"The Adoption and Use of the Tools is the Biggest Challenge" – Melanie Kittrell

Lamont shared his vision of next-generation team communication, with ideas such as:
– Cloud-based team collaboration spaces;
– Artifacts are in the tool, not in email;
– The project workspace will be the key organizing metaphor;
– My “calendar” and “task list” is an aggregation of items from many places, two things which I talk about in Pillars 4 and 6;
– and more.

However, it was the comment from Melanie that really caught my eye:

… in my experience, it isn’t the tools, it is the adoption and use of the tools that is the biggest challenge. Many things have to change inside big companies to promote their use. Chief among these is reward systems that currently provide DIS-INCENTIVES for collaboration and sharing by promoting a stove-pipe mindset that keeps employees focused on driving their individual or local goals vs contributing their expertise, knowledge, documents in a way that others can leverage and use. The old command and control hierarchies and cultural values and incentives HAVE to be re-aligned in order to make the transformation to a more collaborative set of behaviors that are supported by better collaboration tools. But don’t get me started……

I think there is a tremendous business case for eliminating waste, inefficiency, redundant efforts, speeding solutions to market, improving solution development, etc., etc., etc., through improved collaboration, so I am optimistic about eventually getting there.

My Comments
1. I think Melanie’s comment is a succinct and clear articulation of the big challenge.

2. Yes, I agree that adoption and use of the tools is the biggest challenge. That’s why I wrote the book on User Adoption Strategies for collaboration tools and approaches last year.

3. Melanie’s point about dis-incentives within organizations aligns neatly with my blog post on the ceiling of opportunity and value. In there, I wrote: “In this situation, value was defined by silo, not at the organizational level. In order for value to be defined above the level of the silo, a more senior manager would have to change the incentives that each silo was working towards.

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