11 Ways to Collaborate More Effectively

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 08-05-2014 Email Print this article Print

We've frequently reported in this space how organizations are seeking greater collaboration among CIOs, other managers and professionals. In fact, an estimated 46 percent of C-level decision-makers plan to increase budgets to acquire better collaborative technology. And two of five business managers are adapting workplace models to become more collaborative. Such efforts are geared to address lingering needs, as nearly 40 percent of employees say there isn't enough collaboration in the workplace, and 43 percent of users feel frustrated and overwhelmed by current collaborative tech tools. Clearly, CIOs must pursue better IT solutions to create an optimal collaborative environment. But they can't forget about the people factor either, as human-focused processes can make or break collaborative team performance. Given this, we've compiled the following qualities of effective collaboration. They were adapted from online resources posted by Gartner and GroupMind Solutions, a collaboration consultancy and IT solutions company. For more about the Gartner best practices, click here. For more about GroupMind's, click here.

  • Responsible Parties

    Assign roles in writing for all needed research before a collaboration session, as well as the action steps afterward.
    Responsible Parties
  • Wide Net

    Don't limit your idea pool to solely the collaboration team. Use crowdsourcing and other social media tools to gather additional input.
    Wide Net
  • Clear Consensus

    Get the team to agree upon all key, relevant terms so there are no misinterpretations which will lead to confusion-causing bottlenecks.
    Clear Consensus
  • Reverse Course

    Determine a desired result, and then work backwards to illustrate the steps needed to get there.
    Reverse Course
  • Solicit Comments

    Encourage candid feedback from collaboration partners on their confidence rating of proposed actions.
    Solicit Comments
  • User Friendly

    Gather user perspectives throughout the planning and execution stages because any outcomes will need to address their needs—the way they need them addressed.
    User Friendly
  • Current Thinking

    Use collaborative IT which ensures that all shared, accessed documents are the most recent versions.
    Current Thinking
  • Ways and Means

    Always include complete details about methodologies within documents.
    Ways and Means
  • Transparency

    Provide complete transparency for stakeholders throughout the entire project, not after everything is finished.
  • Appreciative Gestures

    To generate enthusiasm, create a shared, online resource which charts milestone accomplishments as they happen. And duplicate this on a large, public display in the office.
    Appreciative Gestures
  • It's a Team Effort

    Encourage rewards which benefit and recognize all team members—not just certain individuals.
    It's a Team Effort
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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