Trending February 2024 # Business Team Collaboration: Effective For Information Gathering, But Hinders Creation Of Diverse Solutions # Suggested March 2024 # Top 2 Popular

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Collaboration Has Its Limits For creative problem solving, organizations still need some people who don’t directly work together, says business school prof Jesse Shore

Jesse Shore found that a high degree of collaboration helps in the information-gathering part of problem solving, but that it hinders the ability of the group to come up with diverse solutions. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

Cubicles and closed doors are out. With collaboration the organizational mantra of our time, managers have transformed the modern office into a sea of open space, where groups of people solve problems together. Online, it’s all about maximizing connectivity and sharing within the social network. “Team communication for the 21st century—everyone has a transparent view of what’s going on,” promises Slack, one of an array of popular software programs designed to boost collaboration among groups in the workplace.

It turns out, though, that for creative problem solving, it still pays off to have some people in an organization who don’t directly work together. That is what Jesse Shore, an assistant professor of information systems at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and an expert on communications, information, and connectivity, found in an October 2024 study. But don’t get Shore wrong. He isn’t suggesting that collaboration is a bad thing. His study, in fact, also demonstrates the benefits of collaboration and a high degree of connectedness among a group of people—or, to use the social science research term, clustering. It all depends on which part of the problem-solving process people are engaged in—the search for information or using the information to come up with solutions.

Shore and his co-authors, Ethan Bernstein, an assistant professor of leadership and organizational behavior at Harvard Business School, and David Lazer, a professor of political science and computer and information science at Northeastern University, write in their study that “clustering promotes exploration through information space but inhibits exploration through solution space.”

For their experiment, the researchers adapted a US Department of Defense (DOD) tool for conducting experiments on collaboration and information gathering and customized a 25-minute whodunit game: figuring out the who, what, when, and where of a pending terrorist attack. Some 400 undergraduate participants were divided into 16-person groups. Each group was organized into one of four networks, which ranged from highly clustered to minimally clustered. Those in the highly clustered communications networks were five percent more efficient in searching for unique facts or clues. But those who were not densely clustered came up with 17.5 percent more unique theories or solutions. The study, “Facts and Figuring: An Experimental Investigation of Network Structure and Performance in Information and Solution Spaces,” was funded by the DOD and the US Army Research Laboratory and published in Organization Science in September 2024.

“The research was just one experiment in a lab,” Steve Lohr wrote in a 2014 article about the study in the New York Times, “but it does point to the larger subject of striking a balance between connectedness and isolation in the digital age.”

BU Research sat down with Shore to talk about his study and about patterns of collaboration, clustering, network structures, and problem solving—and what he’s looking at next.

BU Research: What was the goal of your study?

Shore: We were testing the effects of communications patterns on the success of organizations in solving problems. We were looking at whether they could both find diverse information and generate diverse interpretations of that information.

Why were the clustered networks better at searching for information or clues?

The clustered network was more coordinated at the group level in finding unique information. There is something sort of natural to that. If you can observe what everyone in the team is doing, you’re not going to reproduce their work. You’ll say ‘I should work on something different, we’ll cover more territory.’

What about the second phase of problem solving that you tested—the search for solutions?

When it comes to interpreting that information to come up with conclusions, coordinating might not necessarily be the best thing. If I see you’ve adopted a solution, I might simply copy yours.

Is that human nature?

When more than one of your neighbors has adopted a solution, you see what’s known as social proof: ‘Everyone thinks this, so it must be true.’ In terms of thinking independently, it’s not the number of collaborators or the amount of communication that matters. It’s the pattern of communication ties that make up the network structure of the whole organization.

What was new about this study in terms of research on networks?

We separated the part of problem solving that is about coming up with solutions from the part about the information gathering that are the building blocks for those solutions. Prior researchers hadn’t thought to do that when studying the effects of network structure on problem solving.

Where do you hope people will go from here?

We want this information to be built on. Outside of the lab, it’s hard to disentangle the effect of network structures from a whole bunch of other things, such as the attributes of the individuals in the network or any number of important contextual variables that could have shaped the network in the first place. We wouldn’t say this gives you the complete solution for all real-world applications, but it gives you an insight—that the structure that helps one part of the problem-solving process might not be the structure to use for the other part of the problem-solving process. Where coordinated search for information is the goal, you might want to favor a clustered network structure. It will naturally be more efficient and coordinated. But a clustered pattern of ties can lead to homogeneity of interpretation and it’s not necessarily so good for the part where you want to generate diverse solutions.

