How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide

14 October 2021 By Michael 0 37 views
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The digital era with all benefits of cloud technology is allowing (and forcing) all of us to collaborate. One of the most common products of collaboration is content. Here, we are going to explore how to get it done with less stress and better results.

How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide

What is content collaboration

Every company, branch, department, and even a small team of 2-3 colleagues is inevitably involved in collaboration of all sorts since they share the same objectives and goals that are achieved through products. Production of goods and services involves creation of content, or a company’s product is content itself.

Content collaboration relies on the technical ecosystem that the enterprise uses to organize its employee’s collaborative work to produce content. It involves online file storage, file sharing, collaborative creation of documents, communication, and task management.

A well-organized content collaboration process with sufficient technology, optimized communication procedures, and well-trained staff can visibly improve the overall productivity and economic success of a business:

  • Less time is spent on searching and exchanging the information, reducing the time of production cycle;
  • Higher quality content is delivered through more transparent communication processes;
  • Security of information is improved with distributed roles and access rights within user management systems;
  • Learning and engagement of employees gets a boost, creating a healthier environment for growing team spirit and innovation.

Content collaboration solutions

Within a whole universe of collaborative applications for working with content, there are some more general groups of instruments that are universally applicable.

Collaborative editing

Enterprise content collaboration cannot exist without an office suite, the tool where you actually create and co-edit the files – text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Collaborative suites allow you to create documents together, leave comments and mentions, track changes, browse history, and sometimes chat right in the interface.

How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide

Online office can be a part of a bigger bundle of productivity solutions (ONLYOFFICE Workspace, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Zoho), or integrated separately into a collaborative environment built on a file sharing platform (ONLYOFFICE Docs, Collabora).

Storage and sharing

Enterprise collaboration and content management systems come in all shapes and sizes, but have one concept in common. This is where you keep, manage, and share the content with your team online so everyone has instant access to it wherever they are.

How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide
Source: Nextcloud

Solutions for file storage and sharing can either be used in a public cloud with no installation required, or installed on-premises within your physical perimeter giving you full control and responsibility over data protection and monitoring. Some examples of cloud-based online storages are Google Workspace’s Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and Dropbox, while platforms like Nextcloud, SharePoint, and Confluence can be installed on-premises.

In many cases, cloud storage and sharing solutions feature other built-in components — for document editing, task planning, and more — or are themselves a part of a more complex, core content collaboration solutions. These can also be pre-designed to server specific industry, for example, learning management systems with classroom administration and course lesson organization features (Moodle, Mindflash, Chamilo).

Task management and planning

No team content collaboration can be organized without coordinated task management. Planning and tracking of tasks is done through project management software where you assemble teams for working on each project or process, distribute team roles, assign tasks and subtasks, unite them into milestones, and see how the team is performing with Gantt Charts and reports.

How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide
Source: Asana

Among the most popular tools for project management are solutions like Asana, Monday.com, Wrike, and Basecamp. These are the cloud-based task planning tools that help coordinate teamwork and make working on content transparent and easy.

Many full-stack collaborative solutions feature built-in project management tools that are although not as scrutinized as the dedicated standalone products, but help facilitate teamwork with essential task management functionality. Project management components are offered in ONLYOFFICE Workspace, Microsoft 365, Zoho Office, and other collaborative offices.

Finding the right team content collaboration tools

Whether you are already using some instruments that help collaborate on content or are looking for the new software to implement, it’s important to maintain a smart approach to choosing what software your team is using for its daily activities. The path to improvement of document collaboration lays through overcoming some typical mistakes in how you choose the software and use it in practice.

Minimize learning curve, but don’t avoid it. One obstacle to optimization is the fear that the introduction of new tools and features involves spending time on learning how to use them. It inevitably does, but the time these tools will save in the future justifies today’s sacrifice.

In most cases, there are plenty of useful resources: provide your team with access to software webinars, help them around the documentation, and reserve a spot in the schedule to demonstrate yourself how the new instruments work. In the end, our age is about complex technology behind easy interface, and implementing novelties in daily work is much easier than before.

Listen to the team. Unlike personal pens and coffee mugs, when it comes to company work software, your employees don’t have much choice. Every time you look for a new collaborative service, give people with different tasks an opportunity to test it on their work and give you feedback before you make purchasing decisions. What you think is an unnecessary spend can, in fact, change their productivity forever.

Never stop looking for new tools. Ask yourself what else you need, for there are instruments for virtually every purpose: collaborative white boards, shared to-dos, even sticky notes, and what not. Want to connect emails to your group chat? Check out Slack. Want to discuss a document in Telegram while editing it? Add a plugin in ONLYOFFICE Docs. Want to share passwords and credit card details in one place? Have a look at Dropbox Passwords. Don’t underestimate what software can do for you.

Forcing everybody to use the same tools is sometimes not wise. Some people will still prefer emails to messengers, or phone calls to videoconferencing. Unless it breaches security or makes the process inconsistent on a higher level, you can tolerate the individual habits to maintain healthy collaboration.

How to collaborate on content effectively

Now that you understand how to organize the collaborative process, and what solutions can help your team achieve better results, let’s get down to practice and explore some tips on how to collaborate better, on the example of ONLYOFFICE Docs.

1. Share documents securely. There are multiple types of sharing permissions besides Full Access. If you don’t want any content to be changed accidentally or intentionally, you can share the file with commenting only rights, allow just reviewing, or send a form with fillable fields with restriction for main content editing. In spreadsheets, you can hide sensitive information with filter and share the files with Custom Filter permission that won’t allow your collaborators see the hidden data or apply filtering to the initial spreadsheet. To additionally protect your files, use watermarks and password encryption.

How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide

2. Try different co-editing modes. In ONLYOFFICE, there are two co-editing modes: Fast and Strict. If you want to collaborate in real time, the Fast mode is enabled by default. In case you need more privacy, activate the Strict mode and lock the paragraph you are editing until you finish and are ready to show the result.

3. Leave useful and understandable comments. Choose the exact text body which you desire to comment on, clearly describe your question or suggestion to your colleagues, mention the responsible users if needed. Don’t forget to solve the comments after the issue is dealt with, and delete them before sending the document further its way.

How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide

4. Suggest changes politely. If you are not given an explicit freedom to correct the text as you wish, a better way to suggest improvements is either comments or Track Changes. With the second, you can add, format, or delete everything in the text itself but with ability to see how it was changed and that it was you changing it. The reviewer will be able to accept or reject your suggestions as they see fit.

How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide

5. Use document versions. Don’t panic if you need to go back in time and retrieve the older version of the document: they are all stored in Version History where you can find all previous variants of the file and restore them. In the document management system of ONLYOFFICE Workspace, you can add notes to versions to help others and yourself understand what updates each version includes.

How to boost content collaboration in your team: a big guide

If you receive a new version of your text from someone in a separate file, there’s no stress either — use Document Comparison to see the differences and create the final version of the document.

Collaborate better with ONLYOFFICE

ONLYOFFICE Workspace is a collaborative office that combines an office suite and a complete collaboration platform with document management and sharing space, project management tools, mail, calendar, CRM and social instruments. It is a secure way to organize teamwork online and boost a remote team’s collaboration, whether in the cloud or within your physical infrastructure.

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If you are already using a content management and sharing platform, you can integrate ONLYOFFICE Docs to enable powerful content collaboration for your team inside your system.

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