Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Add meetings and you have a killing triplet - that is if you’re a manager. Yep, meetings are not an option. Meetings are vital and since the dawn of time essential for laying the foundations for good planning, work distribution and seamless CRM project management execution.
In the past, managers used to schedule a meeting for almost everything simply because they wanted to be assured that the engaged personnel had all necessary information, resources and a clear idea of what needs to be done. Luckily, in the era of collaboration platforms meetings have been gradually mutated from communication tools to “get things done” tools. Replace “things” with job, contracts, requirements, deliverables and so forth and you have an idea. As resources and information are dealt through wikis, video conferencing, document sharing, activity streaming etc. in a semi-automated manner, there is a shift from internal meetings (within the team) to external ones (with the company’s customers, partners, suppliers etc).
The benefits from this shift are enormous:
- At least cut in half the total time spent in meetings. This also helps in productivity!
- Managers can now focus on external meetings
- Better prepared for customers/partners etc.
- Explore past information and statistics offered by the platform
- All work (presentations/produced) for the upcoming meeting is shared and notified to the right people in a neat and fully organized manner
- All post meeting information is shared and exploited instantly by the right people
- Filtered information is used as feedback for marketing and CRM activities (campaigns, social media posts etc.)
- Meetings and associated material are linked to tasks, events, contacts, accounts etc. increasing the overall traceability
- Meetings’ activity history can be obtained easily for analysis and further marketing process improvement with powerful Business Intelligence tools
Did collaboration platforms changed managers life? It depends on the manager actually and its willingness to adopt and to adapt to something new and promising. If this is the case then definitely, it’s not a matter of old dog new tricks stereotype as true managers constantly re-generate themselves through projects and stay always “fresh”. I would rather reverse the stereotype and boldly state that senior managers quickly embraced collaboration tools and saw the full potential of work de-centralization and team members’ empowerment. Juniors are the ones that due to lack of self- confidence and “combat” experience have the tendency to approach projects with a centralized attitude.
Collaboration platforms have been designed and built around team management and workspace formation. So whether you’re a junior or an old dog doesn’t really matter. Your collaboration platform will eventually teach you how to effectively manage your team.
Androklis Mavridis is an expert in Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Real Options and decision making in S/W investments