Enterprise collaboration is an essential function of many of the most popular web applications today. This is especially true of the new SharePoint 2013, which offers a host of collaborative tools to make it easier for people to work together on digital projects of all sizes and scopes. There are many reasons why people collaborate in organizations: to bring different talents and strengths together on projects, to get new opinions and points of view, to share the workload, to reduce risk and ensure quality control – and the list goes on. The most popular enterprise content management solutions are meant to help people achieve these goals more efficiently by making it easier to find, access and collaborate on documents and files for a variety of projects.
But many people still don’t collaborate as much as they could within businesses and organizations, for many different reasons. This article will discuss some of those reasons and how the latest version of this content management and website-building application is helping avoid some of the most common pitfalls.
Failure to Communicate
In many cases, there is simply a failure to communicate throughout the different levels of an organization. This could be because of an outdated enterprise content management system within the office or due to a total lack of such a system. Maybe everyone is just on their own and left to contact individuals over the phone or via email every time they have a question or concern, rather than having easy access to all individuals and teams with regard to every document and project.
A failure to collaborate could simply be because of location issues – different teams of people may be working on different floors of a building, in different buildings or even in different cities, states or countries. If they don’t have a good system to communicate with one another during every step of their collaborative projects without slowing the work down, they will probably tend to work more closely with the people in their immediate vicinity. Of course, the right enterprise content management solutions could make it much easier.
Too Many Links in the Chain of Command
Sometimes, people fail to collaborate because there are just too many steps in the chain of command and too many administrative processes between where they are and where their desired end result is. If it’s too complicated, they just don’t make the effort to collaborate more than they are required to.
There are many reasons why people don’t collaborate in organizations, but often it all comes down to people being stuck in inefficient processes that bind them in red tape and hold them back from getting work done alongside others as quickly and effectively as they could. The new SharePoint 2013 offers some effective solutions to these types of problems, although it was previously not known primarily as a platform for social computing. The latest version of this popular web application has many new enterprise collaboration tools, such as social tagging and an improved version of My Sites that includes microblogging features such as app mentions, hashtags, “likes” and more. A new People Card feature allows employees and managers to create a profile with contact information as well as activity feeds from other social networking sites, with photographs, status updates and more. More importantly, new discussion forums make it easier for colleagues to communicate and collaborate, and the SkyDrive Pro cloud syncing and storage application makes it easier to share files throughout the entire organization at every level.
From sharing information to asking and answering questions to working collaboratively on documents and projects, there are many new enterprise content management solutions that should make it much easier to collaborate.
What are some of the pitfalls that you face at your organization?
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Jim Kane is the Director of Collaboration and Knowledge Management (KM) at Paragon Solutions. Jim leads the KM practice with a focus on knowledge management and SharePoint-based solutions that support day-to-day business optimization via virtual problem solving, communities of practice, knowledge repositories, role-based communication portals, partner collaboration, and information dashboards. He is co-author of a patent, “Methods of Knowledge Management,” and has over 15 years of experience teaching at the college level as an adjunct instructor. Jim has presented at numerous regional and national conferences on the topics of Knowledge Communities, Adoption Strategies for SharePoint, and Global SharePoint deployments.