Collaborative platforms are numerous, as they can meet different needs. Between the corporate social network, the intranet, the digital workplace, visual management tools and now collective intelligence platforms or participative innovation platforms... The list is long, and we often get lost between what we should have and what we really need. So, which collaborative platform should you choose, according to your real need?

A collaborative platform "to exchange": beware of a common pitfall

Exchanging is good, but what for?

We have worked with many professionals in internal communication, human resources, innovation and transformation. And often, when it comes time to decide which collaborative platform to choose, these professionals ask themselves again about their needs.

The problem is that quite often, the need is simply "to exchange". This is a little light, you may say, and yet we often hear it. To avoid falling into this pitfall of "exchange for the sake of exchange", we need to "unravel" the need for exchange. And to ask the following question: what for? In other words, what do you really want to decompartmentalize? And for what purpose?

Is the initial need to share problems (or irritants) to better solve them? Or rather, to directly propose solutions in a collaborative way? Or to ask questions in a transversal way? Is it perhaps a need to circulate skills? To create links and more well-being at work?

In short, qualify the need for collaboration in your organization!

READ ALSO : Developing employee engagement: strategies that pay off

Does your top management support your collaborative drive?

Another important question to ask when talking about collaboration is: does your organization's management support you? We've come across companies where the internal communication department was carrying a collaborative project - wondering which collaborative platform to set up. And then, the management was (too) late to decide what could or could not be shared.

If you are in this case, consider choosing a flexible collaborative platform, which will be able to adapt in a few clicks what can be shared or not. But ideally, define in advance with your management what can or cannot be shared.

Which collaborative platform? Top management support

Which collaborative platform for which need?

Here are some needs that we often come across, and some suggested tools to guide you in your thinking.

Propose news in a collaborative way

You want to share news in a collaborative way, not just top-down. In other words, you believe that your employees are the ones who make the news in your company, and that they are therefore able to tell the story themselves.

Many collaborative platforms will meet this need. On the other hand, pay attention to the functional possibilities in terms of rights! Indeed, the more finely tuned your tool is in terms of rights management, the more in tune you will be with your company's organization. For example, some employees will be able to publish new content directly, while others will only be able to propose articles and not publish them. Sometimes, moderation is essential! And finally, some will only be able to comment.

Allow your employees to brainstorm

Which collaborative platform to use for brainstorming? If this is your need, choose a visual management tool. It will allow you, during a meeting, to organize the ideas of your collaborators. You will be able to classify, create tables, organize processes or prioritize ideas. Often, templates exist on these tools. They allow you to organize ideas according to your context and your needs.

The use of this tool will be rather punctual, in meetings. And in terms of rights, the people capable of administering it will tend to be facilitators.

Which collaborative platform? Brainstorming

To bring out ideas and projects

Do you want to generate ideas over short periods of time(hackathons, calls for ideas...) or set up an idea box all year long? You need a participative innovation platform.

In this case, it is not about sharing company and team news. Rather, it is about offering employees a space to share their ideas, their innovation projects, their solutions to problems, or their best practices to be democratized.

The ideas may or may not be moderated, and may or may not be evaluated by a jury.

Our advice? Choose a flexible platform, which will allow you to be in phase with your organizational reality. Whether it's about user rights, the idea proposal process, or idea selection, you'll need a tool that is adaptable.

Moreover, ideally, your platform should allow a maximum of interaction around the ideas: comments, votes, sharing, interactive features, etc. In short, a maximum of features to allow ideas to evolve and succeed thanks to the active participation of the rest of the users.

Finally, you can expect your platform to allow you to set up project groups. Because once a project has been proposed, it has to be deployed and brought to life! In other words, don't let the wind blow! This project group management functionality can be inherent to your participative innovation platform, or it can be part of a complementary tool.

Form project groups

As mentioned above, collaboration often involves the creation of project groups. Within these groups, members communicate, share information and documents, and co-construct their project on a daily basis. They can ask each other questions and respond to each other's comments.

In many companies, the solution is called Microsoft Teams. A very efficient tool to create groups and exchange information, like an instant messenger. But it has its limits in terms of global management. Indeed, it is difficult to control the global collaborative intelligence on a tool such as Teams.

Which collaborative platform? Microsoft Teams

Allow any employee to ask a question

Sometimes, collaboration is simply mutual aid. And mutual help is a way to decompartmentalize knowledge and know-how. Thus, it can be interesting to opt for a tool offering one or more spaces where your collaborators can ask questions and answer those of others.

In this case, your collaborative tool will also be a good way to remove some unnecessary email loops 😉

What all-in-one collaborative platform?

If you are wondering which collaborative platform to choose, it may be interesting to opt for an all-in-one tool. Indeed, each type of platform has its own limitations. However, your needs may be multiple. For example, you may need a tool that allows you to bring up ideas, distribute content and manage projects at the same time.

At Beeshake, we are convinced that collaboration must be a whole. Thus, a collective intelligence platform must allow to :

  • Create discussion spaces where you ask questions, answer those of others, and share news and information
  • Decompartmentalize knowledge and skills by allowing employees to formalize their best practices through educational and fun formats
  • Propose ideas, solutions, innovative projects, both throughout the year and during challenges
  • Inform and offer the most collaborative and accessible information possible

Choose your all-in-one platform!