As companies grow, employees find themselves working not only with the people who sit nearby, but with people who might work in other cities, live in other countries, report to different managers or, in some cases, all of the above. In these cases, collaboration becomes simultaneously more important and more difficult.
Why Is Collaboration So Important?
At the enterprise level, when an organization has dozens or hundreds of projects underway at any given time, project teams are typically large and decentralized. To further complicate matters, enterprise project managers are often a step removed from the day-to-day work—they may have advanced skills in certain disciplines as well as in project management itself, but they are not expected to provide subject matter expertise. This means that team members must be able to rely on each other to find solutions to unexpected challenges and to provide support during time-sensitive project phases.
For any of this to happen, project team members must have multiple ways of interacting with each other, whether in real time or across 12-hour time zone differences. An enterprise project team also needs a centralized resource where team members can always find the current project plan, timeline, and discussions on project tasks. These critical needs have driven the movement toward today’s cloud-based online collaboration tools.
Choosing the Right Enterprise Collaboration Tool
No matter how committed an organization is to promoting collaboration, its efforts will only be as effective as the collaboration tool it uses.
An instant messaging application, for example, is ideally suited to help employees get quick answers to simple questions. But what happens when two employees have a lengthy IM exchange regarding an ongoing project? Unless the organization provides a broader solution for workplace collaboration, only the employees who were directly involved in the exchange will ever see it, no matter how useful the conversation might be to other members of the team.
In order to maximize the benefits of enterprise collaboration, companies should use a sophisticated cloud-based project management platform like Clarizen. Clarizen offers users the ability to link projects with work products and communications from a wide range of channels, collaborating and having conversations that provide full context and unprecedented visibility into the current state of any project.
By pulling together an otherwise disconnected islands of activity – collection of emails, instant messages, documents and other materials – Clarizen allows project managers, team members and external partners to benefit from each other’s insights and expertise in a way that was never before possible.