The future of collaborative work and its tools Directorate General of Citizen Attention Government of Catalonia Barcelona, July 2010 Legal notice This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. It allows the reproduction, distribution, public communication and transformation to generate a derivative work, without any restriction providing that the author is always cited (Governtment of Catalonia. Presidential Department) and this licence does not contradict any specific licence that an image within this report might have and the rights of the image prevail. The complete licence can be consulted at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode1
Table of contents Introduction Methodology and results Conceptualisation Trends Internal analysis Benchmarking of tools Conclusions2
Introduction The use of current technology, web-based platforms, social software and collaborative environments and their mushrooming in society are having far-reaching changes on the way people work and produce, how we learn and relate to each other and to our environment. The new knowledge economy will transform public and private organisations forever in a necessary adaptation to the new technological contexts, the processes involved and the values that they foster. Sociocultural pressure constitutes a Sociocultural driving force for change for today’s The development of technologies is driving a Transformation organisations. The way that individuals cultural change based on the collaboration of relate to the organisations where they social networks, active participation and a new work, to the products that they consume way of understanding knowledge management. and to the providers of the services that At the same time, these new paradigms in the they use is transforming the current model way we relate to one another are fostering a of public, private and academic continuous evolution of the collaborative organisations. applications and tools within our grasp. Technology Organisational Models This same technological development that is driving these changes enables organisations to consider the use of tools and strategies which until very recently did not exist or3 were used for social, entertainment or restricted purposes.
Introduction The aim of this document is to analyse the trends in the development and use of collaborative tools by organisations, in their progress to productive, learning, management and relational environments more aligned with the requirements of the knowledge society. This document is a reflection on the use of the collaborative tools of the Government of Catalonia and compares current market trends with the analysis of the specific needs of the organisation in these types of environments. The conclusions set out at the end of this study may act as a guide to help with decision-making with regard to the technological, functional and organisational strategy of the Government of Catalonia in its role as leader in the application of technology in collaborative work.4
Introduction and results From a methodology point of view, the study is focused through two perspectives which converge in the aims that we are seeking to achieve. Conceptualisation (prior) We have analysed the trends that mark the accelerated • Categorised catalogue of tools development of collaborative • List or trends in collaborative tools and platforms within the Trends work and their tools current global framework. They will mark the evolution Looking outwards of these platforms and uses that we will make of them in the coming years. We will now look at the Internal analysis challenges facing • Metafunctions - Functions Table Looking at organisations in the • Tools - Functions Table knowledge society and the the organisation needs and specific situation of the Government of Catalonia.5 Conclusions and recommendations
Conceptualisation When we start analysing the collaborative tools and processes, we first need to define the different environments, which, given their characteristics, objectives and needs, require different approaches and specific solutions. We propose a INFORMATION INFORMATION conceptual layout to help MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT us separate (albeit artificially) the different characteristics of the COCREATION groups that use the COCREATION collaborative tools for a range of objectives. COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION DISSEMINATION DISSEMINATION LEARNING6
Conceptualisation INFORMATION INFORMATION MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT COCREATION Cocreation: a set of activities, resources and processes geared COCREATION towards the collaborative creation of a product or service. COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION DISSEMINATION DISSEMINATION LEARNING Communication: Interaction between people who share the same interests, concerns and needs and who establish professional or personal links with the main objective of discussion and the development of more or less solid relations. Dissemination: Activities geared towards promoting, communicating, disseminating and publishing a space, project, product or person. The aim is to secure the attention, adhesion or loyalty to a brand or concept. In the context of this study, we will not be making any reference nor will be making any joint assessment of the external and internal dissemination in the organisation. Information management: Processes for exchanging, storing, researching and organising information that enable the generation of new knowledge, improve the application of existing knowledge and help users develop or improve skills and abilities. Learning: Learning is inherent to all the activities described above. However, we will not be making an initial in-depth or specific study of the group, given its general and cross-disciplinary nature.7
