Encouraging a team to collaborate better can be a challenge – especially if you don’t have the right tools for the job. It’s all too common in many organisations the number of siloed teams who cannot communicate or collaborate effectively. This can be due to existing processes and systems being clunky, difficult to use, slow…the list goes on.
Lots of organisations are guilty of inadvertently hindering collaboration within their organisations – whether it’s due to different office locations or simply because the departments don’t communicate often, communication can sometimes be difficult.
For example, if Lesley in the accounting team needs to send/receive reports to the marketing team every few months, often a clunky and awkward communication method is adopted to get things done. More often than not, this is old-fashioned email tennis. With lots of people cc’d in on huge email chains can be frustrating and unnecessary. Then a few months down the line, if the marketing team needs to access an old email from accounting, they can end up spending hours trawling through email chains trying to find the relevant information.
Apps within Office 365 such as Skype for Business and Teams can really aid communication between departments. Depending on what you need to communicate and how often, Office 365 will surely have an app that’s more suitable than constant emails. Let’s use our example of Lesley in accounting and the marketing team. If reports need to be shared every quarter, rather than compiling a whole new report, you can use Power BI to update said report – and, (if your permissions are set up properly!) you’ll be able to have everyone see the updated report at their own leisure. Power BI is just one of the many collaborative apps in the Office 365 suite that can greatly improve communication between siloed teams.
It’s not just about reports either. With Office 365, users can simultaneously edit the same document. This applies to Word, Excel, PowerPoint documents and more across Office 365. Gone are the days of back and forth feedback between teams when working on a document! Being able to edit the same document at the same time as other users in your team can hugely increase efficiency and productivity – and of course, collaboration! This can be done across various devices and locations. As long as the particular users have the right permissions, you don’t need to do anything else.
Inter-departmental communication can be improved with Teams, Planner and Skype for business for example. Communication between workers who all work in the cloud can benefit from SharePoint, PowerBI, StaffHub, and more. When it comes to collaboration, security and governance needn’t be a problem. Departments can still fully collaborate without the worry of information being unnecessarily shared or distributed where it shouldn’t. Using best practice principles and various permissions features in SharePoint, admins can rest assured that only the users in question will be able to view relevant information. Admins can also set up notifications when particular documents get downloaded or viewed. If a document is out of date, additional notifications can be set up for this. If you’d like to know more, read our document management guide here.
SharePoint communication sites can be used across a wider spectrum in an organisation. Similar to an intranet, SharePoint communication sites can update departments as necessary with information without the need to email everybody.
You can view a full list of our SharePoint resources here.