Visual Collaboration: The New Dimension of Work

Laura Baciu

A Visual collaboration represents the work of the team in real time with creative tools. A Visual Collaboration can generate cohesion inside the company and new products. A Visual collaboration is basically a shared work and learning experience in the same time.

A shared work – people can work at the same time at different projects. Especially creative ones, like designing logos, brainstorming, SWOT analysis, UX, feedback from partners, satisfaction surveys etc.

A learning experience – by working together and seeing the actions of the team members live. One can learn new things by interacting with all the team or simply by analyzing its behaviors.

visual collaboration
Source: O’Reilly

Visual Collaboration Origins

Companies used the classical visual collaboration for decades. At the beginning of the 20th century, American companies that tried to establish new markets. They wanted to find those special features for the products that could bring all types of clients.

The openness to the visual collaboration was a trademark of businesses from the technical fields. Fields like engineering, electricity or the automobile industry.

The people that could afford to start a business and could afford the luxury of imagination, started to put their ideas on a white board. While making unexpected connections and thinking outside the box. After the appearance of the computers, employees received help from simple softwares.

Teams evolved very quickly and at the end of the 2nd millennium, when the World Wide Web made collaboration easier, companies skipped the boring and repetitive tasks and embraced the pro-active tasks.

Today, in the online environment, millions of teams create and pass on creative templates. They do that for the sake of profit and innovation.

Yes, innovation is not that easy even with the sparkle of digital tools. In the past, the lonely innovators unleashed revolutions in their field of expertise. Nowadays, groups equipped with sophisticated machines lead the path towards an innovative product.

A Creative Board…

The 4th industrial revolution is on the edge of enhancing the power of the Visual Collaboration through thousands of collaborative apps.

The basic idea is that you gather your people in front of a creative board (white, red, purple, you name it!). Then you let them to work in a pro-active manner. Eventually you get the results that can boost the efficiency of the company.

Our team from Lumeer uses this kind of creative board. Especially in tasks related to marketing, design, content, social media or UX.

However, if you think that creativity it’s just for funny and easy tasks, you might be surprised. You migth find out that even serious elements of the businesses can benefit from the creative board.

An Example

Public authorities from the city of Tallin hired a private company in order to develop more smart city apps for people with disabilities. The authorities wanted to allow these people to walk and work in a more pleasant way. Simply by using apps that are integrated throughout the city.

The company used visual collaboration, medical expertise, public transportation strategies and also invited a group of 15 people with disabilities to express their opinions and participate in the first pilot project. This massive amount of work paid off. When people from the targeted group completed the satisfaction survey saying that their lives have improved since using these new apps.

In the beginning of the visual collaboration, the individuals can simply learn how everything works and do some mock sessions in order to get familiar with the creative board.

Over the time, creative ideas that generate profit will pop out from the board. And the entire team will recognize the beauty of their business. It is said that all the employees are creative, but only few of them show it.

The creative board is a simple yet effective tool for reflecting the creativity of all the team members.

…or the Pressure of Creativity?

Just like in real life, the companies have ups and downs and sometimes, creative board cannot solve all the problems. Why is that? In front of the creative board there might be moments when the pressure of creativity leads to 0 ideas.

Top managers, highly creative teams and ordinary employees experienced this phenomenon. The lack of ideas in front of the creative board comes from one major cause: the fear of failure. Not even today, managers don’t know how to overcome the fear of failure for them and for their teams.

Yet Another Example

A manager of a local food store in the Czech Republic found it hard to come up with a better Christmas Campaign than the previous year. He was afraid of customers choosing another store. A fancy one because he didn’t have a lot of money that could be spent on that campaign. And he thought that the low budget means low quality of the campaign.

The fear of failure reduces the chance to get lucky in front of the creative board. If we think even deeper, this is why AI robots manage to surprise us every day. No one told them that they cannot try something new and they don’t have the fear of failure.

How to Unlock Visual Collaboration?

Luckily for you, we have searched 3 tips for how to avoid the pressure of creativity in front of the creative board:

  • From time to time, organize a creative board session only without management and leads in place. Employees will be happy to be in charge on their own.
  • Don’t expect to come to the best possible solution from the first session, this will decrease the stress of the team.
  • Use the trial & error principle. First with easy projects and then with more complicated ones. The confidence from the easy projects builds the confidence for the complex projects.

Visual collaboration is, in one way or another, the core of modern businesses that can have a democratic style of leadership. It is interactive, playful, and insightful.

It’s the perfect package to elaborate ideas with minimum costs. And why we need ideas? Well, because, as many scientists from the field of IT&C agree, we live in the age of information. And information is the new money.

Visual collaboration with online creative templates is the cherry on the top of a cake. The ultimate ride to the moon and back; millions of teams can chose from hundreds of templates related to:

  • Goals of the company
  • Project management goals
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Feedback from customers
  • Campaigns
  • User experience
  • Content
  • Social media
  • Ice breakers
  • New features for the products
  • SWOT analysis
  • Partnerships
  • etc.

How Lumeer Can Help?

Lumeer is also one of the teams on this planet that helps their clients to be creative in handling their daily challenges.

Although our product is primarily a project, team, and task management tool, it incorporates traits of visual collaboration tools. Like Kanban boards, Gantt charts, ordinary charts, pivot tables, calendar, map… And as such it enables the users to visualize the teamwork and to create new plans for the future.

More than this, we strive to add new templates so that the clients can achieve their goals in a shorter period of time and with low costs. These templates can be applied in many ways and every team has to find what suits best for their business.

Visual collaboration can take companies to the Moon and back in a period where some businesses are already planning flights to Mars. It can also generate power to nourish an organizational culture that encourages creativity. At the end of the day, a groundbreaking creative idea is what the corporate dreams are made of.

Try Visual Collaboration in Lumeer!