Collaboration used to happen in a conference room with dry-erase markers and a whiteboard to unleash ideas. However, the cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas was traditionally an in-person activity, with design sprints, dot voting, and journey maps covered with Post-It notes.
The epidemic, however, pushed collaboration to move digital. Nevertheless, after a year of relearning how to collaborate, one truth remained true: people determine the results, not places. Therefore, no matter how excellent we are at it, collaboration is a skill that we feel has to be refreshed regularly.
As a result, here’s a list of the best advice you may utilize to rekindle your creativity when working remotely.
1. Select a moderator
Every meeting needs the presence of a facilitator or leader. This individual does not have to be the meeting’s organizer, but they must be directly accountable for its success. This individual may test tools, go through any activities, form breakout groups, and plan for any bottlenecks before the meeting.
2. Give yourself time to be inspired
In a design office, it’s simple to get inspired by desk items, LEGOs, Funko figurines, and books. First, however, teams must promote creativity and cooperation via planning and ideation in the absence of a traditional design environment. So what are some of the most effective tactics we’ve discovered? First, use a “one-day problem framing,” as described by Home Depot’s designers, which is dedicating one entire eight-hour day to a design sprint with the express aim of brainstorming products or tools to enhance cross-functional cooperation.
Don’t have time to spend a whole day to design thinking? You can also keep the flame alive — if in lesser quantities — by allowing your staff to share what inspires them every week, whether it’s a new font or podcast.
3. Make use of the appropriate tools
Trust is the foundation of collaboration. When it comes to moving it to a digital environment, though, you’ll need the proper tools as well.
Miro: Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard platform that allows teams to collaborate from anywhere at any time. It’s a mix of diagramming and flowchart and presentation software, with mind mapping and video conferencing thrown in for good measure. And it’s all done in collaboration. You may use it to sketch a concept or make a slideshow on your own or with others editing at the same time. Miro includes built-in video and voice calling, as well as screen sharing, so you can speak about your work while you’re doing it or give a presentation while showing off your product. Miro’s true brilliance lies in how simple it is to pick up and use, even though it seems like a jumble of concepts.
Asana: Asana is a fantastic collaboration tool that assists teams in managing a wide range of activities. Its versatility and broad possibilities are definitely worth the first work it takes to get started, even if it is perplexing at first. Asana is a favorite among productivity buffs, and for a good reason. It’s a teamwork tool that keeps track of anything from tasks to processes to certain sorts of projects. However, don’t mistake it for a full-fledged project management platform; it lacks resource management capabilities, budgeting and expenditure monitoring, and other things you’d expect in that sort of program.
Trello: Trello is a project management tool that helps you keep track of everything you’re working on. Trello is a project management software, and online collaboration platform that you’ve probably came across if you’ve ever looked into it. It allows you to effortlessly manage tasks and collaborate with others via the web and mobile apps. For example, you may work with boards or lists on the site, organized by teams and functions. Within them, you may create to-do lists and delegate tasks to coworkers. You may also assign comments to cards, which is a simple method to provide feedback to others.
Monday.com: Monday.com is a task and workflow management tool for teams. The user interface is appealing, and there is a lot of room for customization. Monday.com keeps your entire team in sync, whether you’re working in the office, at home, or across the globe. This work operating system (Work OS) keeps all of your work organized and accessible on one visual platform. You may modify Monday.com to fit your team’s needs without having to know how to code. First, automate data entry, processes, and other time-consuming operations so you can concentrate on more important responsibilities. After that, assign duties to ensure that nothing slips between the gaps.
4. Don’t start from scratch
Templates for cooperation are available on the online whiteboard. IBM’s “Product Pyramid” template, created to assist teams in visualizing their product goals, is one of those that can aid to get the ideas flowing. IBM teams will sometimes work jointly to complete the template. They also utilize it to encourage people to tackle the portions that they are most interested in. In any case, the team will never have to begin a collaborative session from scratch.
5. Hold regular retrospectives
Regular retrospectives that encourage constructive talks can help build your team’s trust. Setting expectations early so team members know how to engage effectively is one approach to improve your next retro. (Will cameras, for example, be required to be turned on?) To get the conversation started, ask simple questions such as, “How would you summarize the previous two weeks in one word?”
6. Form cross-departmental collaborations
Don’t restrict your cooperation to the design and engineering teams if you work in a big company. Instead, form cross-team alliances with others. Be the sort of leader who can bridge and establish genuine relationships with individuals who have been overlooked.
7. Get your bearings
Miscommunication of how various mental models interact is often the cause of gaps, such as those between design and engineering. You must alter how you work if you want to change how your teams interact. First, determine the common pain points in your group: Who will pick up the slack? Is a single individual a bottleneck in the workflow? You’ll be able to better tackle problems jointly if you can determine where they occur frequently.