Tools & Technologies

Collaboration Tool Errors: No Goal? (Or is it more subtle than that?)

Matt wrote last month about five common collaboration tool errors. It’s a good checklist of things to avoid, but I keep coming back to number 1:

The No Goal Error. Not having a purpose or objective behind what you are doing. What will people be using this for? Does what you are asking them to do matter to them? (N.B. “collaboration” is not a goal in itself). Warning Sign: “We put in a x because we thought it would be, y’know cool”. Nothing Wrong With: There is no upside to this one.

I’ve written about this. Step 1 of SharePoint for Business is all about being clear about why you are deploying SharePoint. But to say that there is “no goal” sees too extreme in my view. I think the reality is more subtle, as in:

– The goal is not articulated for others to understand and embrace. One person holds a clear picture of what they want the new tool to achieve, but because it is not articulated, no one else gets it.
– The goal was clear 3 years ago when a new tool was put in place, but with staff turnover, the champions have left and that thinking has been lost. It looks “goal-less” now, but it wasn’t then.
– The goal is exploration of tool capabilities (links to Matt’s number 3). A manager sees news coverage of a new tool, is told by others that it would be good, and has a go to see what works.

I see the role of the collaboration consultant as including at least two components in this area: (1) assistance with articulating goals and business drivers from the view of internal people, and (2) bringing an external view to help internal people see what might be possible, based on what other firms are doing.

Your thoughts?

Categories: Tools & Technologies