It’s always interesting when you have a company event to watch how people participate in the process.  Each person tends to take on a role and assimilate themselves accordingly.  For example, you have the leaders, the problem solvers, the cheerleaders, the workers, and the thinkers/strategist among others.  I’m sure that each of you can understand exactly what I am talking about and can most likely point out each of those types in your own company.  It doesn’t really matter what kind of event you are planning, these individuals always seem to settle into these respective roles.

Just recently, Sherpa Software held an office Cinco de Mayo party.  In preparation for this party, a team was assembled to coordinate the details and ensure a successful event.  As usual, there was an array of employee types on the team.  We had the thinkers, workers, leaders and fortunately the problem solver.  Regardless of activity, you need this type of diverse group to get things done.  But unfortunately, working together as a team isn’t always easy.  Focusing on communication and collaboration are key to making it work.  More on that later.  For now, back to the party.

In throwing a “party”, the first step is planning.  You need to set up decorations, order the food, get the beverages, and organize any other minor details.  Each person plays a role in the success of the party.  Without the leaders, no one takes charge and assigns task and no one is held accountable for delivering their respective contribution.  The thinkers are going to help come up with creative ideas and brainstorm activities that bring together the big picture.  The workers naturally jump in and start getting things done like invitations and party favors and game cards etc.  They remain focused on making sure that all the tasks are done and done well.  And of course our problem solver that comes to the rescue when we realize that we forgot to get the grand prize for our featured game.  No problem, they have a back-up plan.

Whether you are planning a company event or organizing a team for critical business operations, you can usually see this dynamic and that is why team collaboration and communication are so important.  Let’s take eDiscovery and information governance for example.  These are the worlds in which Sherpa lives every day.  If you are fortunate enough to have a team focused on these activities, you probably realize that it can be both a blessing and a curse.  Each person has his or her responsibility or role on the team and they will need to complete their task and collaborate as a team or the entire process won’t work.

Teamwork helps in creating a smooth process and a successful end result… just like our Cinco de Mayo party.  You must collaborate as a team and understand what each person is doing in order to be successful.  If each member of the team were to go off and do his or her own thing, then you might have the chips on one end of the table and the dips on the other, or even the possibility of no dip at all.  Team collaboration is exactly what keeps this from happening.  Each moving part helps the entire task move in unison and come together.  When one part moves out of turn, the task (or party) will fall apart.  This may not be earth shattering when it comes to planning a party but when you are talking about an eDiscovery process or information governance program, it is critically important.

In the end, working as a team and collaborating gives you your best chance for success.  Be sure to keep in mind when working with your eDiscovery or IG team that each person has his or her own role and that each role plays a large part in the success of the overall initiative.  You can also maximize your chance of success by utilizing technology and solutions that bring your entire team together.  Sherpa Software’s own Altitude IG platform utilizes role based access, real time review and easy web access for this very reason.  Work smart not hard and you will realize the collaboration, efficiency and savings the right solution can offer your team.