity to determine what tools, documents and processes are right for each stage.

2. Project collaboration

​ Another advantage of a collaborative controlled culture is that team members can benefit from cross-pollinization. Again, this is a very important aspect when the project presents unknowns or new problems to solve.

Some practices to make ideas flow:

  • Use open spaces
  • Use equally open chat tools: instead of email, a chat service for channels such as Slack, for example
  • Adopt SaaS tools, so that your computer's hard drives do not become black boxes

3. How to combine closed communication and standardized procedures

Unfortunately, these days it is not enough to be productive and execute a list of tasks within a project. Actually, we have many applications based on a timeless distribution of activities or the check-list approach , which, although they are very valid for certain functions, do not serve for the execution and planning of professional projects. The most difficult in these cases is to get the right balance between collaboration and controlled information.

ITM Platform Teambot is an application for Slack that allows, precisely, to speed collaboration through the messaging chat that has taken a robot to Mars while incorporating the strengths of an ITM Platform capacity planning tool. Where Slack adds the collaborative dimension, ITM Platform adds the control.

In fact, ITM Platform Teambot, created for all team members, is the most convenient way to use ITM Platform:

  • It allows to recall tasks and projects
  • facilitates reporting processes
  • Links seamlessly to ITM Platform

Advantages of ITM Platform Teambot:

  • Teambot is the only project management application in Slack that, besides allowing to recall information, offers the possibility to use agile and predictive methodology in the same integrated portfolio
  • Share knowledge and cooperate with organizations that integrate different hierarchies or open teams
  • Check projects and tasks in seconds
  • Report your progress from Slack and without ever having to log in to ITM Platform

Request a demo of ITM Platform and we will tell you how to establish successful collaborative practices for your projects.

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Qualitative and quantitative risk analysis are two very different processes. In this article we explain qualitative evaluation with an example taken from the video game industry.

In general, qualitative analysis seeks to identify risks by using scales that summarize visually and intuitively the relative dimensions of each risk, allowing to prioritize: providing a visual representation that combines the most basic factors, such as the impact that the risk would have on a project and the likelihood of it occurring.

In spite of its name, qualitative evaluation implies a numerical estimate of these two variables along previously defined scales using a quick and subjective approach. It's something like when doctors ask: From one to ten, how much does it hurt?wong-baker faces pain rating scale

Similarly to the intuitive scale of Wong-Baker's expressions, qualitative assessments of risk have visual translations in a geometric representation that allows a systematic comparison in risk assessment matrices.

In the example that follows, we have used our online risk assessment matrix to estimate the comparative weight of the following risks for a team of developers in a video game studio:

  • Inadequate graphics engine

  • Loss of programmers

  • Failure in approval process of the game build after submission

If we assign impact and probability values to these risks, we obtain the following table.




Graphics engine

20% 40


33% 50


8% 100

The table itself suggests some observations.

  1. Experience, the mother of probability

Firstly, in a video game studio that launches, say, half a dozen titles a year, after 10 years of activity there is a portfolio of 60 titles that allows to draw certain conclusions about the frequency with which these risks occur. The probability estimate is based on the experience of the organization, which has suffered personnel losses in the programming area in one out of three projects.

  1. Simplify and then discuss the details

This model simplifies factors in just two values, but it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the variables hide more complex realities that should appear in the quantitative phases and in the discussions with the stakeholders. For example, loss of talent can hide many different realities, depending on the number of people lost, their roles within the organization, or whether the loss is due to a transfer to another company, vacation, retirement or inability to hire according to the forecasts of the HR department.

With all these nuances, when we load the table into ITM Platform’s online risk assessment matrix we obtain this result:

Risk matrix videogame sector example

Although there is no single interpretation for this type of result, the visualization emphasizes that the most threatening risk for this study is the loss of personnel, while the selection of the graphics engine and certification seem to be more controlled by the workflow and process procedure. The HR department of the studio will probably need a mitigation plan in order to be able to face situations of personnel shortage in times of high load of work. Such a plan could include:

  • Reassignment of tasks to existing resources.

  • Segmenting possible delays, or cost increases in case the scope is maintained.

  • Communication plan to stakeholders involved in the tasks who may suffer because of the delays.

  • In severe cases, reconsideration of non-critical components that allow the viability of the product to be saved.

Remember that you can compose your own set of risks in ITM Platform’s online Risk Assessment Matrix. In addition, if you can register, save and share them with your team.

In the next article of this series, I will expand the example to the context of a quantitative evaluation to better understand the differences between the two approaches.


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