A collaboration tool is something that helps people collaborate. The term is often used to mean collaborative software, but collaboration tools were being used before computers existed. A piece of paper, for example, can be used as collaboration tool.
Everything that helps to solve a predefined task together in a group more easily is an effective collaborative tool. Collaboration means in this context working together to fulfill a shared, collective, bounded goal. Conference phone calls may be replaced by asynchronous conferencing, video conferences, IRC or Instant Messaging now. Peer Reviews of documentation are easier to establish through wikis than by iterative versions on paper. Whiteboards are partly imitated by Online whiteboards that allow telework.Google Wave is a collaborative tool.
- Eugene Eric Kim (2005). "Back to the Future: Lessons from the Past on Collaboration and Tools". Proceedings of Wikimania 2005.