How A Collaboration Platform Can Help You Build a Successful Distributed Team
In this article, we are going to discuss how a collaboration tool can help to build a successful team.
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A successful business operates best when members of a team work with a similar mindset, each performing their specific role towards fulfilling long-term business goals. It’s easy to keep everyone on the same page when you are working under the same roof. But when you talk about distributed teams, which is going to be the way to look ahead in the future, things are a little different. Unlike regular offices, you don’t have the option to gather everyone for meetings and sit together to plan. This is where collaboration platforms come into the picture.
By bringing together your remote teams, and giving them a central place for everything, collaboration platforms eventually help in building your team into a successful unit. But for this to happen, you need to understand your team’s requirements, how they work, and how a collaboration platform is going to help you build your distributed team. And, this is exactly what this article is going to help you figure out.
1. Building a Distributed Team
To build a successful distributed team, we need to understand the core aspects that are involved in building the team. So, here we are going to discuss those aspects and how a collaboration platform can play an imperative role in bringing those aspects together:
2. Clearly Defined Roles
If you put together people with different expertise and simply tell them to work on something, do you think it will lead to something productive being done? Of course, not.
Simply putting together people with different expertise in your niche, and telling them to start working is going to create complete chaos. On the other hand, if you have a well-defined role and clear structure for your team, working together, even when no one is present under the same roof, is going to be a lot easier.
Building a team, especially a distributed one, is not just about getting people with different expertise together. It is about finding the right place for everyone in the team and then letting them know how they fit in.
Collaboration software can help you do that by letting you define custom roles for team members and providing them access levels according to their roles. Everyone knows what they are supposed to do, and since they are the masters of their skill, they better know how to do it.
3. Structured Workflows
There could be a hundred ways to do a job. But knowing what’s the best strategy for your team to do it is what matters the most. This is where having a structured workflow becomes important.
Collaboration platforms with features like kanban boards and custom workflows allow you to do just that. You can have an efficient work distribution, where everyone knows what they are supposed to do and how does their work fit in the bigger picture i.e. the overall outcome of the project.
Since everyone has a clearly defined role, and they know the pattern they need to follow for doing their tasks, it becomes easier to keep everyone on the same page and work productively. Isn’t that the first sign of a winning team - to deliver maximum productivity?
4. Open Channels of Communication
To err is human, and without open communication channels, the rate of errors can go quite up, especially when you don’t have the luxury of working on the same premise. This is the reason that communication becomes the most important aspect of working with distributed teams.
You need to provide your remote teams with open communication channels so that they can work together. Whenever someone has a query or is stuck somewhere, they can simply connect over these channels and find a solution together. Not only is communication imperative for efficient working, but it is also important for keeping everyone engaged beyond work as well.
Modern-day collaboration software are equipped with communication features that empower teams to stay connected and work without any limitations.
5. Real-Time Collaboration
One of the toughest aspects of creating a high-performing distributed team is collaboration. Since everyone is scattered across the globe, and working in different zones (perhaps), it is important to have something that can bring them together for brainstorming and discussing stuff.
Collaboration platforms serve perfectly to solve this problem. With online collaboration software, you can bring people that matter, together, and discuss, brainstorm, and share ideas. Since everything is centralized, so everyone can easily share their thoughts in real-time.
It’s like a virtual office, where you can carry out team meetings and important discussions to keep everything in the project moving on the right track.
6. Monitoring Work Done
Bringing everyone together and distributing their roles to work towards a common goal is one thing. Making sure that everyone is on the same page and everything is being executed to perfection is another.
Collaboration platforms with powerful reporting features are a blessing for managers and leaders who are working with distributed teams. By defining reporting parameters, they can eventually see everyone’s efforts, plan their projects and resources better. And, also make iterations in the projects, whenever they feel is necessary.
This way everyone also feels accountable for their work, since everyone can see how their efforts are contributing towards the ultimate goal in individual reports.
7. The Feeling of Being Appreciated
Team culture plays a major role in building remote teams that can achieve greatness. By letting your team members know that you value their work, you can eventually set the foundation for a team in which everyone is willing to go that extra mile for you.
You don't need to wait for something groundbreaking to happen to appreciate your team members. Thanking them for acts like achieving a milestone in the project, meeting task deadlines, or always delivering their work on time are small things worth appreciating. And, recognizing these small things can be the best thing that you can do.
Bringing everyone together to share these small announcements and celebrating virtually can boost the morale of your distributed teams, and eventually create a culture of success!
Once you have an understanding of what needs to be done for creating a successful distributed team, choosing a collaboration platform that can help you achieve your goals becomes easy. Since you know what you are looking for, you can choose a platform (or platforms) that can suffice your needs. Remember, it’s not just about working together - it’s about working together to achieve results. And, with a powerful collaboration platform, you can make your dream of having a successful remote team come true.
Published at DZone with permission of Vartika Kashyap. See the original article here.
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