As your team grows, you may need to change your collaboration strategy and move between collaboration tools. How can you make sure the transition goes smoothly?
Planning for the Transition
In most organizations, there’s a pretty clear path of growth. If you can see your company headed in that direction, it’s valuable to start thinking like a larger enterprise as early as possible. That can include:
- Moving over to more robust collaboration tools before you’ve hired more people that you’ll have to help switch.
- Experimenting with different options, such as telecommuting, when you’ve got a small and flexible team.
- Researching policies regarding which tools to use and how to use them in large organizations. If you can get security concerns dealt with early on, for example, you’re less likely to have a problem.
The more planning you can do early on in process, the more likely you are to have a smooth transition. You may have the luxury of finding a set of tools that will scale with your team in the future, or at least find options that will provide you room to grow for years to come. The worst situation that you might face is having to make choices when you’re desperate for change, only to find that you chose a stopgap approach that will only get you through the short-term.
Setting Targets for Collaboration
Especially if you’ll need buy-in from higher-ups and, possibly, an increase in budget, establishing both a baseline for the tools you’re currently using and a timeline for transition are important steps. The more data you have that demonstrates that you’re going to have to change over what you’re using, the more likely you are to be able to make that transition in an orderly fashion — rather than in a hurry, trying to get everything moved over before the wheels entirely come off the old approach.
It’s also important to set milestones whenever possible, not only for the transition process but to help showcase your need. If you can set a series of milestones that clearly show your needs, such as adding a certain number of people to your team or taking on projects of a certain size on a regular basis, you may be able to measure how close you’re getting to needing a better set of tools. That may mean that you can better estimate how close you are to being forced into making a change. It can also provide you with a better understanding of what you’ll need in a new tool.
Image by Flickr user Richard Rutter
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