Thoughts on Social Collaboration – Rob Preston

In his article Social Collaboration: A Work in Progress, Rob makes numerous points that are similar to my perspective / experience / advocated approach. There were also a couple I said “yes, but” to.

… part of the challenge in fostering collaboration is for organizations to acquire a better understanding of users’ workflows and the outcomes they want to achieve and then “tease out” the appropriate technologies, rather than just thrust collaboration platforms upon them.

Agreed. I call the above “re-imagineering.” What could we do, given new technology?

39% of executives in our Global CIO survey said they plan a major technology implementation in this area this year, making it No. 1 among 14 projects

Mmm, this was in the context of “improving collaboration continues to land on the strategic priority lists of CIOS and other company executives.” I hope much more than a technology implementation is planned. See Collaboration Roadmap.

The most challenging aspect of social networking for the enterprise is understanding the technology as it pertains to optimizing existing workflows. We tend to try to adapt social software to meet our (outdated) business processes, instead of seeing ‘how things could/should be’ and adjusting processes to take advantage of technology

As above, per “re-imagineering.”

Fostering social collaboration requires companies to constantly seek user feedback (my company recently conducted a survey of all employees). Which features are the most productive? For which kinds of work and communications is the platform most effective? Conversely, how is it being misused? What rules of engagement, if any, would users recommend?

On the “constantly seeking user feedback” … agreed, kind-of. It’s important to do to some degree, but it can be pushed too far. Perhaps this comes with the challenge of social collaboration tools “growing up” – becoming comfortable with yourself and the contribution you make to others, without always having to ask for feedback.

Thanks Rob – keep up your thought-provoking work.

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