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When enterprise organizations look for ways to improve their project performance and gain a competitive advantage, one of the first places they are likely to look is workplace collaboration. In only a few years, enterprise collaboration has gone from being a relatively obscure concept to one of the most important issues on the minds of executives and project managers. Effective collaboration breaks down silos within companies and enables team members to work faster and better.

If your organization needs to enhance its workplace engagement and collaboration capabilities, be sure that you consider the points below as you develop your new collaboration plan.

collaboration plan

Organizational Goals
Before you choose a collaboration tool or begin communicating your collaboration strategy to employees, take the time to define the specific goals your organization would like to achieve through workplace collaboration. Will project teams use the collaboration tool to schedule meetings, share project updates, conduct meetings, edit documents or all of the above? Not only will this help build the business case for implementing a new solution, it will allow you to determine whether your collaboration plan is meeting your needs once it is in place.

Tools
It goes without saying that an enterprise collaboration strategy can only succeed if the organization uses the right collaboration tools. Whether you are looking for a stand-alone collaboration tool or a comprehensive enterprise project management and collaboration solution like Clarizen, be sure that your software has the capabilities to connect widely-dispersed teams and integrate with your other systems. Don’t forget to consider the advantages of a cloud-based solution compared to older, on-premise collaboration tools.

Roles and Responsibilities
Make sure that your collaboration plan lays out how project managers and other team members should use the company’s collaboration tool. While most organizations allow some flexibility in this regard, it’s a good idea to define how and when project documents will be created, and how they should be organized within the project management solution.

Onboarding and Training
No matter how thoughtfully you’ve defined your goals and how technologically advanced your collaboration software may be, you can only reap the benefits if your employees know the tools are available and understand how they should be using them. Plan out how the new collaboration strategy will be rolled out to project teams and other groups within the organization, including initial communications, training sessions and online resource availability. It’s also a good idea to provide information on the collaboration platform for new hires, so that they get on their feet and start contributing as quickly as possible.

Jen Howard
Jen is responsible for Clarizen's corporate positioning, market awareness and global events. She is a marketing professional with a proven track record of executing comprehensive marketing strategies to support business goals and objectives for technology start-ups. Most recently, Jen was corporate marketing manager at Marketo (NASDAQ: MKTO), where she was responsible for media coverage, analyst relations, the CEO’s social media profile and corporate events. Previously, Jen was the marketing and events manager at Autonet Mobile, the first internet-based telematics company and wireless internet service provider designed for vehicles (now part of Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA). Jen holds a B.A. in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara.