The business environment today demands agility, efficiency, and innovation. With teams, stakeholders and customers located across locations and time zones, the rules of the game have completely changed. Organizations will need to look beyond traditional strategies, methodologies, and tools to stay relevant and competitive. Businesses need to look at collaboration not only as a means to delivering project success, but also to create a transparent and inclusive work culture.

In this blog, we look at the benefits of using collaboration tools in the project management context

Improve Organizational effectiveness

Large-scale projects go through multiple phases and involve teams with different skillsets, sometimes across locations. Collaboration tools create an ecosystem that enables better communication, ideation, document management and teamwork, all in one single system. Comprehensive project management tools offer advanced collaboration capabilities that can be leveraged across the project lifecycle.

Collaboration also enables employees to work from anywhere on any device, thereby creating synergy among teams, stakeholders, and clients. Effective collaboration helps the organization drive better alignment with organizational objectives, improve productivity and efficiency and create a well connected global workforce.

Encourage Innovation

Collaboration platforms can play a significant role in getting teams, vendors and even companies to work together on new ideas. Companies such as Apple, Google, Shell, Microsoft, Intel & Cisco have used collaboration successfully to consistently deliver innovative products to the market.

Collaboration platforms enable an inclusive ideation process, one in which employees across the hierarchy can contribute and participate. This helps an organization build a culture of innovation by breaking sales and getting knowledge out of inboxes and bringing it out in the open, where it belongs.

Companies using collaboration effectively are demonstrating a healthy culture of innovation leading to constructive ideation, thereby delivering better products and services to customers.

Inculcate Project Management Excellence

According to PMI’s Pulse 2014, organizations are losing an average of US$109 million for every US$1 billion spent on projects (Read: 6 reasons why projects fail in enterprises). This outlines the importance of project management excellence in organizations.

Collaboration plays a crucial role in establishing the people and cultural aspects of project management in companies (Read: Project Management = People + tools + culture). When teams, stakeholders, and customers are all on the same page and working towards common objectives, success just gets that much closer. Collaboration platforms also enable capturing of knowledge and best practices across the board, thereby helping organizations create a culture of excellence.

Create a collaborative work culture

Collaboration encourages the sharing of different perspectives within an organization, across the hierarchy. This promotes healthy two-way conversations in the form of brainstorming, debates, and discussions. When employees across the board start contributing towards ideation and other important project discussions, it enables a larger idea pool, higher employee engagement and better alignment to organizational objectives.

The other positive impact that collaboration can create is balanced decision making. When a number of people with different skills and responsibilities come together in the decision-making process, multiple aspects are taken into consideration before making a decision. This leads to a more informed decision making and higher accountability towards the outcomes.

According to a MarketWatch report, global enterprise collaboration software market is forecast to grow from $4.77 billion in 2014 to $8.14 billion in 2019. Enterprises are realizing the potential and warming up to the idea of implementing enterprise-wide collaboration platforms. As the numbers indicate, there are a number of powerful collaboration project management tools to choose from today. While opting for a collaboration platform, organizations need to ensure that it provides a consistent collaboration experience by integrating a range of collaboration capabilities rather than just offering a collection of tools and channels (emails/chats/discussions/etc.). There is absolutely no doubt that collaboration can be a huge differentiator for organizations both internally and in the marketplace. Companies need to adopt and drive collaboration as a culture to leverage its true potential and build a competitive advantage.