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cplace Glossary

What Does Collaboration Mean?

Collaboration comes from the Latin and means working together. It can mean the cooperation of individuals as well as of several groups of people.

What is collaboration in agile project management?

In relation to agile project management, collaboration is understood to mean result-oriented, collective cooperation. All participants work actively and in parallel on a task or project. Collaboration goes beyond the term “teamwork” because it works across projects, departments and even companies. The term is also broader in terms of content. The participants not only plan, act and decide together. They also consider, discuss and summarise together. This means that the result is constantly evolving in the process, i.e., collaboration is sequential.

What are the prerequisites for collaborative working?

Collaborative working leads to success especially when companies have the following structures:

  • Flat hierarchies
  • Clear and appreciative communication
  • Fairness among each other
  • Flexibility in terms of time and personnel
  • Corresponding technical infrastructure
  • Transferring self-organisation and self-responsibility to employees
  • Willingness of employees to take on responsibilities
  • Open to curiosity, critical questioning, experimentation and unusual solutions

What are the goals of collaborative working?

A collaboration pursues the following goals:

  • Maintaining or increasing motivation
  • More creativity
  • Innovation
  • Efficiency
  • Transparency
  • Identification with the work process/ result
  • Interdisciplinary cooperation

To achieve these goals, collaboration tools are used to support and improve cooperation.

What are the benefits of collaborative work?

Companies benefit from collaborative working in particular through the following aspects:

  • More efficient cooperation between employees
  • Improved communication culture and more acceptance
  • Strengthening the sense of unity
  • All parties have the same level of knowledge
  • Ability to react quickly to unexpected challenges
  • Use of synergy effects
  • Time saving
  • Consideration of individual strengths
  • More added value
  • Independence of time and place

What is the difference between collaboration and cooperation?

Both cooperation and collaboration mean working together. Both terms are often confused as a result, but there are differences in content. In cooperation, individual employees, groups or companies work together to support each other in achieving individual goals. These can also be project-related sub-goals in which person A supports person B, for example. In a collaboration, all participants work together on one goal and towards this goal. Everyone is part of the continuously developing process.

Related terms: Next Generation Project Management, Shared Source

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