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Collaborative tools : why this choice ?
Collaborative tools : why this choice ?
Recently, you would have seen our first article on the above subject entitled "Working in a structured, collaborative environment".
Our second article will focus on advancing the reasons that might influence your decision of whether or not to implement structured, collaboration tools in your business or organization.
The primary reason is because such tools provide real, measurable benefits.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the following in your work ?
- responding to all the e-mails you receive.
- managing the daily request of your employees, your incoming phone calls, appointments, business meetings, etc.
- discussing your current work projects with your employees.
- meeting deadlines.
- centralizing and archiving your documents.
Optimizing the way a team works and exchanges information.
A recurring question everyone has asked themselves, at least once, is : how can I work in the most efficient manner, using my time effectively and optimizing my interactions with colleagues ?
We all try, daily and not without difficulty, to accomplish this. Several questions and uncertainties arise :
- What is the best way to communicate ? By e-mail, phone, etc. ?
- Should I contact my staff by phone to make sure they have received the last e-mail I sent them ?
- I have an appointment with a client and I forgot to take my USB drive with a presentation document: how do I get it ?
Impediments to collaborative work
These difficulties amplify even more when we work on several projects at the same time and we need to work with several, and often, remote partners.
Running more than three simultaneous projects while continuing to perform daily to-dos, can quickly become complicated and even problematic.
Used as a single tool to manage your work, e-mail and standard office software (Excel, Word, etc.) become inadequate.
And it is precisely for this reason that we ask ourselves: don't recent advancements in ICT envisage the use of structured, collaborative tools ?
With email as the sole tool for collaborative work, several questions arise :
- Document sharing
Have I received the latest version of the document ? Who sent it to me ? When ? What is the name of the attachment ? The presentation file of our project is too big, how can I send it to my staff and my customers ?
- Collaborative to-dos
Is the person in charge of project communication aware of the latest changes ? Did they receive and read the e-mail that I sent ? What is their progress on this to-do ? Will they complete their work within the deadline ?
Did the webmaster receive my last comments on the latest changes ? Is he/she in agreement ? What does the person in charge of communication think ? How can I find the history of my conversations with the project webmaster ?
The list goes on. This is by no means a reflection of poor organization but simply reflects the complexity of teamwork with multiple partners.
E-mail has undoubtedly been widely successful for the past 20 years, professionally and in our private lives.
Its creation has often been described as "revolutionary". However, it seems that its efficiency is losing ground today, especially with regard to the organization of work.
Collaborative work and the choice of collaborative systems
Today, the progressive implementation of collaborative working solutions should be part of a company's planning.
More and more, communication and Internet media specialists comment on the need to define the characteristics, the nature of teamwork and the structure of possible solutions.
In July, the digital magazine "Comment ça marche?", led a discussion on online collaborative tools for businesses.
In the article, the idea discussed was that the concept of information sharing significantly improves communication between employees and also improves business productivity.
This article details the advantages of implementing collaborative systems within a company related to data in files :
- consulting and editing files on-line at any time.
- search and edit of files available from any computer.
- file synchronization with mobile devices such as Blackberry or Smartphones.
Planzone and collaborative features
Our article asks the question: why choose a collaborative work tool ?
Our responses are the following :
- decreases the number of e-mails in a team.
- favors interactions with colleagues.
- allows traceability of interchanges.
- reduces the time of decision making.
Recognizing the growing interest of collaborative tools and the need to use collaborative platforms, we suggest that you read our series of articles on Planzone's collaborative features to be published in the weeks to follow :
- share, centralize and archive your documents.
- exchange and discuss your projects, activities, to-dos, etc.
- create collective to-dos.
- plan joint events.
Your Planzone team.