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Last updated on 12/9/20

Use collaborative tools

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A team needs to be organized, communicate and cooperate. Collaborative tools make all these actions easier. It’s impossible today to work as a team without using them!

Collaborative tools have revolutionized teamwork because they enable:

  • several team members to work on the same task

  • added value by team members

  • substantial time savings

  • visible progress of the overall project

The advantages of these tools compared to traditional tools

1) Communication is simplified

23% of staff think that e-mails adversely affect their productivity, and dealing can consume 28% of their total working time!

E-mails have revolutionized work communications, but using an instant messager or chat tool organized into projects is much more practical!

Unlike e-mails, you no longer have to use opening and closing formulas like “Hello”, “Yours sincerely”, etc. on each message. You talk to your colleagues, suppliers and customers in a continuous thread, as in a conversation on Facebook or by text, using shorter, more immediate messages. You can also add smileys, GIFs, images, etc.

2) Information sharing is more fluid and meeting times are reduced

Using a collaborative working tool, information is transparent and circulates as a matter of course, as the work is performed live: task management, file sharing, documents to be modified, internal and external reports and comments, etc.

3) Work organization and task tracking are simplified

Who is doing what? How far have we got to go? Have the requested tasks been completed? Is there a hold-up? Are the deadlines being met? The more people there are working on a project, the more difficult it is to keep track of progress and of the contribution of each of the stakeholders in the project. Collaborative task management tools make it easy to track deadlines and to prioritize.

4) Documents are always up to date and secure

How can one be sure that documents are secure? Knowing which is the latest version of a document can be a real headache. A collaborative cloud lets you have access to all your documents from anywhere, but also to always be up to date through synchronization, with the simple management of secure access.

5) They are easy to use

The operation of current collaborative tools is actually very intuitive, and you can get started all on your own – so jump right in!

Which tools to use?

Most companies invest in a collaborative platform that lets them have all their tools in a single workspace. Smaller structures can use several free tools, where the available features are more limited, but which can still support team working.

There are several types of collaborative tools. Many of them offer a free package that later requires payment depending on the options, storage volume, number of participants, etc. Several of them, particularly the platforms, combine several functions:

  • shared diary

  • e-mail system

  • instant messaging or chat

  • video conference

  • discussion area, forum

  • newsfeed

  • task manager

  • workflows

  • Knowledge Management solutions, a collaborative document database: professional wikis

  • meeting tracking tool

  • brainstorming tool

  • interactive Mindmapping,

  • collective decision support tool offering a voting system

  • team and external customer project feedback

  • project-based collaborative workspaces,

  • office application suite: spreadsheet, text editor

Collaborative tools don’t replace interpersonal relationships!

It’s undeniable that collaborative tools facilitate and stimulate teamwork as long as they are chosen carefully, and there are a limited number of them. By making information easier to pass along, more transparent and immediate, collaborative tools can:

  • reduce the number of face-to-face encounters, and hence the risk of conflicts over routine tasks; and

  • make it possible to improve the quality of exchanges, which can turn into more value-added topics.

Summary

Collaborative tools have several advantages over traditional tools:

  • communication is simplified;

  • information sharing is more fluid and meeting times are reduced;

  • work organization and task tracking are simplified;

  • documents are always up to date and secure;

  • they are easy to use.

The idea behind collaborative tools is to share data and pool collective intelligence. This needs to occur within the context of presence-based relationships. The relationship skills you’ve been working on in the preceding sections are more vital than ever when working in a team, and particularly when it involves delegating and the distribution of tasks, which is coming up next!  😁

Example of certificate of achievement
Example of certificate of achievement