It’s an undeniable fact that the more organised and transparent the communication between colleagues is, the more productive an enterprise becomes. Many times, people from different departments need to cooperate in order to complete successfully a group project. If all of them are not informed of all the processes that are running, then the project may be a disaster. To avoid this kind of issues, organisations use collaboration tools . These tools started as simply team chat rooms but they have become essential because of their powerful features such as task management, video conferencing, time tracking, etc.
Which are the types of collaboration tools?
1. Instant Messaging
Companies use instant messaging software to improve communication between their staff members who may be located in different departments, places or even countries. Instant Messaging is faster and easier than emails and phone calls. It’s a time-saving way to ask simple questions, propose ideas or even conduct live polls.
2. Document Management System (DMS)
With document management systems businesses scale team members’ productivity. Through A DMS you can create, upload, store and share your files with everyone. Knowledge flows freely and safely in the organisation, enhancing teambuilding and brainstorming among teams.
3. Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is the technology that allows businesses to hold meetings with partners, clients, employees who are located in different places while seeing and talking to them in real-time. Through this collaboration software, you can schedule product demo appointments, interview prospective employees or discuss for a new partnership without the need to travel.
4. Task Management
Task management tools offer a checklist of tasks that can be checked off as tasks are completed. The user either creates tasks by himself or is assigned tasks by a supervisor, and others can be notified when a task has been completed. Some of their key features are online whiteboards, task prioritisation and timelines to meet deadlines.
5. Cloud Storage
Data can be stored within the organisation but also in the cloud. Cloud storage takes advantage of the power of the server’s information storage system which exists in the cloud. The data can be stored remotely via a telecommunications network.
6. Idea Management
Brainstorming sessions within a team can be an effective method for exchanging information and coming up with the best solution to a problem. Idea management or topics formalise this process, providing a space to capture and store ideas for review and implementation down the line.
7. Wiki and Knowledge Sharing Tools
These collaboration tools allow businesses to create wikis and manage information and internal communication in an organised way. Wikis can be accessed by all the team members so that information can be added by multiple contributors. Also, some tools allow you to assign roles such as contributors, editors, administrators, and viewers.
8. Online Shared Calendars
The shared calendar facilitates the organisation’s appointments and meetings without the need to consult all participants. The person organising the event finds a time interval and checks the availability of the other participants, of the meeting room and then sends out an invitation. Therefore, you save a lot of time for facilitating teamwork.
9. Note Taking Management
It’s always helpful to jot down notes from meetings or ideas as soon as they appear. Note-taking management apps allow users to store all notes in one formalized app, ensuring they are organized and easily found. Most of them have collaboration capabilities so multiple people access notes for reference later.
10. Enterprise Social Network (ESN)
An enterprise social network (ESN) is an internal, private social network, which companies often use for faster networking among employees. The main advantage of these collaboration tools is that they resemble other widespread social media platforms, so employees are familiar with the use of them because they are experienced with similar interfaces such as Facebook and Twitter.