The best way to collaborate effectively: Part 2

Up next in our “collaboration” series, we have agile42 coach & trainer, Mariet Visser. Mariet is passionate about helping teams & organisations grow & succeed in their Agile journey. Being an ICAgile Authorised Instructor and trainer of our ICP-ATF classes, she is well versed in teaching how best to design meetings/workshops for better collaboration and to enable stronger focus on decisive outcomes. As such, we were keen to hear her take on the new collaborative environment we are finding ourselves in.

You can watch the full interview here:

What can you tell us about collaboration?

It’s a skill we constantly need to work at and is something which evolves over time. As our context and the people with whom we work shifts, so does how we collaborate. Our way of working together is not constant and is heavily influenced by our surroundings. For many of us over the past year, our surroundings have shifted from mostly in-person collaboration settings, to having to collaborate virtually. This has subsequently changed how many of our teams operate.

Do you think collaborating is more difficult now?

Absolutely. I think collaboration heavily relies on trust and our ability to be open & honest with one another; something that can be much more difficult to achieve in a virtual setting. A year ago, most of our collaboration happened in-person, now we need to collaborate virtually and that’s another skill we need to learn and hone. We need to adapt and find new ways in which to collaborate. In my experience it’s really our social relationships that help us to succeed in collaborating, so maintaining them virtually is a challenge. 

How do we create a collaborative environment?

Now more than ever before, I think it comes down to being really explicit about how important collaboration is to the organization and to the team. 

  • By talking about it.
  • By putting structures in place for collaboration.
  • Exploring ways in which we can collaborate.
  • By modelling the behaviour we want to see as leaders.
  • Leading by example.
  • Making it a part of who we are.

We often today see organisations designing their physical spaces for improved collaboration, having huddle spaces, colourful relaxed and less formal spaces for individual or group use etc. We need to be equally conscious about designing our virtual space for improved collaboration. For instance using a tool that enables variance in how we’re able to engage at a communication level, such as Zoom with it’s breakout rooms, offering us the ability to chat as one large group, or split out into smaller groups and/or have pair conversations when necessary.

From a work perspective, it’s important to make use of tools which enable synchronous collaboration between colleagues. For example, Google Suite or Miro are great online visual collaboration platforms which we at agile42 make use of internally as well as with our clients.

Watch the recording of Mariet's webinar on "50 Ways to Wreck Collaboration and What to do About it".

*Click here to read Part 1 blog post* 

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