Tools & Technologies

Chaos in Collaboration: Pitfalls to Avoid, Steps to Success (Part 5 of 5)

This is Part 5 of the Chaos in Collaboration series.

The final question then, now that we have a solid basis of shared conceptual ground between us, is to look at what pitfalls we need to avoid and what steps we need to take on the road to success with collaboration.

Let’s deal with the easy ones first:

  • Have the right technology in place to support and facilitate creation-phase team collaboration and post-publication organizational collaboration.
  • Don’t put SharePoint in just because (apparently) “everyone else is doing it“.
  • Avoid putting in tools that make the work practices of individuals more difficult. Eg, most team calendars break calendaring and especially free-busy search.
  • Don’t fail to provide training on (a) the functions of the tools, and (b) how your people will change the way that they interact.

There are harder things too:

  • New technology for collaboration will threaten the established order of things, and therefore some people will resist it.
  • You will need to take an intentional focus on how people actually work, and how you can help them work better.
  • Collaboration tools become invisible to people, and we get into routine ways of doing things. Collaboration is much more about habit change than tool change.
  • Train people in the behaviors required for effective virtual working through collaboration technology.

I have some resources on the above, including the SharePoint for Business framework, which can be de-SharePointized for a general framework for effective introduction of collaboration tools. And I offering consulting services in this area too.

Conclusion: The Key to Collaboration without Chaos
So in closing, let’s come back to the central tenet of this discussion, and think about the key to collaboration without chaos.

For team collaboration efforts, those in the creation phase of the content lifecycle, the key is shared agreements about what to do next. That’s not new news … indeed IBM has been saying as much for a long time.

For organizational collaboration efforts, those after the publication phase of the content lifecycle (which I have referred to as “post-publication collaboration”), the key is capturing and interpreting the actions of individuals in order to inform everyone else of relative importance … the social algorithm.

Categories: Tools & Technologies