Best practice: Clear communication of expectations upfront. Zero sessions take out a lot of the disappointment of the game not going the way a player expected. Also, having a pre-meeting meeting on game (or in your case project) parameters means that players (or team members) approach the game with the right research and focus. Everyone who has played more than a couple of games knows the frustration of coming to a ranged battle with a dagger. Or taking on a magical creature where only magical weapons work when no one thought to have a weapon with magic damage.
Group cohesion: It is the job of the GM (facilitator) to find the common threads in the group. Little reminders of the importance of each person’s role helps everyone see where they fit in the overall objective and how they can use their skill set to help each other. For example, the Meat Shield runs into the center of a group of Orcs but doesn’t take them all down. A gentle reminder of the need to keep the Meat Shield alive might motivate the Sneaky McGrabby Fingers character from wasting a turn stealthfully looking for loot and get them using that mad Sneak Attack to lighten the Meat Shield’s load. Snappy McSparkle Fingers can then be reminded of the need to prep that healing action. The very roles of a standard fantasy game play out nicely as a symbolic representation of how each person in a team can leverage very different skill sets to accomplish an otherwise unreachable goal.
Player focus: The mission needs to be planned with challenges that require the use of EACH of the core Stats. Knowing this ahead of time, players can coordinate to ensure each character addresses at least a couple of these Stats. There should be some overlap, as one player may be down or occupied while a task needs to be accomplished (Fighter is holding off guards as Thief picks lock). Hero Coin those that creatively attack problems with synergy between characters.
Keeping it Orderly: A small hourglass (30 seconds) used in turn-based order. If the action can’t be described and executed in 30 seconds, forfeit the turn and move on. Each member should have enough knowledge of their own skill set and enough focus on the action at hand to be thinking ahead of time multiple ways in which they could contribute.
Interpersonal dynamic challenge: A lot of times, and with the current pandemic more often lately, we find ourselves playing with folks who we haven’t had any interaction with ahead of time. Without that initial session to set expectations, we may miss cues to different play-styles that could greatly enhance the experience. I’ve found that, without the pre-mission meeting, having a post-mission AAR (After Action Review) gives each player the opportunity to freely discuss likes and dislikes. Incorporating the feedback of the players is what really helps GMs grow as facilitators (storytellers).
Best Online Play Experience: The absolute best experience is GMing a game of GMs who are both respectful and open with feedback.
Hope this helps.