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Three Types of Collaboration in Your Digital Workplace

Three Types of Collaboration in Your Digital Workplace

With hundreds—if not thousands—of “collaboration” programs and apps available today, how do you know which ones are a fit for your organization? Before answering that question, it’s important to understand the three types of collaboration in the digital workplace. We’ll break it down for you.

As online collaboration tools continue to permeate the enterprise, intranet managers need to make their intranet the hub of internal collaboration or risk irrelevancy.

Collaboration means working together to get something done. At a minimum, your intranet should facilitate the following three types of collaboration within your digital workplace:

Instant Collaboration

Goal: Share ideas and get immediate feedback
Offline equivalent: Face-to-face meetings & phone calls
Online solutions: Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, &

Instant collaboration tools include instant messaging and desktop screen-sharing. Your intranet should provide links or downloads for these tools and instructions on how to use them. Advanced integration could include an indicator beside names in the employee directory to show who’s online.

Project Collaboration

Goal: Plan and execute a project
Offline equivalent: Status meetings & war boards
Online solutions: BaseCamp, Central Desktop, eProject, etc.

Project collaboration tools usually include a shared calendar, to-do lists, message boards and a file repository. Your intranet should link to your project collaboration tool and include suggestions on how to use it effectively. Advanced integration could include a personalized to-do list on the intranet home page.

Mass Collaboration

Goal: Ongoing sharing, learning and connecting with teammates
Offline equivalent: Team off-sites, workshops, conferences
Online solutions: Confluence, SocialText, ThoughtFarmer, etc

Mass collaboration solutions make it easy to create, share, and find content. They include wikis, blogs, and social bookmarking. The best ones leverage the network effect to aggregate individual contributions in ways that create value for the entire organization. Your intranet shouldn’t be integrated with a mass collaboration solution. It should be a mass collaboration solution.

The intranet team should pursue ownership of all types of online collaboration and integrate them into a single portal. The future for intranets is mass collaboration.

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June 25, 2018

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