Here are the cold hard facts about collaboration…
83% of workers say they rely on technology to collaborate with their team.
60% say they struggle with the tools their company provides them.
Because of this, 16% of those workers skulk off to use public sharing tools without getting approval from their boss.
Surely this isn’t how you want your teams to work — sneaking around behind your back into Whatsapp or Messenger?
Surely you want to provide them with the best project collaboration tool on the market so they can work harmoniously together wherever they are.
If that’s the case, here’s what you need to look for in a collaboration software, along with the top reasons you need one.
What to look for in a collaboration tool
In fear of sounding like Captain Obvious, an effective collaborative tool needs to aid collaboration between your team.
This means understanding your team’s needs. If you’re working with a globally-distributed or remote team, you’ll need a collaboration software that’s easy for everyone to access, no matter where they are.
This is why cloud-based tools, like monday.com, rule.
Now let’s drill down to the specifics.
For an online collaboration software to work for everyone, it needs to be intuitive.
This means that it’s so easy-to-use that the functionality is obvious to anyone who isn’t familiar with the tool.
Not everyone in your team will be a tech-savvy computer whizz. Depending on what you’re using it for, some of your team members may be completely new to technology of this kind. You want to make it easy for your entire team to get on board and get going as quickly as possible.
One in five remote employees already admits that effective collaboration is a real struggle when working from home, so don’t make it harder with a tool that’s tricky to understand. After all, if you have a remote team, in-person training will be limited or non-existent.
Next, you need your online collaboration tool to be highly-visible.
This means that everyone can clearly see what’s going on in each project and when.
If your team finds it difficult to work out the status of a project, the priority of tasks, and who’s assigned to what, they’re going to miss work.
If you want your team to take full accountability, you’ll need a team collaboration software that makes it clear when jobs are assigned and to who, along with what those tasks entail.
You’ll also want to explore the scheduling options within potential tools.
To meet deadlines, your staff will need transparent, unequivocal timelines. A rock-solid collaborative tool makes it obvious what’s due when.
Something like this Gantt chart, from monday.com:
Try to find a tool that enables you to view your timelines as Gantt Charts. This is the clearest and easiest way for your team to understand when each task is in fruition.
It’s also wise to look beyond manual functionality.
The best workplace collaboration tools facilitate automation, such as schedule dependencies.
For example, you may want to make sure a task starts as soon as another ends. Alternatively, you may want to make sure a task starts as soon as another task starts. If you’ve picked a winner, your collaboration tool should support this functionality.
Obviously, the communication capabilities of your chosen tool are a huge concern.
29% of organizations admit that their projects fail due to poor communication. You’ll need a tool that easily facilitates conversation between your team.
This works on all different levels.From the get-go, you’ll need a tool that helps remote teams strategize. Unfortunately, remote working can result in an 11% drop in brainstorming capacity, meaning fewer good ideas in the early stages.
Make sure you have a tool that nurtures collaboration in the early stages.
As projects progress, you’ll need a tool that allows your team to communicate updates and announcements. You’ll also need space for discussing ideas or problems that might arise.
Strong collaboration tools allow you to separate different forms of communication, so you’re only alerting relevant team members to discussions that concern them. That way, nobody gets overwhelmed with notifications yet those who need to know, stay updated.
Part of your communication strategy may involve document sharing.
A centralized place for all relevant documents means that all team members can find resources exactly when they need them. It also means everyone’s singing from the same up-to-date hymn sheet.
Lastly, make sure your tool is practical.
Team members may need to access the information from all different devices so make sure the platform you choose is responsive so your team. Look for tools with a highly-functional mobile app as well as a desktop version of the software.
What features make monday.com’s Work OS so perfect for collaboration?
monday.com eats, sleeps, and breathes collaboration.
Let’s start by saying that we’re not fond of the ‘tool’ label — we’re so much more than that.
monday.com is a full Work OS that’s built to create and facilitate harmonious team synergy in every imaginable way.
