Collaboration is the need of the hour in today’s business world. Business processes and workflows cannot afford any delays and bottlenecks in today’s environment just because someone does not have access to the right information. The best way to address this issue is through documentation collaboration. Considering the speed at which businesses operate today, collaboration can play a huge role in business productivity, profitability and growth.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how document collaboration works and why it is a critical factor in today’s competitive business world.
What is document collaboration?
Document collaboration came into existence due to the need for real-time access to concurrent work in different places across the globe. It is a process that enables real-time collaborating, editing and sharing of documents between multiple parties who could be in different places around the world.
With the help of modern tools, you can eliminate the collaboration challenges and enable multiple people to work on a single file. This is also known by different names such as documentation collaboration, collaborative editing, collaborative documentation, etc. One of the key aspects of document collaboration is that it eliminates the need for unnecessary paper trials, email chains and overwriting of the original documentation.
How does document collaboration work?
It starts with the creation of a collaborative document, which is typically a file you can create on an online platform. Following this, you need to share this with other stakeholders to edit. The main objective of this collaboration is to have a final version that has input from all relevant stakeholders. The document could be in the form of a Word document, spreadsheet, PDF, videos, etc.
The tools designed to facilitate collaborative work are called groupware. These tools comprise collaborative technology with features like shared workspace, customizable user groups, document management, workflow routing, third-party app integration and more. These features allow for group problem solving and ensure a more intuitive workflow.
What is the purpose of document collaboration?
Document collaboration can change the way you work. The main purpose is to achieve efficiency and make life easier for those working on complicated projects. Imagine working with something like a whiteboard, but better. Here, all members have access to edit and share their thoughts on the project you are working on. It eliminates the need for rewriting and overwriting since changes can be in made real-time and for everyone to see. The advantage is you don’t need any expensive software purchases to perform document collaboration.
Now let’s see how document collaboration tools can significantly simplify the way you work with your peers.
What are document collaboration tools?
In the past, collaboration happened on whiteboards and notebooks. Thankfully, those days are way behind us. We live in an era where online tools allow us to collaborate with our teammates from anywhere, anytime. There is no need for everyone to be present in the same room or even present at the same time.
A document collaboration tool can make this happen by providing access to all members of the team. Besides allowing users to edit the document, the tool also stores all the files within its documentation ecosystem. You don’t have to worry about misplaced documents as long as you have the right document name.
Some examples of document collaboration tools include Google Docs, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, etc. These solutions are universally available and easy to use. IT Glue also comes with a documentation collaboration feature that allows all your technicians to access the required information from anywhere.
What do collaboration tools allow teammates to do?
When all your teammates have access to a documentation collaboration tool, they can view, edit, store and share any information within the platform. This helps them coordinate better and have instant access to all information. Since one team member doesn’t have to wait for another team member to access the information stored, it boosts productivity significantly.
For instance, let’s assume you are using IT Glue for your documentation. Once incorporated, your technicians can use the platform anytime and get the information they require to solve a problem. Since IT Glue is integrated with various RMM and PSA tools, you don’t have to jump platforms to access information and provide the required fixes.
What are the benefits of using collaboration tools?
Besides reducing manual paperwork, documentation collaboration can benefit organizations in a number of ways. Some of these benefits include:
Better structure and organization
Increased collaboration within a team
Higher security for all documents
Lower storage costs for documents
What are document collaboration best practices?
Although document collaboration has a range of benefits, it also presents some challenges to organizations. For instance, easy access to everyone in a team can mean endless edits to files. To circumvent these challenges, we have come up with some documentation collaboration best practices to ensure controlled collaboration. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
All members with access to documents must have specific roles. This ensures better security and organization. Some of the definitive roles to be included in collaboration are as follows:
- Owner — One person in charge of decision-making and one responsible party.
- Writers — Those in charge of content creation.
- Editors — Those in charge of editing created content and quality control.
- Commentators — Those who are able to comment and suggest on documentation, but without writing or editing capabilities.
- Readers — Those with viewer access to the document.
You need to set a clear timeframe to get work done on time. With a deadline for drafting and editing, you can prevent endless edits to all your critical documents.
When working towards a common goal with your team members, communication should be of high priority.
Most documentation collaboration tools have a version tracking facility to identify the changes made to a document. Without this, you won’t know who has made the edits and when. This is especially important if your documents are of a sensitive nature.
Access to critical documents must be provided in a controlled manner. There should be a specific time period after which access to documents should be revoked for all non-owners. You need to do this to avoid errors and unnecessary modifications in the documents.
IT documentation collaboration with IT Glue
IT Glue is an industry-leading documentation tool that is built with collaboration in mind. Its powerful documentation feature allows users to build collaborative documents including security policies, guidelines, procedures, system information and more. You can share these documents with your clients and team members anytime to gather their input.
IT Glue’s SOC 2-compliant documentation platform features an immutable audit trail, multifactor authentication and next-generation password management engine. These features are fully integrated and linked with all your documentation.
To learn more about how IT Glue can help you with documentation collaboration, request a demo.
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