Who said techies can't play well with others? Here's how to get IT types to collaborate effectively and efficiently.
The case for collaboration
A recent survey of more than 500 executives, IT decision-makers and business unit leaders worldwide found that businesses are trying to enable greater collaboration across their workforces.
More than 80 percent of the respondents to the survey, which was sponsored by Avanade Inc, a systems integrator jointly owned by Microsoft and Accenture, said that they believe that enterprise-wide collaboration was a key to business success. Some 75 percent of the respondents said that they planned to increase their use of communication and collaboration tools in the next year.
Why all the emphasis on collaboration? Markets are becoming more dynamic, product-adoption rates are accelerating, and innovation cycles are getting shorter, says Markus Sprenger, director of information management and collaboration at Avanade.
In the midst of these changes, corporations are finding that their traditional management structures aren't able to keep up.
"Our clients are having to change their organizations, moving away from hierarchical structures where people do repeatable tasks to a more matrixed organisation where people come together to solve problems as projects," says Sprenger. "Everybody is a part of two or three different teams and has several jobs."
5 ways to foster tech collaboration
- Define the goal of collaboration and explain the benefits.
- Highlight how collaboration helps employees handle their own workloads.
- Recognise and reward effective collaboration.
- Provide tools that are easy to use, that perhaps even mimic consumer technologies such as Facebook. The tools should require little or no training, so employees can just jump in and use them naturally.
- Have the support and encouragement of top management.
See also: The 20 best online collaboration tools