Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (June 26, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Sam suggests that its time to give up the Enterprise Filing Cabinet and embrace the Enterprise Octopus. “The Enterprise Octopus turns things right-side up. It introduces a geographic head to the Enterprise and it’s in the head where all the improvement occurs. First and foremost, note that it’s a mix of all stakeholders occupying the head. That includes employees, partners, and customers. They’re all in there. They can see each other. Connect to each other. Work with each other. And since the “new me” has a radar for a head, I know how and where to focus my attention with any of these people. The head is where the real future IP is (both the “me” head and the Octopus head). It may be hard to think of this in future-terms now, but I can imagine all sorts of new innovation in the head.” And then he introduces his COLORS model … co-Creation, co-Operation, co-Learning,- coOrdination, co-Respect, and co-Solve.
  • Michael suggests that if people are going to bring laptops into a meeting, make them a part of the actual meeting, not something extra. “Last week I participated in a couple meetings in which all the participants hunkered down for a couple hours at a stretch in a conference room to work on a project. We all brought our notebooks, but we actively used Meeting Center to share content, co-edit and transfer files. It definitely streamlined the process.
  • Benefits of face-to-face meetings for virtual teams: “(a) Strengthening of bonds among team members, (b) Creation of a similiar experience to build comfort among virtual team members, and (c) Reinforcement of the importance of one’s work-related roles and their implications on “real” people and other team members.
  • Kevin is looking for insight from people who have migrated to SharePoint and are finding it difficult. “I have heard both the praises, sung by many, of the benefits of SharePoint as well as the trials and tribulations that seem to follow after the introduction of the tool. Now I am hearing about more problems that are arising as firms, who chose to switch from another collaboration application to SharePoint, are finding the transition to be difficult.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • How do you know that you are getting the right things done? By looking at what you are doing right now in light of the bigger picture. “The bottom line is this, if you adopted GTD in hopes of getting control over your immediate world and have yet to sit down and take a look at these higher levels of focus, I encourage you to do so. Only through this can build the yard stick through which you can measure the things you are getting done. You will also ensure that you are getting the _right_ things done.
  • Mark has some ideas on choosing and using a PDA as a productivity tool. By PDA, he is specifically referring to a device that is not also a phone. Essential answer: a standalone PDA is a waste of time.
  • Be careful about trying to get rid of all the failures in your system. Systems that eliminate failure, eliminate innovation. Or another way of saying that — systems and plans that are so tightly specified do not permit experimentation, and thus learning new things.

Other Noteworthy Insights

  • The Christian Children’s Fund has a new extranet powered by SharePoint. The Microsoft SharePoint team provide details. “With a workforce geographically dispersed across over 33 countries worldwide, CCF faced significant challenges with usage and adoption of its existing intranet site and sought a more reliable and extensible solution to disseminate and share information across these offices, as well as to provide a platform for improving social networking and organizational connectivity. The purpose of this project was to develop and implement a new CCF extranet, known as “The Hub”, that would be used by all CCF employees worldwide as the single source for information, content and document storage, as well as a means for collaboration internally and externally.
  • Mindsharp is hosting a 3-day SharePoint Best Practices Conference in September in Washington DC. “In this critical 3-day conference, you’ll learn the Key Principles of SharePoint governance … how to make consistent, confident decisions at every level, across your enterprise … and finally break the cycle of “avoidance – disagreement – sub-par results – ignorance” that impedes almost every SharePoint application.

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