Who Owns "Collaboration" At Your Firm?

I have started work on book #3 … it’s not on SharePoint this time, but is rather a more general exploration of the use and value of collaboration technology in organizations. My question for today is: Who owns “collaboration” at your firm?

Is it:
– the IT department?
– the HR department?
– each business group?
– … or is ownership mixed between these groups and more?

By “ownership”, I’m thinking of the following ideas:
– has the responsibility for analyzing work processes and recommending ways of improving those through collaboration technology.
– has the responsibility for analyzing specific collaboration technologies and recommending or deciding on which ones to use.
– has the responsibility for helping staff use new collaboration technology effectively in their work.

So … who owns “collaboration” at your firm?, and what does ownership mean at your place of work?

Looking forward to hearing from you … please leave a comment below, or contact me to arrange an off-the-record discussion.

0 thoughts on “Who Owns "Collaboration" At Your Firm?

  1. In my experience, one of the biggest challenges with rolling out effective collaboration technologies is the lack of ownership of “collaboration” as a distinct discipline. It’s either driven by individual areas of business and their narrow view of the world (often more operational than strategic) or by IT who often focus too much on the technologies with no real alignment with business needs.
    I really like the emerging idea of having a Chief Collaboration Officer (CCO) giving strategic priority to collaboration as a focus area in its own right.

  2. I think the silos created by central functions negates collaboration slowly mostly and symptoms are only noted much later. To figure out who will own collaboration, should actually start from these central functions collaborating with each other. This is where it gets tough.
    One of the work arounds that organizations take is create another central function with names like assurance, excellence as suffixes. This only adds to the complexity that already exists.
    Never seen it work though in my limited experience.

  3. It’s an interesting question, and one I have been struggling with. I work in a small company with under 150 employees total. Some people understand that IT can do “stuff” for them, and they come to us asking for solutions to problems. These are very rare, though. Most have a very meek top-down mindset and expect IT to give them what we think they need, or someone else higher up to do that for them. That doesn’t stop them from complaining loudly about what they’re given, though.
    I continually go back to department heads and process owners to get input and feedback so I can align IT and business needs. I would love it if people on the business side would come to me more often than they do, and I’d love to be more involved in strategy than fixing day to day process problems. I keep telling them that putting Band-Aids on things doesn’t solve it long-term.

  4. I think I do.
    I work within the Strategy division of a large financial services company, with responsibility for Knowledge Management.
    I am responsible for advocating Knowledge Management, which by my definition includes collaboration.

  5. IT used to own collaboration. What we are seeing is that employees are owning it more and more and ‘only’ use IT to install the collaboration tools. What I also see in our company is that the communications department is into collaboration more (Sharepoint, social media). They are helping people communicate, select tools and use them.

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