Let’s look at some of our collaboration features:
- Ownership: Assign work to individuals or whole teams so that everyone knows the tasks they’re accountable for
- Multiple views: View projects as in Table, Kanban Board, Gantt Chart, Timeline, or Workload mode for high visibility of task ownership and deadlines
- Notes: Let owners know task details, special requirements, and expectations in the Notes column
- Status tracking: Use the highly-visible Status bar to make it clear which stage each task is in, while leveraging Status Updates to leave comments on progress
- Progress tracking: Keep an eye on the progress of a task as it moves through each stage
- Updates: Announce changes, updates, and extra requirements in the Updates section of each task or add checklists to break tasks down
- Tagging: Tag entire teams or individual members so that relevant messages go directly to those who need to them
- Info Boxes: Add notes, files, and Q&A boxes to one centralized location so everyone can access resources in one place
- Deadlines: Set deadlines so that all team members are on the same page about when completed work is expected
- Timelines: Use the timelines column to quickly identify how far along a task is and whether it’s on track for completion
- Automated dependencies: Set dependencies to automatically schedule tasks when triggered by related items
Why do you need a killer online collaboration tool?
Without a top-notch team collaboration software, your teams are going to struggle with every stage of the workflow from brainstorming to budget management, and everything in between.
1. Facilitate remote and distributed teams
On the one hand, you have remote workers. On the other, you have distributed teams.
What do both have in common? They’re generally not in the same place as their other team members.
Remote and globally-distributed teams are the norm so it’s vital that your tool helps to cater for these setups.
Collaboration and communication is the number one struggle for remote workers. No doubt, this is also an issue for teams attempting to work from offices in different locations.
The problem is that without face-to-face communication, it can be tough to get on the same page about tasks.
Without a dedicated digital workplace to communicate ideas, guidelines, and expectations, you may find that completed work isn’t coherent and tasks are misunderstood.
With a comprehensive cloud-based collaboration tool, like monday.com’s Work OS, your team can access and update projects from anywhere in the world.
Not only that, but teams can communicate fluidly between one another — as a whole team or one-on-one — to keep projects on track and ensure relevant information reaches the right people instantly.
2. Work on documentation together
Document management is a real problem for teams, making it tricky to collaborate.
As a result, 83% say they end up recreating existing documents because they can’t find them on the company’s system.
A sophisticated team collaboration tool will make it easy to upload, locate, and collaborate on documentation.
For instance, in monday.com’s Work OS, team members can find all documents in the ‘Files’ column, with relevant files attached to each item in the corresponding row.
Team members can upload, download, and collaborate on documentation directly from the monday.com dashboard. No more file sharing mishaps.
3. Improve progress-tracking and prioritization
Nearly half of all teams complain that they find it difficult to get an overview of where their projects are up to.
This makes prioritization a real challenge.
Look for a collaboration platform that makes it easy for teams to communicate exactly where they are and what’s top priority.
Take monday.com’s Work OS, for example.
The colored status bars keep team members informed on how urgent a task is, along with the progress of this task.
Your team can address all high priority tasks first, while identifying any places where team members are stuck in real-time.
4. Consolidate internal communications
89% of teams say that communication is highly important for the success of projects. Despite this, 80% of teams admit that their internal communication is average or poor.
This is often because teams have lots of routes for team communication, making it difficult to keep track of where messages are coming from.
Updates are strewn across messenger apps and buried in inboxes, while paper memos pile up and extra instructions are given in face-to-face meetings.
Teams need a centralized communication tool to consolidate all team communication so that they know exactly where to go to find out about a particular task.
Otherwise, they miss key updates and information and everyone singing off a different hymn sheet.
Take monday.com’s Work OS.
Team members can communicate updates in each item on the dashboard so that other team members know exactly where to go to see all relevant information.
Not only that, but teams can tag each other into the conversation to make sure all those concerned are notified of changes automatically.
How does monday.com make team collaboration easy?