Trends Table summarising the collaborative tools Cocreation Communication Informació Dissemination CC BY Jordi Graells ‘Public innovation and collaborative work’. Collaborative Innovation Conference in Osakidetza.8 Bilbao, 22.04.2009
Trends Collaborative tools Commitment to digital professional identity: teams that add Facebook-type digital profiles to their directories used to enrich them (digital identity card, Yellow Pages). The most successful corporate blogs are the ones with content written by their managing directors (CEO, chief executive officer). A successful practice is for employees to add their own videos to the corporate TV. Interactive forums for critical situations, specific knowledge management, specific community support. Personalised environments for all workers (we will look at this important aspect at the end). The most widely used platform is Microsoft’s SharePoint and in particular the MOSS platform (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007), which constitutes the basis for half the most successful intranets. Autonomy, Google Search and WebTrends are applications that are also very widely used as complementary platforms. Studies into improved usability have linked up with the most successful collaborative environments, as this is considered a fundamental issue.9
Trends General technology Ubiquity, mobile devices, increased reality Cloud computing Importance of advanced analyses Languages and web semantics Digital identity, social networks Real time web Ecological IT (IT for green) User-friendly, contextual web, personalisation10
Internal analysis Cocreation Processes Functions Shared and displayed editing Structure of the information Diversity of formats Rules of participation Traceability of changes (who, what, when) Roles and responsibilities Subscription, alerts about changes Division of work Version management Monitoring progress Document repository Decision-making Labelling/Taxonomies (folcsonomies) Debates and proposals Content assessment Intellectual property Search engines Remuneration Accessibility / Connectivity with standards Open data Discussion forums Synchronous communication Calendars, chronograms, files Tasks and team Associating documents with tasks12
Internal analysis Communication Processes Functions People do not talk if they do not know each Immediacy: synchronous communication other. Any system that publicises who’s (instant messaging, IP telephony) who in the organisation, who knows what, Multiformat (video, voice, chat) who has taken part in which project... Multidevice Displaying interests, concerns, needs, challenges... to help people identify people Exchange of information during the who have the same or complementary ones conversation to theirs, with whom they can establish a Logs of conversations (Minutes, recordings) connection. User concurrence Not penalising interdepartmental Alerts of lost communications relations. Corporate policy has to User and profile management incentivise exchanges and relations Profile visibility between people irrespective of the organisation chart. Who’s who Physical conversation spaces. Despite Community and group design the stimulating and multiplying effect of Creation of new links for presentation or (ICT) technology on communication invitation between people, ICT are no substitute for Design/Interface (simplicity/usability) physical relationships, which serve to establish genuine links of trust and13 understanding
Internal analysis Dissemination Processes Functions Conceptualising a message (constructing RSS, content syndication systems a narrative) specifically designed for the objective we are working towards. Productive dissemination tools (from the Creating contents that reinforce this Administration to different services) message clearly and coherently. Channels to 2.0 media or social media Clearly identifying the target public of this message and contents. Content dissemination tools (multipurpose Deciding which are the best channels to buttons from own environments to social get this across to the public. media channels) Defining content publication spaces (public Widgets, Twitter, Slideshare, Youtube, etc., and other private zones). integration scripts Considering multimedia, possibility of transferring products into different formats. Social network functions Integrating contents that are shared in Blogs, open wikis, collective microblog, social media 2.0. collective tumblelogs Creating support communities. Contact Individual – institutional portfolios external communities. Publishing data in as open formats as Tools for monitoring the conversation in possible. external communities14
Internal analysis Information management Processes Functions Researching, analysing and Research systems synthesising the information that we Managing sources of interest need at all times. Labelling, folcsonomies, social marker Identifying and locating relevant and services reliable information sources. Real-time web: antenna - Deep web: research Finding the necessary information in the sources. Multiformat and multidevice Assessing the quality of the information Advanced data display systems and its suitability according to what we Personal learning environments in fact need. Access to contents through RSS Classifying, organising and structuring Sharing RSS readers’ folders the information to facilitate the Specialisation in search syndication processes above and make Sharing bookmarks management of them easier. Socialising and making individual tools15 for organising information efficient.
