Pick the Right Collaboration Tool … Collaboratively

If you enjoy lists that are too long to be helpful and incessant targeted ads, you're going to love Googling "online collaboration tools."

It's impossible to overstate the pandemic's impact on demand for remote workflow solutions. As some of us return to the office and others stay remote, the need to keep our hybrid teams connected and productive isn't going away. If the past 15 months proved anything, it's that how we function as a team is a digital work in progress. The collaboration tool of choice is now one of your organization's most significant decisions.

At T/K, teamwork is kind of our whole thing. We pulled together a few considerations we've gathered from our experience to guide your thinking through the process and help streamline your search.

Collaborative tools support teamwork, so get your entire team in on the decision-making process at the beginning. If everyone is using a solution, it needs to meet everyone's needs. 

Picture the ideal in-person workflow of your team; You're searching for the solution that facilitates that same process digitally. By auditing your current project processes and taking inventory of the tools your team already uses, you can identify what features to prioritize in your search.

Consider the challenges of your current workflow. Where do projects typically get delayed? Where do disconnects exist? Every collaboration tool you shortlist should correspond with specific, identifiable problem fixes for your staff. 

Make a list of what you need to integrate with. Interoperability and compatibility equate to company-wide accessibility. A tool may work wonders for one department, but if outside contributors can't access it, you've only created a streamlined silo within your larger operation. Think also about what tools your clients and customers use. Ensuring seamless integration between your solution platform and external tools fosters reliable communication and productivity. 

Keep in mind that collaboration tools are support systems. How your staff functions on an interpersonal level has the deepest impact. Since you're already taking the time to evaluate your solution options, also seize the opportunity to scrutinize your processes, team dynamics and expectations.

What do productive collaborative behaviors look like for your team? Are responsibilities allocated in the most functional way? Does every team member have a clear understanding of their role individually and in the grand scheme? Clearly establish processes, job roles and expectations for how collaboration should occur with your new tool.

Change can be tricky, and it doesn't occur overnight. As you navigate this process within your organization, use this blog to guide your selection process and implementation plan. 


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