Andy Pratt and I are co-authoring a book called Interaction Design an Introduction by Rockport Publishers, which will be out in September. Andy wrote this great blog post about our writing process, and collaboration in general. I think he makes some great points. Here are Andy's key ingredients for successful collaboration:
Trust and respect: Everyone on the team must trust each other and know that the other team members will deliver. Don't focus on what others are doing. Don't micro manage. Do what you do and do it well.
Egoless team members: Confidence is important. Be confident in your skill set, your opinions, and your voice. But listen to what others have to say and let others talk. Collaboration is about dialogue. Your contribution is not measured by how much you talk. It's measured both by what you say and how you listen.
Clear responsibilities: Everyone needs to be clear on who owns what. Other team members should be able to critique. After all, you're working with professionals who bring their own experience and opinions. A project manager should be able to give their opinions to a designer, a developer to a user experience designer, and so forth. However, in the end, the owner of that decision or task needs to make the final call. And because there is mutual respect and trust within the team, everyone should be comfortable with that.
What do you think? When you collaborate what are your ingredients?