Best practice of the week: 4.1.5 Collaboration software

Sales of collaboration software are now expected to jump to $23 billion this year from $9 billion in 2019, and annual growth is forecasted to be 18% through 2023. In addition to new remote workers, other drivers of this trend are increased cloud computing, continuing globalization, and increasingly complex supply chains.

THE CENTER’S BEST PRACTICE OF THE WEEK: 4.1.5 Collaboration software

Definition of collaboration software: “Supporting on-going and project-based collaborations including meetings.”

Practice Summary


  • Better allocation of time
  • Improved coordination and communication (preventing “silos”)
  • Strengthened team dynamics, greater return on knowledge capital


  • Communication – including file sharing
  • Conferencing
  • Collaboration – project or task oriented

 Major collaborative functions

  • Scheduling and time management – making sure that people are working on the right things at the right time
  • Ongoing project budgeting – real-time checking of time and allotted budget spent, variance detection
  • Tracking sub-task completions – also keeping a full historic record of all actions
  • Focused communication.
  • Document and file sharing

3 Good Questions (discuss in a management meeting)

  1. How many of our projects are “big”?
  2. Do we often have external collaborators?
  3. How will we save and share the new ideas?

Lack of collaboration is estimated to cost $37 billion per year, which will grow with more working from home. Workers spend on average 570 hours, or 27% of their annual working hours, just dealing with email. Given that annual subscriptions to professional-level cloud software average $120/worker/year and ease of use is improving very quickly, it’s an investment of money, time and change that makes sense.