Team-work in Internet can be great if it promotes community and leads to better insights gained as a team Solutions leads – keyword swarm intelligence. But how do you organize digital collaboration?

Digital economy

Digital, networked communication: curse or blessing?

No question, digital, networked work can be great. However, using the wrong means of communication can be a nuisance. What conditions must be met for collaborative work to function on the web?

They sit in many jobs Employees no longer in one place, but are scattered all over the world, whether freelancers or permanent employees. The Communication runs mostly via eMailbut also via social networks or collocation and project management tools.

New means of communication trigger fears

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The Internet also promotes the opportunities of networked cooperation over large spatial distances in order to work together Projects to lift. The Internet thus favors innovations more than any other medium before it and thus creates one of the basic conditions for success Company.

But where there is light is also shadow: During my work as a consultant, I notice time and again how great are the fears of the new means of communication - and how much accordingly the need for information is.

Permanent accessibility requires new skills

Constant availability and supposed permanent communication obligation, Teamwork Geographical separation or even frequent distractions are stressors that directly affect productivity and social Expertise influenced by team members and which we have to face.

Networked cooperation and thereby Innovation can arise, it is necessary to develop new skills. One example is how we deal with mistakes: Services and products have to be supposedly perfect. However, since every statement can be verified directly via the Internet, this is hardly possible today.

Trial and Error as a model of a digital corporate culture

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Google, one of the world's most successful companies, is therefore taking a different approach: new services will be launched as unfinished beta versions and improved by users. Google stands for mistakes, tries out publicly in the trial-and-error process - and therefore develops innovative products.

This principle could become the model of a digitized corporate culture that uses failed innovation for improvement instead of denouncing it. How such processes can actually look in the company, we also have in ours Book publishing implemented.

How can you organize team processes?

But how exactly does such a team process work out exactly? As a project leader for a large, international conference that took place simultaneously in 13 cities around the world, several years ago I coordinated various events across national borders.

Although asynchronous communication may be very convenient, I have found it time and time again, especially through eMails misunderstandings occur that are only personal Conversation or can be clarified by telephone or video conference.

Clear communication rules are necessary

This effect is amplified when the team members are at home in different languages ​​and cultures. A recurring problem was that individual team members considered decisions urgent that, on closer inspection, were not so urgent. Greetings from the Eisenhower window. In this way were for comparatively unimportant Problems different eMails that led to misunderstandings and cost all those involved unnecessary time.

We have therefore introduced clear communication rules and communicated to all team members: pending topics and decisions were collected in a project management tool, accessible to all. Once a week, the team met for a video conference and discussed the topics.

Avoid conflicts, save resources

By setting communication methods, conflicts were avoided or solutions for conflicts were found. Resources could be prioritized, decisions were more thoughtful, the team was less distracted by constant communicating-needs and worked more efficiently.

And the quality of the decisions also improved clear: Because in cooperative decision-making processes, much better solutions could now be found together than would have been possible alone.

Digital Teamwork: The will makes the success

In summary, I can therefore say from my experience: Whether collaborative work is successful depends not only on the will of all team members to pull together, but also on the Choice of the means of communication.

Synchronous means of communication such as telephone, videoconferencing or, ideally, face-to-face meetings are always asynchronous as communication eMail preferable to avoid misunderstandings as much as possible.

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