Metafuncions COCREACIî COMUNICACIî G.INFORMACIî DIFUSIî Internal Catàleg Funcional Usuaris i Perfils Gestió dusuaris i perfils Configuració permisos dusuaris X X analysis Visibilitat dels perfils Personalització entorn de treball (escriptori virtual) Qui es qui - Directoris dusuaris Disseny de Comunitats i Xarxes socials X X Microblogging X X X Grups X Correu electrònic X Connexions X Creació de nous enllaços per invitació / recomanació Visualització gràfica de relacions X Producció Col·laborativa X Blogs X X Wikis X X Edición compartida y visualizada Versionat Diversitat de formats Traçabilitat de canvis Forums de discusió Formularis Gestió del Coneixement X Organitzador de feeds X X Repositori de Documents X Compartició darxius X X Etiquetació/taxonomies/Tagging X X Motor de recerca / Metacercadors X RSS-Suscripció/Alertes sobre canvis X Valoració continguts/Votacions(filtres i promoció social de continguts) X X Continguts a FAvorits X Compartició de Favorits X Web semántica Qüestionaris X Botons multiservei (de entorns propis a canals social media) X Comunicació Síncrona X X Missatgeria Instantˆnea - Xat Intercanvis delements dinformació durant la conversa X Telefonia IP Logs de les conversa (possibilitats dactes o archivament del contingut) Avisos sobre comunicacions perdudes VideoConferencia X X visualització video pissarra virtual Enregistrament Zoom Compartició de documents (visió/edició) integrada Entorn especial per dispositius mobils Concurrència dusuaris Sales Virtuals X X Visualització Comuna Escriptori (sala) Notes col·lectives Breakouts Multivideo GESTIÓ DE PROJECTES X Creació de projectes Seguiment de projectes Documentació associada al projecte X Associació delements documentals a tasques X Equip - Comunitat Gestió dusuaris i perfils Agenda per cada usuari i compartida per grups de treball Calendari compartit Gestió de reunions/Convocatories16 Eines de Comunicació de dades rellevants del projecte X Elaboració dinformes i estadístiques X
Internal Metafunctions COCREATION COMMUNICATION INFORMATION.M DISSEMINATION analysis Functional Catalogue Users and Profiles User and Profile Management Configuration of user licences Profile visibility Personalisation work environment (virtual desk) Who’s who – User directories Communications and Social networks design Microblogging Groups e-mail Connections Creation of new links by invitation/recommendation Graphic display of relations Collaborative Production Blogs Wikis Shared and displayed editing Version Diversity of formats Traceability of changes Discussion forums Forms Knowledge Management Feed organiser Document repository File sharing Labelling/taxonomy/tagging Search engine / Metasearch engines RSS-Subscription/Alerts about changes Items Content assessment/Votes (filters and social promotion of contents) Contents in Bookmarks Sharing Bookmarks translation Web semantics Surveys Multipurpose buttons (from own environments to social media channels) Synchronous Communication Instant Messaging – Chat IP telephony Logs of conversations (possible Minutes or content filing) Notifications of lost communications VideoConferencing video display virtual blackboard Recording Zoom Integrated document sharing (vision/editing) Special environment for mobile devices User concurrence Virtual Rooms Communal Desk Display (room) Collective notes Breakouts Multivideo PROJECT MANAGEMENT Project creation Project monitoring Documents associated with the project Association of documents with tasks Team – Community User and profile management Calendar for each user and shared for work groups Shared calendar Management of Meetings/Calls Communication tools for data relevant to the project Drafting reports and drawing up statistics17
Benchmarking of tools Criteria Functional cover - Functions - Tools Matrix Software quality metrics Level of service Modularity Strategic planning Scalability Technological support Performance Training Accessibility Change management Ease of use Maintainability Design Integrity Reliability Portability Interoperability18
Conclusions Common language Indicators and metrics Management Strategic Work groups vision Acceleration of Processes objectives Strategic Investment Functions plan Technology19
Conclusions Management Work groups 1. Aligning the operating and strategic processes Technology The management needs to be able to convey the collective project to the organisation that binds them together. It has to share the strategic plans and provide departments, areas and work teams with the necessary information to create a common vision of the objectives and strategies to be achieved. We often find that groups work efficiently, that they are capable of measuring their performance, but that they are disconnected from the overall strategy and that they are unaware of how their results contribute to the common objectives of the organisation as a whole. Not only is this demotivating for groups, but it also has a negative effect on management support and involvement, which, in the best scenario, becomes inhibited and ceases to function with an attitude that is more in common with acquiescence than any necessary involvement. The correct attitude, however, would be to make good use of the enthusiasm and channel the groups’ energy towards the strategic objectives of the organisation that they lead.20
