Collaboration is a working practice where individuals work together to a common purpose to achieve business benefits.
Directive management, popular during the industrial era, is quite challenging to apply in IT nowadays due to a variety of factors. Let me elaborate further the reasons why.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”Steve Jobs
With the advent of modern technologies, specialized education, specific products, complex environments and setups in IT, managers have no choice but to rely on a team with multiple expertise, multiple experience, and background to find a solution to an issue. Moreover, the world is constantly in motion, days and night, particularly thanks to connectivity and digitization, and especially with the promotion of collaborative tooling in business environments, making the whole course of events challenging to catch-up.
Therefore, the directive management does not guarantee any more success and best practices in any project, as the picture is getting too complex and requires too much knowledge to be managed by a single person. Hence, collaborative tooling has emerged as a way of working in IT for finding creative solutions.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”Henry Ford
Collaborative managers have taken every possible step to promote collaboration among team members because optimizing each person’s skills by utilizing suggestions from around the table can inspire cooperation and creative buy-in from everyone involved.
It is time to delve further and understand how collaboration can be paramount when it comes to managing a workforce.
Self-Analysis is Nurtured
Collaboration challenges team members to ponder, articulate and clarify their competencies. It serves as a mirror that provides a glimpse of their strengths and weaknesses. As the saying goes, “Two heads are always better than one”. It is all about functioning together as a team, complementing each other to help rise above individual limitations.
Creative Inputs are Broadened
When team members collaborate, a variety of knowledge and skills are merged, creating a talent pool that is not only vast and more competent but also able and experienced. Virtual collaboration, thanks to the Internet, help businesses to gain a better market reach where people from diverse backgrounds can thrive.
Differences Are Opportunities
It is important to remember, that people are essentially different. When several people from different backgrounds function as a team, it is essential to work out a way to leverage those differences and identify how the team members can complement each other. The managers need to comprehend that, even if the project fails to shape up to their desirable vision, the partnership can still achieve a great deal in the long run. Whenever team members collaborate, it enhances their capacity to go beyond respective comfort zones and take the business to greater heights.
Intricate Solutions are Found
Collaboration fast-tracks progress. When working as an individual, a team member may require months to resolve a problem. But when several other members bring their unique standpoints and expertise to the table, it will take a shorter time span to get things done. These viewpoints will lead to multiple ideas and solutions that a single member may be devoid of when working alone.
Efficiency is Amplified
When multiple individuals are allocated to a project, the work is being divided up equally and efficiently, significantly reducing the project delivery time. Managers refer to it as the divide and conquer strategy, entailing teaming up of several individuals together, dividing up the tasks among them, and accomplishing the project with a relatively increased efficiency.
In a situation where two professionals are working together, they get the opportunity to interact and share ideas, a chance to exchange coherent operating and negotiating skills, which can be used in their own field to look at things with a new perspective and improve individually.
A Sense of Togetherness is Fostered
When professionals work together, the inherent bond between them develops significantly, improving support in challenging periods. Moreover, when a manager steps up to assist team members, it motivates them to work harder as a recognition of such efforts, which subsequently helps the manager to fulfil his/her duty of supervision. A favourable working environment is fostered, which is essential to encourage cooperation, exposure, and acceptance of cultural diversity.
In companies where collaborative behaviour is promoted, the outcomes are perceived to be more consequential or easier to demonstrate. This also indicates that managers are only able to understand, appreciate and demonstrate the benefits of collaboration when an organization provides an environment that systematically supports, captures and utilizes collaborative behaviour.
Collaboration or shared responsibilities mean that the whole team is being engaged towards shared solutions, which is key to the company’s success and sustainability.
Progressive companies are increasingly realizing the importance of collaboration to support their business in the long term, searching for ways to foster it within their teams, both traditional and virtual. In the end, it is a two-way street, which benefits each and every level of management.
Vianney D. Lejeune is an end-to-end IT Service and Program Manager with over 10 years of experience in IT Consultancy, regarded as talented and result-focussed by his peers.
His company manages its own IT Services to deliver efficient and quality services related to the Internet for small businesses, and IT support for end-users.
Supported by chosen and skilled IT contractors, including off-shore support, the company is expanding towards other businesses on an international scale.
Further information and references are available on request.