As much as you dislike it (or maybe refuse to admit it), you can’t know everything. At some point, you need to let others take part in, or even lead, projects so that your organization can benefit from the diverse knowledge and expertise of its team members.
Here are some ways that SmartFile can support the benefits of a collaborative work environment.
Collaboration Doesn’t Have to Mean Chaos
We understand that some organizations shy away from content collaboration because it has not gone well in the past. When you are working off of pen and paper it can get messy, and even digital files can get lost in email chains or an old version can inadvertently be chosen from a desktop.
You need to ensure that people have access to the most recent version of the file or you could end up creating more work for yourself or your teammates. A great way to keep track of what version you are using is by utilizing SmartFile’s versioning to ensure everyone has the right file at the right time.
Content collaboration doesn’t have to feel like there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Maybe you have an out of the box thinker who has good ideas but often goes rogue and changes the content into a completely different animal. Or maybe you have a team member that is too heavy with their editorial red pen and slashes and hacks the content until there is nothing left.
With a file sharing solution like SmartFile, you can set the number of versions so that it doesn’t get out of control and land you back at square one.
A Collaborative Culture is a Transparent Culture
Being a collaborative organization is beneficial in numerous ways, but one of the more indirect benefits is that it encourages transparency. By admitting that no one person can accomplish a complicated project alone (no, not even you!), you foster a collective understanding that it is ok to ask for help, which will undoubtedly improve the outcome of your projects.
Being transparent also means that you might need to be ok with letting people know when their input is not necessary (I’m looking at you, Greg). With SmartFile’s granular permissions you can restrict access to certain files by role or individual.
Your accountant may have an eye for design. But doesn’t mean she should have the power to edit a client’s design file. It’s ok to set controls so that a specific role doesn’t have editing power over your important documents.
Collaboration Isn’t Fixed
Sometimes you need input on the fly. Whether you’re literally flying to a client meeting in another state and need some last minute collaboration on the presentation or an integral team member needs to work from home so they can nurse a sick kid, professional teamwork should be able to happen where ever your team is. You shouldn’t need to book the conference room to work together.
When you’re using a file sharing solution like SmartFile, mobility is easy. You can share a link instead of the entire file by email, which can be unwieldy if you are using a mobile device. And if the information is sensitive you can even set expiration dates for temporary links and password encryption for added security.
Collaborate at the office, from your couch, or at your favorite coffee shop.
Collaboration is Responsive
We’ve all had it happen to us: A client changes their mind in the middle of a project and now the objective is different. If your organization embraces a collaborative environment instead of working in silos, it’s easier to pivot and be responsive.
If your organization finds itself needing to act quickly and work together to make changes to files, it’s important to know exactly when edits are made so that the file can be taken to the next step or passed to the next person. SmartFile’s alerts can send you an email as soon as a change is made so you don’t have to wait. There’s no need to pester your teammate every 20 minutes.
And if you’re checking your alerts and notice that one particular team member isn’t contributing as much as others you can be aware and respond appropriately. But don’t immediately berate them for not doing their share.
A large part of effective content collaboration is feeling comfortable enough to share your ideas with others and not feel judged, so see if there is anything that you can do to make them more engaged with the project. Do they have a lot of other projects on their plate right now? Do they not truly understand the objective of the project?
A responsive team leader makes for engaged collaborative team members who embrace change rather than run from it.
If you had a mother like mine, you probably heard the phrase, “many hands make light work” at least every other day. Well, it’s true. When you collaborate at work it makes everyone’s lives easier and your projects benefit from a diversity of ideas and opinions.