Implementing (with excitement?) collaboration tools

May 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm 2 comments

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get and I hear asked at panel discussions is “how do you get employees/companies to use this stuff?”  Lots of answers come up–ease of use, make sure that the tool is solving a problem, and my favorite (?) “make ’em.”  I think there is truth in each of these strategies.  One, as an analyst, my approach is always to find out what the objective is first–if you do not know where you are trying to get to how can you possibly pick the right road (tool)?  Ease of use is so important– as technologists, we may like to hack around in a tool to learn it–it is like a new toy for us, BUT for an information worker, efficiency is the goal.  IWs already have expertise in their area of business; they do not need to be a technology expert too.  That is not what they are paid for!  The “make ’em” theory has some merit actually.  If you have upper management pushing the tool and they take the stance of no more email attachments, get it from “xyz tool”, that can change they way people are doing things and they will start to use the tool.  BUT in my opinion from working with groups is that is has to REPLACE something they are already doing.  I mean my grandmother used to use a wash board to wash clothes right?  BUT when she got a washing machine she did not wash clothes on the wash board, hang them to dry and then bring them back in and wash them in the washer!  If that would have been the process, we would all still be using wash boards. 

So if you implement a collaboration tool that is to be used to share documents and to collaborative work on them, you need to tell folks that instead of emailing an attachment, saving it to your “home drive” and then also saving it to the “group share”, JUST put the document hereOne step, forget the others.  Who wants to start using a tool when it is in ADDITION to what they are already doing– email it, save it here, save it there and oh yeah put it in our new tool that will make life better for you too.  No one will buy into that one! So, if you are thinking of implementing a collaboration tool, define what the objective is, make sure the tool is easy for the IW, get management buy in to use it AND have it REPLACE a process not be in addition to a process.  Happy Collaborating today!

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Entry filed under: collaboration, Debbie Tegart. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Working with People You Can't Be With  |  August 14, 2008 at 5:16 am

    WWPYCBW: Strategy and People (August 13, 2008)…

    Contents at a Glance – Universal McCann links its Offices – Challenges of Working Virtually – Quick Links Universal McCann links its Offices Universal McCann, a global communications firm, has been exploring social networking tools to enhance communica…

    Reply
  • 2. eduardedu  |  February 18, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I will tell a case how we have implemented and started to use with a joy Learning management system(LMS) for SHarePoint.

    How it was? Very simple:
    Our HR girls created some courses materials using Rapid Authoring tools and software . As a result courses appeared to become very rich of multimedia and our employees were happy to pass them.

    So if you want someone to do something – make him smile in the process 🙂

    Reply

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