What can you tell us about how to navigate all this “high communications connectivity,” as you describe it?

The question is how to manage it. We’re adopting communications technologies at an extremely rapid rate, in a sort of breathless way. It can help us in many ways. It can also end up suppressing the diversity of experiences we have, the diversity of ways we understand information. I don’t think connectivity is reducing the diversity of information. I think we’re getting much more information. Just look at Wikipedia—people joke about it, but it’s becoming an amazing repository of diverse information. But what all this connectivity might not be consistent with is having diverse opinions about that information, drawing diverse conclusions, and coming up with creative applications to use in new settings.

So what can we do to avoid homogeneous thinking in the networked world?

You can design your communications technologies to avoid that. That would definitely be a frontier for future work.

Would you like to study that?

I would love to work on that.

You’re working on two new studies, one using a network model to examine the international music trade, which is forthcoming in the journal Network Science, the other on Twitter and diversity of opinion. Can you tell us a little about what you’ve learned?

The first paper asks how markets for “information goods” come into being. Commodities, like coal or paper, may have a utilitarian value no matter where you go in the world, but an information good, like a song or a book, does not. There could be a huge market for a certain kind of music in one country and no market at all in another. So this study looked at how new markets for information goods come into being. I found that, historically, new markets for music formed when the potential exporter and the potential importer had both imported from the same third country in the past. The pattern of trade today influences demand for information goods tomorrow.

As for the Twitter paper, it’s currently under review, but we’re looking at whether social media really does support the polarization and echo chambers we hear about so much in the news. Our data allows us to get a broader look at those questions than previous studies have taken.

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Sargent Students Team Up With Iraqi Peers To Find Solutions To Health Inequities

Sargent Students Team Up with Iraqi Peers to Find Solutions to Health Inequities

This summer, Iraqi and American university students collaborated in a virtual program hosted by United Planet to work on solutions to public health inequities. The 12 student teams were assigned a final project with a US or Iraqi nonprofit. Team five, which included Kayleen Panlilio (Sargent’23)—one of 24 Sargent students involved in the exchange—and Adelphi University’s Victoria Bruchhauser, addressed adherence to COVID-19 protocols for local nonprofit Roca. Courtesy of United Planet

Public Health

Sargent Students Team Up with Iraqi Peers to Find Solutions to Health Inequities Virtual exchange program hosted by nonprofit United Planet is designed to promote cross-cultural communication

How did you spend your pandemic summer?

If you were one of the two dozen Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences students who signed up for United Planet’s Iraqi-American public health exchange program, you worked to come up with solutions to public health crises in the United States and Iraq.

In normal years, the nonprofit United Planet hosts internship and volunteer programs in more than 30 countries. Participants can sign up for a range of opportunities, from weeklong programs to gap year experiences. During the pandemic, however, United Planet switched to virtual offerings. 

Among them was this summer’s virtual public health exchange, a partnership between United Planet and Sargent that brought together 120 college students from across the United States and Iraq. The program, which grew out of the COVID-19 pandemic, was funded by a grant from the US Embassy in Baghdad. For seven weeks in July and August, the students met in teams to learn about and address pressing public health issues in both countries.

“The main goal of the program is really cross-cultural communication,” says Nancy Lowenstein (Sargent’87), a Sargent clinical associate professor and program director of the behavior and health department, who helped oversee the program. “Students learn about another culture, as well as how COVID-19 has impacted each of these different places.” 

This is the second year United Planet has run the program. The curriculum was developed by Shelley Brown (SPH’07), a Sargent clinical assistant professor of health sciences. Each week, students covered a new topic, such as the foundation of global public health or the micro and macro impacts of individuals in public health. They had weekly readings, which they would later post discussion questions about on Moodle. For the final projects, teams were paired with a nonprofit in either Massachusetts or Iraq and tasked with finding solutions to a unique public health issue—usually COVID-19–related—faced by that organization.  

