All employees deserve an opportunity to contribute and all of us generally approach work tasks with good intent and enthusiasm. Whether individually or as part of working within different organizational teams, our level of engagement will have a significant impact on the success or failure of operational goals. So, how can we ensure we keep teams engaged in projects from start to finish?
The initial enthusiasm that is often found at the start of brainstorming and innovation can be blunted if the organization doesn’t support the right team environment (including digital tools). The willingness of the team or individuals to collaborate will be nurtured or starved based upon critical factors:
- “Out of sight; out of mind” – People need to know to include the right teams in the process. Even without physical separation or lack of relationships, teams need to recognize the scope of their initiatives and understand which departments to include.
- Lack of digitalization – Technology should not be used for its own sake, but the majority of business innovation requires volumes of complex information and data that is difficult to manage manually. Market statistics, 3D product designs, regulatory and legal briefs are all data sources that are challenging for teams to easily comprehend without using digital formats. At best, time is required to understand the information. At worst, critical data will be misunderstood or completely ignored leading to frustration.
- Lack of integrated tools – Delivering innovation in products or services is a process which follows a connected workflow. The process of ideation/brainstorming combined with executing a plan seems quite straightforward, but the two pieces of the workflow are completely different in method. Using disparate tools adds unnecessary hurdles and complexity to the creative process and often significantly discourages team engagement.
- Responsibility and accountability – Innovation relies upon a total team effort to achieve the desired end result. The workload may ebb and flow between departments but ultimately each team needs to step up at key times and “deliver the goods.” Manual- and email-based processes often leave specific actions and responsibilities open to interpretation. Team engagement will take a hit if it seems like others are not engaged or missing deadlines.
How Collaboration Platforms Increase Engagement
One way of providing visibility to other teams is through collaboration platforms that shine light into departments and teams that we may not know today. Seeing posts, discussions and questions from others helps reveal the importance of including them in the discussion and provide an instant way of connecting.
Digital platforms offer a native environment for teams to aggregate, visualize and interact with complex data and information. This is especially true for product design that might incorporate 3D models or highly detailed projects with hundreds of interconnected tasks to track. In both examples, a common platform makes it easy for teams to leverage both easily.
Seamlessly sharing information across the workflows in a platform makes it effortless for teams to transition from ideation to execution (and to move between the two as needed to solve problems, etc.). This allows teams to focus all of their time on what’s important and keep up their engagement levels.
With all teams on a unified platform, it becomes easy to assign responsibility and track progress towards common goals. It’s possible to visit a common dashboard and see overall progress and potential red flags that might impede progress. Team engagement will improve if everyone understands that they are all being held to the same level of accountability.
No team goes out of their way to be unproductive, but unstructured environments and a lack of modern tools and processes certainly put a dent in their surge of enthusiasm. Organizations can provide teams with a collaboration platform that maintains and increases their engagement with improved ways of connecting, visualizing complex information and working in harmony. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a perfect example of effective technology which makes it easy for teams to engage collaboratively and inclusively in this way to achieve better project outcomes and business results.
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