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5 ways collaborative technologies boost operations and productivity

Gain more business value by embedding these tools in your processes and drive your team to perform smarter and faster. By Satyaki Sarkar

The size and scale of business operations is continuously increasing, and so is the workforce that is involved in the several different processes. This makes enhanced collaboration and efficient coordination a vital operational necessity. Collaborative softwares tap into that need and help leaders and managers achieve that goal and transform workplace performance. They help improve productivity, decision-making and innovation, and have a host of other benefits.

1. Quicker execution and processing
Collaborative softwares make communication among colleagues across departments and sectors easy and straightforward, eliminating the need for physical proximity or the use an external method of communication. As such, it makes the entire execution and implementation process a lot faster and well co-ordinated. Knowledge sharing between employees becomes a lot easier, developments can be minutely monitored, and problems can be quickly nipped in the bud so as to avoid disasters. All of this reduces the time to market and increases the speed of improvements, helping address competitive challenges faster, and improves the utilisation of resources to drive productivity and profits.

2. Enhanced transparency and clarity
Using these softwares employees can stay updated on the individual and team progress made, the errors, challenges, and shortcomings faced, any unprecedented changes in the process, as well as the goals meant to be achieved on a real time basis. This lets managers properly monitor employee functioning, so as to keep superiors, clients and customers up to date on what’s in the works, and offer valuable inputs and feedback, as and when necessary. As such, these tools ensure complete transparency at all times, which not only improves internal efficiency, but also makes it easier to integrate clients into the project processes so that they can monitor the project’s implementation.

3. Improved crisis management
Managers can use the collaboration softwares to keep employees prepared and ready to handle whatever emergency arises, without having to rely on other time-consuming and inefficient modes of communication. There can be monthly or weekly drills. Not only does this help bring down the time needed to handle and properly mitigate a crisis, but it also helps the team become familiar with the kind of situations that they might face, and as a result, trains them to recognise potential threats, errors, and first degree bugs that can be fixed before the situation escalates. They can also receive support, interact with experts and team members, and receive directives, all at the same time to ensure the situation doesn’t get worse.

4. Efficiency in outsourcing and information flow
While collaborative softwares greatly increase transparency within and outside the organisation, they can also be used to restrict access. As such, it makes information flow extremely easy to control, thereby helping simplify the process of outsourcing work to external vendors. Project managers can directly monitor the amount of information that is critical to the task at hand and allow vendors access to it, while restricting access to other more sensitive, confidential data. Information can be accessed by the external team directly, without having to go through multiple layers of security filters. Because of this, coordination between external and internal teams also increases, which helps bring down processing time and ensures protocols are maintained.

5. They promote healthy competition
Last but not the least, collaborative softwares help bring out the competitive side in employees as they are able to view their colleagues and peers’ progress reports and achievements on an easy to access platform. They can also see their own shortcomings. This drives them to try and better their performance so as to be able to produce a greater employee contribution percentage in their evaluations, which is directly tied to their incentives and bonuses. Additionally, they can learn from the mistakes and errors made by their peers and ensure they don’t repeat the same, while developing newer and more efficient ways of doing the same work.

Photograph: Jcomp/Freepik.com 

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