Effective Collaboration Strategies
To instill a dynamic of productive collaboration in the workplace, you need a game plan in the form of an enterprise collaboration system.
It’s naive to expect harmonious teamwork and cross-functional synergy in your company at the click of a finger. If you don’t know how to collaborate effectively within your company, or it plays second fiddle to independent work, you’ll benefit from implementing systems and strategies.
So what are the most effective collaboration strategies? In this guide, we’ll address some of the best tools, systems, and strategies to encourage productive collaboration. We’ll also touch upon features of effective collaboration to give you an idea of what successful teamwork looks like.
5 strategies for effective collaborative project management
If you’re ready to achieve better results, cast aside old principles, and ring in changes to encourage collaboration, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Provide real-time updates
To achieve effective collaboration in the workplace, everyone from the individual team members to their leaders and senior management needs to stay in the loop. Successful collaboration requires seamlessly moving forward as a single unit. Obstacles to progress, such as a lack of transparency and real-time updates, can hinder productivity.
When everyone is able to stay on the same page, seeing what their coworkers are working on and sharing information in real time, projects fly along the pipeline unimpeded.
94% of employees say that productivity levels are higher when they can see what their colleagues are working on. As such, not only do real-time updates keep everyone heading in the same direction and working from the most recent stopping points, but they also help employees produce their best work.
2. Use shared documents
These days, if your team doesn’t use cloud-based software, you’re probably missing out. Consider the example of a tool like Google Docs and the impact it can have on collaboration. Pre-cloud software, to share a document with a colleague and solicit input or suggestions, you’d have to save it, store it, and send it. Then, your coworker would do the same once they’d finished with it. But there’s a problem with this system: it slows you down.
One mistake pre-cloud meant frantically calling or messaging a coworker to inform them, wasting both employees’ time and causing a temporary bottleneck in the pipeline. Today, with a tool like Google Docs, you can have multiple coworkers in the same document simultaneously. Suggestions can be approved in an instant, greatly accelerating progress and allowing for real-time collaboration.
94% of those surveyed by GoodFirms used Google Drive, which goes to show how useful the software is and how many people are already familiar with it.
3. Embrace the cloud
There are many reasons to migrate your company’s data to a cloud-based system. For a start, unlike physical servers, the cloud isn’t affected by severe weather and doesn’t require any maintenance on your part. Storing information on the cloud also gives everyone in your team — and in different departments — instant access to past and present tasks and projects.
The cloud is like a bridge from the past to the future, and the most appealing aspect of it is that employees can drop in and out, editing and sharing files in real time. Gone are the days of feverishly refreshing email inboxes to see if the latest draft for a project with a looming deadline has come through yet.
4. Plan ahead
Effective collaboration requires more than present focus; you need to plan ahead and factor in upcoming tasks and projects to keep your pipeline free-flowing. For many, visualizing future projects with charts can be useful, whereas, for others, a simple weekly or monthly schedule will suffice. One thing that’s universally true is that being able to sync up calendars with your coworkers dramatically improves team cohesion.
Cloud-based calendars allow for collective planning and let you and your team members plot out major and minor milestones along the way. They can provide direction to the team and indicate whether or not you’re hitting your goals regarding budget and timeline.
5. Rely on the right tools
The common thread between these tips and strategies — the glue that holds them all together — is project management software. With the right project management tool, you can do all of the following:
- View real-time progress on projects
- Quickly share and edit files
- Store documents in the cloud
- Plan for the future with timelines and calendar integration
And it doesn’t end there. Wrike, a leading project management tool, offers a comprehensive array of features fit for effective collaboration. For example, you can use templates to save time and speed up workflows, create custom dashboards for each team, and view reports built upon real data.
Sign up today for a free two-week Wrike trial, and see how it can help you implement successful collaboration strategies.