The Team is the Canvas

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Leveraging teams-oriented workspaces for collaboratively creating joint business results

It’s nothing more than appropriate that in the era of the Personal Computer, we have been doing our IT work from the metaphor of a desktop; a workspace that arranges applications and information from a highly individual perspective. Now, with everybody and everything connected in real-time, the canvas on which we produce is much more shaped by the teams we are in, the social graph of people inside and outside these teams, the way teams collaborate to achieve common goals, and the information that is needed and produced while doing so. Our preferred palette of technology tools in business changes accordingly, equipping us with a predominantly Team state-of-mind when creating our next starry nights.

What

  • Easy to use, collaborative tools provide a shared workspace combining many of the previous collaboration and communication solutions into one; these tools evolve into full-fledged collaboration platforms, but are also popping up as ‘plug-ins’ at all places where collaboration is needed – for example, when creating a document or handling a service request.
  • Typically, these tools are cloud solutions that start to incorporate automation and artificial intelligence to further augment collaboration, for example, in terms of automatically scribing meetings, identifying key people, or finding exactly the right information needed by the team for the task at hand.
  • More collaboration platforms become “programmable’, in the sense that they become a canvas for mini-applications and services, aimed at supporting specific collaboration tasks; in a way, collaboration platforms thus become the new desktop – the starting point for all activities.
  • Being able to connect to and navigate through the “social graph” of co-workers, partners and clients provides unmatched, fine-grained opportunities to work together.
  • Collaboration platforms and tools do not only provide generic ways of working together; some are geared towards very specific team-driven activities, for example defining, monitoring and achieving joint KPIs or brainstorming and selecting innovative ideas.

Use

  • A Dutch cosmetics and lifestyle brand built all of its internal collaboration and communication between head office and stores on a cloud-based collaboration platform. This involved training, product information, floor plans and marketing, but also included point of sales systems. Staff in the store is connected in real-time to the platform through tablets.
  • Sport retailer, Finish Linenoted that after deploying a collaboration tool, emails between store operations and corporate departments to the stores have been reduced by 90%, because they now communicate through Finish Line Connect, their internal collaboration platform.
  • The Farmers Insurance Group brought all 20-thousand of its American workers onto Workplace by Facebook, in order to keep each other connected in real time benefitting from sharing information when needed most, for example during a weather crisis. As Workplace by Facebook is simply a version of Facebook but for businesses, employees needed next to no training.
  • Companies such as Workday use the WorkBoard platform to collaboratively work on defining and achieving Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) throughout their organization.
  • TechnoVision 2020 was entirely created using Microsoft Teams.

Impact

  • Higher productivity of teams, with more focus on creating specific results, achieved in a shorter time and involving less infrastructure.
  • Optimal leverage of available team members, even when not physically at the same place, connected at the same time, or part of the same organizational unit.
  • Information workers save hours per week from improved collaboration and information sharing.

Tech

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