This year, 24 of the students came from Sargent. Six were team captains, including occupational therapy (OT) doctoral student Minji Lee (Sargent’23), whose group, team two, worked with the Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition to address vaccine hesitancy among Mattapan’s Haitian-American community.  

Fortuitously, the project gave Lee a chance to flex her OT muscles. “Occupational therapy is, in simple terms, about restoring an individual’s, group’s, or community’s participation in society after a crisis such as an accident, or even something drastic like a global pandemic,” Lee explains. “The project that we worked on, and some of our solutions for reducing vaccine hesitancy, reflected OT, with its focus on listening to the community members’ stories and getting to know their specific conditions before prescribing a remedy.”

Among the other American-based students was team five captain Victoria Bruchhauser, an Adelphi University nursing student. Her group’s final project focused on promoting adherence to COVID-19 protocols in Lynn and Chelsea for Roca, a youth-focused nonprofit with locations in Massachusetts and Baltimore. The international reach of the summer program is what drew Bruchhauser to United Planet, she says.

“With nursing—and with health care in general—I think it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world, because you’re treating all kinds of patients,” Bruchhauser says. 

Her team was extra-international. Members were located in three countries, with three different time zones: the United States, Iraq, and Kazakhstan. Team discussions—which required finding a time that worked for all nine of them—often went “a little off the side road,” because they all enjoyed chatting with one another, Bruchhauser says. “A lot of us actually met outside of the program to keep talking. It was really cool learning from each other.”

That sentiment was echoed by Fadi Azeez, a senior majoring in English language and literature at the Catholic University in Erbil, Iraq, who signed up for the United Planet program because of his interest in the health sector. “This pandemic has limited our activities so much, and it felt as if life has changed a lot,” says Azeez, whose group project focused on teen sexual behavior during lockdown. “The most enjoyable moments [of quarantine] were during this whole program, honestly, because it was so much fun and not boring at all.”

When it came to health disparities, the differences could be stark. As Bruchhauser’s cocaptain told her, vaccines were available in Iraq, but the chances of contracting COVID-19 from health-care facilities were high enough to prompt many Iraqis to remain unvaccinated. (Azeez also noted that medical equipment in the United States is typically much more sophisticated than in Iraq.) And forget clapping for health-care workers in the evening: in some cases, Bruchhauser’s team members told her, Iraqi citizens blamed doctors for coronavirus deaths and physically attacked them.

 For their final projects, three of the student teams worked together to create a social media campaign addressing COVID-19 misinformation for the United Iraqi Medical Society for Relief and Development. They created a character, Kamal, who helps dispel common myths about the virus. Courtesy of United Planet

Some things, however, were much the same between the two countries. Misinformation, for one, is universal: for their final projects, three of the groups worked on a social media campaign addressing COVID-19 myths and vaccine hesitation for the United Iraqi Medical Society for Relief and Development. Their Kurdish/English campaign—which centered around a fictional character named Kamal—featured a hashtag, shareable social media graphics, and FAQs designed for Facebook stories.

For Lee, the opportunity to connect across borders—at a time when international travel is nearly impossible—was priceless. “The most enjoyable aspect about working with my Iraqi colleagues was learning about their Kurdish culture and language,” she says. “We also shared a few personal experiences that helped clarify cultural notions of America and Iraq, which was meaningful for me.” 

As for cross-cultural communication? When her Iraqi colleagues taught her some basic phrases in Kurdish, Lee says, she spent a day practicing them on anyone who’d listen. 

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Biami.io: Harnessing Automation To Build Intelligent Business Driven Solutions

BIAMI.IO offers Intelligent Automation solutions to build intelligent business process driven software, platforms and robots. Based on its own technology, an enterprise-ready automation framework, the company offers solutions in four areas:

Intelligent Automation for the People – Software and solutions for individuals to automate their daily tasks.  Users can create their individual automated business processes using BIAMI DEV, a free and open source software or use BIAMI Personal Cloud, a free cloud service for non-commercial use.

Enterprise Intelligent Automation Cloud Platform – Software and solutions for business customers to build their own intelligent and automated solutions at scale in public, private or hybrid cloud deployment. Automation clusters built with BIAMI Enterprise Edition software include additional solutions like BIAMI Resource Management and BIAMI Performance Management to build complex solutions in elastic and scalable infrastructure and meet automation SLA.

