Improve Collaboration of Office Teams using Flowcharts

“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.” – Idowu Koyenikan

Modern modes of mechanized transportation offer interesting insights into the nature of mass rapid transit systems. Railroads, for instance, individually service distant locations on the map, but massively converge in junctions to enable efficient, on-time mass transport every day. This represents a form of ongoing collaboration, wherein trained human talent pairs with diverse technology systems and rolling stock to create modern marvels of mass connectivity that defy the human imagination. Similarly, teams of associates work in tandem across office spaces and geographical locations in pursuit of fulfilling client obligations. In such scenarios, the imperative to improve collaboration of office teams remains a constant requirement that validates modern conceptions of the work place. A host of analytical paradigms, practices, tools, technologies, and training techniques can converge to provide impetus to the mission to improve collaboration of office teams. In this context, flowcharts represent an interesting tool that empower work teams to achieve such objectives. The act of sketching these illustrations in multiple editions empowers planners and strategists to plot different locations and modes of collaboration within the modern organization with a view to achieve optimal output.

A steady stream of creative (and analytical) inputs emanating from a small group of associates can help improve collaboration of office teams inside a modern services organization. This technique implies an overt reliance on a small set of employees that offers, inter alia, a range of specialized services, project-based guidance, and knowledge-driven inputs. When etched inside a flowchart, this technique ensures such groups emerge in the center of the illustration, while others draw sustenance from it and operate on the periphery. Connecting lines between the center and the periphery allow readers and reviewers to appreciate the depth and scope of collaboration that drives performance levels inside each work group. A secondary stance can portray the inclusion of additional talent inside the core group, thereby bolstering the ability of the parent organization to boost collaboration. We note such a stance can improve collaboration of office teams and imbues intelligent meaning in terms of context and servicing client mandates inside the modern organization.

New technologies, when harnessed appropriately, can assist organizations to involve an ever-greater number of people that have access to deep silos of knowledge, skills, and expertise. This stance seeks to improve collaboration of office teams by promoting cross-team strategies underlined by the application of technology-drive innovation. A flowchart can help devise the contours of such strategy; the illustration can portray multiple networks featuring teams of associates connected by lines that denote functional requirements. Avenues that punctuate such a matrix can signify locations of revision, refinement, and interventions. The outcomes of such a stance include a definitive thrust that helps improve collaboration of office teams, while accelerating positive actions that propel client delight in outcomes. That said; designers of such illustrations must bear in mind the business imperative to adhere to timelines and this element must retain a persistent presence throughout the expanse of said illustration.

Certain observers note that defining and creating a team charter represents the best route to improve collaboration of office teams. Such charters can variously include factors such as mission and objectives, the identities of team persons, budget and resources, work schedules, client expectations, among others. The charter can take visual shape inside a flowchart illustration; this helps in creating a composite image of a project and its many moving parts. When shared with team persons, such an illustration upgrades the awareness of all members, thereby igniting the spirit of collaboration and teamwork in pursuit of achieving project objectives. The designers can include additional elements to spotlight the necessity of co-operation among team persons, thus enabling the flowchart to emerge as a complete blueprint. The additional inputs may denote the necessity to create temporary teams to service urgent sections of a project; they may also signify a requirement to hire external talent to join teams as consultants. In essence, the flowchart allows organizational stewards to boost team participation and improve collaboration of office teams in pursuit of overarching objectives.

Research in organizational dynamics indicates, “cross-team projects championed by high-level executives or overseen by a team of leaders from different departments enjoyed a 76% success rate.” This finding must emerge as a lodestone when the modern organization seeks the means to improve collaboration of office teams. In line with this, a regular executive presence must comprise the cornerstone of inspiration and guidance for team persons that undertake to work on large, multi-quarter projects for demanding business clients. Such guidance is helpful in framing special training regimens prior to the commencement of a project, promoting the core concepts that propel co-operation inside teams, allocate sections of work to specific teams, steer the direction of collective efforts of team persons, drive regular reviews of the work accomplished each week, and solicit feedback from clients in terms of the quality of deliverables. Such actions, when plotted inside a modern flowchart, enable project teams to adhere to planned work schedules and establish desirable outcomes within timeframes committed to clients.

On its part, the modern organization must design and undertake systemic efforts in a bid to improve collaboration of office teams on a sustainable basis. Some observers note such efforts must be directed at designing “modules that address team work, emotional intelligence, networking, holding difficult conversations, coaching, corporate social responsibility, and communicating an organization’s strategy and shared values.” Such a stance ensures every member of the organization gains a deep appreciation of the proverbial Big Picture; this can translate into an individual awareness (on the part of each member) that prizes the outcomes of seamless collaboration and individual contribution from team persons. That said, project heads and team leaders must take the lead in effecting such awareness and molding the attitudes of team persons to generate the best outcomes. Flowcharts can play a special role in devising such plans that can transcend individual projects and create tangible gains for the culture ingrained inside sponsor organizations.

High levels of regular and sustained communication among geographically dispersed teams can improve collaboration of office teams in different contexts, such as creating efficient output and reducing the scope for expensive re-work or revision. In line with this, organizations must create communication networks that hinge on email, instant chat, video conferencing, cellular communications, etc. This strategy assumes a clear labeling system, wherein each team remains aware of the communication co-ordinates assigned to other teams. Therefore, email addresses, cellular phone numbers, chat IDs, and video conferencing protocols must find a prominent presence inside work spaces assigned to each team. In addition, daily check-ins allow teams to apprise other groups of progress registered and the work planned for each day. This matrix ensures every team person remains on the proverbial same page and eliminates scope for blind spots that could mar collective effort.

Every organization can impart significant levels of momentum to team efforts by perusing these ideas and suggestions. These gain additional relevance when we survey the increasing demands that issue from clients in complicated markets, and the consequent higher standards expected of modern work groups. Therefore, smooth and efficient work output represents the need of the hour. The modern flowchart enables stewards to plan actions and roadmaps, thus harnessing human capital in pursuit of designing swift, efficient, and effective modern workflows.

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