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Defining the Different Types of Collaboration

Defining the Different Types of Collaboration

Collaboration is critical to the success of businesses both big and small, from the newest of startups to the grandest of enterprises. It’s true that there are very few businesses that are successful without collaboration, yet on an organizational level, there is a lot to consider when planning it out. It’s time to take a close look at what collaboration means for businesses, as well as how it can be leveraged in just about any form.

Defining Collaboration
Some people use the word “collaboration” in the same way as the word “communication,” but they are not necessarily synonymous. Collaboration is the act of people working together as a team toward a goal, while communication is the act of sharing thoughts and ideas with others. Communication facilitates collaboration, but doesn’t define it. Here are the various levels of collaboration that a business can use to its advantage:

  • Simple Collaboration: In its most basic form, collaboration looks like quick communications initiated by instant messages or other similar technology. These kinds of tools can still be misused to create distractions, but they can expedite productivity and communication toward a specific goal.
  • Document Collaboration: Document collaboration brings the previous concept and implements it on a document level, giving multiple users the ability to work on a single document toward an end goal. This can benefit the task at hand and make sure collaboration happens, whether your employees are in the same room or miles apart.
  • Structured Collaboration: Meetings might not be everyone’s favorite thing about the workday, but it’s inevitable that they must happen at some point or another to ensure that people are working toward common goals. Meetings give users the ability to express their feelings or ideas on certain topics, and forms can be used to capture these ideas to gauge interest. By their nature, meetings are designed as collaborative exercises that promote transparency and communication, but only if there is structure to them.

Why Is Collaboration Important?
If a business takes measures to support collaboration in the workplace, it can expect to see improvements to productivity. When more people work on a project, you get more brain power and more thoughts or feedback on it. This can be effective for determining solutions to problems and thinking outside of what employees might normally consider. Collaboration tools can further aid in this process, giving employees more access to solutions and each other.

For information on how you can implement collaboration tools for your business, the professionals at Computerware can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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