In today’s remote workplace, collaboration has never been more challenging, or more important. How do teams used to walking down the hall or gathering in a meeting room complete critical checks or design reviews from their home office or living room? 

We’ve worked with hundreds of designers, engineers, product owners and managers this year to find new, better ways to collaborate in our new remote world. We’ve consolidated that information into 5 key practices to keep your reviews on track. 

1. Democratize CAD Access

When you don’t provide non-technical stakeholders, project managers, and customers with access to CAD data, you create a significant barrier to collaboration. 

CAD software however, is expensive and the learning curve is steep. Instead, look to powerful, intuitive, 3D Viewing technology that provides non-technical reviewers with access to the critical data, and context they need in order to complete their reviews. 


You can’t gather in a room anymore, but don’t settle for lagging screenshares, or powerpoints with screenshots - enable effective collaboration by giving your reviewers the tools they need. 

2. Use a Central Hub for Files and Feedback

A common theme across the industry is the replacement of long, time-consuming meetings with concise online discussions focused on a single topic - whether that is a document, presentation, or design file.

 

For collaborating around general files, platforms like Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365 are the top options. From spreadsheets to slideshows, all of it shared securely in the cloud where your entire team can work together.

‍For accessing, reviewing and managing feedback of design files, CoLab is your one-stop solution. View all files in review one central location, and understand exactly where it sits in the review process, with feedback attached directly to the file. No more searching through your inbox, or picking up the phone to get an update.  

CoLab Review Queue Kanban Board 

 

3. Review with Context 


Understanding expectations before sharing a design review is a crucial step in optimizing  the process.  What do you need your reviewer to look for? How soon do you need their feedback? Is there a piece of supporting material that should be linked? 

Understanding expectations and requirements for both the review and the design are critical to an effective process.

CoLab 3.0 Review Modal

4. Implement lightweight communication 

When remote work policies prevent informal, in-person discussion, teams without lightweight communication tools turn to email. 

To keep productivity and efficiency high, it's important to keep regular communication with your team. Slack and Microsoft Teams are a virtual collaboration space for all of your team's general conversations. With channels for different topics, it keeps all your conversations organized and gives everyone on your team a view of progress.  

 

Slack and Microsoft Teams allow your team to have real-time communication and get work done, without having to be face to face. Say goodbye to long email chains for internal communication and hello to real-time collaboration.


Sample Slack Workspace 

 

5. Introduce High Fidelity Video Conferencing

If you want to share ideas, see the reactions of your team or watch a presentation together in real-time, then you must have video conferencing software with screen-sharing. 

Popular solutions include Google Meet, Teams, and Zoom. If you are still considering using a dial-in conference system, think again. The power of seeing your team will not only improve the quality of your discussion but team morale and clarity.

 

Zoom Call with CoLab Participants


Ready to join the conversation? Register for our webinar on October 8th discuss the state of Engineering Collaboration!

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Posted 
August 12, 2020
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