Putting Collaboration to Good Use


7 Characteristics of a Good Collaboration Framework

Today, leadership strategies are a far cry from those developed decades ago. Companies are now making efforts to listen and value the inputs of their employees, since they are the ones who know how to get the real work done when it comes to project workarounds or how to simplify particular tasks.

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Coordinating the efforts of a team, however, requires a collaborative framework. To put teamwork to good use, aside from a winning workplace culture, you should also consider the collaboration tools you implement.

But with the many software and other tools peppering the marketplace today, it’s easy to get confused. The key to picking the best software for your business is knowing what your team needs and what you’re trying to accomplish.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when choosing the right collaboration tools for your business:


Effective communication is an ingredient of successful collaboration and it goes without saying that this should be the foremost consideration when choosing your company’s collaboration tool. You don’t want project delays or erroneous tasks and reports resulting from poor communication. Especially during times when speedy changes or upgrades have to be done, your collaboration tool’s communication functionality should be spot on.

User-Friendly Interface

Nice-looking interfaces are good, but not at the expense of usability.

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If your collaboration application has complex features and a navigation system that takes too long for your team to get used to, it’s probably not the right tool for your business. Instead of speeding up work completion, tasks can be delayed and deadlines missed. Go for a simple, user-friendly interface without much of the fuss.


Decades ago, enterprise collaboration applications were mostly on-premise, and those who could afford them were the bigger companies. But with cloud computing and the growing prevalence of collaboration software geared towards small businesses, entrepreneurs that do not have the financial resources to invest in costly IT infrastructure are now also able gain momentum. Web-based collaboration tools can be accessed instantaneously, and from any connected device, transcending geographic and time boundaries.


When a team member uploads a report or makes changes to a document or spreadsheet (or anything with data the entire team might need), your collaboration tools should mirror those changes real-time, as in the case of a status change that everyone in the team can see right away or be notified about, specifically if project end-goals may also change as a result. This leads to less confusion and better, faster decision-making.

Clarity of Purpose

With real-time reporting and task viewing, team members—not just managers and higher-ups—are made aware of their team and individual targets and how they’re faring against those targets. Also, they know who is responsible for what and who to approach for clarification when things get a little tricky.


Knowing your end goals is essential for a project to commence. This way, you’re able to devise a carefully mapped-out plan from start to finish.

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However, some projects may sometimes require end-goal revisions due to changing consumer or market demands. Having a collaboration tool that you can easily tweak to comply with changing requirements is a better alternative to having to start from scratch.


Without visibility, without sufficient knowledge of project specifics and updates, you’re essentially driving a car in a storm. If visibility is zero and you insist on moving forward, the results can be catastrophic to your bottom line.

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Image: iStockphoto

About The Author

Maricel Rivera is a freelancer writing for Comindware, a software company delivering innovative solutions for adaptive BPM and project management.