Collaborative platform : What are your teams really looking for ?

By Constant Ondo

What is a collaborative platform ? How does it differ from a corporate social network or a digital workplace ? And above all, how will it help increase the performance of your teams ?

If you’re looking for a collaborative tool, you might be asking those questions.

And instinctively, you know that the key to success is to choose a solution that meets the true needs of your teams and will hence lead them to adopt this new digital tool.

Be careful then to remain focused on those needs and don’t jump too fast to the functionalities offered in the software.

Let me explain :

Your teams for example don’t « need » a chat function ; they can already chat within their department, at the coffee machine, at the canteen.

They might feel they « need » to be able to communicate beyond their regular circle, which could justify to create discussion groups on a corporate social network (CSN).

But when and why do they feel that « need » ? That’s the true question, the only one that can help identify the driving forces you can use to leverage collaborative work.

It is then on these driving forces that I would like us to think a little deeper.

And I would like to insist on 4 of them :

Save time

We all lack time. We’re asked to do always more, and often with less resources, our to-do lists keep getting longer and by the end of the day, we sometimes wonder if anything of what we’ve done was really useful.

And let’s be honest : digital tools are supposed to save us time but don’t all fulfill the promise.

According to several studies, we can spend up to 20% of our working time searching for information, and we are so regularly interrupted by mails, notifications and calls that we are no longer able to focus on a task more than 12 minutes.

Be cautious then with collaborative tools which claim to help share information but make search more complicated, which multiply notifications and RSS feeds, or which overwhelm people with questions or chat requests.

You’d better bet on tools featuring high-performance search engines based on natural language, automatic document analysis and translation, and which use logic to structure information.

Find solutions

We also all feel we are increasingly called to solve urgent issues and lack time to improve our performance on a long-term basis.

Emergencies are made of unexpected and complex problems for which we keep reinventing, without even knowing it, solutions that already exist. Of problems for which experts can be called 10 times, 100 times, and still don’t find time to write up a troubleshooting procedure. Worse, the procedure might exist but people might be unable to find it in the information database.

Collaboration is basically a mutual exchange of services. It can then be used to help each of us in our daily tasks as much as to manage new projects.

What about then choosing a collaborative platform with problem-solving capabilities ? This will avoid your teams to « reinvent the wheel » and save them time  they will be able to devote comfortably to value-added projects.

Share know-how

Isn’t it finally the meaning of our job that helps up remain committed ?

And isn’t it by both contributing to a collective goal and securing our individual role within the organization that this meaning arises ? Which, in a collaborative culture, means participating in cross-functional projects as well as nurturing our own expertise and share it.

We all gain through our daily experiences some knowledge and know-how that can be useful to all. But we are not equal in our ability to make them visible and useable throughout the company.

Think then about choosing a collaborative platform which offers to anyone the opportunity to have a job that makes sense, by sharing his operational experience feedback easily, without having to follow a strict pattern. Your organization will benefit from a higher commitment rate and gain in collective intelligence.

Get recognition

Recognition is another essential part of what makes our job meaningful. And thus a necessary condition for our involvement in collective success.

HR departments have tools to manage financial recognition and skills development, identify talents… But do these tools deliver all what they’re intended to, from HR as well as from employees’ perspective ? Are managers carrying out unbiased, comprehensive and comparable appraisals ? Is the know-how developed in collective projects taken into account ? Are new skills or interests identified if the employee doesn’t bring them forward himself ?

The best recognition is the one we receive, without asking for it, for the work we’ve done.

Some collaborative platforms (such as PICC Software) enable to deliver such recognition through the automated identification of individual skills and objective assessment of their contribution to collective success.

Choosing them will help you truly value human capital.

To answer the three questions I was asking at the very beginning of this article, I would say that a collaborative platform is much more than a virtual space dedicated to project management or a hub for collaborative tools (main functions of digital workplaces). It is also much more than a virtual space where people can share information and communicate (main functions of CSN). A collaborative platform is a place where everyone uses mutual exchanges of services to satisfy individual needs while serving the community.

PICC Software : 6 exclusive functionalities that meet the real needs of your teams

PICC Software offers all the communication and project management functionalities that are the basis of corporate social networks, collaborative platforms and digital workplaces.

But PICC Software also offers exclusive functionalities to foster collaborative work, support change management and better value human capital, thus enhancing productivity, creativity and agility throughout the organization :

  • Knowledge map : All the knowledge of the company, updated in real-time, structured around logical paths and displayed in a graphical format to find the right information in a few clicks.
  • Knowledge nurturing : Captures knowledge « as it comes », through pictures, videos, voice recordings, texts, and automatically analyzes all formats with the same level of performance.
  • Knowledge improvement : Human intelligence augmented with artificial intelligence to correlate problems and solutions which first don’t appear as related.
  • Problem-solving support : Sequential and dynamic procedures including logical functions to properly guide the user on the particular situation he is facing.
  • Creativity booster : A scientific method to generate creative ideas and speed up innovation.
  • Skills identification : Automatic identification of new skills within operational experience feedbacks.

Willing to check yourself how different PICC Software is ?

Feel free to ask for a demo.