From project conception to completion, collaboration is the key to success for any business. Every company and team face its own challenges to achieve effective collaboration.
Technology has redefined how we collaborate, and the ever-growing marketplace shows countless applications for every use case possible. But the same core problems persist from a 15-person startup to a Fortune 100 company. Here are some of the common challenges faced by all:
1. Difficulty finding the right information
It can be a lot easier to find the hole-in-the-wall Italian bistro you visited 11 months ago than it is to find a spreadsheet from accounting from 11 months ago. People spend a considerable amount of their work day finding information, files, or trying to find the right person to talk to. Having a static intranet or email solution isn’t always the answer.
An org chart looks good on paper, but in reality the department head cannot realistically be a CTO and COA (Chief of Answers). Knowledge is as diversified as tasks are. It takes time to find the right person to talk to, and to find the data that person sent you a while ago.
Find a solution that allows you to search your file storage and email in the same search bar. Also be sure you're able to search by person, date, or file type to find what you need fast. Collaborative solutions need to get you to the right person or file as soon as possible.
2. Siloed information and communication between departments
People tend to communicate with their peers in their own departments. By its natural course, information is siloed by department and by team. The expertise that comes from each department can be leveraged by other teams within the company, and each team could be significantly more effective as a result.
“If HP only knew what HP knows, we would be three times more profitable.” - Lew Platt, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard.
This issue is a human tendency rather than a technological one. With collaborative systems making it easy to connect with anyone, there’s no excuse for not cross-collaborating. The fix is in creating a collaborative culture to support employees sharing their knowledge and research with other team members.
3. Difficulty adapting to new systems
When people don’t fully know the capabilities of their system it leads to ineffective employees and less productivity. This most frequently happens for new employees as they transition, and even happens company-wide when a company transitions to any new communication tools, processes, or systems.
Change is difficult when people do not feel comfortable. During the change process, some might not feel like they’re properly equipped, or might just be intimidated by the changes around them.
Change management is strongly correlated with project success. Fostering an environment where people feel comfortable to learn is key.
- Many studies show a significantly higher ROI for projects with change management
- Others show a strong correlation between change management effectiveness and meeting project objectives, staying on schedule and staying on budget.
- Still others find that leadership, employee engagement, and communications are prerequisites for successful changes.
Every company faces its own challenges. If any of these 3 common challenges are evident in your company, take action.
What is the biggest communication or collaboration mishap you’ve seen?