What is creative collaboration?

Creative collaboration is a term used to broadly describe the act of content production teams working openly together with co-workers and stakeholders on creative projects to achieve creative goals.
Creative collaboration workflows have been essential in helping global productivity advance in an age when online working has exponentially grown. Work location is no longer one-size, so 24/7 accessibility and communication is a must-have for teams to succeed.

Due to this increasing emphasis on collaborative team working within the workplace, creative collaboration software such as GoProof from Oppolis has emerged and evolved radically over the past 10 years into a fundamental staple of the martech stack.
GoProof
GoProof is just one of the many creative collaboration tools available to help organisations work better together. Each one may focus on different use cases, foundations and milestones within the creative journey that runs from ideation to publishing and beyond.
The benefits of using creative collaboration software are endless, whatever your business does. Everyone needs to be creative and the secret is to do it together.

What drives effective collaboration?

Ask the Institute for Collaborative Working in London and they’ll tell you collaboration is an overarching framework of Support, Teamwork, Communication, Trust, Motivation, Inspiration and Success.
Institute for Collaborative Working
Similarly, J. Ibeh Agbanyim Ph.D. suggests in one of his best selling books The Five Principles of Collaboration available on Amazon that the following five core principles need to be applied to human relationships to improve working life and productivity:


Trust
Respect
Willingness
Empowerment
Effective Communication
So collaboration in general is induced by proactive human behaviour.

We know that. But creative collaboration is different. It’s a context within the sphere of collaboration and this is where specialist creative collaboration software makes it super-effective.

So how do I know if my team needs creative collaboration software?

Without consciously realising it, you could already be sensing the signs and feeling the triggers for implementing creative collaboration software.
There are a number of factors that may be low-key individually but combine them together and there’s a powerful case for return on investment.
Your team and external stakeholders may not be engaging well enough, with roles and responsibilities within review projects not clearly understood. Similarly, creative workflows are sparsely defined and documented with no central place to easily view, talk and brainstorm ideas. Feedback is fragmented across email and disconnected platforms.
Ultimately, diversity and inclusion for opinions is a big problem, which means your creative output could be way better if you got it right.

If this sounds like you, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The signals are there.

The Context: Understanding the difference between conventional collaboration and creative collaboration software

Nowadays, software is the conductor of effective collaboration in both the conventional and creative contexts. 
There are a number of categories and subcategories that span these contexts and it’s absolutely essential to understand them, otherwise you could wind up investing in the wrong solutions for your team. 

For example, umbrella systems such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Dropbox - even Google Docs - are often referred to as creative collaboration software packages when they are technically not, as they don’t have the depth of functionality where it matters.

Conventional collaboration tools

Collaboration animation
General context collaboration tools are about helping people communicate and work together on conventional tasks more easily. The things that employees do every day to talk to each other and share work progress.

Here’s a top-level idea of how that looks, without going deep-dive on each one.

So, for example, by connecting teams into channels and workspaces online in one software system, communication barriers are removed through non-email messaging and video calls, cooperation is delimited and an open culture is encouraged.

Ideas can be brainstormed openly and visually using whiteboard software such as Miro and projects that also contain non-creative elements are managed at source..

The playing field is levelled and more ideas and information can be willingly offered out with an instant wide and threaded reach, leading to better business outcomes.

Collaboration tools in a creative context have different usage intentions. The software is more tailored to creative-centric workflows, so the functionality is more niche than conventional tools.

Take review and approval. It’s great to comment on an image and mention others. That’s conventional collaboration. 

Creatives and content owners, however, want automated workflows that can direct their content traffic from assignment to designer and then through departments and teams. 

They need to flow new edits right into design software apps like Adobe InDesign or Illustrator without copying and pasting. And be able to continue working on the same design documents at the same time as their co-workers.

This saves a bunch of time and effort getting feedback from collaborators and reproducing new versions of content to reshare for review.

This infographic shows some more typical tools that should be featured in specialist creative collaboration software such as GoProof.

As you can see, the difference is clear and is why creative collaboration software is so important to content production teams.

And it’s fair to say you may need both. GoProof connected to Microsoft Teams or Slack via native apps is a perfect example of an optimum business-wide solution.

Creative collaboration tools

Creative collaboration animation

Why integrating your creative collaboration software with other apps is critical

Don’t think for one minute that you shouldn’t integrate your software systems. Of course you should. No software company will profess to cover everything, that’s why markets exist.
The holistic collaboration sphere is full of software products that can - and are often designed to - work with each other to deliver maximum value to businesses.