Enterprise Intelligent Automation Transformation – Horizontal or industry-specific solution templates for building the best intelligent automation solutions in the market which decreases the amount of time necessary for successful automation implementation.

Embedded Intelligent Automation – Software, solutions and hardware designs, and appliances that deliver autonomous intelligent automation solutions as a part of a wider proposition of its customers.

BIAMI.IO’s mission is to increase the

quality of life through automation transformations where everyone is able to raise the quality, reach and efficiency of what they do with easy to build and manage intelligent automation solutions.

A Charismatic Leader

Marcin Kierdelewicz, a veteran in the software industry founded chúng tôi in 2023 after working at automation framework software product development in 

his

 initial years. From 

his 

experience with SAP, Marcin gained familiarity to build and grow software businesses from startups to over 

US

$

1

 billion

valuation. BIAMI.IO’s founding team had half-a-dozen people who worked together for many years with vision to build the best automation proposition on the market. BIAMI DEV is the only open source enterprise framework and BIAMI is the only proposition in the market that lets non-technical people describe automation process and collaborate with others in order to share the experience and improve the quality of intelligent automation processes built.

Excelling in Open Source Collaborations

Intelligent Automation and RPA are the core of BIAMI.IO’s offerings. The unique part of 

the company’s

 proposition in the market is its open source collaboration where BIAMI and its customers share automation processes on platforms like Github to collaborate with others without a need to share the secret sauce. This type of collaboration lets everyone bring skills that are needed and deliver the best automation solutions in the market.

Long term strategy for BIAMI includes elements of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) which are a core part of its future products release including an intelligent chatbot.

Navigating Success with AI, ML, NLP and Chatbots

Collaborative Partnerships that Drive Innovation

In intelligent automation space, almost everything that people talk about is innovative. Automation is the future and is only about how easy it is to build automation solutions in order to increase the automation adoption. chúng tôi is the only solution on the market that does not require developers to automate business processes. The company’s first key alliances include top 3 cloud vendors where it has worked with them to build a better experience, collaboration and elastic automation infrastructure. chúng tôi has also partnered with many system 

integration

 companies to deliver consulting and implementation services while focusing on core proposition development and customer support.

Fostering Automation Framework

Marcin usually does not put all the things in one bucket. Intelligent Automation is the 

future,

 but reality is that all of the current RPA leading vendors including UiPath, BluePrism and Automation Anywhere don’t offer very intelligent automation solutions. They’re focusing on one and the same area which makes it more and more technical. BIAMI.IO’s approach is different. From the very beginning, the company had its automation framework that can be extended adding more and more value with every project. RPA is only a part of what the team 

can do at chúng tôi and the company’s approach to collaborate and focus on working with business managers makes it unique in the 

way it

 works and the outcome the customers get. Marcin believes that AI, NLP and Chatbot will constitute a proposition of every vendor and it’s only a matter of time when people see that. The difference will be in the details and what people can do with every vendor’s AI, NLP and Chatbot proposition. That will define a different positioning of the 

vendors in

 the market in the future.

Addressing Capacity Building Challenges

BIAMI.IO is relatively a new company in the market. It has notable achievements and great customer success stories in the commercial market, including delivering a significant part of the business for one of the Telco’s in Europe with over 5 million services provisioned in over 2 years with zero downtime. That was achieved only because the company was able to check if the resources were available before the automation process kicked-off. The automation processes 

were

 managed at every stage with the possibility to roll-back or completely restart the process if there was any potential failure.

BIAMI.IO got a complex marketplace order processing automation for one of the leading online retailers where the company remarkably decreased the time and resources needed to manage multi-vendor orders.

An Ambitious Roadmap for Future Expansion

Current RPA vendor

s

 holds the world record for the “Year on Year Growth” with results that 

w

ere

never achieved before. Not even close. And in Marcin’s opinion, this is just the beginning of what chúng tôi is going to see. Automation will help business to grow and scale faster than ever before. For everyone it means that while Amazon is the biggest company in the world and not many people would predict that such a tech giant could be built within such a short period of time.  Reality is that it takes less time to build global successful companies in future and that becomes a standard.

