Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (March 20, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Craig from the Burton Group has been trying to figure out why there is such interest in SharePoint. There are surface reasons (“we like the integration with Office”), and there are deeper reasons. “The general answer these clients give me is that the products they currently use are overly complex (often limiting the departments that can use them to those with budgets for IT support) or so expensive to license that only users with high levels of need get access and training for them. To a certain extent, the excitement about SharePoint has really been a reflection of disillusionment with existing collaboration, content management, and portal products.
  • Elizabeth wonders why with the proliferation of new tools to facilitate collaboration within the enterprise, the reality of collaboration is still difficult. She proposes four values that people need to embrace in order to be effective with collaboration: (1) a willingness to share what we know, even if we are “wrong”, (2) taking responsibility for our actions, (3) being open about our activities, and (4) having a spirit of adventure in what we do.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Clarizen released Version 2.0 of its online project management service. “Clarizen 2.0 includes a major redesign and continued focus on usability improvements along with the introduction of new features. For example, users from now on can right-click their mouse to bring up any item’s context menu and use mouse-over to access common actions rather than click through several screens and pop-ups.
  • Matthew is raving about TimeBridge, and has found it super-effective for setting up phone interviews. “It solves a problem that I have had for a long time. Booking interviews takes a long time. You negotiate back and forth by email or phone to find a mutually convenient time. Multiply this effort by a dozen interviews a week and it really adds up to a lot of wasted time.
  • Collaboration tools: platform or application? Dennis argues that it is increasingly a platform issue, but that there may be some valid reasons in the short-medium term for making application-level investments. “
    Still, were I to put on a CIO’s hat, I would want to ensure that other collaborative applications down the road employed the same or a compatible platform so that benefits of information sharing and reduced training and support time can be maximized. I’d also be looking into the future and viewing investments on collaboration technologies as investments that will ultimately benefit all business processes, not just early adopters and those involved in the initial stages of viral processes.
  • IBM announced that Version 8.1 of Quickr will be available on March 28.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • In her latest email newsletter (go here to sign up), Laura’s lead piece is entitled Time Management is Dead: The New Reality of Productivity. Key points: (1) you need to find a way of managing your work, tasks and time that jives with how you work, (2) you could look at the 4-A Time Management approach … Activity (align activity with your priorities), Availability (control when you are available; say “no”), Accessibility (create ways of getting to your key information quickly), and Attention (focus on the task at hand, and be intentional about closing or avoid distractions).
  • Chris thinks that he has cracked the nut on keeping his inbox empty. He details what he has done, including checking for new input, responding immediately to the items that can be responded to, using the calendar for time specific things, putting documents into a good file folder structure, and using project tracking software. He sees being consistent in reviewing what’s on his plate as the uber-key. Sounds very GTD’ish to me.
  • Various research studies have found that larger monitors increase productivity. Now actual users are weighing in on the benefits.

Other Noteworthy Insights

  • Skype announced a 3G mobile phone for Skype. “You don’t need a computer to make free calls anymore. Use 3 Skypephone instead. It’s a stylish mobile phone that calls, texts and takes pictures like you’d expect it to – but wait, there’s more – you can also use it to call and instant message your friends, free, wherever they are in the world.

Categories: Industry Updates