Project collaboration makes a big difference in the making or breaking of a project. Consulting companies such as ours, often work independent of their clients for the most part. Meaning we are engaged to complete certain deliverables, that if not monitored closely, can be completed without enough client interaction and feedback.
This is especially the case with looming deadlines. Client involvement takes time, and it is often easier to make estimations and use experience to draw conclusions rather than wait for a client to respond to an email or look up detailed information.
There are several ways to hedge this problem. The first is to start collaboration early. It is critical to immediately begin gathering information and communicating with the client. Avoid waiting until the last minute or until the deadline is just around the corner. The second way to hedge the lack of client input complements the first (start collaboration early), namely, use of an online project collaboration workspace. This allows all members of the project team to remain informed, ask and answer questions, provide documents, assign tasks as well as plan and organize the work effort. We have used and recommend Google Sites (through Google Apps for business) and Basecamp by 37 Signals. These forms of collaboration are a type of cloud computing which greatly increases speed of communication, as communication and collaboration are instant.
This collaboration is vital in sharing correct information. Without the correct information being properly communicated project conclusions and the entire work effort become a major waste of time.