Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce something. Working together on a project, pitching in ideas and brainstorming together, this all counts as collaborating. Today, the term has grown to such an important significance, that most of the technological platforms available for business use, include this feature (if not focus solely on it.) Take Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello, Goodrop, they all include or focus on the idea of share-ability, one place where everyone can have access to the same information and collaborate.
Nowadays, it is crucial to have collaborative work, in order to succeed. Think of yourself as an individual who wants to achieve a personal task/goal. There is so much information out there and so many details you are taking into account. Now imagine, suddenly you need three other individuals in order to accomplish this task of yours. Would it not be really hard to achieve if they did not have access to what you know, where you want to go & how? It is really similar when it comes to business.
Today, much of the waste in businesses, large and small, comes from miscommunication and missed opportunities. The reason is that many teams don’t really know what does collaborative working mean, how to be collaborative at work and what is the real value of collaborative work. Above all, there are professionals who still use an excel to share information and work, unaware of how many free or inexpensive technologies there are out there (for more information of How Excel can damage your business, click here).
The Standish Group’s annual “Chaos Manifesto“, reports that 33% of projects fail because of a lack of involvement from the entire project team. All this being said, we want to convince you about the usefulness and importance of collaboration through some practical examples.
1. Holidays, Sick Leaves & All kinds of absence
Say there is an employee who justifiably takes his or her annual holiday. You will need someone to cover for this person. Imagine, you have someone who suddenly decides to leave, or someone you fire, and another employee needs to take over their work with probably not much prior briefing. In a technology-less world, can you imagine the confusion, frustration and missed information the employee who is taking over will have? This can be almost entirely avoided through an innovative, technology solution.
To give you a concrete example, we will take Goodrop, which has a collaborative function on the App. To give a bit of background, Goodrop is a platform that allows you to organise & track your shipments, whether you are receiving or shipping something. It is basically a platform, where clients and suppliers see the same information and can check at all times where their shipment is, without needing to e-mail/call.
If an employee in a supply company goes on holiday/leaves/gets fired etc. and his or her client calls to inquire about a shipment, someone else needs to dig and search for the information. With Goodrop, this information is at the finger-tips of anyone with access to the platform. They just need to type in the name of the client. A process that could be tedious and frustrating is thus turned into a systematic and collaborative work.
2. Sharing files
It is 2019, the world is going digital, one thing you don’t want is having stacks of paper being shared and scattered around the office. It is important to have all you need in a digital form and all in one place. For this, you use a digital workspace, like Dropbox or Google Drive. It’s simple, it’s clean, you decide who has access to what and you organise the files the way you want to.
As simple and common sense as this may sound, there are still so many people who choose to have their files stored in various locations and have no control over the organisation of their files.
Receiving a task and performing it on your own to your best capabilities sounds great, but when you don’t have a view on the bigger scheme of things, there is a high chance that the work you do is not relevant enough.
To avoid this, involving everyone and making all the team-members aware of the end-goal, the process and the live status of a project, can drastically improve everyone’s performance. For starters, everyone understands that they are part of a bigger picture, and they see “the why”. Everyone can coordinate themselves, and visualise progress, which is essential to succeeding and feeling accomplished. Lastly, we go back to the first point, where is someone suddenly quits the project, it will not be as difficult to see where they left off and what they did.
In oder to achieve this, there are so many project management technologies available, like Trello, Monday.com, Genius Project etc. They all have their unique methods of helping you collaborate and perform tasks. Having a look can’t hurt.
All in all, the most advanced and successful companies out there, are doing this. They understood the value behind collaboration & team work. Uniting people and giving them access to information, can only do good. Privacy is not an issue, as there are many methods that prevent leaked information to happen, even more so than when everything was on paper. The way you choose to do it, is of course up to you, but the amount of options out there is huge and easy to find.