What Pokémon Go Teaches Us about Collaboration Tool Strengths and Weaknesses
Pokémon GO is a hot topic. It seems you can’t escape it—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.
There’s another lesson to learn from Pokémon GO: the value of a single, comprehensive application to enable team and project collaboration.
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.
Setting the stage: the prologue
For those who aren’t sure how Pokémon GO works, it’s a real-time application in which you can catch Pokémon while walking around. With 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.
It begins with a quest
Parks are one of the best places to catch Pokémon. My husband and I frequent the park closest to us as a place to walk around and play Pokémon GO. We recently encountered a player who was on a quest for a specific Pokémon. He wasted no time in telling us he drove over 45 minutes to reach this park because he heard it was rich with a Pokémon he desperately wanted to add to his collection and asked us if we’d seen any.
We pointed him to an area where we found the creature he sought and we heard his triumph when he found it and added it to his collection. He proceeded to scour the park. Anytime we found the Pokémon he was looking for, we called out to him 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?
Teamwork makes the dream work
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 he was able to add the necessary Pokémon to his collection. This story is a testament to the power of a real-time application and online collaboration capabilities accessible by all. If a player can accomplish so much from the application, what implications are there for businesses?
But could teamwork be easier?
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.
Maybe it's because I'm a millennial but I honestly think the Pokemon Go 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, share images and insights, and work in other applications and links would enable any player to get the information needed to play effectively.
Relying on multiple applications to allow full collaboration creates a disjointed, less effective experience than if all of the capabilities were built-in.
Business collaboration in real time
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.
Helping employees easily contact each other can immediately boost productivity.
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. Top team collaboration tools make it a point to prioritize accessibility, visibility, and real-time tracking of various projects, documents, and presentations so workers get more out of every hour they put in.
If it works for Pokémon GO players, it will work for your business
Back to the zealous Pokémon GO player who traveled 45 minutes to get to the park that held the Pokémon he needed.
On the positive side, the synchronized application experience paired with real-time capabilities helped him to complete his. On the negative side, he had to lean on other applications to accomplish his mission, and was ultimately successful.
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.
Unlike Pokémon Go, there are applications with a complete set of tools to help your employees collaborate. If you give your employees the opportunity to collaborate with a communications system that promotes project collaboration on a platform designed with mobile in mind, your employees 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.
Team and project collaboration checklist
There are many communications vendors for businesses to choose from. In order to get the most effective solution for your business, make sure it is:
- Inclusive of all communications channels
- Ready for project collaboration
- Able to share documents and track updates
Our MiCloud Office platform has all these features and more. To get an idea of what a first-class, comprehensive system looks like, watch the MiCloud Office Demo.
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