So you have decided to implement a collaborative environment for your business and you are wondering now, how do I start? Of course it would always depend on your enterprise needs, but I’m going to give you some tips and clues to begin with.
The four steps to collaborate
1. First of all you will need to define your goals because it will allow you to settle the problems and the most accurate way to solve them with an appropriate strategy. It may seems obvious that individual and group goals must be completely define to make everyone’s tasks easier to accomplish and follow, but you would be surprised by how many times collaboration becomes a headache due to the lack of organization and planning. So spend all the time you need to learn everything about your target, your goals and the team profile you need.
2. Encourage your team to collaborate. You need to get everyone involved in the project committed to collaborate by being the leader they need: a planner, influencer, a communicative listener with initiative and the empowering person they can rely on. And remember, collaboration it’s not only for employees but for directives also. Give everyone clear directions to understand their tasks and roles in the team and make them realize that everyone in the team is an expert so that they can trust and share with each other. It is important to make everyone aware that authorship is not as important as Team Work and the accomplishment of the tasks, because now their endeavor is a common ground.
3. Draw a plan with all milestones and resources needed. Think of the best collaborative tools, software and/or groupware that will allow you to achieve the best results for your project. This will help you prevent a negative work flow and will allow you to control and monitor the timing and progress of the project. You can set an agenda or schedule to help your team follow up. It is important at this point to schedule the tasks and work flow in a way that individual goals will vanish or fade during the process in favor of the common goal. Of course, the organization and planning of this task itself means a collaborative task, because it requires of all the team participation in the process.
4. If you already have everything settled, goals, team, groups, subgroups, your team’s commitment and willingness, resources and agenda, then it’s time for implementation. Once your team starts collaborating, you will have to monitor and follow, but don’t make yourself a bossy leader, instead, be the vision, the person with the initiative and support they can always count on. You need to deal with everyone’s issues and problems as someone who is listening and giving answers to their needs.
Of course, if you are determined to implement collaboration on your business it’s because you’ve learned that it’s going to help getting a much more productive and effective way to work and to achieve the goals. Planning collaboration means a lot of work for a start, but it gives double in return of the endeavors once it’s started.
This is one of the many possible models suggested for collaboration you can follow, but in my experience, it has proved to be the most worthwhile and profitable structure to plan and implement a collaborative working structure.
Does it work for you?
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