Teamwork Tips using Integrated Business Software
“When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!” I’m not sure what this statement means, but when my grandfather said it, I believe he meant that if you don’t have the best tool for the job, you’ll grab whatever is in your tool chest, regardless if it’s the right one. If that tool is not the right one, it’s most likely the job will suffer.
Just as different construction projects require specific tools, different business functions require tools that meet their specific needs. Challenges arise when software is so isolated that it can’t work with any other system. This is one of the main contributing factors to functional silos. Construction projects, such as building a house, are examples of how many tools work together to achieve more than one tool working alone. If your software systems are working separately, it may be time to switch to a cloud-based ERP system.
Growing businesses face similar challenges. With new offices, products, and processes being created quickly, you may not have the long-term solutions to meet revenue goals. As a result, software was implemented at different times and in different areas resulting in inefficiencies, software incompatibility, data loss, human error, complexity, and higher costs. When you have functional silos, challenges arise that can impede growth. Perhaps your company is already in this place. Or, perhaps, you are headed down this path. In either case, it is important to begin to consider systems that will help you meet your long term corporate goals and that will enable growth and efficiency.
Teamwork is critical to growth. When employees work together and behave as team players, everyone wins. Shouldn’t we require that of our software as well? Non-team players can be selfish, uncommunicative and hard to work with. Unfortunately, this is the case with much of our business software. Many of the same qualities that define a good team player are qualities that you should look for in your software as well:
- Active Communication: A team player communicates well with other team members. Software that communicates effectively will easily integrate and talk to each other.
- Sharing Information: Team players share information, knowledge and experience that help the entire team. One of the most important benefits of “team playing” software is that data are shared among functions and processes without multiple data entry.
- Collaboration: Team players work with others and act together to accomplish a job. In the same way, business software needs to work across functions to achieve corporate goals.
- Give & Take: Your team needs to deal with changing conditions and change course when situations change. Your business software needs to be flexible enough to incorporate future needs, growth and technology.
- Dynamic Participation: We want our employees to be proactive and identify problems. Good business software will run processes and indicate problems as they occur through alerts and dashboards.
- Problem Solving: Team players identify problems and then collaborate with others to find a solution. An integrated software solution enables problems to be resolved across all functions.
- Dependability: Team players show up and do the work they were hired to do. In the same way, your software systems need to work effectively and reliably.
Playing on a team requires collaboration; everyone needs to be striving for the same goal. The term, “collaboration,” has been overused. In the software technology world, it is often only used to define social media and conversation. But, just talking about a problem won’t get you to the goal. You need to be able to share real data and processes. Your business systems need to enable cross-functional collaboration to meet company objectives for financial and market growth.
Collaboration does not look like a group of people using the same tools. Cross-functional collaboration requires a culture that is open for change, including the tools you’re using. Software that does not work well together causes workflow chaos. Teams can’t work well together unless you have integrated business software. Even if you install the most robust system for each area of your company, if your systems don’t talk to each other, your company will be set up for division and chaos. The solution is one integrated system for all divisions of the business. When your entire team is sharing the same database in real time is when real teamwork can happen; improved efficiency, productivity and profitability will result.
Mindover Software values teamwork and cross-functional collaboration by offering integrated business software solutions and strategies. Contact us online or give us a call at 512-990-3994.