Top 10 Trending Features Of Linkedin And Naukri For Effective Usage

We live in an era where connecting with global talent could not have been easier. Companies can hire talent from across the globe at minimal cost, and individuals can search for and apply for jobs of their interest from across the globe at almost no cost. Hiring today happens with applications like LinkedIn, Naukri, chúng tôi Hirst, Flex C, Facebook, Blue Learning, chúng tôi and a thousand other websites and applications. This is also known as “hiring through social media.” In this article, we will be understanding some of the tactics so that the candidates can have a better ranking in these job portals, get the job of their choice, and easily outrun the competition.

Understanding the Job Portals and Their Purpose LinkedIn Application

LinkedIn is not just another recruitment portal. LinkedIn provides users with a platform through which they can connect with like-minded industry individuals, stay current on business and economic trends, search for jobs, post job requirements, understand the candidate better than their work profile, follow companies, do trending and knowledgeable courses, and even create their own communities. LinkedIn is free for users, and most of the features are at their disposal. Individuals can unlock the premium features with subscriptions as well. LinkedIn is a community of 750 million members.

Naukri Application

The core of Naukri is to provide candidates and recruiters with a platform on which they can connect and discuss job openings. It solely revolves around recruitment and selection. Naukri is also free for users. However, to unlock the premium features, one can get a premium account. Companies register themselves as recruiters, which has a fee, and post jobs or search for candidates as per requirement, and the candidates or job applicants can browse through different openings and apply for jobs of their interest.

Top 10 Features of Naukri and LinkedIn for Job Applicants

Use keywords in your resume and Naukri and LinkedIn profile − The relevant keywords on your profiles and resume will set you apart from the 60+ million Naukri users and the 750+ million LinkedIn users. Recruiters today are using the ATS (Application Tracking System). This helps recruiters find the best candidate according to the keyword in their job description. Use keywords related to the job that you have or want to have. For example, a software developer should always include the various technologies that he has worked on or has extensive knowledge of in his resume. The repetition will ensure a better ranking. It is applicable to both LinkedIn and Naukri.

Use the spotlight feature of LinkedIn − LinkedIn has come up with the #opentowork and #hiring tags. This helps the recruiter identify the candidates who are really interested in a job change. By simply updating the “open to work” tag on his LinkedIn profile, a user can rank among the top in the spotlight.

Update your salary expectation and notice period on the Naukri portal − This might seem trivial, but it is very important for recruiters. Recruiters use this information to determine whether or not to pursue the candidate further. This will ensure that you get emails only from companies that are ready to meet your salary expectations and are okay with your notice periods. It saves time. Sadly, both filters are unavailable for recruiters or users on LinkedIn.

Always keep your profile updated − It is mandatory for both LinkedIn and Naukri to keep your profiles updated. The recruiter gets a synopsis of you and your work experience from your profile. Believe me, no one has the time to connect with you personally to get these details. An average recruiter will move ahead to other applicants in the case of incomplete, improper, or incorrect information on the site.

Create an Eye-catching Resume − Prepare an eye-catching, colorful, easy-to-decipher, and brief resume while applying for jobs. Also, ensure to upload the resumes on the job portals so interested recruiters can have a look. An average recruiter comes across a minimum of 50 resumes in a day. It is very important for you to create one that is different from the rest.

Earn skill badges on LinkedIn and update all your skills on your Naukri profile − On LinkedIn, you can earn skill badges by taking tests on the skills you’ve mentioned. It comes in really handy for your hard skills like Excel, Microsoft, PowerPoint, Java, Python, Testing, DevOps, Sysops, and others. This creates a positive and strong image of yours in front of the recruiter and makes you a stronger and more reliable candidate. Also, keep all of your skills up to date on your Naukri profile because whenever you apply for a job, a brief summary of your qualifications is displayed to the recruiter, making it easier for the recruiter to shortlist your profile among the 100s.

Get endorsements on LinkedIn − You can ask your colleagues and friends to give you endorsements on LinkedIn. This means that they confirm your knowledge of this particular skill set and help in building a positive image of yourself.

Upload your photo on your job profile and resume − Though it is not a mandate, it is highly recommended to upload a decent photo of yourself in formal or semi-formal attire on the different job portals and your resume. The picture will help you in creating an impression and also build trust.

