EU research projects like Horizon 2020 (H2020) offer the unique challenge of collaborating with teams and project members across the globe. Successful remote collaboration requires implementing good systems and habits. Here’s some tips and tricks to help you succeed.
1. Sync working styles
Define the working style of yourself, your team, and your organization. Get the other members of your H2020 or collaborative project to do the same. This will allow you to establish strategies that work for everyone. Ask yourself:
- How do you prefer to communicate, and which tools do you use the most? e.g. phone, chat, video calls, etc.
- How do people in your organization communicate with people inside the organization? How do they share documents?
- How do people in your organisation communicate with people outside your organization and what tools do they use? How are documents shared?
- Are there specific do not disturb or “busy” times in the day or week for yourself, your team, or your organization? What are they and how can you be contacted without being disturbed during these hours?
- What were the most successful ways you collaborated on H2020 or co-funded projects in the past?
Defining and sharing the work style and tools you’re currently using will allow you to understand your own needs and those of other participants. Knowing which tools members and organizations use will allow you to see if they work for the needs of your EU research project or not.
Getting everyone to share information and communicate using the same tools, in a similar matter is key to avoiding miscommunications, informational delays, and decreasing the amount of time needed for project management and administration.
Instead of endless email cycles, difficult to find document versions, and impossible to read threads, project management software allows team members to link and share information in real time. EMDESK’s project management software offers a single solution for participants and organizations to collaborate, share, plan and discuss with integrated communication features.
EMDEK’s single document repository with varying levels or access rights, group email options, and control over notifications allow members to stay informed on what’s important to them. EMDESK’s customization allows for organizations using multiple platforms to easily switch to a single project management solution platform.
2. Make sure everyone has the hardware, software, and access they need to succeed
Small issues like someone not having the right program or access to documents can cause significant delays and waste valuable meeting time. Check that everyone:
- Has a stable internet connection; wifi and if possible is using an ethernet cable.
- Has a USB headset that’s been tested and works.
- Has a modern computer running the latest version of Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari.
- Knows their login details for the project management software and other resources you’ll be using.
- Has access to all of the programs and documents they need to start working right away.
- Isn’t using software that’s not GDPR compliant like Zoom, Skype, Google docs, etc.
Using a project management software solution is one of the best ways you can ensure that your team is all using the same, modern collaboration tools. It’s vital that any project management software be completely compliant with GDPR standards. US based communication and project management solutions are not compliant with GDPR and can put your project at risk.
EMDESK was developed in and is based out of Germany. Its servers and security are completely GDPR compliant; allowing you to concentrate on your H2020 project instead of worrying about data protection. It also has full customer support to help your H2020 collaborators to answer any questions about passwords, access, web browser, etc.
Yvonne Osborn, freelance writer