A good collaboration platform is vital to the achievement of full team productivity. These days, however, there are so many out there, from free Apps, to the more sophisticated enterprise level BPM (Business Process management) tools, it can be hard to know which is the right one for your business.
To help narrow down the search, we’ve identified the top 10 things a good collaboration platform should do to help you maximise efficiency within your business:
- 1.Categorise Tasks into Projects
First and foremost, the ability to store tasks into projects is vital for team efficiency. Whether you’re working on tasks for clients, or simply an internal department such as Recruitment, storing them into these silos will make it easy to work through them.
- 2.Sub-categorise into Work Items
Sub-categorising tasks into logical groups (such as Customers, Order Numbers, Candidates etc.) will undoubtedly save you time when locating specific tasks, and won’t have you trawling through emails to pull something up. Work Items are also an effective way of giving the team a central view of what is happening with the business.
- 3.Allow Conversation and Collaboration
Teams need to talk. Nowadays, with more businesses spanning a global reach, this is more important than ever. A good ‘chat’ solution is fundamental to team communication, and should be a key feature of any collaboration solution.
- 4.Attach Images and Documents into a Task
Your business will undoubtedly require you to exchange documents seamlessly with other members of the team. Documents, spreadsheets, images and PDFs should be easy to exchange within tasks; ideally e-mail conversations too.
- 5.Flow Task to Appropriate Team Member Once Completed
Once a task is completed by a team member, it should flow easily into the next stage of preparation. For example, your completed sales pitch should flow directly to your manager, who can review it and offer feedback.
- 6.Provide All Task Inputs and Review Work Through Checklists
We are a firm believer in the power of checklists. collaboration platforms should allow you to add checkpoints to your projects to ensure that all steps have been completed to maintain a high quality of work.
There is a great book which details how simple checklists saved millions of lives in the field of surgery when implemented correctly. Its called The Checklist Manifesto, definitely worth a read if you want to make checklists work for your business.
- 7.Estimate Effort for Each Task Based on Prior Knowledge
collaboration platforms should, at a basic level, be able to estimate how long a task will take, based on work you have completed previously. You don’t need a sophisticated estimating engine; most good collaboration platforms will be able to determine the level of complexity attached to each task to determine how long it will take you to complete. This helps you plan workload on team members and calculate task completion dates.
- 8.Maintain Full Traceability of Your Tasks
It’s important for your team to know when a task started, who has worked on it, and where it is now, so they can work efficiently towards completing it.
- 9.Learn From New Tasks and Store For Future Use
The Lean Startup Model endorses working on tasks quickly to allow a full experimentation of ideas to flow, learning from mistakes and fine-tuning your approach as you work. This mode of working is the key to an agile organisation. You can learn more about the Lean Startup Model in Eric Ries book.
We think your collaboration platform should be helping you to achieve this by storing your learnings from previous tasks and incorporating them into future work.
10.Set Standard Flags ie. Priority, Due Date or Notify Team
If you change the priorities of a task, or its due date, you’ll need your collaboration platform to alert team members to these changes.
To help companies setup distributed teams, collaborate among team members, visualise projects/work items and automatically create and flow tasks we have launched a collaboration platform called Graphical.IO. Give it a try its completely FREE !