1. Three Things to Consider in Your Enterprise Collaboration Strategy Page 1 of 4
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Three Things to Consider in Your Enterprise
By RICH BLANK | Published Aug 5, 2010
Many organizations are planning or are already in the middle of deploying collaboration
technology to their global organization. Before you go much further, ask yourself if you've
identified these three elements of your collaboration strategy.
Perhaps you have invested in a single vendor eco-system like MS SharePoint for collaboration SUBSCRIBE TO OUR RSS
and information management. Like most organizations, you are looking for ways to reduce FEED
costs, create efficiencies, consolidate multiple repositories of information, innovate, connect
people globally, change corporate culture and simplify the end user experience.
However, your executive leadership is not sure if your organization is optimizing the use of
this technology and maximizing the return on your investment. If that’s you and your
organization, it’s not too late to take a step back and review your strategic objectives and
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1. Define the Business Context Full function document management on
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Defining collaboration as synchronous or SharePoint 2010 - MacroView DMF Social
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crowd sourcing, project management, knowledge management, business process
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organization to further drive adoption and create a perception of collaboration technology as SharePoint 2010: Using
Get Email Updates a productivity tool. Taxonomy & Metadata to
Improve Navigation &
Identifying and applying the technology in a specific business context will help stakeholders (3 comments)
and decision makers see how this thing called collaboration can alleviate business pain
points, surface information and impact employee engagement and morale.
Installing SharePoint 2010
on Windows 7
2. Identify the Degree of Openness Management
Keep Projects on
What is SharePoint 2010? Further expanding on the concept of collaboration in "context" is to identify the degree of Time & on Budget
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focused (depending on how your organization is structured)? Security and user access also www.Innotas.com
Overview: SharePoint 2010 come to mind here as it’s easy to create a mess of information within these eco-systems
Metadata and Taxonomy
Management combining confidential information with more public content.
Identifying the degree of openness also includes defining your audience, the type of
Perspectives: What the JUST PUBLISHED
Adobe + Day Software information you plan to collaborate on, and the overall scope of the collaboration. This will
Deal Means, Part 1 help focus your efforts, deployment, or investigation of collaboration technology as these Organize and Manage Your
Data with Index Engines
MS Project 2010: Goodbye platforms all offer several components from social computing to team sites to portals and
Portfolio Server, Hello Enterprise 2.0 Roll-up:
workflows. Google Kills Wave,
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2. Three Things to Consider in Your Enterprise Collaboration Strategy Page 2 of 4
Million ByDesign, Start-up Builds
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Collaborative Culture, or 3. Establish Goals and Objectives Three Things to Consider in
the Real Enterprise 2.0 Your Enterprise
Project management 101 includes determining what success will look like for your Collaboration Strategy
organization. Often times when planning projects, goals and objectives tend be high level Magnolia Web CMS
and don’t really provide a concrete definition of success. Setting the right goals and Blossoms in Spring
objectives will ensure stakeholders, decision makers and users are on the same page when
determining if the collaboration strategy is a success.
What specific results should users and executives expect to see?
• Will this solution reduce costs?
• Provide a competitive advantage?
• Do your objectives simply focus on just improving collaboration within project Software
management? CMS Market Share
• External collaboration with business partners or clients? SharePoint Review
• Improving employee engagement & morale?
• Is it to improve the search-ability of information and documents? Software
• Enabling compliance? Squarespace Review
• Executive dashboards?
• All of the above?
No matter how you’ve defined your collaboration strategic goals, there is ONE objective you IT Project
MUST have as part of your overall strategy: Develop a standard information Keep Projects on
architecture and governance of the collaboration platform. Collaboration is generally Time & on Budget
using PPM. Free
unstructured (compared to traditional and more structured taxonomies of document or White Paper.
knowledge management) and information architecture and governance are a must for any www.Innotas.com
successful collaboration strategy and deployment.
Collaboration is About People First
As a concept, collaboration goes beyond the simple sharing of documents in a team site or a
creating a wiki. It can be all encompassing from team spaces, email, web meetings, IM to
communities, web 2.0 and more. At the end of the day, collaboration is really a broad
spectrum of content creation, sharing and information management.
Multiple technologies from multiple vendors have been used to address this broad spectrum
with email being THE main tool Executives and knowledge workers rely on day-to-day
(mostly because of convenience, availability and Blackberries).
Collaboration is about people and allowing them to work when and where they want without
being constrained by schedules, time zones or geography. Perhaps your organization has
invested in multiple tools (from multiple vendors) to address your collaboration needs: You
are using SharePoint for project/document management along-side Websphere Portals, Lotus
Notes, Lotus Connections/Quickr, or Documentum eRoom.
In the absence of a solid strategy, the risk of failure or creating a poor first impression of
collaboration technology becomes even greater which result in workers continuing to rely on
email as comfort food.
Editor's Note: Also read, Collaboration – If it Were That Easy We Would all Do It –
Is It Time to Step Back?
The bottom line is this “buzzword” called collaboration has shown up on CIO radar screens as
a “Must-Do”. Over the last few years we have seen vendors like Microsoft, IBM and Oracle all
begin to offer a single "uber" eco-system to manage all of your collaborative needs, artifacts
and related information.
As organizations have rushed to implement these all encompassing technologies from a
single vendor, they proceeded without a holistic collaboration strategy, believed that
somehow platforms like SharePoint would magically improve the current state, or simply
failed to leverage all the collaboration capabilities with the right strategy, approach and
Throwing technology at the problem just resulted in another repository, another place to
store documents, another place to create a discussion and another mess in which they
search for information when collaborating.
In spite of an expectation for a high ROI and a Google or Facebook-like experience
throughout the global organization, users remain confused, continue to be overloaded with
3. Three Things to Consider in Your Enterprise Collaboration Strategy Page 3 of 4
information, are limited in their collaborative capabilities, and still use email as the primary
collaboration tool. If this sounds like your organization, then step back and look at your
Editor's Note: Also read, Enterprise Collaboration: It's About the Culture, Stupid
Like One person likes this.
About the Author
Rich Blank is a management consultant with NouvEON based in Charlotte, NC. His passion
is simply changing the way people work through technology and he thrives on the impact it
has on organizational culture. His experience includes social networking, collaboration, and
knowledge management as well as surfacing analytics and optimizing project, process and
information management. He has been invited as a guest speaker to SharePoint User
Groups, the 2010 SharePoint Summit Conference, and previous IT & Business Alignment
Conferences. Rich has also published articles on social media, collaboration, and knowledge
management in the Greater Charlotte Biz Journal and has been a “featured blogger” on
SocialMediaToday.com and “member of the week” within AIIM.com E2.0 Community. You can
follow his tweets @sharepointpmp or find more insights on his blog
Read More About:
communities, enterprise 2.0, enterprise collaboration, intranet, portal, rich blank, social
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