Verify all your documents − When you are creating your Naukri and LinkedIn profiles, they will ask you to upload all your documents, like an Adhar card, a PAN card, educational details, and others. Please upload all these documents to get a better star rating on Naukri and a legit account on LinkedIn. Star ratings are very useful when you apply for jobs.

The above-mentioned top 10 pointers are the hygiene parameters to ensure that you are ranking at the top of both LinkedIn and Naukri portals. We live in an era of presentation and aesthetics. You may have all of the necessary skills, but if you do not consider these parameters, it will be very difficult for you to get a job of your choice and a higher ATS ranking. Another tip is to apply only for relevant job posts. You may apply to 50 job posts in a day but it will be of no use if it is not relevant. Give a quick glance at the Job description and then only apply for a job. It is time we put our best foot forward.

What Is The Role Of Collaboration In Quality Management?

Collaborative Quality Management is an effective strategy for raising the bar on service and product quality through the use of cross-functional teams. Employees, clients, and vendors must all work together in this process to reach the organisation’s quality goals. Productivity, communication, knowledge sharing, and iterative improvement are just some of the many benefits of collaborative quality management.

Collaborative quality management strategies for small businesses, cross-functional teams, and the connection between collaboration and continuous improvement are all covered in this article, along with the role of teamwork and leadership in quality assurance. Embracing collaboration and teamwork allows businesses to cultivate a quality culture that drives continuous improvement and yields the best possible outcomes for their customers.

The Benefits of Collaborative Quality Management

Collaborative quality management practises can increase productivity by as much as 25%, according to a McKinsey study. This is because a more streamlined and effective process is the result of team members working together to identify and address any problems that may arise.

Increased communication and sharing of information are two additional benefits of Quality Management collaboration that can contribute to ongoing progress. Team members benefit from increased learning and development when they are encouraged to share their own expertise and experiences.

Collaborative Approaches to Quality Improvement

A collaborative approach to quality improvement is one in which multiple parties work together to boost the quality of a given product, service, or process. It means getting input from all levels of the organization, such as workers, clients, and vendors.

Collaboration is a great way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone’s opinions are heard. By working together, businesses can boost output while decreasing expenses.

Last but not least, quality management relies on teamwork to foster an environment where people consistently strive to do better and are held accountable for achieving the best outcomes they can.

The Role of Teamwork in Quality Management

The goals of quality management can only be reached through a collaborative effort. When people come together to solve problems and make choices, they can benefit from the combined expertise of the group. This cooperative method is useful for spotting and fixing problems before they escalate and threaten the product’s integrity.

Improved quality and productivity can result when team members share their ideas and methods. Successful teams have open lines of communication, a common understanding of their goals, and a willingness to listen to and learn from one another. By encouraging communication and cooperation among employees, businesses can develop a culture that promotes the constant improvement and benefits their customers.

Collaborative Quality Management Strategies for Small Businesses

Small businesses can benefit from Collaborative Quality Management by working with other companies in their field to share and implement best practices and enhance existing procedures. By pooling their resources, small businesses can save money, boost productivity, and delight their clientele.

Collaborative Quality Management techniques like “quality circles” are just one example. Quality circles are informal groups of workers who get together regularly to brainstorm ways to enhance the quality of their work environment. By pooling their resources and expertise, workers can find ways to enhance the value of their output.

The formation of partnerships with suppliers, customers, and other market participants is another tactic. When companies work together, they can pool their expertise and resources to create superior goods and services. If a small company is a supplier to a large one, for instance, the two companies could work together to raise the standard of the supplied components.

The Role of Leadership in Fostering Collaboration for Quality Improvement

Quality improvement through collaboration is impossible without strong leadership. Collaboration, in quality management, means working together to achieve a common goal, such as improving the quality of the services or goods being offered.

A good leader is one who encourages workers to work together for the greater good. They need to create a place where workers feel heard and respected, and where new ideas are welcomed and encouraged. Leaders need to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what they need to do to succeed in reaching the objective through clear and consistent communication.

Leaders can encourage teamwork by encouraging the sharing of knowledge and skills from a variety of sources. In addition to creating a more positive and productive work environment, collaboration helps build trust and relationships among team members.

