Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (April 8, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Five keys to collaboration from a literary agent: (1) think twice about a collaborative arrangement because there will be challenges, (2) clarify each person’s role, (3) get the legalities straight from the beginning, (4) engage your most mature self, and (5) be prepared to walk away if it turns out to be a disaster.
  • Behance suggests for ideas for creating and using a physical collaborative workspace in a productive way: (1) treat your colleagues as if they have an imaginery door, (2) wear headphones when you do not want to be interrupted, (3) implement the Behance Action Method visually (“Some of the most productive teams in the creative community put their action steps on the wall for the whole company to see. This promotes an emphasis for capturing the Actions Steps behind ideas and accountability for taking them.“), and (4) hold Action Meetings.
  • Recent research from APQC found that “collaboration across traditional boundaries within and outside of an enterprise, including the information technology (IT) function in a visible fashion, can improve an organization’s innovation outcomes.” In terms of this internal collaboration: “When asked about internal collaboration, best-practice organizations collectively indicate that they have various internal disciplines working together on innovation activities more frequently than do other research participants. They are also more likely to assemble cross-functional teams to resolve specific problems or perform specific tasks related to innovation. This type of cross-fertilization among employees who have different competencies and areas of expertise facilitates the idea generation and problem solving processes within these leading organizations.
  • Thomas argues that “collective” and “collaborative” are different things, and that it’s important to know the difference. (hat tip, James)
  • Scott (from Attensa) wonders whether “Enterprise RSS” is too geeky a term, and whether Communication & Collaboration Delivery (or words like “signals, alerts and delivery”) is better.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Jive Software released Version 2.0 of Clearspace. “A good way to frame the new features (and existing / future features for that matter) is into the big categories of people, focus and work.” As in: People (expanded profiles and organizational relationships), Focus (a personalized home page), and Work (team project collaboration, document sharing service, and SharePoint integration for searching, browsing and linking to SharePoint content from within Clearspace). See also ComputerWorld (“The new project management features in Version 2.0 can improve cross-team collaboration by centralizing conversations, milestones, tasks and output.“), ZDNet, and Datamation (“Yet Hersh is not touting Clearspace as a SharePoint killer — far from it. Canvassing the Jive’s customers it was moving toward the new version of the software, Hersh said that 70 percent of them were using SharePoint, but they consistently told him that “we just can’t do what we want with it.”“)
  • Jive Software announced the acquisition of Jotlet, for its calendar technology, with an eye to integrating the calendar tools into Clearspace in a future release. “One key way Jotlet has innovated is by building a super-rich API that allows calendars to be easily embedded into any webpage. That’s a big improvement over the Google Calendar approach, which requires an iFrame and doesn’t offer a customizable UI. Over time we’ll be applying similar concepts to all of the collaborative tools in Clearspace so that it’s easy to bring the right social and collaborative features to wherever they’re needed.” Dennis at ZDNet writes: “The Jotlet acquisition allows Jive to provide seamless integration to Outlook so again, Jive is taking a step towards integrating to the real world rather than fighting it. Whether people will move from managing their lives in Outlook to Clearspace is another matter. I’d like to think so because the benefits of seeing everything that matters to the individual in one place far outweighs the limited view that Outlook offers.
  • Google released the Google Email Uploader, so people can migrate from their desktop email to Gmail. “There are some serious limitations, though: the software only works with Outlook or Thunderbird mailboxes, and only on Windows XP or Vista. It doesn’t work with regular GMail accounts, only with Google Apps for Domains. And it’s slow (and while you’re using it, you can’t have your old mail open – though you can pause the process).” Available immediately.
  • The Lotus Connections team released a 10 minute video tutorial about Activities in Connections.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • Put Things Off offers a showdown for task management tools for Mac OS X: iGTD, Midnight Inbox, OmniFocus, and Things. Points of comparison (and the winner): time to learn (Things), living with them (Things), synchronization and integration (“all apps are fairly evenly matched”), and killer features. Overall winner: Things.
  • The David Allen Company released David’s two-day GTDLive! workshop on CD. “This is a complete Ten-CD Boxed Set that is an actual live recording of David delivering his life-changing training to a real audience. The product is as comprehensive a tool for getting started with GTD as you can possibly get short of actually attending a session with David for yourself, and at half the price of a single-day seminar you’re getting an incredible deal on top of the incredible learning experience.
  • John Wooden: “Never mistake activity for achievement” (hat tip, Nicholas)
  • Laura shares some ideas about managing your calendar and putting boundaries around the meetings you will and won’t accept. As you cut down on certain types of meetings (eg, though delegating attendance to others), think about how to stay as coordinated with your peolpe through regular meetings (or other methods).
  • Don’t wait until the last minute (with two general exceptions).
  • Matt Cornell outlines what he’s calling “holes” in David Allen’s GTD method, and asks for feedback from readers on his ideas for addressing them. The holes he sees are: (1) hard to sustain, (2) insufficient help with doing, (3) one big list is too overwhelming, even when categorized by contexts, (4) too brittle, (5) too complex, (6) no time use analysis, (7) no built-in balance (self-correction for work added vs work performed), (8) not goal-driven, (9) no built-in planning or task estimation, and (10) no specific accomodation of personality types.

Categories: Industry Updates