If you cut monday.com open, we’d bleed team collaboration. That’s how dedicated we are to providing a platform that enhances the team experience and facilitates harmonious group work.
Here’s just a few of the ways we strengthen and support teams better than any other team collaboration tool out there.
1. Responsibility and accountability
Sick of the old excuses? “Sorry, I didn’t see that task.” “Oops, I didn’t know I was meant to do that.”
No more excuses. monday.com makes it abundantly clear who’s in charge of getting each task done.
Using the ‘People’ column, it’s straightforward to assign individuals or whole teams to an item. With abundantly clear ownership, there’s no dispute over whose responsibility it is to get tasks completed.
Not only that, but item owners are notified directly about updates on their items.
And there’s no excuse for missing a notification.
Users receive notifications in their monday.com Inbox and by clicking on the bell icon. You can even set email notifications if you’re worried you’ll overlook something.
As for team management, the reporting functionalities allow you to see each team member’s capacity so you can assign tasks without overwhelming anyone.
2. Progress tracking
Keep an eye on projects as they truck along, rather than getting to the finish date only to realize deliverables are missing.
monday.com allows you to track progress in multiple ways.
Firstly, try assigning a deadline. See those little handy icons next to the date? They let you know whether items are overdue or on track.
You can also add status bars to each task so it’s immediately clear what stage it’s in. If you’ve got multiple status bars on one task, you’ll also get a progress bar to show how far along the task is.
To make sure everyone’s on the same page with a task’s status, owners and contributors can add notes to the Status Update. So, if someone’s stuck, they can give a rundown as to why and note what they need to jump over their hurdles.
3. Scheduling and meeting deadlines
Scheduling is a delicate art and monday.com is the canvas, paintbrush, and full set of paints. Our Work OS gives you everything you need to make sure everyone’s meeting deadlines.
Work out where to assign tasks more easily. Thanks to the timeline column and view, you can get a handle on who’s busy and who’s free.
Equally, the time tracking feature helps you get a better understanding of how long different tasks take, so you can shape your timelines better in the future.
And why not automate scheduling? Set dependencies so that tasks automatically schedule when triggered by related tasks.
To help keep each individual team member on track, the My Week feature shows users what’s on their plate, what’s been done, and what’s coming up.
4. Updating and communicating
As Mike Krzyzewski, coach of the Duke Blue Devils, famously said “Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.”
That’s why monday.com is designed to keep everyone in the loop at all times.
In each item, there’s a space for updates.
Use this space to make announcements, add updates, and create checklists of sub-tasks. You can tag in whole teams or individual team members to make sure those who need to be in the ‘know’, stay in the ‘know’.
You can also add Q&A sections, files, and notes in the ‘box’ to centralize all task information to one place.
Plus, as we noted above, you can always integrate Slack to synchronize with your chat app and keep channels updated.
You’ll also find monday.com helps facilitate team feedback. Use the digital workspace to record and track team feedback and reviews with the feedback tracker template.
5. Document centralization
One of the biggest flaws of inferior workplace collaboration tools is their slapdash attitude to file sharing.
Most collaboration tools just throw in all project documentation together. Many simply ignore it.
Not on monday.com’s watch, you don’t.
Add documentation to each item so you can quickly find the files that are relevant to each task. That way, nobody’s rifling back through computer files to try and find the latest updates — it’s in one place.
You can even add a files column for quick access to documentation.
Of course, if you want to view all the project documentation at once, you can do this too. Head over to the files view to locate all your project files in one centralized location.
Get started with monday.com
Now that remote work and global teams are so firmly embedded in the way businesses run, effective team collaboration can no longer be pushed to the bottom of the pile.
If you want your team to thrive, you need a team collaboration tool that facilitates this in every way possible.
While of course we’re biased, a lot of people — over 100,000 businesses, for instance — agree with us that monday.com is head and shoulders above the rest. It’s got everything you need, all in one place. Don’t believe us? Try it for free today.