Collaborative Quality Management Techniques for Cross-Functional Teams

Methods used by interdisciplinary groups to coordinate effectively and deliver superior work are known as “Collaborative Quality Management Techniques for Cross-Functional Teams.” The purpose of quality management is to guarantee that delivered goods and services are up to par. The team’s ability to work together and share information, materials, and strategies is crucial to the success of this endeavor.

When teams from different departments work together, they can spot problems sooner in the process, come up with solutions more quickly, and boost the quality of the final product or service. Cross-functional teams can benefit from collaborative quality management strategies such as brainstorming sessions, process mapping, and continuous improvement initiatives. These methods facilitate two-way communication, teamwork, and conformity to agreed-upon quality benchmarks.

The Relationship Between Collaboration and Continuous Improvement

Working together towards a common goal is what we mean when we say “collaborate.” Looking for ways to make things better is at the heart of the concept of “continuous improvement.” Quality management relies on constant improvement, and this can only be achieved through teamwork. Better solutions often arise when people work together and share their thoughts.

The end result is better goods and services. Individuals working in isolation are more likely to miss something vital. When people pool their resources and talents, they may be able to spot errors or develop superior solutions.

12 Best Slack Alternatives For Team Communication

Team communication tools started popping up like mushrooms in the post-pandemic work-from-home world so you have more options than ever before. Slack may be one of the most popular choices, but you should weigh the pros and cons before choosing the perfect messaging app to improve teamwork.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best Slack alternatives to help you determine which team communication app suits your needs. We hand-picked each chat software based on its team collaboration features, price, and availability of mobile apps. Also, make sure to check out our article on the best coordination tools like Asana and Trello to boost productivity.

Table of Contents

Microsoft developed a business chat tool that targets enterprise companies as well as small teams. Microsoft Teams is already available to all who subscribe to one of the Microsoft Office 365 plans. You can get a freemium version of Microsoft Teams if you don’t have one of these plans. All the chat features will be available to you for free. Among them are instant chat, audio, video calls, and various integrations.

Free Microsoft Teams version allows up to 100 video chat participants and up to 500k internal and external users. If your company needs more than this, the premium plan for this chat tool starts at $5 per month/per user. It is available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Web users.

Microsoft Teams integrations are somewhat like separate apps you can add to your chat tool to personalize it. They will help you organize your business better, share the files, or track your business intelligence.

Google Chat is a built-in feature of the Gmail service, designed to replace Google Hangouts. You can use it to chat with anyone who has a Gmail account. It doesn’t matter if you or your contact uses a free plan or paid Gmail account, the chat tool is available to everyone.

To be able to have video and audio chats, you will have to use Google Meet alongside Google Chat. It is an excellent solution and SLack alternative for all the corporate teams out there, especially the ones that already use G Suite.

Google Chat is completely free for all Gmail users and it is supported by Android, iOS, and Windows.

For all the companies that are looking for an open-source alternative to Slack, Discord might be the right solution. Although this app was designed as a gamers’ chat app, it proved to be so much more. It has unlimited chat and screen sharing functions that are very handy for corporate communications.

The primary function of Discord is video and audio calls with API Integrations. If you want unlimited chat history, unlimited storage, high-quality file sharing, and an unlimited number of participants in one channel, you will have to pay $9.99/month for Discord Nitro.

Discord is used not only by gamers and corporations but also by schools, communities, friends, and family. This is why its developers made sure that Discord is available on all web browsers, iOS, and Android, as well as Windows, Linux, and macOS.

The companies that are searching for self-hosted options, and don’t mind more elaborate and tech-demanding alternatives to Slack, should look into Rocket.Chat. This is another open-source chat tool and it will allow you complete customization of the omnichannel platform.

The chúng tôi gives its users full access to their code. This means that you as a company can change this communication tool to serve your needs. You can add or remove some of its features, and improve it the way you see fit. It also has end-to-end encryption which makes your corporate conversations safe.

The hosted plan of chúng tôi is not free. It comes at the price of $3 per user/per month. But their open-source code allows you to have all the available features for free, as long as you host it internally only, within your company.

Rocket.Chat is available on all devices that use iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. It also has a Web version.

