Depending on what projects WWT architects and engineers are working on, they’re splitting time between project calls, team meetings, customer communication and sifting through as many as 20-30 emails an hour. Trying to keep up with multiple collaboration tools among multiple teams and projects was inefficient and becoming unsustainable. There was too much to attend to on too many different platforms.
The biggest barrier to team efficiency was increasing dead time: it was hindering the communication and collaboration that is so essential to the way we craft innovative solutions for our customers. Documents kept needing to be re-sent, threads would become unmanageably long, and our engineers and architects were constantly distracted by notifications from email after email.
To overcome the flood of dispersed information and improve collaboration and efficiency, our engineering teams piloted moving their project conversations to Cisco Webex Teams (formerly Cisco Spark), a web-based collaboration tool that promised persistent chat, easy collaboration and importantly, a central location for information about their projects. The teams went all in and used Webex Teams for all their projects to see how fully adopting a project-based collaboration tool could improve their work.
For each project the team began, they created a new room in Teams to collect and record discussions, collateral and share ideas and solutions. All of their communication for a project now took place and was saved in one location along with documents, diagrams and other project-related materials. Because groups in Teams are persistent, whenever a team member needed to go back and find a document discussed a week ago, all they had to do was look back through the group chat log and download the document. When the project was over, the group and all of the information related to the project was saved and made accessible to be used the next time a similar project came around.
Webex Teams works on mobile devices in addition to the web and desktop client. This allowed team members to stay in contact and keep up to date, even when they weren’t in the office. Teams allowed team managers to keep better track of multiple projects while having better visibility into the status and progress of their projects. By inviting external customers into Teams, the team was able to add them to the conversation, enabling them to better communicate and better meet the customers’ needs.
Cisco Webex Teams provided the team with a number of features that made collaboration easier: screen sharing, video meetings from the group chat itself, document sharing and calendar integration. Using Teams cut the email of architects and engineers in half and dramatically increased their ability to keep on top of multiple projects at once.
The real-time nature of Webex Teams made project communication and collaboration easier and more efficient, speeding up response times in addition to overall organization. Because there was less to sift through, the team members were better able to respond to the communications that really mattered.
Their usage turned Teams into a project-based tool that made everyone’s lives easier. Our teams here at WWT were able to communicate and collaborate more effectively and, in turn, create better solutions for our customers.