There’s nothing like a double helix to animate an entity, breathe life into it, and help generate objectives and actions. It’s true for fruit flies, human beings, and enterprises. Now, decoding the DNA of animals is immensely complicated. On the other hand, identifying the critical strands that make an organization function effectively is much simpler. Better still, the process works in reverse too. In addition, we can build better, higher performance enterprises, if we make the effort. The process collaboration pair, correctly intertwined, gives an organization much of the basic structure it needs to succeed.
It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.Charles Darwin
How Collaboration Helps Enterprises
But why should this be so? Isn’t the ideal enterprise a well-oiled machine that executes processes without missing a step or skipping a beat, steam-rolling its way over competitors and relentlessly raking in profits? Not quite. Enterprises depend on people to succeed. People depend on each other to move in the right direction at the right time. In other words, collaboration is a key part of the mix. As a result, the advantages to organizations are multiple:
- Access to skills and know-how. Everybody has individual strengths and weaknesses. Good collaboration reinforces the former and cancels out the latter.
- Learning. Collaboration gives people the chance to see how their colleagues think and operate, and to learn and improve their own capabilities accordingly.
- Innovate and solve faster. The personal silo of one has no place in most of the today’s enterprises. Collaboration between people can solve a problem in hours that would have flummoxed an individual for months.
- Bite-sized chunks of work. Collaboration can put an end to task indigestion, allowing work to be chopped up into chunks that are easier and faster to handle overall.
- Scaling up activities. The best collaboration is scalable without limit. Bigger projects simply need more people with the right collaboration.
- Constructive differences. Collaboration doesn’t necessarily mean people immediately agree on everything. However, a little creative abrasion in collaboration, as it has been called, can yield better performance and results than groupthink where nobody dares to be different.
- Job satisfaction. When more things get done with better results, employees can say “I was part of that.” As a result, job satisfaction and loyalty are both likely to benefit.
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Process Management Makes Collaboration Effective
Examples of collaboration stories include sales teams at GE Aviation reducing task time from a week to a matter of minutes by sharing documents and accessing knowhow. Also, employees in the CEMEX alternative fuels program reduced CO2 emissions and saved the company hundreds of millions of dollars, thanks to experience sharing and process collaboration.
However, collaboration on its own lacks the backbone to bring in meaning, order, and progression. The right business processes provide a framework. Within this, the collaborative muscle can move an organization to desirable results. The aim is to achieve two things:
- Embedding of collaboration methodologies within business processes
- The shaping of collaborative efforts by business processes to direct them towards results.
Practical Steps Towards Process Collaboration Pairing
These practical steps help organizations to move towards this process and collaboration pairing:
- Understand business objectives. Obvious though it may sound, many enterprises skip this critical initial step. First, you must know what you want to achieve. Only then can you map out the process to get there, and build in the collaboration to get there faster and more efficiently.
- Understand how work is done. Visualization of process steps easily and rapidly in Tallyfy lets you see which information must be available where, when, and by whom.
- Help managers achieve the embedding. The Tallyfy process management platform provides valuable support for the use of suitable collaboration tools, such as enterprise social networks.
- Empower employees to work better. Flexible process definition and a process management platform let an enterprise and its staff smoothly handle different outcomes at different stages. That means that employees can get on with their jobs and their collaboration without being unnecessarily blocked.
3 Common Process Collaboration Problems and How to Avoid Them
Conversely, three major pitfalls to avoid in bringing process and collaboration into play for the benefit of an organization are:
- Lack of clear goals. Check with managers responsible for setting up processes and fostering collaboration. They must be able to correctly articulate the key business objectives of the organization.
- No transparency in decision-making. Processes often require a decision to be made at one point at least, even simply if it is a go/no-go decision. It should be clear what the criteria for the decision-making are. Then employees can trust the process and accentuate their collaboration, without having to worry whether decisions are being made properly.
- Management uncommitted. Management support for a process and collaboration within that process must be clear and unambiguous. Moreover, managers themselves must also abide by the same rules whenever the activity is to be carried out.
In summary, this process collaboration intertwining can propel an enterprise rapidly along the road to success. By respecting a few fundamental principles and by using the right tools for collaboration and process management, staff can build the organizational DNA to get an enterprise and its workforce functioning effectively and efficiently, day in and day out.