Today, many industries have been increasing collaborative efforts in the workplace and remotely through research, development, and brainstorming strategies and ideas. However, one crucial aspect of making this collaboration effective and successful is to create the best practices. And, since success depends on everyone’s approach and efforts, it’s vital that you think early on about working together efficiently.
Communication is, indeed, key to ensuring everyone is on the same page. This allows for a successful and smooth collaboration. However, other than this aspect, emphasizing many other vital points can help you collaborate better with your co-researchers.
Here are some practical ways to use to ensure best collaboration practices:
- Use Collaboration Channels
Thankfully, advanced channels today are explicitly invented for collaboration efforts. Some types of software feature double mapping dashboard layouts that allow multiple researchers from different geographics to access data layers and work together on them. The channels can be tailored to specific topics to keep your team informed of any activity related to the research. There are no limits to how many channels you can have.
In contrast to being buried in a sea of different email threads, all information on each topic is centralized and readily accessible. Communication, collaboration, and work are all improved and optimized through these tools. Ensure to use the different functions and features that collaborative channels offer.
You can segregate different channels and dashboard layouts for everyone from all departments to work separately or in joint partnerships, while creating a centralized channel for everyone. Some tools are designed specifically for remote style, so anyone from your research who lives far from your main headquarters can still collaborate with the entire team. This allows everyone to speak with each other in real-time and one-on-one.
- Create An Agreement
You should record a framework in a formal document or a written agreement when setting up a research collaboration or participating in someone else’s project. This will serve as a binding contract for everyone on the same project.
It’s common to use such contracts in large and medium-sized collaborations or partnerships with industries, but they’re always customizable. So, no matter how big or small your research is, and what industry your business is in, you can create an agreement to lay down all terms and expectations from each other. Whether you’re starting a manufacturing company, doing clinical research, or researching on an innovative business model, having a clear agreement can go a long way.
This agreement is a way of showing professionalism and a sincere intention, and is aimed to create a smoother collaborative relationship for everyone. After all, transparency can somehow generate trust, and that’s what a contract agreement is capable of doing. Be reminded to input your goals on the agreement, the key people, and their job roles, as well as timelines and deadlines. You can also include who’s authorized for the outputs and so on. By including this essential information, you can avoid conflicts later on.
- Solve Problems Open-Mindedly
Occasionally, people make mistakes due to unforeseen circumstances, and there’s no need to snap at anyone in particular. It’s crucial to empathize and understand your staff when they make mistakes. Always keep a calm attitude when problems arise, and don’t blame anyone. Try to find solutions together. When everyone is more objective and open-minded, issues can easily be resolved without prioritizing emotions. Creating trust among team members and allowing everyone to communicate openly and honestly makes sure everyone feels comfortable.
- Build Professional Relationships
Relationships are the foundation of collaboration, and there’s no alternative to this. By creating professional relationships, everyone can be sure to work smoothly. Collaborative efforts require different efforts so that relational strength can be built. Despite working remotely, professional relationships can be built by respecting each other, creating efforts to get to know each other, and having small talks outside of work. Needless to say, everyone needs to make time and effort to establish peaceful relations in the research.
- Track Failures And Success Together
Regular and clear communication is essential for any research collaboration, which is also applicable when dealing with failures. There should be clear communication at any stage of the research so everyone can track the progress or hiccups with the project.
The collaboration leader will be able to adjust the timeline or task list if they become aware of a delay as early as possible. No matter how hectic everyone’s schedule can be, always insert a few minutes to set up a meeting together as you rejoice in trivial victories, as well as brainstorm on ways to tackle failures as well.
Use the tools available to your team members, and establish good and solid professional relationships with them. Defining expectations and responsibilities through an agreement is the first step, and trusting them to do their best is the next. The ways above are sure to make your collaborations more effective. Take advantage of all the collaboration tools that can help you and your team become in-tune with another.