The Truth About Effective Teamwork And Why It Matters
Choosing the right IT solutions for your business is just part of the battle. To truly reach your potential, you have to understand what makes your team tick.
“Empowering teams to reach their full potential.”
Anyone who’s ever visited the Clearvision website or read anything from this company will be familiar with this mission statement: it’s the very glue that binds the wide range of services and products that Clearvision offers. The desire to make teamwork easier and collaboration more effective is what connects tools like JIRA and Confluence with DevOps and agile methodology; it’s why we develop add-ons like Teamify; and it’s why Clearvision has racked up a lengthy string of happy customers over the years.
Why is teamwork so important? Well, without the context of collaboration, concepts like tooling, hosting, support and training mean little. They might answer some of the ‘how’ of IT, but it’s teamwork that tells us the ‘why’.
The teams behind these tools, like Atlassian, are acutely aware of this. That’s why Atlassian’s tools are designed to aid teamwork, but not replace it. Yes, its software allows for a ton of automation and, yes, it can reduce the need for face-to-face meetings with colleagues, but better teamwork is always the aim – and much of that comes down to culture, with real, human interaction.
We all spend more time than ever behind our screens; sometimes teams need an extra push to bring them together. This is the thinking behind the Atlassian Team Playbook. Atlassian’s series of ‘plays’ encourage team members to talk to each other, in person, away from their computers and devices. Through activities, discussion, feedback and strategic thinking, teams can properly understand what makes them tick. By running these plays, they can see what they’re doing right, what could be improved, and what they hope to achieve in future.
While these plays do come from Atlassian, they could be used by teams using any tools, from any company – you’ll still have plenty to gain from following these plays.
However, if you are using the Atlassian tools, the Playbook shows organisations how to get the most from this software. Get your collaborative culture and working relationships right, and tools like JIRA and Confluence can have maximum effect.
One Without the Other
Of course, the right tools can also help you to achieve those very same goals, so it seems there’s a kind of cyclical relationship between the two. In other words, the tools help you collaborate more easily, and the better you collaborate, the more effectively you’ll be able to use the tools.
Can you have one without the other, though? Would your team work together better if you simply replaced your IT infrastructure, without thinking about what motivates your people and what concerns they have? Conversely, can your team perform more effectively just through self-reflection and discussion, while using inadequate or legacy tools?
Maybe – to some extent, at least. But it’s surely necessary to consider all sides of the equation if your team is going to reach its “full potential” and not just a small percentage of it.
For Clearvision, this thinking is what led to the conception and launch of Managed Services, a comprehensive wrap of IT solutions, with an emphasis on being proactive. That means rather than acting only when called upon by a customer, to fix a problem or fulfil a need on a one-off basis, Clearvision will proactively monitor their IT solutions to make improvements and repairs.
Significantly, this is about more than keeping tools up and running or making sure team members all have adequate training; it also takes into account the ‘why’ of IT. That means making sure teams get the cultural side of collaboration right, as well as the technical side.
Will a strong combination of effective collaboration, culture and infrastructure lead to miracles? Possibly not, but they should take you a few steps closer to one.
Teamwork Tips From Around The Web
Teams are at their best when everyone has the chance to contribute – so we took a quick look around to bring you some more tips from around the web.
“Provide team members the opportunity to use visuals to clarify and share their ideas at the simplest level. You can do this with anything from rough sketches to full-scale presentations.” – Business News Daily
Agree on a team mission
“Start a team project by clearly articulating the team’s overall mission. Letting employees see the entire company vision clears up any misunderstandings about their individual roles on the project. Paint the big picture and open up the floor for discussion in case there are any questions.” – Entrepreneur
“You want people to feel comfortable taking on reasonable risks without having a fear of being punished for disagreeing. Breaking down barriers also helps promote a creative environment where people can brainstorm openly and draw on the strength of the team’s diversity as they discuss the progress of a project.” – Business.com
“A team should celebrate and accept member differences and their diverse backgrounds, as well as the value each one brings to the team. It’s also important to view team members as unique individuals and to concentrate on the positive attributes of each member. Everyone is different, be it their experiences, viewpoints, knowledge and opinions, and sharing these to the team can make for better teamwork.” – Uplift Events
Broadcast recognition and gratitude
“Give praise, credit, and affirmation often, loudly and where they are due. If others in your office see the positive attributes of collaboration, they will be encouraged by your leadership to make effective collaboration pervasive and help establish a culture of developing groundbreaking results.” – Inc.