Published on April 1st, 2021 | by Sumit Bhowal0
How to Choose the Right Collaboration Platform for Your Team
Collaboration is all about supporting teams. Businesses are embracing the need to support teams with enterprise collaboration platforms or solutions. This is especially true as more companies have started to embrace a remote work culture due to the pandemic.
So, the usage and benefits of collaboration tools are rapidly growing and they’re here to stay for many years to come. Collaboration platforms help bring teams and information together which leads to an increase in productivity in a short time.
Choosing the right collaboration platform for your team depends on a variety of factors. This means determining and finding the right tool that provides value and supports the goals that an organization wants to achieve.
Also, to determine how collaboration will occur via the teams and communities within the organization. The right tool or platform will enable the business, not drive it. In this article, you will find out how to choose the right collaboration platform for your team to enhance productivity and collaboration.
Tips to Choose the Right Collaboration Platform for Your Team
1. Evaluate your needs while choosing the right platform
Collaboration platform comes with a lot of features and each feature is unique and exciting when you explore them initially. However, keep in mind that many businesses do not require all of the features beyond their requirements.
You need to identify internally within your team the challenges they face while collaborating with other team members.This will help you determine the features you’ll need within the collaboration platform and the right vendors as per your requirements.
Also, this will help with keeping your digital infrastructure optimized and customized.
2. Go for a tool that increases transparency
A good collaboration platform allows your team to create, organize, and discuss tasks or deliverables with each other, keeping things transparent. It is important in any company or organization to have team transparency which helps in fostering employee happiness, setting realistic goals, smooth operations, and making compliance easier.
One of the widely used collaboration platforms that drive transparency and equity in teamwork is Microsoft Teams. This collaboration platform allows employees to know what everyone is doing and where they are at which creates transparency at work. Also, employees can use this collaborative platform to communicate both inside the team, but also with customers through Microsoft Teams direct routing.
3. Cost-effective and within your budget
As a business, you might not need all the features offered within a collaborative platform as advertised by a leading vendor. It is important to know that subscribing to more features within the product will directly increase the subscription fee associated with it.
So, you should always go for the platform that allows you to customize the subscription plan according to the features you are looking for. Moreover, do market research and look for the vendors that can give you the freedom to pay only for essential features.
4. Easy to use
It is not a good idea to switch to a new collaboration platform without proper onboarding and awareness of the platform. This can lead to a lot of chaos, doubts, and inquiries among the team members.
Consider a platform that has a high focus on usability and optimized interface. And most importantly, the collaboration platform should come with online resources and support materials to allow for a smooth transition.
5. Look for a secure platform
When employees within an organization work remotely, the collaboration platform will be the intermediate handling the confidential and sensitive information of the company. So, your organization needs to find ways to reduce cybersecurity risks and establish appropriate security protocols.
Moreover, it should convey governing policies with managing data and information exchange among employees while working online.
6. Comes with scheduling features
With remote working, the most important pillar towards any successful project is scheduling. Deliverables should be completed according to the given deadline and work should be managed efficiently.
The collaboration platform should come with features such as the ability to create and assign task lists to team members. Moreover, you can monitor the status of tasks, project milestones, and send automated reminders to team members when a deadline is approaching.
Also, many collaboration platforms come with Gantt charts which are very much useful for project managers.
7. Choose a platform with real-time collaboration
As a business, it is important to choose a collaboration platform that allows companies to edit the project file, provide feedback, leave comments, and chat with each other all in real-time.
This will help everyone in the team to maintain one current version and together work on it at the same time. Also, you can easily track changes made by different people and identify the types of users who can overwrite changes.
8. Add a workflow management feature
A collaboration platform is not just about leaving a note at the end of your shift but it should also enhance workflow, a crucial step when managing remote teams. The collaboration platform that you will be choosing should be capable enough to automate your workflows.
This means to track the location or path of a file or document. Also, providing information about who has made changes to the file with date and time.
9. Compatible on various devices
Many workers rely on mobile and tablet devices to check in on projects while traveling or just on the go. So, it is important to know whether devices and operating systems are supported by the collaboration platform.
Also, whether any extended application is designed and developed for various devices. Moreover, to check if there are any limitations while using the collaboration platform on mobile or tablet.
A simple example can be whether team members can view changes on a document or modify in real-time across their different devices.
10. Supports all communication methods
The collaboration platform should support all communication tools and channels such as integrated messaging features and allows private communication. Private communication is simply the ability for two team members to work on a file together and can review or discuss the same with all the team members later.
Also, to confirm whether the conference calls can be conducted online and over the phone as well. Each employee should also understand the requirements to host video chats and store project conversations in a central location.
To conclude, you need to evaluate your requirements before choosing the right collaboration platform for your team. This will not only help to communicate and work on projects effectively but also increase productivity.
As the remote work culture is here to stay, collaboration platforms that come with easy to use interfaces and a shorter learning curve will be given a higher priority. Thus, such platforms help your employees maintain and even increase productivity levels while working remotely.