The cloud allows seamless collaboration without the need for an endless stream of emails and attachments. Multiple users can view the same document simultaneously, working together for better efficiency and stronger outcomes. Make your cloud collaborations as effective as possible and avoid common pitfalls with these tips.
Train Everyone on Your Tools
Implement training to ensure everyone working in the document has a thorough understanding of the tools available to them. For example, Google Docs has both editing mode and suggesting mode. Clarify which one you want collaborators to use, as one option allows you to see and track changes while the other makes final edits to the document. Keeping all collaborators on the same page will streamline your workflow, even when you’re working together from around the globe.
Set Security Guidelines
Using a secure cloud service provider still won’t protect your information if your collaborators are working with technology that leaves their connections exposed. Make sure everyone collaborating on sensitive documents has the proper security measures in place. You can enhance your security further by working with a cloud access security broker to help you protect files in that weak space between the user and the cloud.
Specify Document Access and Permissions
Clarify who should have access to documents and what permissions are appropriate for each user. If you’re presenting a piece to a client for review, you may want to permit comments, but disable direct editing so you can keep better track of the changes the client wants to make. If you’re using a shared document to assign projects to team members, only the project managers need editing privileges, while others should access this in “view only” mode. Providing too much access to a document can result in confusing or unwanted changes that hamper your productivity.
Delegate Specific Tasks
Cloud collaboration makes it possible for everyone on the team to tackle any and all tasks within a project, but you’ll end up with a mess if you allow multiple employees to approach a task that takes just one. Delegate every step of the project clearly so you can collaborate effectively using the tools that are available to you. Design a smart workflow in which tasks move smoothly from one individual to another, using the cloud to streamline transmission and simplify sharing.
Communicate Progress Clearly
Specify how each team member will communicate their progress with others. Once you’ve delegated your workflow clearly, you’ll need each individual to notify the next person in line when their task is up. For example, the writer will need to let the editor know when the article is finished. The editor, in turn, should notify the project manager when it’s ready for publication. Don’t leave documents lingering in the cloud waiting for someone to realize they’re ready. Collaborate effectively by specifying the appropriate lines of communication.
Cloud collaboration makes it possible to work closely no matter what the physical distance. You can use it with a coworker in the next cubicle or the next state. Practice effective collaboration techniques to make sure you’re using this technology to its fullest potential.