How APIs Can Help Organize Workplace Chaos and Improve Your Culture of Collaboration

The modern work environment is filled with an overwhelming number of tools and applications. Inside of any one company, different teams utilize specialized tools to help them work together, but with no easy way to connect and share their ideas with the rest of the company. To remain competitive in today's fast-moving digital workplace, companies must make it easier for employees to find content and collaborate with coworkers.

A model to draw from is GitHub, a centralized and collaborative repository that has changed the way engineering teams work and is now the go-to digital workspace for developers. In reimagining workflows for every team within a company, embracing the capabilities that engineering teams rely on introduces every team to a better way to store, organize, trust, collaborate and rely on shared company content.

Requirements for Organizing the Chaos of Work

In thinking through this opportunity to modernize how teams work, there are several essential capabilities for a centralized repository:

  • Flexible Organization: One of the most important determinants of user engagement within a centralized repository is empowering teams to curate their content in a way that makes sense for them. People need to know they can quickly and easily find the content they're looking for, and they need the ability to create connections between related pieces of content and organize collections that align with their projects and priorities.
  • Maintainer Tools: At the most basic level, it's important that coworkers know who is on point for each piece of content - updating content, assigning tasks to teammates, answering questions, incorporating feedback. For those maintainers themselves, it's also important that they have insight into how people are interacting with their content - who's reading, where they're getting stuck, what they have questions about, how they're using the content elsewhere.
  • Better Workflows: Projects often stall when it's unclear who is responsible for next steps and in what order they need to happen. Building tools that clarify and simplify work processes is a must, and notifications can help people stay on top of their responsibilities and embrace accountability. In building a culture of collaboration, it's also critical that each team member's voice is heard. People want to contribute ideas, and they need a way to do this within shared content without worrying about issues such as version control.

One of the most important capabilities for a centralized, collaborative content repository is to connect with all of the tools and platforms teams already use.

Finding and adopting a one-size-fits-all solution is unrealistic and undesirable, as many individuals and teams need specialized tools tuned to their job Function and unique requirements. The better solution - and a key next step in improving the way people work - is to connect both content and communications about this content to a centralized repository that pulls in content from the many places where work is already happening and content already lives.

The API-Centric Solution

Utilizing the APIs of various platforms that teams already use is the best way to bring together these disparate content sources and create one trusted place where people know they can find up-to-date content and understand it within a bigger-picture context.

In working with APIs from several commonly used productivity tools - including Google DriveTrack this API, ConfluenceTrack this API, OneDriveTrack this API, BoxTrack this API, DropboxTrack this API and others - three things are clear:

  1. Strong search capabilities fast-track productivity. Skilled workers can spend time working instead of searching and recreating work. Connecting and uniting the many and varied tools workers use today results in less time searching for content and confidence in knowing content is reliable and up to date.
  2. Communication in context creates a better workflow. Flexibility in curation of content enables cross-team collaboration in one place, allowing different teams to work with the specialized products they're used to and communicate without relying on email and Slack conversations and copy-paste behavior.
  3. API-centric connections support cloud-based workflows, which have become the norm for modern workers. The files and folders system has not held up against the test of time to support the way we work today.

Leveraging the power of APIs delivers the ability to work seamlessly across these myriad platforms, regardless of where the content originates. This fundamentally changes the way people work - for the better.

Collaboration as a Key Indication of Company Culture Success

By unlocking access to content and creating one source of truth that everyone in the organization can access and act on, companies can effectively create a culture of collaboration and accelerate success. People know what they need to do, have the tools they need to do it and understand how their contributions fit into the strategic directive. This creates trust and cultivates accountability within and across teams, which positively impacts every aspect of modern work.

Be sure to read the next Collaboration article: GitHub Launches Security Advisory API