Fleep is a communication platform that emphasizes task management. Besides the usual chat feature, it offers possibilities for assigning and coordinating work. There is also a pinboard where you and your coworkers can pin important messages and reminders. The whole concept of Fleep chat is built on the idea of conversations on certain topics that everyone is welcome to discuss.

The Freemium version of this conversation platform has unlimited one-on-one chat options. But it will support only three group conversations at a time. It also allows up to 10GB of storage space. But if you need more, you will have to pay for the premium version. The pricing will be done annually, although the plan is $5/per month per person. The premium version will give you access to 100GB of storage space.

Fleep is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS

Chanty is a collaboration software managed by an AI, designed to increase productivity and team organization in your company. It is also price friendly. Small teams with up to 10 members can use it for free. But if you have more people in your team and you need some extra features this conversation platform has to offer, then you need a premium version. However, even premium Chanty is very affordable at $3/per user per month.

Chanty offers many of the same features as Slack, for half the price. But it also comes with an integrated task management system that will help you create and assign tasks to different team members. A feature called Teambook will let you neatly organize the tasks, chats, and files into folders, and your workspace will always be orderly.

Available for Android smartphones, iPhones, and iPad, as well as for Windows and macOS users.

Mattermost is an open-source chat tool, perfect for small business teams that need extra security, but without paying too much. This platform is free for up to 10 users, but for distributed organizations, it is $10/per user per month.

Mattermost developers invested in the privacy and security features of their chat tool, which made it an amazing platform suitable for government, healthcare, and finance agencies.

The interface of this chat platform is familiar as it resembles the one Slack has. This makes the transition from Slack to Mattermost easy. But Mattermost has one additional feature. It will let its users manage their workflow from within the software. Its open-source code means it is customizable, and tech-savvy users can make Mattermost a personalized tool.

Mattermost is available to all Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, and Web users.

If your company is looking for a hosted instant messaging app, Flock should be your choice. It also features audio and video calls, file sharing, and company productivity tools, and supports direct messages as well as group messaging. Flock has it all. Their video platform is similar to Skype and Zoom, and your team will be familiar with it.

The free version of Flock allows up to 20 users. But the paid version, which comes for only $4.50 per user per month, raises this number to 100. Not only that! The paid version also brings many additional features that will help you manage tasks and your team members more easily. If you are not sure if you need these additional features, you can always opt to try Premium Flock with a 30-day trial period for free.

Flock is available for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, and the Web.

Companies that want all of their communication in one place should consider Ryver. It is a collaboration app designed not only for communication but also for task management and overall workflow. Ryver has integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box which makes file sharing extremely easy. Audio and video calls can support up to 5 people.

Ryver is a hosted tool with unlimited chat, file sharing, and a very well-designed message history search option. This and its task management feature makes it not only a good communication platform but also a project management tool.

Ryver can be a bit pricey for new start-up companies. But if you are willing to try it out, there is a 14-day trial that will help you decide if it is worth paying $49 per month. Available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS devices, and the Web.

Acquired by RingCentral, Glip is more than a team chat platform, it is a team collaboration tool. It comes with built-in features such as tasks, calendar, notes, audio and video conferencing, and more. Glip can be connected to other apps through Zapier, which will allow you to automate some of the tasks of your team.

Glip is available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and the Web.

If you work with an international team you probably understand how hard it can be to synchronize your workflows. Team meetings and conversations can be very problematic if everyone works at different hours. This is where Twist comes into play. This is a communication software designed for teams that can’t rely on real-time calls, chats, and conferences.

Although Twist is free for an unlimited number of users, if you want additional features, integrations, and unlimited chat history storage, you will have to pay $5 per user per month. Available on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, and Web.

Ring Central is a cloud-based business phone system, excellent for both small and large corporations that rely on voice calls. It also features messaging and video conferencing systems to ensure your team will always stay connected. But it works the best when paired with other communication apps. Its open API ensures Ring Central integration with over 2000 business apps and tools.

Virtual conference rooms and data center geodiversity make sure that international work teams are always able to communicate and synchronize their workflows. Moreover, Ring Central is an excellent Slack alternative for companies that need enterprise-grade security.

Ring Central has multiple paid plans, but it all comes to $4.99 per user, per month. Ring Central is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. A web browser version also exists.

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