No two organizations use technology the same way, and this is especially true when it comes to employee collaboration. Whether it’s within a department with everyone working remotely, or across departments that might be headquartered in different locations, collaboration is essential to making decisions, taking corrective action, and getting the job done. That’s why we were so excited when our friends at Atlassian teamed up with Forrester Consulting to conduct a global survey about collaborative work management that is powered by technology. This inspired us to further examine what goes into doing remote collaboration right.
How Can Online Collaboration Tools Lead to Productive Teamwork?
85% of collaboration software users are more likely to identify as being happy at work than their non-software-using counterparts at other organizations. How do collaboration apps transform the employee experience to lead to such higher satisfaction? There are four main ways online collaboration tools lead to productive and satisfying teamwork:
- Process: At a basic level, online collaboration tools help define and continuously improve collaboration processes, as well as make it easier to get feedback.
- Culture: Online tools make it easier and more natural for employees to be in touch with higher-ups like executives. The same is true of communicating across departments that might be spread out or in different locations.
- Strategy: When used with intention, online collaboration tools help improve employee productivity and customer experience through consistent and effective use.
- Technology: Cloud solutions and automation make repetitive tasks simpler and more efficient, while cutting-edge apps are easy for everyone to use, even those who aren’t well-versed in technology.
It’s important to note these benefits occur along a spectrum of digital maturity. For those just starting out with online collaboration, getting your process and company culture improved are part of the early stages. Once everyone is comfortable and competent, more robust solutions can help you achieve the most potential using online collaboration.
What is Required for Using Online Collaboration Tools?
The technical and organizational requirements for using a new digital collaboration tool depend in part on the type of tool, and also the complexity of your work environment. If you are deploying a simple tool in the office, there may not be much training or technical support needed. But setting up the same simple tool when everyone is working remotely on their own devices and with their own individual tech could get more complicated. We see three basic elements that might be needed to achieve success using online collaboration tools:
- Dedicated Internal IT Resources: Many organizations rely on internal IT staff to set up new technology on physical or remote workstations, as well as to troubleshoot the technology if anything goes wrong.
- Third Party Consultants and Service Providers: Sometimes a third party consultant can also be valuable as support for in-house staff. This is especially true when specialties like cloud servers, remote workstations, or cybersecurity and data protection enter the equation. It may be more efficient and beneficial to call on outside experts when needed versus making a full-time hire.
- Centralized Collaboration Team: Lastly, the Atlassian and Forrester survey found that as digital maturity advances, many leading organizations benefit from an internal team specifically dedicated to digital collaboration. These cross-functional teams, led by a dedicated collaboration manager, enable firms to improve on planning and delivery capabilities.
Types of Collaboration Tools
There are different types of apps and tech tools that enable collaboration. It can be helpful to think of these in three different categories:
- Administration Automation: Removing routine or repetitive tasks from employees’ workloads enables them to be more available for team members and high-impact tasks.
- Information Automation: Everything from notifications about necessary approvals to insights about customer satisfaction or sales pipeline can be collected and distributed through automation. This doesn’t just free up human talent from repetitive tasks, but gives employees the information they need to make the best possible decisions.
- Customer-Facing Automation: Advice or assistance for simple customer requests can be automated, leaving employees free to work on more complex requests or focus forward on the next great initiative that will keep customers satisfied.
These layers of collaborative automation often build on top of one another, scaffolding employees and the company culture through the learning curve of better collaboration. By the time your team is confident to automate customer-facing tasks, administration and information sharing automation might be well-established processes. Moser offers many services to help with this alignment.
Our Operations Design services align your IT tools with management, metrics, and development methods. This helps IT organizations lower the cost of IT projects, deliver real value quickly, and improve investment decisions- and developers will love you for it. We can show you how to create a product-based structure that reduces costly hand-offs, improves IT value delivery, and makes the best use of your organization’s talent.
The best collaboration tools cut down on coordination efforts by letting the technology do the work. In development, they speed up or even replace time-consuming processes like manual testing and re-work. They can even help a team move from high-risk quarterly releases to continuous value delivery.
It is important to minimize disruption during modernization. Incremental changes in cultural, process, and technical dimensions that are all part of the bigger plan can each yield radical improvements. Moser uses techniques like Constraint Theory and Lean Process Modeling, in addition to Agile methodology, to identify opportunities and craft solutions unique to your organization.
Collaborative Application Development
The Moser Development Team has the experience you need to manage the entire spectrum of application development, from the discovery and planning of a comprehensive interactive strategy to the development and testing of your online collaboration tools and their optimization.
We work with you to identify specific goals for interacting with customers or employees online to gain a full understanding of all the underlying processes your web applications need to meet those goals. It is critically important today that your applications conform to user expectations for input controls, navigational and informational components, and the containers in which they are presented. We use our deep technical expertise and many years of practical experience to design a user interface for your application that is never frustrating. Every great website and mobile application starts with a strategy, and that is where Moser will start when we develop for your business.
Moser Consulting also provides existing resources and customized solutions in the areas of project management, team-building, and leadership development. Now more than ever, success in business depends on building effective teams outside the tech tools they use to get work done. If you have teams that struggle with communication, cannot seem to resolve conflicts or have difficulty making decisions your company’s performance is suffering and no collaboration tool will fix it.
By tackling the tough issues that reduce the effectiveness of leaders, teams, and individuals, we deliver measurable improvement resulting in an increased return on investment (ROI), higher employee engagement, better performance, and greater innovation.
Deploy Effective Virtual Collaboration Tools with Moser Consulting
Using technology to collaborate better is as much about the strategy for deployment and training as it is about the specific tools you choose to use. That’s why you need a great partner to listen to the needs of your business and support your team through the journey to greater collaboration. For more on how effective collaboration solutions can help your business thrive, contact Moser Consulting here!
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