Technology and teamwork, a work in progress

Technology and teamwork, a work in progress

The article details the implementation of collaborative documents in a challenging scenario:

  • Barriers to Technology Adoption.
  • Advantages of collaborative documents.
  • Digital native myth.


At the end of 2015, I was chosen as one of the six representatives of my university for an intensive seminar in finance ILPA 2015. There, we spread out with the different university teams from another 11 universities from Europe and the US to solve different case scenarios.

This was not the first time I worked in an international team. However, it was the first time we receive an intense pressure to perform the tasks quickly. Therefore, I quickly realize the way we were working needed to change.

In each different case, we were assigned to a new team of 3 to 5 members. We didn’t know each other, and with little time over the table, information control started playing a key role.

A maximum of 2 persons can work properly together on a laptop. In addition, external key information from teachers and Ph.D. support students, couldn’t be explained in a board each time.

This created situations where some team members received an overwhelming amount of work, while others got frustrated for their underperforming due to the lack of key information.

The solution came by starting using collaborative documents. Therefore, everyone could edit and view instantly the works of the others. However, the implementation was not painless.



Someone could believe that some of the best business students of different universities would have adopted a great tool that had been in the market for the last 10 years. Sadly the native digital concept proved to be wrong again.

It doesn’t matter the age, if you do not teach people how to use the technology, just a few of them will learn on their own. Therefore, every single day of the seminar, with each group, I had to use the best of my smiles and provide a brief real example of how this tool work.
After the implementation, the work environment improved a lot. Real simultaneous work, and to receive many revisions of the same content from different people, really change the way people value and own the final solution.

The work quality also improved, and in most of the cases, even allowed us to have some extra time to prepare the final presentation for our conclusions.

To sum up, I would like to remark that I had the ideal conditions for the implementation: Some really clever individuals, a consolidated and easy to implement technology, and a situation where it was really needed. However, I still faced rejection until everyone saw with their own eyes their advantages.

So please be patient, empathetic and enjoy the result, when in the end everyone is happy. It is never going to be easy.