collaboration plan

As any kids’ show or team-based action movie will tell you (think The Avengers, The Expendables, Ocean’s Eleven and all Ocean’s other numbers), teamwork is the best way to get things done and defeat the evil fill-in-the-blank. In a basic sense, the same rule applies to organizations.

A well thought out collaboration plan brings success to every facet of your business.

When ESI International surveyed close to 900 government and industry professionals across Canada, 65.5% of participants believed that their performance would improve if they worked more collaboratively. The same survey showed that only 27.8% of teams surveyed were truly working collaboratively.

Well, sounds like we’ve got some work to do! So, how do you work collaboratively? As with so many things in life, you’ll need a plan to get you there.

Here are 5 easy strategies that you can follow to make an effective collaboration plan:

  1.    Set a Specific Goal

What do you want to achieve? Do you need to improve sales by 10%? Lower your expenses by 20%?

Setting a specific expectation or goal gives all the members of your team a clear picture of where you’re heading. Your goal should be reasonable and timely. According to The Health Foundation’s Inspiring Improvement publication, setting up clear goals will help people know what they want, plan to get there, and move into action. Doing so also motivates people to keep going until that goal is reached.

In their book The Management of Organizations, Jay B. Barney and Ricky W. Griffin stated that organizational goals have four basic functions:

  •         Provide guidance and direction
  •         Facilitate planning
  •         Motivate and inspire employees
  •         Help organizations in evaluating and controlling performance

Knowing these four basic functions, your goal as a team should be something that all members will want to achieve and feel is achievable. Team members are unlikely to act if the goal is not important to them or seems too far out of reach. When you set a goal, make a clear connection to how it can benefit everyone.

  1.    Identify Individual Roles

In any team project, each member should have a specific role to play. This should be clearly defined and identified before the team even gets started. This will help avoid confusion within the team and help the members focus on what is expected of them.

The crucial point in this aspect is identifying strengths and making sure they’re taken into consideration when determining who is going to do what. A mismatch between the responsibility assigned and the innate skills of the person can result in a negative outcome. It’s important to take advantage of the respective strengths of team members when assigning responsibilities.

  1.    Use Collaboration Tools

It’s easier to collaborate with a team when you use one platform to communicate, conduct meetings, and share your ideas. This is made possible by using collaboration tools. Some of these tools are available for free with very basic features. If you want a feature-rich collaboration tool, you may want to invest in the paid version of said tools.

A good collaboration tool is something that allows team members to seamlessly communicate, anytime and anywhere. This helps avoid lengthy email threads and frequent and potentially expensive face-to-face meetings. Choose a tool that allows you to conduct online huddles, trainings, and seminars. It’s also advantageous if your collaboration tool has features that allow for easy sharing of action plans and results. With these features in mind, you might want to check out Zillable, an easy-to-use and feature-rich collaboration tool. It allows you to collaborate, send messages, and share files and ideas within the team and the organization. Trying out the free version can help you decide if Zillable is what you’re looking for.

  1.    Foster a Positive Atmosphere

Even if you have a perfect collaboration tool, you won’t be as successful in setting up plans and achieving goals if your team members are hesitant to participate. This happens when members don’t feel that their opinions or suggestions are welcome.

Open your doors to the ideas of your team members. No idea should be considered insignificant. As the famous saying goes (well, from the movie Mulan), “A single grain of rice can tip the scales.” The same goes for ideas. No matter how big or small an idea may seem, it can have a significant effect on your end result.

  1.    Review the Outcome

Looking at the results of your existing collaboration plan (or lack thereof) can be a big help in determining your team’s future plans and goals. That’s why performance reviews are always an essential part of the management process.

Once the team has delivered a result using your present collaboration plan, it’s important to perform a general assessment of how the process went overall. This big picture view is important for identifying areas needing improvement and things that worked that you can emulate in future. It also helps individual team members evaluate their performance and identify skills they need to develop to contribute more to the team.

The success of any business or organizational endeavor starts with a good collaboration plan. A good collaboration plan won’t just happen overnight. It’s the result of adopting best practices and strategies and fitting them to your team over time. You may have talented and skilled people on your team but, without a good plan, it can be hard to achieve even the simplest goals. The simple strategies listed above can help your team grow and, ultimately, succeed.

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Zillable

Zillable is an AI-assisted suite of native collaboration tools to deliver full-circle business process automation. With Zillable, teams of all sizes can instantly coordinate teamwork and automate processes with easy, drag-and-drop Readymade and customizable workflows, boosting efficiency and productivity. Sign up for free at https://www.zillable.com
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