Project Human Resource Management - Colocation for Better Project Outputs
Colocation is the concept of placing all the resources of a project team in a single physical location, so that the project can be completed in a good way. Colocated teams helps to improve communication, productivity, and team relationships. Colocation can be temporary for a certain important duration or for a longer or extended time or can be permanent.
Normally when a team works together for a project in a single or easily interactable location, i.e. a single location or the War Room, both the productivity and the time can be managed easily. This idea makes the Team with different skillsets organizedly work together to share their expertise, work, and produce new products or execute projects.
Some resources are coordinating together until the project is completed. Other teams work together for a selected period of time. So rather than talking in terms of how many hours of work, the teams spends with each other, the focus must be on how much work actually got done.
Colocation places can have some important features that help them function well. Some examples are, team meeting rooms, places to put up common appointments, a coffee shop and other aids that help to promote a sense of togetherness. The design of the team's working space can have a say, in the failure or success of the project.
One key example of collocated teams are Agile software development teams. In an Agile software development team it is not only enough to allocate the team members to sit in the same office, but they must also be literally inside the same room next to each other. In such teams, Co-location increases co-ordination, communication, working relationships, quality and project growth or success. Top management has to take important decisions in relocating teams. Sometimes teams from different countries or states can be brought together.
Colocation can be discussed at different levels of an organization. At the organizational level, placing related teams together will be colocation. On a business level, similar businesses can be placed inside the same building or centre. In trading, near a trading centre, multiple data centres will be located. In the fast food restaurant industry, you have Yum brands which has the menu items of multiple fast food houses. In the retail sector, we have shopping malls that have different brands and products under the same roof.
Colocation does not take into account virtual teams. But there are some advantages of virtual teams over collocated teams such as:
- Skilled resources
- Reduced costs
- Reduced travel
- No relocation expenses
- Communication made easy with customers, suppliers, or other stakeholders
So, Colocation has to be chosen with care taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of colocated teams. Colocated teams is part of the chapter named "Project Human Resource Management" mentioned in PMBOK used to prepare for PMP Certification exam of PMI.