Alireza Hayati

Hi, I'm Alireza Hayati.

I'm a senior UX designer, consultant and mentor. I make good feeling in products and efficiency in companies. / About

 
ux ● 773 words ● 7 minutes read

Teamwork and Collaboration. What’s the Difference?

One of the misunderstandings in projects is teamwork. Most of the people nowadays do not participate in team works, they collaborate. Difference between collaboration and teamwork is simple. Actually, it’s too simple a lot of times people may get it mistaken.

The result of collaboration most of the times is so similar to teamwork but the performance of the group and important factors in doing projects as a company with the need for group motivation and activity in the form of a company is different.

The end result of collaboration or teamwork is often the same. When a group collaborates, they are working together toward a shared goal. Everyone in the group has the same vision in mind (for example: to create a performance piece about bullying). The same applies to a group of students that works as a team, they too work together toward a shared goal. Everyone is committed to a single outcome: a performance piece about bullying. – theatrefolk.com

When a group of people functions as a team, they’re actually individuals with the same goal. Each of them handles a part of the project to reach its goal and everyone is going to do it with his/her point of view. It’s the collection of individual creativity and abilities that make final product and what makes it done as a functioning product is the product manager and believe me, your team is going to need a lot of rest after not even a large amount of work.

When a group functions as a team, they are working as individuals. Everyone has their identified task which contributes to the outcome. A great example is a baseball team. Everyone has their own job – catcher, pitcher, third baseman – but they all have the same goal. A successful team depends on having a strong leader to guide the team toward the goal.

Collaboration is a joint effort of multiple individuals or workgroups to accomplish a task or project. Within an organization, collaboration typically involves the ability of two or more people to view and contribute to documents or other content over a network.

Collaborating Collaborating People

So what’s the difference?

The difference is that collaboration most of the times fails. You, as a part of a team, work in the way that you’re asked for. You cannot prefer a personal opinion to the team’s (or manager’s) opinion. Your personal creativity is useful when a manager gives you an agreement on it because it’s him/her that operates and knows about every part of the project.

Why does collaboration fail? There are lots of reasons. Collaboration can be time-consuming and it creates risks for the participants. Competing objectives can be hard to resolve. But to my mind, the biggest problem is that people confuse collaboration with teamwork.

Once again to understand the difference, think about what a team is. Teams are created when managers need to work closely together to achieve a joint outcome. Their actions are interdependent, but they are fully committed to a single result. They need to reach joint decisions about many aspects of their work, and they will be cautious about taking unilateral action without checking with each other to make sure there are no negative side effects.

In collaboration, people work and rely on their own experiences and knowledge and it’s super hard to convince them to work differently even if you’re right. It happens a lot of times that people get mad, uncomfortable, dissatisfied and angry just because they think they did their part great and the problem is from another side of the project done by others and the truth is everyone did right, the problem is inconsistency.

Team Working Team Working

Collaborators face a different challenge. They will have some shared goals, but they often also have competing goals. Also, the shared goal is usually only a small part of their responsibilities. Unlike a team, collaborators cannot rely on a leader to resolve differences. Unlike a customer-supplier relationship, collaborators cannot walk away from each other, when they disagree.

So a collaborative relationship is necessary when you cannot use a team or a customer-supplier relationship. It is a form of customer-supplier relationship in which the participants have all the difficulties of contracting with each other without the power to walk away if the other party is being unreasonable or insensitive.

As a result, I should mention that to guarantee success in working groups, you should have collaboration in teamwork.


I used Business Insider, Andrew Campbell notes and Harvard Business Review to collect information and write this note.