Starting a partnership may seem easy, but continuing a strong business relationship is another story. As we continue to work from various locations - whether remote or hybrid - businesses are finding it difficult to establish flexible processes with their partners that balance both expectations and accountability. Projects progress slower or in a less controlled way, teams inform one another less and less, and partners start questioning each other.
So how can you set yourself up so that you can collaborate with partners digitally in a way that is both flexible, secure and organized for long term success? Let’s have a look.
Understand the Big Picture
No partnership can work effectively if you aren’t clear on what the big picture is. Without a complete plan, teams get mismanaged, deadlines aren’t met and everyone scrambles to find vital information. Ideal partners will always want to analyze your brief and understand the requirements of what is needed to successfully accomplish a goal. By going through the big picture and both parties’ needs, you can effectively find gaps in existing arrangements and tools so that solutions can be found and allow everyone to perform their best.
Design an Action Plan
Now that you’ve gone over the big picture, it’s time to design an action plan. An action plan is creating a timeline of when certain tasks are to be completed, and by whom. This not only gives you a visual of everything needed done, but also provides accountability between you and your partner. Be sure to set realistic goals that are attainable, and share your plan with the whole team for easy access (more on this later). Once shared, you can communicate with each other about which tasks have been completed, so you can see the progress of your collaboration.
Choose the Right Digital Tools
Your next step is to choose the digital tools that you will use. Each partner may have their own set of unique apps and an organization system, which can sometimes lead to dysfunction when sharing information between two or more partners on a project. There could be too many tools with little overlap, or several chat threads on multiple platforms. As a team, decide which tools you need to use. Then, share your tools with each other so everyone has access to the same information without constantly needing to extract and import information or resending files one after the other.
Openly Discuss Issues
Working remotely means communication is key to successful projects. Your team may come across setbacks that could hinder a project, or feel that your partner is not holding up their end of the deal. Say something! Being in the digital age means talking to someone has never been easier. If you’re concerned about a project, or unsure how someone may feel about something, let them know. Set up video calls, phone calls, or privately message your partners to discuss any underlying issues. By being open and honest, and saying something as soon as possible, you’re more likely to build a stronger bond with your partners.
Business chat apps and informal online calls are a good alternative to traditional emails or scheduled meetings because being able to voice something in a conversational tone and get a response in the same moment can really improve the quality of the partnership and collaboration.
No Such Thing as Oversharing
A project can go sideways at any point, or ideas can spark. Always keep your partners updated on new instances. Whether it’s a new link with information, a tool you want to integrate or simply to refresh what was discussed in a previous meeting. It’s a good idea to keep certain information and tools in dedicated workspaces, as well as primarily try to communicate only through one app. Why? The more organized you are when sharing, the more useful it will be for everyone involved both now and whenever you need to revisit the shared information in the future.
Desktop.com is Your Partner Collaboration Solution
Desktop.com can help bridge the gaps in communication, collaboration and organization when working with partners digitally. It’s an easy-to-use platform with customizable workspaces, video and audio calls, private messaging, password and bookmark management and an integrated app store.
With Desktop.com, distributing tools and information has never been easier while providing you with the overview you always wanted.