Conclusions Management Work groups 2. Measuring with quantitative and qualitative criteria Collaborative work processes cannot exist outside these objectives and Technology we need to be able to respond, in an understandable language from a managerial point of view, to a series of indicators that allow us to assess how their results support the organisation’s overall objectives. Historically, return on investment in technologies was measured primarily by reduced costs or work posts (measures similar to traditional managerial practices). In the era of collaboration, technology is used differently, as it increases the number of interactions and expands the abilities of knowledge workers. These new uses of technology indirectly help improve productivity, the speed at which products and services are developed, the acceleration of innovation processes, improved socio-employment climate, improved relations with their agents... An initial precedent can be found in the ‘e-Catalunya: boosting eGov innovation by Communities of Practice’ candidacy, data that can be consulted on the gencat Slideshare, which assesses the impact data of the CoP on the Government of Catalonia.21
Conclusions Management Work groups 3. Technology applied to real processes and specific needs Between technology and work groups there is a strong necessary Technology relationship between the processes that these groups need in order to work and the functions that the technological platforms contribute to help cover the needs of these processes. Throughout this study, we have tried to establish a model which aids the assessment of the different collaborative platforms based on the functional cover in these groups and in accordance with their main objectives. The technology used must form part of the workflows in the users’ daily activity and not instead be a task that is added to the work being undertaken. The quality of the collaborative processes and the rationalisation of the application of technologies require: Classification of workers by the type of work that they are undertaking. Identification of which processes are involved in these groups. That these processes be compared with the technological tools that we can contribute to help improve their development.22
Conclusions Management Work groups 4. Coherence and strategic vision in technology adoption policy Within its strategic plans, the management will have to define the technology Technology investment criteria that correspond to each context and situation: Balance and integration of applications geared towards the automation of transactions with the emergence of social software and collaborative work. This combination of technology and sociability will be key in future decision-making regarding investment in the technology of organisations. We also need to assess the balance between investing in a corporate platform, or in market tools or a combination of both strategies. Corporate platforms ensure privacy and security to reside in an environment that is secure and free from advertising. They are better at meeting the specific needs of the organisation and implementation is normally accompanied by advice, helpdesk and tutoring. EXPENSIVE. Free platforms provide critical mass and much higher levels of participation. Interaction with communities outside the organisation is easier and greater dissemination is achieved. However, we cannot control the development of new features and the capacity of the service is limited. COST-SAVING. With regard to methods in level of service. One aspect to consider are the consolidation of trends, such as SaaS (Software as a Service) and cloud computing.23
Conclusions Management Work groups 5. The organisation as an ecosystem Lastly, the management is responsible for creating a cultural and operating environment, where collaborative work dynamics can emerge: Technology We need to provide people with the skills not only for the tools but also the attitudes that will make collaboration possible. Creating spaces for sharing experiences. Fostering investigation, innovation and research, without penalising errors, encouraging the people involved in the different projects to experiment and innovate. We need a clear policy on the use of tools (corporate v. open) to ensure departmental coherence and operational coordination among teams. Creating communication protocols and training in the adoption of corporate tools. Determining the organisation’s technical data that have to be available to the organisation itself and externally. Criterion for selecting specific tools for specific problems, in the same way as we have set out in this document (metafunctions).24
Thank you! The future of collaborative work and its tools Barcelona, July 2010 Legal notice This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. It allows the reproduction, distribution, public communication and transformation to generate a derivative work, without any restriction providing that the author is always cited (Governtment of Catalonia. Presidential Department) and this licence does not contradict any specific licence that an image within this report might have and the rights of the image prevail. The complete licence can be consulted at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode25
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