If the collaborative is now part of the professional landscape and makes sense for a large majority of companies, the "socialization of document management", on the other hand, is a notion that remains vague or unknown for 80% of them d´entre To a lesser extent, this is also the case for the digital Workplace, a concept unknown to 49% of respondents.
Imagine an electronic document that, once created and validated, would automatically be filed in the right place in the company's repository. A document that you could edit and modify at will in Google Docs (or others), with the possibility, at any time, to access the history of the different versions and instantly return to one of the previous versions. A document that you could submit for reading to colleagues, and whose progress you could also monitor, see comments and annotations. A document whose access rights (read-only, authorized modification, etc.) you could also manage according to the people with whom you share it. A document that you could also integrate into a workflow, with the possibility of being informed of the progress of the project, according to the different steps. A document that you could link to a particular project, to multimedia resources (photos, plans, images, etc.). Finally, a document that you could submit to your colleagues for a vote.
This connected, intelligent and collaborative document is an integral part of the "socialization of document management". The idea is to add collaborative functions wherever possible in document management. To do this, companies are inspired by what is done in the consumer world with easy-to-use applications that make it easier to use and share. It is, in fact, innovations in the field of the general public that are now feeding into business tools. Document management is not immune to this phenomenon and is also evolving towards more interaction, more intelligence, more socialization and more functionalities, in order to allow a greater number of employees to contribute to the smooth running of the company and make work more efficient. The old generation of GED has clearly made its time.
However, this new situation raises human and management questions within the company. Because the efficiency of collaborative work is not only ensured by the implementation of a digital solution. It is also and above all based on the ability and motivation of employees to work together. And unfortunately, this collective intelligence is not always self-evident, and is not compatible with all profiles. Some are, in fact, resistant to change and this must be taken into account. In fact, more than half of the respondents* (53%) indicated that the main obstacle to the deployment of collaborative work methods is none other than "resistance to change". One in three respondents also mentioned the company's overly compartmentalized organization and one in four the lack of management will.
To hopefully remove these various obstacles, it is important to identify the new behaviours expected, the skills to be acquired and the attitudes to adopt. It is essential to explain to employees what is really expected of them and to define the uses. The objective is that the fact of collaborating on a daily basis and sharing working documents becomes an automatic process. It is therefore necessary to teach employees how to use the implemented solution, not so much on the functional aspects which are generally intuitive, but rather on good practices, such as the animation of a collaborative space.
The first lever to be activated is therefore the interest of employees. Egoism can, in fact, lead individuals to collaborate as soon as they see it as a personal interest. The important thing is to get everyone to act so that they can discover what it can bring them. For this reason, the initial curiosity for a new solution is a very interesting asset, although this is only a first step. The ideal would be to get all employees to join this process on their own and ensure that they adhere to the new values of sharing, transparency and caring. This involves both training sessions, but also the dissemination of strong messages from the hierarchy, describing the company's vision on the importance of these new working methods in its operations, and on how they can also personally enrich employees and help them progress in their careers.
Only in this way can a true collaborative corporate culture be created.
These new practices also impose a new form of management. With the rise of teleworking and mobility, managers are now being forced to give up on their employees and give them more autonomy and freedom. This new relationship is now based on trust, loyalty and efficiency. For several years now, we have been witnessing a real decentralization of work. With the help of networks and technologies, employees can now work from anywhere, whether in transport, a third location, at home, in a hotel, in a café, in short, wherever an Internet connection is available. And this without losing efficiency, as long as the company's tools and resources remain easily accessible remotely.
We have entered the era of digital Workplace and connected work. A new era where the classic desk, fixed workstation, locked hard drive and locked cupboards no longer have their place. The digital workplace imposes new values of flexibility, availability, connectivity, collaboration, sharing and flexibility. An intellectual and functional flexibility that allows employees to remain efficient in all circumstances, since the company's work tools are no longer linked to a terminal, but can be accessed at any time in the cloud, from any type of device. However, to anchor these new work practices in the company's culture in the long term, managers must also be made aware of them and educated in new management methods.
With digital workplace and the continuous extension of collaborative functions, it is now possible to move forward on projects without seeing each other or spending hours in meetings. But many are still struggling with this new paradigm. However, it is not within the meeting spaces that the projects advance, it is outside. Meetings are there to structure the work, set priorities, unlock situations, but most of the work is usually done outside. To do this, it is necessary to assign a role to each person and thus give them all the decision-making powers related to this role. The main interest of this organization is to finally get out of the tyranny of consensus and that an arbitrator can decide if necessary in order to move forward quickly.
For training and skills maintenance, it is the same thing. The classroom is no longer required. Increasingly, companies are creating thematic learning modules based on classic videos, animations, diagrams and presentations, which they submit to their employees. They can then follow them according to their agenda and progress in the training program by validating these modules one by one. Employees are therefore also more autonomous in terms of "training", thanks again to the collaborative solutions offered by the company.
* Survey on collaborative GED conducted in January-February 2018 by Archimag and Jalios among 400 respondents. Download the survey.
Source: Article from our white paper "Why does the future of the company necessarily depend on the collaborative?" , p8-10, July 2018, produced in partnership with Archimag.