There is no doubt that collaboration tools will help your business work better and smarter than ever before. But in order use this software to your full advantage it has to be introduced and deployed effectively. As we have talked and worked with customers, we have learned five of the best tips for successfully deploying collaboration tools.
Have a Purpose
The most important thing you can do when deploying collaboration tools is to have a purpose. Some collaboration technologies are designed to just engage departments or project teams through sharing. This is really to be expected, given that Twitter and Facebook styles of communication are becoming the norm. Sharing is important, but it needs a purpose. We have seen the greatest success with our customers when they take our core communication tools and wrap them around project management, task management, idea management or some other greater objective. The key here is to have an objective in mind and to leverage the communication paradigms to help bring those activities to life.
Get Management Involved
With any initiative, goal, objective, etc. it is critical to get the management behind you. When management is properly informed about the benefits and advantages of effective collaboration tools, they will be much more open to exploring and embracing the option. Going it alone, forcing the issue, or not getting management support is almost always a recipe for disaster. Prepared and encourage management to be on your side.
Don’t Go Around IT
Many would be innovators avoid IT, afraid that their idea will be shot down or won’t be taken seriously. This might, unfortunately, be true within a lot of organizations, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Like working with management, involving IT can help you avoid bigger challenges down the road. IT by nature is typically tasked with information security, and like it or not, company information sharing is their business. As a side note to IT folks, be open to your users. Don’t discount what they are trying to do and the solution they are bringing to the table. Create a mutual partnership to understand the current problems and available options.
Try Before You Buy
Whatever solution you decide to deploy, it is important to experience a fully functional free trial. Don’t get roped into a trial that has features disabled, or limits either end user or administrative capabilities. A trial should offer everything you are considering with the initial rollout. At MangoApps, we place a high value on this and provide fully functional trials to everyone. We also realize that it might take a little more time than a set 30 days, so we are flexible with your trial period to ensure you have the right amount of time to make a decision before you get ready to start deploying collaboration tools.
Walk Before You Run
Finally, be aware that technology is outpacing the end user’s ability to consume. Solutions are becoming loaded with features, apps, etc. that are simply too much and often go unused. As you consider deploying collaboration tools, make sure you can consume capabilities in realistic chunks. Be aware of all of the important capabilities available to you and bring them into the mix as those needs warrant. Remember the find your purpose first and then slowly expand and explore from there. Our MangoApps suite allows our customers to do just this, adding capabilities as the need emerges.