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Driving team collaboration in your digital workplace (BP)
This best practice provides recommendations to help transition your organization to successfully collaborating in your digital workplace solution.
If your organization is used to collaborating using emails, attachments, and shared drives, transitioning to Igloo team and/or project rooms may be difficult because these old habits are so ingrained. But there are several significant advantages to making the switch:
- Discussions in team rooms happen in a single place and are visible to anyone with access rights. In contrast, team members collaborating via email can only see the parts of the discussion that they happen to be copied on. There may be entire conversations they are not aware of because someone forgot to copy them.
- Discussions in team rooms have a permanence. If someone joins the team midway through the project, the entire discussion up to that point is easily available to them. If those prior conversations happened in email, the newbie either gets forwarded a big collection of email threads or, more likely, never even gets to see most of what was previously said.
- Team rooms (provided they have open permissions) allow others who are not part of the team to see what is going on. This is especially useful if the team's work has an impact on the larger organization. Connections can be made to related teams and projects, better decisions can be made when they include factors the team members might not have foreseen, and the team room can later become an archive and record of the context around those decisions.
So if the idea of team rooms is new to your organization, you will want to position the first one to be as successful as possible so that it can be a role model for others. Here are some tips for setting up that very first team room to maximize your chances of success at adopting this new way of working. It may be that no team will meet all these criteria, but the more of them it has the more successful it will be:
- Select a team containing an enthusiastic group of early adopters. It's very hard to push a new technology on people who aren't that interested in using it. Employees who have that early adopter, try anything mentality will dive in and enjoy the experience. Their exploration mindset makes them more likely to find the best ways to extract value from this new technology.
- Select a team that has members in different locations. "Location" doesn't necessarily mean a different city; it could just be a different floor of the same building. But the closer the team members are to each other physically, the easier it is to just walk down the hall or shout over the cubicle wall. Increased physical distance between team members shifts the path of least resistance from face-to-face interaction to team room participation.
- Select a team that is doing meaningful, business-related activity. Setting up a team room just to play around in or for a low impact project means that it will quickly fall to the bottom of the priority list. Ideally, find a manager with an early adopter mentality who is willing to say something like "From now on our team will use this room for all team communications."
- Select a team doing work that can be visible to those outside the team. A team working on a top-secret project might get tremendous value from the use of a team room, but how they got that value will not be seen by anyone but the team members. Selecting a team willing to "work out loud" enables others to imagine how they might do their own work differently.
- Select a team doing work that will be eventually shared with the larger organization. Even if the team room is open to everyone, the work being done might not be of interest to most of the organization. Selecting a team doing work that much of the organization relies on means that interest in the outcome becomes a driver for bringing others into the team room to observe what's going on.
- Identify opportunities for mobile use or integration with other applications. If a team room can be accessed from anywhere at any time, and can serve not only as a collaboration space but as a hub or portal out to other applications such as Sharepoint or Salesforce, it will more likely become the "go-to place" for team members when doing their work.
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