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Five Golden Rules For Efficient Virtual Collaboration


Beyond security and technology: Matthias Reinwarth leverages the experiences of KuppingerCole Analysts in doing advisory via electronic collaboration platforms and shares 5+1 golden rules for jumpstarting efficient cooperation.
Hello. My name is Matthias Ima I'm lead advisor at KuppingerCole Analyst. And I want to share with you five golden rules for efficient virtual collaboration. This is something that we have learned over the last years because we have been working online for quite some time already. So this is really lessons learned from the work that we do with our clients, which are on the one hand vendors. On the other other hand, these are end user organizations that we work with, and this is really something that you, we hope that you can benefit from and you find it useful. So five gold rules for efficient virtual collaboration to start with number one, those meetings, those virtual collaboration meetings are usually much more stressful and challenging for all participants. So they need to be efficient and that can be achieved by having them focused very narrow in topic and time boxed.
So clearly defined topics, clearly defined deliverables. What do you want to achieve? What are you talking about? What are the results when it comes to time boxing, it says here up to 90 minutes as a maximum, but that should really be the maximum better, much less. And if it's possible, slice it down, have two meetings of half the size that will be more effective, more efficient, and it will be better for all participants. Second video. It cannot be overestimated when it comes to the use of video conferencing and really using video. And also endorsing the use of video. It is so important because this is the replacement and these days, especially, but in general, if you're working that way, this is the replacement for working together in one room for meeting people while fetching some coffee, watching people, looking in their face, understanding their mimics, how they're feeling that is so important.
Also in such a meeting, just switch it on and there should be no exclude cues like bad hair day or something like that. No, just do it and be the good example for that such a meeting like every meeting needs to be well organized. So it needs to be properly scheduled and think of breaks. Think of bio breaks. Also in 90 minutes, it is good to have a 10 minutes break just to, to open the window, to fetch some coffee. And as we are working much more internationally, when we have the chance to collaborate virtually with an online collaboration platform, there are people in different time zones. Think of their time zones. When you are scheduling such a meeting, does this meeting really make
Sense all participants and especially for such a meeting, when you come together in such an such a platform, make sure that it's thoroughly prepared that all the materials required are already sent out to all the participants or that there is a central repository where you could affect it. And if it's not available that yet, just make sure that it is available in the meeting or much better presented quickly shortly briefly, within the meeting with the screen sharing, for example. So well organized, very important point here. Fourth, we are talking about virtual collaboration, not about presentations, not about training, just telling people something. So if you want to work together, group size is really key. And we think that a limited team size of maximum up to seven people for working together and to, for generating results together is the maximum size that should be used here.
So group size, very reduced. And one thing that we learned and that we really use really very much is interaction. If you have seven people for 90 minutes in one virtual collaboration, you need to make sure that they are focused and that they want to be focused. And it's fun to be focused, to collaborate. And there are tools and there are software available for achieving that. So interaction in any way is really preferable to adjust upfront somebody talking and talking and talking. So plan and use polls, make sure that you have feedback mechanisms in place. For example, if there is such a raise the hand feature where people can ask questions and if it's possible, and it, if it does not have to, to interrupt the flow of thoughts, if there is a question panel, just add the questions there and come to back, come back to them later, that is of importance used virtual whiteboards.
Sometimes they are included in the platforms. In other cases, they are available from third party vendors like Microsoft, like Google, just scribble down the results as you would do on a real life whiteboard, a Wiki to just drop down the notes that you have to keep the team focused, make sure that this is really in place. It's so important for all the participants to be onboard for this interaction and for joint results, for common results that nobody just drifts away and read mails and you know, all that. So these are my five golden rules for efficient virtual collaboration, but actually there is space for one left. And I want to add one more, which is actually not building on top of that, but
Is in my opinion, really the prerequisite for all of that. And that is then of course, number zero, get everyone on board. It's so important when you start the first meeting. The first time that everybody that is involved really knows how to handle things, explain technology beforehand, explain security, make sure that access control is of importance, how to protect your files. If you do a recording, which is sometimes necessary how to protect these recordings, how to protect this notes. Of course, this will be highly critical topics that will be discussed in such a virtual collaboration. So make sure that it is fully protected and that all governance and compliance regulations are also just adhere to, as you would in real life, explain the dos. And don't in such a virtual collaboration before that, do some short sandbox meetings, explain how to switch on, switch off the camera, how to mute and unmute your microphone, how to share your screen and the right screen and not to have echoes.
And just check this out, explain the dos and don'ts with your team in short sandbox meeting beforehand, agree on common, easy rules, how to communicate, how to interrupt, how to prevent interruption, when is muting nice when it's muting necessary, all this is so important and these are just simple agreements upon style and technology. And once you have that in place, those meetings will start much more efficiently and will lead to better results. These are my five plus one golden rules for efficient virtual collaboration, efficient and time boxed video well organized the group size interaction as a main means of communication. And of course being prepared before actually starting. Thank you very much for your time.

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