Collaboration is an integral part of any successful team. However, in the modern workplace, creating a collaborative environment requires action. Whether your team is office-based or works remotely, providing a platform for your team to collaborate and communicate is more important than ever.
An organisation must conquer a few challenges to create a collaborative environment. Not only should it adapt to keep up with digitalisation, but it must consider the needs of a remote workforce. For a competitive business, the traditional idea of getting together in a room with pen and paper seems just a touch outdated - so what's the solution?
Collaborative work management (CWM) software provides your team with a platform to collaborate successfully, no matter where individuals are located. Moreover, the features and functions included with collaboration software are invaluable for project management.
Are you still weighing up the pros and cons of collaboration software? In this article, we'll break down the reasons why it is essential for your team's productivity.
Why team collaboration is important
The visible outcome of either teamwork or collaboration is often the same, though it's essential to understand the differences between the two.
Although teamwork involves working as part of a team, individuals generally have separate responsibilities. Team members contribute to the overall task or outcome but can work individually on their separate tasks or responsibility to achieve it.
On the other hand, collaboration is the process of two or more people working together to achieve a shared outcome or goal. In collaborative teams, individuals work together with shared responsibilities.
Collaboration between team members and across different departments can have a profound impact on motivation, morale and productivity, and it encourages creativity and innovation. Team collaboration is built on a foundation of transparent communication and strong relationships developed through trust.
What is a collaboration software?
No matter the project, you'll likely be managing many people within a team with different roles and responsibilities. Luckily, to help manage those different moving parts, there are work management tools that can help you to manage effectively.
Collaboration software can help with an extensive range of management tasks, whether you're accessing reports and data, assigning responsibilities, creating timelines or measuring costs. It provides a platform for your team to collaborate without interruption and communicate clearly. It is particularly useful if individuals are located in different areas, operate fully remotely or work in a mix of office and remote environments (hybrid working).
How does collaboration software work?
Most collaboration softwares share common features, making it more challenging to commit to one tool. Although features vary, they all attempt to achieve the same outcome: to maximise team efficiency. Here are some of the key features to look out for:
- File/document sharing – collaboration software provides one place for all your project-related files and documents. Using the platform, team members can easily share documents and access them from any device or location. Plus, you don't need to search through email threads to access documents.
- Real-time data accessibility and reporting – use the software to access interactive reports and dashboards easily. Plus, you can view this information across different projects.
- Project planning and tracking – use project planning and tracking features to monitor and manage team progress. For planning, you can use built-in templates to create project workflow. In tracking, you can distribute deadlines, timeframes and task owners. Plus, you can award a priority for each task.
- Smart messaging – collaboration tools use tag-based messaging and updates for easier, faster communications. Using the tool, teams can tag and update each other straight from the project, specific task or announcement.
Five benefits of collaboration software
1. Optimises team productivity
With collaboration software, you can keep everything project related in one place. You can share documents, track goals and assignments and send messages. When everything is located in one place, your team will save time sifting through confusing email threads and searching for documents. Plus, your team can use task automation to save time on menial and repetitive tasks such as calendar updates. This frees up your team to concentrate on more meaningful tasks.
2. Visualises project progress and plans
You can access real-time data and interactive reports and dashboards using collaborative software for a quick update on assignment progression. With easy-to-read visuals, you and your team can access this information for quick, simple updates, enabling you to take action, identify areas for improvement and celebrate successes.
3. Unites your team
The right software can help build relationships and trust in your team. By creating a collaborative culture and precise communication methods, your team will be better equipped to work together, problem-solve and coordinate project plans.
4. Collaboration support
It's all in the name. Collaboration software helps you to foster collaboration within your team through supportive measures. Additional features for collaboration support include virtual whiteboards, brainstorming tools, messaging functions and customisable templates. Collaboration features work alongside task management tools and content management capabilities to create the ultimate work management platform.
5. Strengthens company culture
Establish a strong collaborative culture in your business, and you will reap the benefits. Behind an effective collaborative culture are strong team member relationships, higher engagement levels and greater trust. Collaboration platforms provide a place for your team to problem solve and build bonds as they work together in a productive, collaborative way to achieve a shared goal.
This is just the beginning of what you can do with collaboration software. Contact us to learn how our team of experts can help you choose the right software for your team and help you drive collaboration in your organisation.