Collaboration is a necessity for all humans to survive and to further innovate. Everybody collaborates with people around them and the degree of collaboration varies the outcome. A teacher collaborates with his/her students by giving them lectures, administering assignments and tests, providing reference books. The club management collaborates with the club members by publishing information on the office notice boards, sending information via mails and members communicate back to the club management through meetings etc…
Enterprises also collaborate in a variety of ways with its employees, partners and customers. Each individual or department in an enterprise may choose their own way to collaborate based on convenience or style in absence of a defined governance model for collaboration.
Improving collaboration positively impacts three broad areas:
1. Productivity – It can be enhanced by having better:
- Usage of time before/during/after meetings with stakeholders having better understanding of the agenda/discussion/action items
- Tracking of action items/pending tasks and effective reporting
- Reporting with information consolidated from multiple sources/systems
- Visibility of information required for decision making
- Automation of business processes
- Usage of time saved in searching for information for productive work
2. Stakeholder Relationships – It can be improved by having better relations between all the stakeholders in an organization. Some of the areas which can help are:
- Providing visibility of changing expectations to employees
- Employee can continuously provide status of the work being done and highlighting the risks of the task/project
- Wishing employees on their birthdays/anniversaries
- Identifying and addressing the operational issues of the employees in time
- Improving the electronic documentation/business process for procurement and better knowledge of changing supplier needs
- Better knowledge of changing customer needs and improving sales business processes and customer satisfaction
3. Knowledge Sharing – Boost knowledge sharing within the enterprise by providing information related to:
- Policies/processes/procedures followed for each and every function/department/role
- Templates like RFP, Proposal, Purchase Order, Contract, Invoice, Amendments, and Claims/Reimbursement etc.
- Challenges for a given problem and the associated solution for each type of job function which can be useful to reduce the need for re-inventing the wheel
Some of the important areas for improved collaboration in an enterprise are:
- Meeting Management
- Goal Management
- Knowledge Management
I will be dwelling on each of them in my next blog posts. Also, would like to mention that collaboration is not a one-time exercise but an ongoing one and companies need to keep improvising and bringing lots of innovative solutions to keep all stakeholders happy. To read part-2 of this blog click Here.
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Latest posts by Aju Mathew (see all)
- Meeting Management – Enterprise Collaboration (Part 2) - September 10, 2013
- The need for improved Enterprise Collaboration - July 11, 2013