The new year is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s the reason your gym is so crowded with people you’ve never seen before.
Here are a couple resolutions you should consider making with your team so you can work better together in 2014.
1. Centralize your team’s information
Regardless of what team you’re on at your organization – development, marketing, sales, HR – you create, share, and discuss information with your teammates every day to get your job done. Information comes in the form of meeting notes, documents, file lists, documentation, and decisions. In order to stay productive you need that information in one place so that you can share and discuss it with your teammates.
2. Ask once, educate forever
How often do you get asked questions at work via email, chat, or a tap on the shoulder? It happens to me all the time. Everyone needs to learn from their colleagues, but doing so usually means interrupting them, often with a question they’ve already answered for someone else.
3. Send fewer emails
Email is great for staying in touch or shooting a one-off message to someone you’re contacting for the first time, but it’s not great for collaboration because it isn’t real-time. Emails get lost too easily, conversations are too difficult to maintain, and sharing files is a nightmare.
Cut down on internal email and collaborate more effectively with group chat and instant messaging. Keep your teams connected and working fast, whether they are in the office with you or across the globe.
4. Make your meetings count
Holding effective meetings is just plain hard, which unfortunately prevents most meetings from accomplishing anything. This year you can make three changes that will make your meetings more productive:
- Hold fewer meetings and make decisions online.
- Build and distribute meeting agendas without email.
- Make your meeting action items deliverable with tasks.
5. Make better decisions, faster
We make countless decisions every day at work, but some of them are tough since they require input from multiple stakeholders. That usually means long meetings and even longer email threads.
6. Do agile right
Software development is intensely collaborative, requiring the effort of numerous people on many different teams. With so many stakeholders, it’s difficult to maintain speed, transparency, and quality when shipping code. Most development teams accept these things as facts of life when building software, but this doesn’t have to be the case this year.
With the right tools your team can build better software faster.
7. Don’t forget the water cooler
Work is global. Teams and organizations are spread across the world, and staying connected virtually can be extremely difficult.
Use HipChat to keep your distributed teams connected on a personal level. It’s easy to set up a chat room for sharing music, connecting with other dog lovers, or talking about the weekend. You can have casual, free-form conversations with the people in your office all of the time, but what about with the people across the county or globe?