First tool to be analyzed by us in our special report "the 4 pillars of collaboration": the famous team messaging. A tool that has experienced a rapid rise in recent years within organizations. Why is this? Its ability to simplify and multiply exchanges. However, beware of the risks of infobesity and dependency linked to the tool.
We recently presented the 4 collaborative tools that we intend to highlight in our special feature. If you haven't read it and would like a quick summary of what these 4 tools do, we encourage you to go read it to get a good start 😉. Now that the presentations have been made, let's get back to the heart of the matter and get interested in the first of the 4 pillars: the team messaging 💬
The Advantages of the First Pillar
A Terrific Communication
Let's start at the beginning. How does team messaging work? 🤔 A team messaging system (we will also call it "chatops") allows its user to send messages, documents, images or files to one or more people in real time. An extraordinary speed that allows collaborators in the same structure to share with their colleagues everything they need when they need it. A model that also contrasts with the way other collaborative tools propose to communicate. With chatops, communication is uncompromising: it does everything possible to ensure that your messages are communicated as quickly as possible, in their simplest form: a simple message.
A Tool that Everyone Already Knows
Team messaging has a very specific particularity compared to other tools. It was not originally created for the professional world like the intranet or the Digital Workplace. Team messaging is first and above all a communication tool used in everyday life. And if we clarify this point, it is because it has had an impact on the way the tool has been able to make its entry into the professional world. Adopting an entirely new tool in terms of usage takes time, on a technical level but above all on the side of the employees who must learn how to use it. On the other hand, it is much more intuitive to learn how to use a tool that you are already used to in your daily life. This is precisely what happened in the case of team messaging: tools such as WhatsApp have democratized the solution on a large scale, making it all the easier for it to be used within organizations.
The Pillar of Rapidity
However, the fact that the first pillar is already known to the general public does not entirely explain its rapid rise in the professional world. Three other elements must be taken into account.
👉 The first: its ease of use. Of all the collaborative tools on the market, chatops is probably the easiest to use. A conversation with one or more people, the ability to exchange messages, documents, images or files... and that's it. The whole thing comes down to a few features to assimilate, which, compared to all the possibilities of use of its colleagues, seems little. Yet this is its greatest strength 💪. The fact that employees don't have to spend weeks in the head to figure out how to use it makes the tool accessible. And a simple and accessible tool is a tool that is quickly adopted. 😉
👉 Second element: the ease with which the tool can be deployed on a large scale. The goal of a collaborative tool is to be used not by one person but by dozens or even hundreds of individuals (so far, no surprises 😉). On this side, chatops has no competition: an email address, a username, a few invitations to send to your collaborators and you're ready to use it! Enough to make your Chief Information Officer smile, who already saw himself spending hours coordinating all your information systems!
👉 Finally, the last element that makes team messaging a must for collaboration: its affordability. The price of team messaging is indeed much lower than other tools. A major argument for organizations that cannot afford or do not wish to invest too much money in a new tool.
The Disadvantages of Team Messaging
Too Much Information…
The first disadvantage of team messaging comes directly from its highest quality: its ability to communicate about anything at any time. Team messaging frees up communication just as it eventually, if we are not careful, makes it completely uncontrollable. Being able to send messages when you feel like it, therefore, ends up having a price: infobesity. All your accumulated conversations mean that you constantly receive a constant flow of information and don't know where to start. Reducing the number of emails on a daily basis was the initial goal of chatops: a goal that the tool has achieved to the point of even replacing it... as well as its drawbacks.
...Which Leads to Addiction
Of course, receiving so much information will not make you distance yourself from your favorite email service. Quite the contrary! Just like with e-mail, the fear of missing important information will take over. Result: a very important part of your time will be spent dealing again and again with the countless messages that will arrive in your messaging system. In the worst-case scenario, you will become dependent on a tool that was originally designed to simplify the way you communicate. In the end, all your internal communication will suffer because the hot information intended for you but also for your collaborators will be lost in the mass.
Team messaging frees up communication just as it eventually, if we are not careful, makes it completely uncontrollable.
The Difficulty of Changing Direction
The last major problem related to team messaging is the difficulty to change the communication framework. Its simplicity of use and the ease with which it can be deployed make it very difficult to get your employees to change their habits, since most of their communication will now take place through it. Taking back control of a communication that is controlled by a team messaging system is therefore no easy task. This is why it is necessary to supervise its use as soon as it is deployed in order to avoid loss of control as much as possible.
Finally, keep in mind that while acquiring a team messaging system represents a much lower financial cost compared to other tools, additional features are available in the tool itself. Features that add up to a much higher cost than your initial investment, so be careful not to be too tempted by the extras. 😉
Team messaging is an essential collaborative tool today for 3 reasons. The simplicity of its handling, the ease with which it can be acquired and deployed to the greatest number and finally its ability to free up the communication of an entire organization. These are major advantages, but they should not mislead the informed user!
In the absence of a framework for use, it is not unusual to see chatops taking the lead over all other tools, resulting in uncontrollable communication and dependent users. Team messaging is an ideal tool for small businesses looking to speed up their exchanges. On the other hand, we advise larger organizations to limit the use of their team messaging to their project teams and to turn to more corporate tools such as the intranet or the corporate social network for their global communication. Two tools that will also be on our analysis board in the rest of our section.