When investing in collaboration, it's important to first consider the technology that will be used to bring the collaborative teams together. Here are three of the major considerations.
1. Decide What You Want to Deliver and to Whom
In collaboration, goals need to be aligned before any work can be done. Effective collaboration begins by determining the success cases for the collaboration: what is the final deliverable? At this point, it's a good idea to drill down to exacting standards:
- What: When does the product need to be delivered?
- How: What does the collaboration need to provide the product?
- Who: Who is receiving the product and what are their specifications?
2. Understand the Collaboration “Must-Haves”
Everyone has a horror story about a collaboration that didn't work well. Perhaps the video conferencing was a nightmare - maybe no one could receive their documents in time or properly sync their files. For a good collaboration, there are a few "must-haves" that need to be met: intuitive user experiences, secured accessibility, and easy management. Even with the most talented team in your corner, you can't be expected to get anything done if your technology is actively working against you.
True collaboration - especially on a global scale - requires that all users be able to easily communicate, trade files, sync files, and find the information that they need. A collaborative system has to be well-secured to protect intellectual property, employee information, and financial data, and it has to be easily managed so that project leads can quickly check-in on progress and allocate resources. Without these must-have components, the process of collaboration becomes difficult and less productive.
3. Start With the Right Foundation
The goal of collaborative technologies is to make it as easy as possible for employees to communicate and share. Modern collaborative technologies create a single universal experience that all team members can use as an even playing field and a strong foundation on which to build. Collaboration requires that each team member be approaching a program in some universal medium. Through video conferencing, call controls, monitoring, analytics, and gateways, collaboration technology can provide this type of shared working environment in an entirely virtual space.
With clear goals, the right technology, and an appropriate foundation, you'll be have all the workings for a successful collaboration. After building out your collaborative system, the rest will all be up to your talented team members.