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Is Cross-Organizational Collaboration Key to your Org’s Future?

Businesses are always looking for ways to reduce their cost-base, their overheads, and make their resources go further.

One of the methods for making budgets and business reach further is by collaborating with other companies on a specific project or even forming a more sustainable long-term partnership.

Whatever the intended goals, cross-organizational collaboration can offer your business rich opportunities to reach a wider audience with higher quality projects, as well the potential to learn important functional processes from your collaborative partnership.

Quick definition of cross-organizational collaboration:

Cross-organizational collaboration is when two organizations come together to work on a project or business activity. There might be several reasons behind the partnership but it includes a joining of resources to make the organizations stronger as a unit than they would be as individual companies (usually for the benefit of a specific project).

Two Businesses are Better Than One

So, a lot of the time, the attraction of collaboration comes down to resources.

Joint Ventures are a popular business solution for many companies because developing new products or executing an ambitious project can be difficult and expensive for a business to complete on its own.

There are plenty of examples out there of organizations and institutions relying on the partnership of another, similar organization.

The federal government, for one, both liaises and shares responsibility with state and local government as well as non-profit and for-profit organizations to effectively implement Medicare and Medicaid, environmental planning, or transportation policy, etc.

There is (and has been) more cross-organizational collaboration between big-name brands than you might realize. General Motors and Toyota formed New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) back in the 1980s as a joint venture to manufacture vehicles to be sold under both brands.

Benefits for both parties:

  • GM saw an opportunity to learn about lean manufacturing.
  • Toyota gained its first manufacturing base in North America and the chance to implement its production system in an American labor environment.
  • Toyota avoided possible import restrictions.

Picture This 

Imagine you are part of a consortium of production companies in New York City.

Each individual company offers complementary services across the collective. Photo from one company, lighting equipment from another, video and script writing from a third. The pooling of your resources enables you to cover the expenses and other required resources to produce a quality work time and again…however:

The Pain Points of Opportunity

Cross-organizational collaboration does not come without pain points.

Like any partnership, there are bound to be times when friction occurs due to failure to compromise, lack of communication or other shortcomings on both (or all) sides of the equation. If we take our above consortium, we have a situation that is rife for miscommunication and delay.

  • For example, the overall creative sensibility of each project needs to be decided. Because this is collaborative effort, there are suddenly more people that need to agree on the aesthetic…
  • …which then needs to then be communicated to each agency putting the project together.
  • The same goes for the scripts, the art and image design and also the filming, and the lighting team need to be scheduled in.
  • Once all of this is completed it needs to be circulated between the relevant creative directors and business leaders for sign-off.
  • There will be inevitable changes to be made, disagreements and delays at each stage of the process, because communication will take place over the phone, via long and multiple email threads, instant messages, face-to-face meetings, etc. and trying to get a handle on everything will be near impossible. Therefore, time and money will be wasted, and the sanity of staff put at risk.

How Does Nintex Workflow Cloud Enable Better Cross-Organizational Collaboration?

Luckily, these pain points can be significantly reduced or avoided altogether with the right tech solutions.

Nintex Workflow Cloud, for example, is designed to improve collaboration between multiple businesses. Built in the cloud, it has the flexibility and power to run complex automated workflows that can easily accommodate third party tools. This is good news for our consortium of production agencies.

By building an automated workflow, the collaboration between the businesses and their various components is vastly improved.

Communication can be streamlined and individual tasks can be automatically assigned to the correct people, set for approval and routed to automatically notify the next person that needs to sign-off/input changes, etc.

This means faster, better execution of plans and projects, which if you’ve invested your time and resources to building a partnership with great potential, you don’t want it ruined by a difference in business process. Stay on the same page as your partner and together you can achieve better results.

On the Road with Nintex

We are hosting a series of roadshows across Europe this spring, showcasing all things workflow automation and introducing our partners and customers to Nintex Workflow Cloud. If you’re in any of these places at the appropriate dates, register and join us.

Nintex Roadshow 2017 Dates:

  • Copenhagen– 26 April, 2017
  • Munich– 16 May, 2017
  • London – 23 May, 2017
  • Paris– 1 June, 2017 (this event will be presented in French)

You can find more about each of our roadshows and how to sign-up, right here.


Patrick Hosch

Nintex Lead Technical Evangelist Patrick Hosch serves the EMEA region but speaks internationally. He’s passionate about Office 365, SharePoint and Nintex, and enjoys helping others develop their tech skills. harmonie.ie selected him as one of the Top 25 Office 365 Influencers of 2015. When not working, he likes exploring new countries, working out at the gym and competing in team events such as Tough Mudder. Follow him on Twitter - @patrickhosch

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