Stop Making These Team Collaboration Mistakes
ONE OF the essential aspects of team collaboration is communication. This is nothing new: every business is well aware of the importance of collaboration in the workplace.
However, as time goes on, and business tasks become more varied and complex, teams find themselves in need for an efficient collaboration channel.
Email is inefficient, and as a consequence, most time management techniques recommend that workers learn to ignore their email and only check it at particular times. This makes passing along a sudden update to a co-worker a real challenge.
Instant messengers work for rapid communication, but can easily become too casual and distracting, unless chat rules are rigidly enforced.
Business owners are left wondering how to power communication without compromising efficiency.
The Paradox of Successful Teams
A recent research on team behavior in 15 multinational companies revealed an interesting paradox. Teams that are large, diverse, and composed of highly educated specialists are increasingly more a standard for large-scale projects. At the same time, it’s those same four characteristics that make it hard for teams to get anything done.
To put it another way, the qualities for successful team collaboration are the same qualities that challenge it. Members of complex teams are less likely to be flexible with workloads, to share knowledge, to help one another complete jobs and meet deadlines, and to share resources. In other words – large teams struggle to collaborate.
Even if you forgo electronic communications and handle things in person, you still run into the problem of potential misunderstanding.
An email update requires the employee to stop, take the time to read the email, and interpret it. A misinterpretation can spell disaster.
An even more damaging scenario unravels if the employee forgets to write things down. An assigned task may seem important enough to remember until a more urgent one comes up.
This is where team collaboration software steps in. A good collaborative solution is vital to projects both small or large. An action as simple as assigning a task can immensely improve the completion rate, and a real-time project dashboard makes sure a worker has timely information regarding what they need to accomplish and when.
In fact, a study shows that teams collaborating virtually can outperform face-to-face teams.
The research team assessed the performance of 80 software companies around the world and found that dispersed teams were more productive than “co-located” teams. Moreover, their communication with other team members was either unaffected or enhanced by being dispersed.If you’re using a team collaboration software, then overlooked emails, missed
If you’re using a team collaboration software, then overlooked emails, missed assignments, and lost messages are a thing of the past.
Assigning and managing tasks with special tools, whether they’re for yourself or other team members, helps everyone to stay focused on the things that matter most to your company, and keeps the stress levels low.
Meetings > Productivity
One of the biggest work management frustrations for anybody working on a team is keeping track of all the small moving parts, including time spent, project status, deadlines, and progress.
While you trust everyone to do their jobs and complete the work in a timely manner, trust does not translate into progress reports for the client.
However, preparing status updates is another task that consumes the time better spent focusing on projects.
A good team collaboration platform enables you to see how many hours have been spent on a client’s projects, and which tasks are completed. This simplifies the inevitable status report: you can export this information as a PDF that can instantly be forwarded to a client.
The Right Hand Doesn’t Know What The Left One Is Doing
In creative endeavors especially, the collaboration between team members is paramount. Sometimes, a task cannot be started until another team member completes their work, and a lack of coordination could mean time wasted rearranging one’s schedule in a desperate attempt to fill that time.
Being able to foresee when every team member will have their essential tasks completed, allows other members to adjust their schedules accordingly, ensuring smooth operation.
By assigning tasks and setting permissions to view what other team members are working on, it is possible to coordinate actions. Moreover, your time is not lost writing, sending, reading, and interpreting emails. Collaboration in the workplace, in general, will thus become shorter, and more meaningful.
Doing More With Less
Team collaboration is an illusory idea of doing more with less. Among other things, working in teams will result in reduced costs, increased capabilities, and more flexibility to adapt to changing requirements.
Commonly, a team’s success or failure reflects the philosophy of top executives in the organization. Teams do well when executives invest in empowering social relationships and demonstrate collaborative behavior themselves.
In large companies with hundreds of employees, relatively few people have the opportunity to observe the behavior of the executives on a day-to-day basis. An established set of rules and project management principles for task management, communication, and reporting set a great example if they are followed by every member of the team.
Working together it is possible to create results that are greater than what can be achieved when working independently. When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, everyone wins!