Collaboration Focus: collaborating internally on product & service design
I am not a big fan of ‘buzz’ words but I think that ‘collaboration’ has earned its place as such a word. The use of collaboration is now pervasive within teams, so much so that I think it’s worthwhile bringing it to life to further understand the excitement it presents. Collaboration is a hot topic at the moment and can, arguably, be described as the bedrock of functional teams.
The world we work in has changed and continues to change to reflect the demands on businesses that have to operate in an unprecedented fast-evolving digital age. It is a fiercely competitive landscape, regardless of the market. The consumer of services holds all the cards with limited loyalty to suppliers. This means that businesses have to increasingly find innovative ways to engage with consumers to retain their loyalty. For businesses to achieve this, they need to be able to seamlessly offer their services across different sales channels, be it direct, e-commerce or telephony and in some cases, cross-border. In addition, employees now assert more control over their working lives and no longer have unquestioned loyalty to their employers. Whilst this is not a bad thing it means employers now have to focus much more on how to attract and keep talent. Teams now work in matrix structures in different jurisdictions and time zones. Dynamic working is generally de rigueur with pressures on businesses to keep their employees agile and productive. Technology has picked up the gauntlet thrown by these pressures and there are various enabling tools in the market for teams to thrive regardless of where they are based.
At Klarna, one of Europe’s largest banks that is providing payment solutions for 60 million consumers across 130,000 merchants in 14 countries, we use technology to collaborate in the design and offering of our different products. All domains within Klarna, including, specialist teams such as legal, finance, compliance, marketing, risk, and audit use online collaboration tools and software to remain agile and productive. These tools have made it much easier for me, based in London, to engage with colleagues, including senior management, in Stockholm, the head office and the rest of the markets. Collaborating is smooth and seamless enabling us to share ideas to promote innovation.
In my opinion, the importance of collaboration with technology utilisation tools cannot, therefore, be overemphasized considering the benefits such as effective communication, working remotely from any device and acceleration of project delivery times. I struggle to see the downside of collaboration if everyone involved is working towards shared objectives and outcomes.