How to Pick the Right Collaboration Tool for your Project
Tell me if this rings true to you:
You are having coffee when the phone chimes and Phil from the design team texts you to confirm whether you want a graphic of a shopping cart on the buy button.
You open up your email and Mary asks you if Phil has designed the buy button yet because she wants to show you the micro copy she has written for different versions of the buy button.
Thirty minutes later your boss calls asking when the new check out page would go live.
If you work with a team, this is probably what your day might look like. Today’s office of today is a lot different from how it was even a decade ago, with team members spread out across different time zones.
Communication between them have grown increasingly chaotic and unmanageable, with channels like email, Skype, Whatsapp, texts, and voice all adding to the noise and chatter.
In this cacophony, there is the danger of messages falling through the cracks, and of someone being kept out of the loop.
The end result is always confusion, miscommunication, and inefficiency.
The solution to this conundrum is collaboration.
Building a collaborative company does not start with software. It starts with mindset and culture.
A study on best practices featured in the Harvard Business Review identified eight major factors which helped build a collaborative team. The researchers broadly identified them as:
If you can incorporate these attributes in your team, you will over time build a culture of collaboration. And then, with the right tools for your project, you will win at work.
Before you go “not another tool again”, hear me out.
Yes, another tool means investing time in familiarizing yourself with how it works, time that you could invest in doing your task.
Introducing another tool to a team would mean persuading other members about its value, getting them to sign up for the tool, walking them through workflows, and modifying habits and routines (very hard!).
But even with all these mental hurdles, investing in the right collaboration tools can, over time:
The collaboration tool or tools that you pick depend on your project.
In the game of collaboration, Slack is the reigning superstar, mainly owing to it being the fastest growing B2B app ever.
For those of you who came in late, Slack is a real-time chatting tool, with deep integrations to multiple services like Dropbox, Google Docs, and even other collaboration tools like Basecamp and Trello.
The reason users love Slack with these integrations is that there is no one single collaboration tool that can meet all the needs of an organization. Rather, you want to build a collaboration stack, with a set of closely interlinked tools that meet your current needs.
How to build your collaborative stack will be the topic of a future blog post. Watch this space for more!
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