It Starts With Systems: How to Improve Project Collaboration
Your team should be able to operate as a cohesive whole. Unfortunately, when your team lacks access to environmental features and tools that facilitate cohesion, the impact can be damning. While it's important to make sure each employee is capable in their own vertical, this is only step one in building a strong team.
The other important element is empowering the team with the tools they require to function as a unit, rather than a selection of disconnected workers. In fact, the degree to which a team can communicate and collaborate is a critical aspect of group performance.
Collaboration is often enabled by the software and systems. When your team is empowered by your business software platform, employees are better able to share key information. This ensures that staff have access to business-critical data when they need to make sales, service customers, analyze reports, or complete administrative work.
How Project Collaboration Improves Sales and Profitability
Movement of the company towards its current goals is the greatest measure of a company’s current operative ability, and this movement is benefited greatly from access to collaboration tools and shared data. In fact, a survey conducted by fierce Inc. found that 97% of employees believe that the level of collaboration achieved directly impacted the quality of the finished product.
With access to collaborative technologies such as desktop sharing, video conferencing and cloud ERP systems, employers can offer greater flexibility to their team layout, taking greater advantage of remote contributors. Because of the communicative benefits and the accessibility of data in a cloud ERP platform, employees can work together from around the globe, taking advantage of the internet-based and collaboration tools.
By enabling remote communication between the members of your staff and encouraging them to work together, your systems can facilitate greater performance, engagement, and collaboration between the members of your team. Whether they are working from home, the road, or headquarters, your team members can work together on a project, sharing experience and information to yield the best results.
When your employees work together frequently and engage with each other’s collected data, they gain a better understanding of their co-worker’s processes, thus improving best practices. This will translate to time saved, thanks to limited barriers to communication, and reduced hiccups when data or projects exchange hands.
The Critical Role of Data in Project Collaboration
Unless you’re a farmer and its holding grain, silos are a bad thing for business. A silo in the modern business context most often referring to the walls that exist between your departments.
When silos are putting up barriers in your business work process, alignment between departments is limited. Without this alignment and shared goal, departments will find that things such as quotas, objectives, budgets, and current instruction may be out of alignment with other departments.
If your business uses multiple systems for individual departments, sharing files for collaboration can be incredibly difficult. Efforts to move files between individuals often results in duplicate files and contesting versions, leaving users to guess at which represents the most current information.
To get your team sharing files more efficiently, you need systems that support your collaboration. By having a cloud based solution through which employees can collaborate on the same files and data in real-time, you eliminate the problem of competing versions, ensuring you have the one true version of a document.
When working from different data silos, team members often repeat work unnecessarily. By removing the walls between their data and departments, businesses can ensure that tasks are only done once. By providing your entire team with a unified view of operations, you improve the accuracy and effectiveness of the work being done.
The ‘Telephone’ Problem with a Disconnected Workflow
When corporate information is locked away behind department walls in relegated data silos, collaboration comes to a standstill when your team stumbles in their efforts to confirm the accuracy of the data. In fact, you can think of the problems with this disconnected workflow like those experienced in the childhood game ‘telephone.’
If you aren’t familiar with the game, one child whispers a sentence in the ear of the child next, and so on until it reaches the last child in line. The last child then says the sentence as they heard it and compares it to the message of the original child. The message is often highly warped from its original form.
With a disconnected workflow, you are putting your data at the same risk because you are essentially playing the same game of telephone, but with your key business data as it moves from one department to the next. When your team is not on the same page, the common goal is lost in translation, and you suffer for it.
Breaking Down Data Barriers with an ERP System
Every member of your team should be able to access the critical data they require to service customers with excellence, regardless of the department this data is meant to exist within. When your systems are unified, your staff can empower each other to engage customers and make sales. While it can take time for these benefits to be realised, when they are in a unified system like an ERP platform, things run smoothly and employees collaborate.