Industry News

The power of collaboration

Realm Digital 11 May 2017

Over the past couple of months, we have been working on some very exciting client projects. Amidst all the late nights, junk food and energy drink binges, code reviews and testing, our organisation has come to see the value and importance of collaboration.

Working according to Scrum Methodology, and striving to remain Agile, being collaborative is essential to the way we handle projects, and even when it comes to the internal workings of our organisation. The challenge is in encouraging individual productivity, all the while growing a collaborative culture.

Not just another buzzword

Collaboration is just not just another buzzword. At Realm, we have consciously encouraged and fostered a collaborative way of work.

We make use of Google Suite, which has collaboration at the very heart of its functionality. We use technology like Target Process, Slack and Invision, all with the aim that it enforces a sense of participation, and collaborative efforts to see our organisation put out above-standard work.

We caught up with some Realm team members to find out their thoughts on collaboration, and what that means to us as a team.

“Collaborating encourages learning, which brings opportunities for growth in all aspects of employees’ lives. While it isn’t necessarily easy, and doesn’t always come naturally, it can over time, bring us to a much more interesting position to innovate.

“I think people collaborate differently. When working with people who have a different way of working, it’s important to understand that and try to make it work to suit your needs. Remember to set boundaries, especially if you have processes you cannot completely get away from. It also comes down to educating your team/client along the way. When you’re on the same page, it’s magical. Finding the right tools also helps, tools that are easy to use and intuitive.”

“Collaboration doesn’t always bring about the desired results. No matter how hard you try, how patient you are, and how well you listen, human nature has a tendency to ‘get in the way’. Does that mean you never attempt to collaborate, or encourage a collaborative culture? Not at all. There is always an opportunity to learn, and that can never be a bad thing, for the organisation, or the individual.”

There seems to be a common thread: Collaboration encourages learning.

In the last while, we have seen greater synergy between our Development, Account Management and Project Management teams, with communication being pivotal in seeing a project coming to a successful completion.
When teams have visibility, and further to that, insight and understanding to the outputs of another team, it can be mutually beneficial.

‘Stop, collaborate and listen’

Collaboration requires mutual trust, aligned objectives and open communication. If your organisation has found that collaborating and working closely together has slowed down processes, and has been adding little to no value to reaching business objectives, chances are that you haven’t been doing it properly.

Collaboration doesn’t only have a part to play in the good times, but when it seems our backs are against the wall. When it seems like a deadline is unrealistic, when a curveball is thrown on your biggest project, or when a ‘simple bug fix’ is just seemingly impossible.

Instead of a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to solving a problem, our default should be to first assess and discuss, before responding. This kind of collaborative approach enables us to look at the bigger picture and find the best possible approach to solving the issue at hand.

As with any other facet of building culture, it takes time. Be patient with your team, find what works best in your environment, and above all, don’t miss an opportunity to learn.

From a B2B and B2C point of view, the power of knowing your customer, knowing what they need, and knowing how to service them is the foundation to building a long and fruitful relationship.