Online collaboration tools help in communicating, sharing ideas, and managing workflow across an organization or team. This article reviews some of these online collaboration tools such as Google Docs, Basecamp, SharePoint, and MySpace through the eyes of managers and employees, along with a brief summary of how they can be used to make teams more productive.
How Can Online Collaboration Tools Lead To Productive Teamwork?
Online collaboration is the process of connecting users digitally to communicate in an online space. Online collaboration is usually supplemented using a software system that lets team members chat using video, audio and text. It is mainly a way for companies to improve communication and bolster project efficiency.
Online collaboration offers organizations a chance to achieve optimal communication among team members during projects. Collaborating online provides more spaces where teams can communicate. Many tools offer virtual chat rooms, video calls and online meetings to keep a project organized and on schedule.
Privacy features are one of the online collaboration tools that will appeal to organizations. Teams inevitably communicate across a wide range of online functions. Certain online tools ensure that only the necessary personnel are capable of joining these channels. Online collaboration tools give access points beyond an office or home. Members of a team can bounce ideas off one another from mobile locations as well. This keeps everyone on a project connected and builds efficiency.
Maximize creative efforts
Expand creative output and promote overall team input with the ability to share files. Online collaboration tools give team members the capability of sharing unique, digital files by reviewing a document together or sharing an online workspace. Use these resources to give your teams a chance to build off each other’s creativity. This type of climate not only pushes the limits of an organization’s creativity but enhances productivity and efficiency as well.
When a team is given opportunities to create in settings conducive to creativity, the resulting projects reflect it. It’s not enough to share feedback and ideas through email or other limited settings. Instead, teams need to be connected in real time to effectively boost each other’s potential for creative output.
Online collaboration tools such as Dropbox offer sharing and scheduling features. Dropbox is one of the most popular online collaboration tools due to the fact it meets a lot of the storage needs of modern organizations. Exploit the powerful collaboration possibilities that tools like Dropbox offers to empower teams and bolster creativity and performance.
Utilize modern file sharing
File storage functions create opportunities for teams to work together in a streamlined environment. Online collaboration tools provide file storage in a shared database. Constant access to the library of files enables teams to thrive. This type of blanket connection naturally creates efficient projects. Teams can quickly receive ideas from text, images, or videos and work together to take the necessary steps with the data.
Online collaboration creates clear potential for greatness in an organization. Administrators see the power it has on the teams they monitor and are beginning to employ it. Stay ahead of the curve by understanding the benefits of online collaboration.
Management of data storage for online collaboration is optimized with a digital asset management system. Boost the connectivity of a team to produce highly professional projects consistently with online collaboration and create a productive environment for your next project.
describe the three levels of online collaboration
Collaboration is a process through which people who see different aspects of a problem can constructively explore their differences and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible. And today it’s more than groups of people working together as teams and communities. Collaboration generates new ideas and new solutions that emerge from the interplay of these perspectives, experience and knowledge that help us get work done, coming from people both inside and outside an organisation, well-known and, yes, even strangers. We can have long-lasting collaboration—or short-term, formal or ad-hoc.
THREE TYPES OF COLLABORATION
Older models of collaboration tended to focus on teams and formal, structured collaboration. We have more options now. Here we explore three types of collaboration and how we might approach them as an organisation.
In team collaboration, the members of the group are known, there are clear task interdependencies, expected reciprocity, and explicit time-lines and goals. To achieve the goal, members must fulﬁl their interdependent tasks within the stated time. Team collaboration often suggests that, while there is explicit leadership, the participants cooperate on an equal footing and will receive equal recognition. An example is a six-member team working together to develop a new marketing strategy in a month, with a deﬁned set of resources. Team collaborations can also occur with external partners, but there is always a clear mandate and deﬁned roles.
In community collaboration, there is a shared domain or area of interest, but the goal is more often focused on learning rather than on task. People share and build knowledge rather than complete projects. Members may go to their communities to help solve their problems by asking questions and getting advice, then taking that advice back home to implement in their teams. Membership may be bounded and explicit, but time periods are often open or ongoing. Membership is often on equal footing, but more experienced practitioners may have more status or power in the community. Reciprocity is within the group, but not always one to one (“I did this for you, now you do this for me”). An example might be a community of practice that is interested in the type of marketing mentioned in the team example above. A member of that team may come to her community and ask for examples of past projects.
Community collaborations may also give rise to more formalised team collaborations. As people get to know each other, they can identify good ﬁts for team members and draw new talent into their teams.
Network collaboration steps beyond the relationship-centric nature of team and community collaboration. It is collaboration that starts with individual action and self-interest, which then accrues to the network as individuals contribute or seek something from the network. Membership and time-lines are open and unbounded. There are no explicit roles. Members most likely do not know all the other members. Power is distributed. This form of collaboration is driven by the advent of social media (tools that help us connect and interact online), ubiquitous internet connectivity and the ability to connect with diverse individuals across distance and time. It is a response to the overwhelming volume of information we are creating. It’s impossible for an individual to cope on their own. So networks become mechanisms for knowledge and information capture, ﬁltering and creation.
An example of network collaboration might be members of the team in the ﬁrst example above bookmarking websites as they ﬁnd them, using a shared or ‘social bookmarking’ tool. This beneﬁts their team, and possibly their related communities of practice if they are also sharing bookmarks. But it also beneﬁts the wider network of people interested in the topic. At the same time, team members may ﬁnd other bookmarks left by network members relevant to their team work. This sort of network activity beneﬁts the individual and a network of people reciprocally over time. The reciprocity connection is remote and undeﬁned. You act in self-interest but provide a network-wide beneﬁt.
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