Collaboration remains a hot topic because it still works. In fact our CEO recently wrote a guest post on Inc.com stating that collective wisdom, crowdsourcing, and project collaboration are essential for the growth of a business or movement today — they should be integral parts of every company's DNA in order to survive and thrive.
If you look at the factors that enable collaboration to occur on a massive scale, you’ll see three main trends shaping project collaboration and driving the adoption of new tools in many organizations. Let’s take a look at these trends one by one:
Trend 1: Remote Work is Rapidly Spreading
Today, the fact that I can easily decide to work from home as needed is a huge change for me. Ten years ago, that would’ve been impossible with the companies I was working for and with the technology available to me. But you don't need to look back that far to notice how the times have changed.
Wrike recently surveyed over 1,000 employees and discovered that 43% of them currently spend more time working remotely than they did 2-3 years ago. Moreover, 80% of respondents now deal with remote workers on a daily basis, either working with distributed colleagues, or as remote workers themselves.
These figures show remote collaboration growing and infiltrating the workplace at an impressive pace.
And this growth isn't exclusive to specific industries or organization sizes, either. It's becoming more and more common for every kind of business to have people collaborating across multiple locations.
Trend 2: Accidental Project Managers are Multiplying
Then there is the rise of the “accidental project manager” — those who must take on a project management role out of necessity. They usually lack any formal certification in PM, or may be new to established PM methodologies and practices. According to our survey on remote collaboration, 70% of accidental project managers have no special training or certificate when they take on the role.
Which means, there are entire groups of people tasked with project success who may not have time for formal training. Therefore, they need to do several things quickly to hit the ground running, such as: find educational resources to their increase knowledge, adopt a more collaborative environment in order to learn from colleagues, and find the most efficient tools and technology to support that collaboration. Which brings us to cloud services...
Trend 3: Collaboration is Increasingly Done via Cloud Collaboration Tools
Remote teams battle challenges that co-located colleagues typically don’t have to worry about. Such challenges include inefficient coordination, reduced visibility into one another’s work, and, as a group, the inability to maintain high velocity.
To combat these obstacles, the online services industry — A.K.A. cloud collaboration services — has boomed, allowing teams with remote members to continue working together efficiently. Instead of storing files in network drives that would require VPN access for remote workers, file storage services such as Dropbox or Box can be used securely. In place of lobbing different versions of a Microsoft Word document back and forth through email, Google Drive can be used. Then there are communication tools like Skype and Google Hangouts to facilitate meetings, as well as work management tools like Wrike enterprise collaboration software that help teams delegate tasks and coordinate projects both large and small.
Cost-effective technology now exists that enables remote collaboration without breaking the bank. In fact, these tools are often free in their simplest versions, with tiered pricing based on an organization’s needs.
Now Build a Better Team
Understanding these three growing trends can help you better understand the landscape in which collaboration occurs so you can enhance the way your own organization collaborates.
Now it’s your turn. What factors affect how you presently collaborate with your team? Hit the comments and share.