E-mail and chat are becoming a thing of the past – taken over by new collaboration tools. They are being revolutionized by new digital collaboration techniques, including modern solutions such as Trello, Asana and Wunderlist (task management), doodle (appointments), confluence (wiki), messaging programs like WhatsApp or integrated solutions such as Slack, Yammer and the new Workplace by Facebook.
New digital techniques of collaboration are a response to the emerging working concepts of our time. These include the movements towards “agile working” “creative leadership” and “digital leadership”.
With the increased freedom to work remotely and network effects, collaborative tools that can quickly be deployed and are easy to use, become increasingly important for businesses.
These new “Collaboration Tools” support the adoption of old hierarchies and “Command & Control” principles in favor of self-determined, free and self-organized work. They also help companies to be more mobile and adaptable.
Sharing is the new e-mailing
Services such as Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, or Dropbox Paper enable companies to collaborate on documents. Parallel or time-delayed joined editing, opens up great potentials that have not been possible through e-mail communication. Teams with a common purpose and goal, share their insights and thoughts in one central spot – a work-flow revolution that continues to grow in popularity. Dropbox, iCloud and Box, to name some examples, have paved the way for online collaboration. One field in which online team cooperation has become increasingly common is mind mapping.
Changes through digital collaboration tools
- The production speed of documents is effectively increased if, for example, eight people can write a document in parallel. Removing the need to send several e-mails back and forth, until the final acceptance is confirmed by all parties is a time saver.
- Increase in granularity and detail through collaborative work
- A shared document increases creativity; a look at the work of others can inspire the reader to take these thoughts to the next level. Two minds do know more than one and shared documents can enhance this process, significantly.
- Digital collaboration tools can help avoid so-called “data silos,” and information can be exchanged across the boundaries of organizational units and teams, making processes more transparent. Furthermore, shared online documents create transparency; who is working on what, what are the others doing? This holds true for larger and smaller groups, alike.
The digital collaboration tools are creating more and more living forms of new collaboration.
To share and create documents together promotes team criticism, improvement, transparency of interactions, and structure. This shared process ultimately introduces a new project culture.