With the acceleration of teleworking and digital technology, collaborative work quickly became essential to maintain a link between employees working on the same project. As the CCS teams are spread over three different countries, it is essential for employees to have the means and time to exchange information as a group, in order to move forward together for the smooth running of the project.
The implementation of collaborative work
This notion of collaborative work means that several people work together in the same unit of time and (digital) space on a strategic project. This ultimately requires a mentality based on listening and helping each other. This way of working can lead to a reorganisation of workspaces in order to obtain a better communication, such as open spaces, innovation laboratories, creativity spaces. Thanks to the digitalisation of collaborative work, it is possible to do it in asynchronous mode: people can interact synchronously or asynchronously on a common tool depending on their availability.
This type of work requires a high level of mutual support and team cohesion in order to move forward together towards the same goal. This is what CCS employees do, with the implementation of an effective Agile method. This allows the teams to cooperate easily in order to achieve the common objectives set during the PI Planning for example. Finally, collaborative work could be defined as “working better together”.
For this working method to be effective, it is important to respect certain rules:
- Everyone must be able to express himself: One of the basic rules for organising collaborative work is the establishment of pillars such as listening, respect, benevolence and transparency. Each employee must be involved and everyone must be on an equal footing. Collaborative platforms such as Klaxoon (used by CCS team notably during PI Planning) are interesting for this.
- Having clear objectives: participants should have a clear idea of what is expected of them in order to achieve the common objectives.
- Transparency: everyone must know in real time who is where, who needs help. It is essential to share difficulties, risks and successes.
- Team building: it is important for team members to get to know each other, for example through team events (coffee, meals, and activities).
- Constant collaboration at regular intervals to foster communication and alignment through all program members
The benefits of collaborative work
The implementation of collaborative work tools and methods saves precious time for everyone. Indeed, by working together, employees avoid intermediaries, raise problems together and find solutions together. It is therefore easier to get to the point and work efficiently. This obviously improves the agility of the company.
Facilitating communication and improving collective intelligence
Collaborative tools make it possible, among other things, to avoid working in silos and instead to play collectively. Everyone will be able to express themselves freely and group thinking will be encouraged. On innovative projects or ideation workshops, this will encourage innovation, mutual aid and reactivity on the part of everyone.
Better synergy and project management
By working collaboratively, stakeholders can more easily create synergies between them and push for better coordination between teams. This method improves visibility on the progress of projects and the sharing of information. The different projects are better managed thanks to regular exchanges and everyone’s voice.
Employees are on the same level, thanks to the implementation of horizontal management. Each individual is free to propose ideas and take initiatives to move the project forward but also to improve the elements initially planned. The proposals are then approved by the whole team. Responsibility is no longer individual but collective. The teams are responsible and are encouraged to think and not just to execute their tasks. As teams are more directly involved in decision-making, they are more empowered and committed.
This method of working encourages interaction between people from different backgrounds and experiences to work together and collaborate. Knowledge, skills and competences are thus put at the service of the group, to advance the project, to propose new ideas and to solve problems. Each person will be able to learn from the others and learn new skills and ways of working.
This working method is therefore an essential means of enabling the circulation of information and guaranteeing contact with employees, which seems fundamental in this period of health crisis. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CCS teams have been collaborating remotely thanks to digital tools but also through global events of the Agile method which allow them to exchange information on a regular basis. However, keeping a physical and real link appears more and more essential, especially to integrate new collaborators or create team cohesion. Bringing together three geographically distinct teams is not easy during this time of pandemic, but the CCS teams hope to be able to meet again soon to share and progress on the project.