Positioning Seamless Teamwork: It's Not a Matter of Being "Mild"

As I wrote yesterday, Seamless Teamwork is now available at Amazon. But I learned earlier today that it’s actually more widely available, since Alex from the Netherlands said by email that he was able to purchase a copy in a bookstore in Amsterdam on Monday. So … It’s out there. Apparently my copy will come in the next couple of weeks. I doubt it’s hit the New Zealand bookstores yet.

Seamless Teamwork is different to much of my previous writings on SharePoint, at least what I’ve blogged. After reading it, you may have the same reaction that James did a couple of months ago (after scanning an early edition): “I didn’t realize that you were writing a practical book”. And so with Peter writing today, “I do hope he’s mild on Microsoft’s solutions in this space :-)” , I want to explain that Seamless Teamwork isn’t even written in that vein. It’s not about being “mild”, because Seamless Teamwork is not the book that an industry analyst would write with an industry analyst’s hat on.

Here’s why. In my work, I have come to the realization that the “line of decision” is critically important in the life of collaboration technology in the enterprise. Take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle, and label it the “line of decision”. Before the line, that is, before a decision about the technology has been made, business and IT leaders are interested in what’s available, how good it is, how one product compares with another product, the general trends that are shaping product offerings, and a whole host of other matters that lead up to the making of a decision about which collaboration technology to embrace. For example, before the line, business and IT leaders are interested in evaluations of the capabilities of SharePoint, and for that I have the SharePoint 7 Pillars analysis.

But once they’ve made the decision to go with SharePoint (for example), that is — once they’ve crossed the line of decision — they don’t care about such evaluations any more*. This is true for any product … IBM, Cisco, CentralDesktop, whatever. The decision about “what?” has been made, and after the line the focus becomes “how?”. How do we make it work? How do we make the best of it? How do we implement this and get the business benefits we thought we would get (before the line)? And it’s in this after the line space that Seamless Teamwork is designed to fit (as is SharePoint for Business, and as is How to Make the Most of Lotus Notes/Domino). Therefore in the after the line space, the focus of my work is to be “helpful” to my organizational clients, not “mild” or “non-mild” about specific products.

So that’s the secret to unlocking Seamless Teamwork: It’s an after the line book, written for business teams, designed to help them make the most of what is available in SharePoint. It doesn’t talk about before the line issues, because after the line business people don’t care about those.

* I said above that “once they’ve crossed the line of decision — they don’t care about such evaluations any more”. That’s a generalization that has a specific exception. The exception is that after some time has passed — at least 2 years — people start to get interested in “what’s new” that may lead them to a new decision. Depending on how entrenched the current collaboration technology has become, and depending on the scale of improvement in product offerings during the elapsed time, dictates whether this stays as an “interesting project” or alternatively leads to serious consideration of making a new decision.

0 thoughts on “Positioning Seamless Teamwork: It's Not a Matter of Being "Mild"

  1. I hear exactly what you are saying about the “line of decision”. I would frame this slightly differently and draw the distinction between installation and implementation – or in other words, now that we have it, what are our next steps to ensure we can maximise our success from this investment in a new technology. Its such a shame that so many organisation forget or ignore this critical step after installation. I’m glad to see you addressing it for SP.

  2. Great … glad you got what I was saying. I have thought about how to incorporate “installation and implementation” in my model, but have decided that the distinction is irrelevant to what people are interested in. Once the decision has been made … they stop being interested in the options and the evaluation of those options.
    Actually, SharePoint for Business talks about “installation” as being Step #2 in the 6 steps, and steps 3-6 are all about “cultural implementation”. But once again, if you are reading SharePoint for Business because it has been decided that you will go with SharePoint, you no longer care about the SharePoint 7 Pillars analysis.

  3. Michael,
    I hope you did interpret my remark with a ;-).
    The way you always written about solutions in the communication / collaboration and productivity space have been objective and to the point. This does not mean we always have to agree on everything, but it turns out we do on most things πŸ™‚
    Have purchased your book and will post a review (a mild one πŸ™‚ ) asap …

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