Collaboration Amidst Complexity

Written By: Ryan Duguid
November 18, 2022
5 min read

An evolving view of collaborative work management

Collaborative work management is a point. Traditionally, organizations have used collaborative work management platforms to improve individual productivity and streamline smaller, more dynamic projects and communication. Ultimately, it’s been about managing timelines, tasks, and activities, tracking project status and giving a view into where your work stands. While these platforms have led to improvements in the way we work together, this approach doesn’t solve everything your organization needs. You need information and capabilities that go beyond project status and team goals not just to track your projects but to make sure you’re delivering the right work, the right way. And that comes with a broadening and a change in how we view collaborative work.

We think that for the first time, that change is being recognized. Quickbase is included as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Collaborative Work Management Tools, Q4 2022 – the first time we have been included in this category. In our opinion, being invited to participate in this report represents a fundamental shift in how people view collaborative work and the best ways to get work done and drive impact in the future.

As we view it, collaboration on a small scale has its place, but when it comes to larger projects or programs with greater complexity, you need a complementary set of capabilities designed to ensure your success when projects get bigger and more complex, and when the stakes are higher. These projects deal with more people, span departmental boundaries, and involve data and decisions that cut across many systems at once. They even cut across organizations, no longer contained to your own employees, but engaging vendors, contractors, sub-contractors, and potentially the broader public. And your biggest opportunity isn’t the smaller work – it is this big work attached to the most critical initiatives your organization has.

So when you can’t create the solutions you need to work across teams, systems, and organizations, then your efforts to collaborate fall short of what you need to get your most important work done. You have more software to attack your challenges, and yet more problems as a result when that software lacks the flexibility to build, strong integrations, and the tight controls you need.

This is why we take pride that we are not only listed in The Forrester Wave: Collaborative Work Management Tools, Q4 2022, but also in The Forrester Wave™: Low-Code Platforms for Business Developers, Q4 2021, and the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low Code Application Development Platforms. From our standpoint, being recognized for our offerings for both collaborative work management and low-code development puts us at the center of building new solutions quickly with the process of finding better ways to manage your most complex work.

What drives the challenges of collaboration?

Collaborating and working effectively gets harder by the day when you have to deal with constant change, driven by outside pressures such as labor shortages and tough economic conditions. This makes it harder to manage your teams, get what you need out of your systems and processes, and keep track of the physical resources that you need to accomplish your work. And to better manage and deliver work, your technology needs to enable flexibility to handle complexity and changes.

Your organization has people consuming and producing tons of data every single day – especially the people working and collaborating on complex, ever-changing projects. Quickbase can unite all of that data that comes from a litany of people and systems. At its heart, Quickbase is a powerful database that allows you to bring together your most important data and workflows to give everybody across your organization the information they need to make informed decisions and get their most critical work done. And this is coupled with the traditional capabilities of managing and tracking smaller projects that are inherent to collaborative work management.

In my home country of New Zealand, Foodstuffs NZ – the major grocery store chain – is managing a $3 billion real estate portfolio and all of the challenges that come up in each individual store. It goes across the spectrum from tracking and managing employees to determining where and how to roll out new stores – and it is all interconnected.

Organizations have found ways to handle this smaller collaboration well. Doing so at scale and amidst complex projects is the roadblock that still remains.

That is why we are so excited to be in the Forrester Wave™ for Collaborative Work Management Tools for the first time. To us, it recognizes the coming together of your need to collaborate and manage work better while managing your unique, complex projects effectively and quickly. And it’s not just the average team project, or even departmental projects. It is the organization and enterprise-wide initiatives that span many different stakeholders and different projects across an entire portfolio of activities. Reading that and seeing the word ‘complex’ may make you shudder because it feels too big and too slow to solve – but Quickbase allows you to attack that complexity head-on and harness it to get more done.

Performance, scale, and manageability

We know we have a strong part to play in the future of collaborative work. Things will certainly keep getting more complex, so managing that complexity is where Quickbase is ready to shine. As the Forrester CWM report mentions, “…[Quickbase] differentiates itself by targeting key information that supports the delivery of complex projects and programs.” From our perspective, it is about the performance, scale, and manageability of these processes – which Quickbase brings to the table.

Our customers are tackling their most challenging work by collaborating better and building the solutions to handle that collaboration across people, processes, data, and resources. And that collaborative work management for complex projects is what we help organizations do on a daily basis.

Ryan Duguid
Written By: Ryan Duguid

Ryan Duguid is the Vice President of Product Strategy at Quickbase.

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