A collaborative work system significantly affects how information is generated, shared, and monetized within a company or between enterprises.
But transforming a more traditional company into a flexible, collaborative one requires significant effort, as it usually must integrate traditionally isolated functions. For this reason, many enterprises beta-test collaborative models, one R&D project at a time, in order to control reorganization costs and weigh the advantages provided by different models.
The primary goal is to ensure that knowledge, data, and ideas that were once contained in a function become accessible to innovation teams. With a lateral, flexible organizational design, these teams can quickly support one another during the R&D process and accelerate launches of products and services.
However, while dynamic cross-functional teams enable constant casual communication, it’s also important to build formal checkpoints into the project schedule so that issues, solutions and new ideas birthed by the team are formally logged in.
In a collaborative workforce model, such ideas and benchmark information at large are incessantly reworked and applied to different projects. By formally cataloging those, other teams in the organization can more easily reference and borrow from them, increasing productivity and driving innovation while keeping overhead low through best practices.
In a recent blog post, Clear Company affirms that Millennials (who will soon be the largest segment of the workforce) have fully embraced the interplay of teamwork and technology—with nearly half supporting the use of social tools for workplace collaboration.