Lessons on collaboration from Pokémon Go

It seems you can’t escape Pokémon GO, whether it’s in the news, on social media, or in your day-to-day life as you see people of all ages hunched over their phones walking around outside. This wildly popular application has spurred discussions across a variety of topics—health, social interaction, marketing, gamification, pedestrian safety, and more.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Pokemon Go teaches the value of a comprehensive app to enable team collaboration.” hashtags=”pokemongo, tech, app,”]

Observing strangers collaborate through this application can open your eyes to the potential potency (and potential shortcomings) of a business application that can foster teamwork in your business. It teaches us the value of a single, comprehensive application to enable team and project collaboration.

The Quest

Pokémon GO is a real-time application in which you can catch Pokémon while travelling around. It has geo-tracking and real-time updates, players all experience the same interface—provided they’re in similar areas. The same creatures pop up on the screen, at the same time, at the same location. This accounts for many observations of increased social interaction, and also accounts for the parallel in team and project collaboration.

When encountering a player recently who was on a quest for a specific Pokémon he wasted no time in saying he drove over 45-minutes to reach the park we were in because he heard it was rich with a Pokémon he desperately wanted to add to his collection and asked if I’d seen any. I pointed him to an area where I’d found the creature he sought and heard his triumph when he found it. He then proceeded to scour the park. Anytime I found the Pokémon he was looking for, I called out to help direct him to the right area to catch it. Strangers collaborating to chase invisible pocket monsters on a smartphone application—who’d have thought?

It’s all about teamwork

[easy-tweet tweet=”Strangers collaborating to chase invisible pocket monsters on an app – who’d have thought?” hashtags=”app, cloud, tech”]

For this particular Pokémon GO player, he was able to complete his quest for catching Pokémon because all players experience the application in real-time. By collaborating with other players, he identified the park as a place he needed to visit and was able to add the necessary Pokémon to his collection. This story is a testament to the power of a real-time applications and online collaboration capabilities accessible by all. If a player can accomplish so much from the application, what implications are there for businesses?

The Pokémon GO collaboration experience could be better because it doesn’t offer the in-app ability to message another player or group, or share images of any kind. Although the application revealed the necessary Pokémon for this player, he relied on friends and external websites to provide the best possibility of completing his collection. The collaboration experience could be both easier and improved: taking a seamless application operating in real-time and adding the ability to message others, post discussion threads, and share images and insights. As well as work in other applications and links that would enable any player to get the information needed to play effectively.

On the positive side, the synchronised application experience paired with real-time capabilities helped this player to complete his task. On the negative side, he had to lean on other applications to accomplish his mission to ultimately be successful.

[easy-tweet tweet=”What implications does Pokemon GO have for businesses?” hashtags=”tech, app, “]

A comprehensive interface certainly would have helped him accomplish his goal more efficiently, just as a more complete collaboration tool helps workers get more done faster. Relying on multiple applications to allow full collaboration creates a disjointed, less effective experience than if all of the capabilities were built-in.

Unlike Pokémon Go, there are business applications with a complete set of tools to help your employees collaborate. If you give your employees the opportunity to utilise a communications system that promotes project collaboration on a platform designed with mobile in mind, they will be able to work efficiently and effectively, at any time, in any location.

Many businesses today have one piece of the puzzle—like Pokémon GO—but choosing a truly integrated collaboration experience can really give you a competitive edge. Especially as it’s estimated that the average employee spends up to an hour every day trying to get in contact with people, find meeting rooms, and track projects and emails.

For a workforce on-the-go, uniting multiple channels of communications in a single mobile-first application—email, chat, phone calls, text, video—can drastically improve both productivity and output for a business. Companies should choose a team collaboration tool that prioritises accessibility, visibility, and real-time tracking of various projects, documents, and presentations so workers get more out of every hour they put in.

In order to get the most effective solution for your business, make sure it is:

  • Mobile-enabled
  • Real-time
  • Inclusive of all communications channels
  • Ready for project collaboration
  • Able to share documents and track updates
  • Secure
  • CRM-compatible
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