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Innovation is crucial in the modern business world. As customers become more aware and more demanding, companies need to constantly come up with new solutions. On the other hand, there is the technology that is evolving day by day, allowing companies to improve. Although most of us think of the mad scientist experimenting in an underground laboratory when we hear the word innovation, the reality is far from it. Innovations are usually the result of teamwork. For teamwork to be as effective as possible, it is first necessary to ensure that there are some innovations in collaboration. Social collaboration is the result of this.


Social collaboration is helpful for several reasons. Firstly, it allows fast and easy communication, which is the basis for cooperation. Secondly, it facilitates the sharing of information and knowledge between employees. Last, but not least, it creates a central repository of information that allows employees to quickly access the latest information.


The four Cs of project management


In project management, the tools of social collaboration impact employee relationships, communication, collaboration, and community, which form the four Cs.


1. Relationship


The power of a network within a company lies in its ability to build the right relationships. Social collaboration tools allow us to connect with people we might not otherwise be able to. Examples include teleworkers. Project managers who have more contacts have more choices when building a team. The tools provide insight into each employee’s work experience, qualifications, and other relevant information to ensure we’ve selected the right people for the team.


2. Communication


With over 100 billion business emails sent every day, it’s no surprise that email is still the dominant form of communication. A lot of information gets lost in the mass of emails that other employees cannot access. Still, it often can’t even be found by the person they were sent to. With social software, conversations, documents, information, and replies have become searchable content for everyone. Teams can even request information from other teams that is relevant to them. Suppose a team encounters a problem that another team has already solved. In that case, the social software makes it easy to use older solutions. This leads to more efficient and higher-quality work.


3. Collaboration


It’s in the name – enabling cooperation is one of the main functions of social collaboration. The more people can contribute to brainstorming, the better the quality of the project. This is not only because more people will come up with new ideas, but if good ideas are discussed by the team, they will be further “polished.” They will have a severe quality when the selected idea is presented to the decision-making body. Collaboration is also often needed while working on a project. The work process will be traceable, and team members can contribute to specific work processes and give their opinions and advice, all in public. The comments can also be commented on, so the project constantly evolves.


4. Community


Social collaboration tools can be used not only for the project but also for other purposes. Communities can be built around a common interest, where participants can ask questions, share ideas, and learn from each other. An example is a community of project managers, where the best management styles can be discussed, directly improving the quality of management. It is also an opportunity for experienced managers to pass on their knowledge to the next generation so that young colleagues can develop and learn from it.


The challenges of social collaboration


When implementing social collaboration, two things to look out for are the development of a collaborative organizational culture and the active involvement of project managers in the use of social collaboration tools.


Suppose the importance of collaboration is not stressed. In that case, employees will only focus on their daily tasks and pay little attention to collaboration. Suppose they are not convinced of the importance of social cooperation. In that case, they will see the use of the tools as extra work, another task that distracts them from their everyday work.

Project managers need to set a good example for their employees. Most people will actively use social collaboration tools when they see their boss using them. If management demonstrates how useful social collaboration tools are as a tool for communication and visibility, the whole company will follow their example.


Social collaboration can improve the quality of every project, but only if the organisational culture and managers’ attitudes are right. A collaborative working community led by a strong manager open to change makes for a bright, healthy company.


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