If we take the big umbrella collaboration systems like MS Teams, Slack and Workplace from Meta, they cover a wide expanse of siloed functionality to get work done. But they never go fathoms-deep on each one.
This is where users need to create an integrated solution that taps into niche systems like GoProof to satisfy deeper needs. One that passes data and content fluidly through an API-connected stack of systems to achieve way better reach and results.

It’s simple. If your collaborators spend most of their time in MS Teams, hook them in from there. You don’t want to alienate them.
Looking to integrate your Oppolis ecosystem? Start with these apps:

How do we get started with creative collaboration software?

Once you understand what creative collaboration is and what creative collaboration tools are available, you can start mapping out your ideal workflows.
Here’s a simple one to get started with using the Oppolis ecosystem of web apps, plugins and extensions. It’s a classic one which our customers use to assign creative work, share it openly for feedback and editing and repeat the process through version rounds until it’s ready for publishing.

Note that we’ve included optional drop-in stages for conventional collaboration tool integration. These are examples of how to integrate a creative collaboration workflow with your wider systems for better engagement and reach.

Creative Collaboration Zone
Conventional Collaboration Zone

Marketing Directive

CREATIVE

Top Level Project Creation

Monday.com
Asana
Wrike
Smartsheet
ClickUp
Trello
Basecamp
Jira
Workspace

CONVENTIONAL

Creative Brief & Job Assignment

GoProof
GoCopy

CREATIVE

Design & Creation

Adobe Creative Cloud
Quark
MS Office
Google Docs
GoPublish
Corp.Report

CREATIVE

Packaging & Sending for Review

GoProof
GoCopy
Illustrator
InCopy

CREATIVE

Reach & Engagement

MS Teams
Slack
Workspace
Monday.com
Asana
Wrike
Smartsheet
ClickUp
Trello
Basecamp
Jira


CONVENTIONAL

Routing, Editing & Collaboration

GoProof
GoCopy
Corp-Report

CREATIVE

Version Recreation

Adobe Creative Cloud
Quark
MS Office
Google Docs
GoPublish
Corp.Report

CREATIVE

Reach & Engagement

MS Teams
Slack
Workspace
Monday.com
Asana
Wrike
Smartsheet
ClickUp
Trello
Basecamp
Jira


CONVENTIONAL

Routing, Editing & Collaboration

GoProof
GoCopy
Corp-Report

CREATIVE

Creative Job Approval

GoProof
GoCopy
Corp-Report

CREATIVE

Design Completion

Adobe Creative Cloud
Quark
MS Office
Google Docs
GoPublish
Corp.Report
CREATIVE
CREATIVE

Project Completion

Monday.com
Asana
Wrike
Smartsheet
ClickUp
Trello
Basecamp
Jira
Workspace


CONVENTIONAL

Marketing Delivery

CREATIVE

Marketing Directive

CREATIVE

Top Level Project Creation

Monday.com
Asana
Wrike
Smartsheet
ClickUp
Trello
Basecamp
Jira
Workspace

CONVENTIONAL

Creative Brief & Job Assignment

GoProof
GoCopy

CREATIVE

Design & Creation

Adobe Creative Cloud
Quark
MS Office
Google Docs
GoPublish
Corp.Report

CREATIVE

Packaging & Sending for Review

GoProof
GoCopy
Illustrator
InCopy

CREATIVE

Reach & Engagement

MS Teams
Slack
Workspace
Monday.com
Asana
Wrike
Smartsheet
ClickUp
Trello
Basecamp
Jira


CONVENTIONAL

Routing, Editing & Collaboration

GoProof
GoCopy
Corp-Report

CREATIVE

Version Recreation

Adobe Creative Cloud
Quark
MS Office
Google Docs
GoPublish
Corp.Report

CREATIVE

Reach & Engagement

MS Teams
Slack
Workspace
Monday.com
Asana
Wrike
Smartsheet
ClickUp
Trello
Basecamp
Jira


CONVENTIONAL

Routing, Editing & Collaboration

GoProof
GoCopy
Corp-Report

CREATIVE

Creative Job Approval

GoProof
GoCopy
Corp-Report

CREATIVE

Design Completion

Adobe Creative Cloud
Quark
MS Office
Google Docs
GoPublish
Corp.Report
CREATIVE

Project Completion

Monday.com
Asana
Wrike
Smartsheet
ClickUp
Trello
Basecamp
Jira
Workspace


CONVENTIONAL

Marketing Delivery

CREATIVE

Talk to us and learn more

If you’d like to talk about your specific use case in more detail we’d love to hear from you. Request a demo below and leave a short message in the form on what you think you need. We’ll be right in touch.

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