Ever since childhood, we’ve been encouraged to work together. Whether this was in the school play, a sports team or a class project together, kids are brought up to know and appreciate the value of team collaboration.
They may not have realized it at the time, but by teaching us how to collaborate we were also being prepared for success in the work world, too. Collaboration is one of the best skills you can have, no matter how much you’re required to work with others on a day-to-day basis: collaboration helps business growth, amplifies creativity and makes businesses more efficient.
How does team collaboration save time?
Team collaboration saves time by making communication more efficient - a lot more efficient. Working together on projects naturally promotes an open dialogue among team members. By making everyone feel like they have a voice, more ideas are brought to the table and creativity is amplified.
By bringing together a group of people, you’re not just bringing together a group of creative ideas, but you’re also bringing together a group of mistakes. Completing projects isn’t just about the wins, it’s about how well you navigate the path to the wins - and a lot of that has to do with avoiding errors that will waste your time. Colleagues who have been down unsuccessful or inefficient paths can help the rest of their team avoid them, completing work faster.
There are ways you can make collaborating with team members even more efficient. All of the stages of feedback should have strict deadlines in place to avoid a never-ending communication cycle. We’ve all been stuck in a feedback loop that looks like this:
1. The first phase of a project is completed and is sent to stakeholders for feedback
2. Questions, concerns and suggestions are exchanged
3. Changes are made to phase one of the project; the updated version is sent to stakeholders for approval again
4. One of the stakeholders forgot to check their email and has more changes that need to be added
5. The project is updated again and sent back to the stakeholders
6. The latest version is sent to the next set of stakeholders and the process begins again
7. Repeat ad nauseam
By setting and enforcing deadlines for feedback, projects will be kept on track while still getting the benefit of the whole group’s creative ideas.
Using the right kind of team collaboration software
Team collaboration isn’t just about working together, but using the right tools to work together. The best kind of collaborative software lets users work on the same document at the same time. Real-time collaborative software has a ton of benefits for teams:
• All stakeholders are kept in the loop so they can see all the changes that are made to a project
• Working on the same document almost eliminates waiting for feedback
• Questions can get answered in seconds, avoiding long wait times
• Approvals happen in real time so projects can progress to the next stage faster
Collaboration software that’s cloud based has even more benefits. Teams can be located anywhere, from the other side of the office to the other side of the world. Offices today are as much a concept as they are a physical space, and software for team projects should reflect the same kind of agility. Using cloud-based collaboration software breaks down the walls between collaborators and lets everyone feel like they’re working in the same conference room.
Cloud-based solutions are also great for teams because they’re a single source of truth for all ongoing projects. Nothing is more up to date than real time, and collaborative software that’s based in the cloud gets updated with every change to keep everyone involved on the same page. And if any collaborators leave the company, all the information stays in the same place.
Mobile apps with collaborative features take the collaboration game up a level. Working on the go makes you an efficiency powerhouse, ensuring you never miss a project update and can stay involved in every stage of a project’s life. Collaboration apps keep your entire portfolio in the palm of your hand.
The 5 best collaborative platforms
We’ve put together a list of the best collaborative software for businesses. From project management to the spoken word, there’s a cloud-based software that’s right for any business.
Michael Nelson-Wolter, Marketing Manager
Michael worked for 8+ years as a manual transcriber in the US and UK before building an in-house transcription department for a mobile-to-web software company. He then moved to content marketing and now works in digital marketing. Michael loves to write about emerging technology, digital trends and the ways technology makes our lives easier.