Whether they include designers, developers, or product managers, product development teams share a standard set of problems:
- Timely collaboration
- Active participation to reduce duplication of work
For example, designing a successful software application requires expertise in all three areas. That’s why most development teams include separate teams for design, development or engineering, and product management. But a complex task like software design requires practical and efficient communication, collaboration, and active participation.
Recent surveys indicate that 86% of employees believe workplace failures stem from ineffective communication and a lack of collaboration. Problems with communication, collaboration, and active team participation stem from the tendency to separate groups into separately functioning teams. Without communication, separate teams can lead to factions where work is thrown “over the wall” to each team in succession.
Luckily, there’s a better way forward. Productive teams produce higher-quality products through shared projects with collaborative goals. Collaboration between work teams—whether that’s designers working with developers or product managers sitting down with both teams—can strengthen employee relationships, sense of community, and employee value.
In this article, we’ll answer:
- What are the benefits of team collaboration?
- Discover tips for effective and inclusive team collaboration.
- Find out how to improve communication between team members.
- Create exceptional teams using team bonding, self-awareness, and tolerance.
This guide provides tips for bridging the gap between individual teams and producing higher-quality products with improved innovation and productivity.
Benefits of Team Collaboration
Team collaboration saves time, resources, and costs. Effective collaboration also improves the working experience and inspires innovation. Without collaboration, teams can become separate units that struggle to complete work. In this case, team members often perform re-work because they didn’t have access to all project details. Thus, teams are working independently while trying to produce a shared project. Work becomes a tug of war trying to complete a project on time.
Team collaboration removes these obstacles, creating a working team structure where productivity and project quality thrive.
Other benefits of collaboration include a higher likelihood of short- and long-term business success, making the workplace a “home” rather than a paycheck, and improving access to shared team opportunities.
Sounds fabulous, but how do teams create such a collaborative working environment? Let’s start with the fundamentals for building team collaboration.
Collaborative Teamwork Fundamentals
Fundamental techniques for building team collaboration include:
- Shared goals
- Team bonding
- Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Teams working together must share the same goals. Teams collaborate best when they operate under the same rules, have the same access to opportunities, and share integrated goals. Shared goals include project deliverables, deadlines, and performance objectives. When teams operate under the same goals, collaboration becomes routine.
Additionally, teams must be encouraged to bond together as a whole outside of their disciplines. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence techniques can assist employees in forming team bonds. Emotional intelligence includes tolerance for individual differences and learning how to work productively together.
Teams bridge communication gaps and collaborate effectively using shared goals, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and tolerance. Respecting each team member’s contributions, activity, and accountability builds a strong team working experience. Businesses benefit from reduced rework costs, less employee attrition, and fewer missed project deadlines. Creating collaborative teams improves communication and creates a positive and productive working experience.
Product design is complex, but it doesn’t have to be contentious. Use these guidelines to bridge the gaps between teams through communication and collaboration.