Our intranet allows us to find experts.But that could mean: Our staff are undertrained. We have hired the wrong people. Our knowledge management system is broken. There are unclear expectations about job roles. People aren’t willing to make decisions.
1Adding more people increases communication demands(and decreases time available for working)
Frederick Brooks (1975) The Mythical Man-Monthnumber of people n(n-1) =y 2 channels of communication
Frederick Brooks (1975) The Mythical Man-Monthnumber of people 5(5-1) = 10 2 channels of communication
Frederick Brooks (1975) The Mythical Man-Monthnumber of people 40(40-1) = 780 2 channels of communication
1While crowds may have wisdom,they can also stimulate madness
Tapping the wisdom of the crowdBut “following the crowd” isn’t always positive: Financial crises Investment bubbles, e.g., housing, Internet Riots Groupthink
2If the culture isn’t collaborative, new technology won’t help
Groupware will .... not mysteriously transformorganizations from collections of highlycompetitive loners to well integrated,cooperative groups of collaborators. Withoutcareful planning for its introduction and thechanges that this will entail, the impact ofgroupware will likely be quite limited. Successfulgroupware implementation will require both acareful assessment of the fit of the technologyto the organization and a well designed trainingprogram to introduce this new technology andits potential to the organization members.
Powerful VP in a discussion forum “I think that’s a dumb idea.” More broadly: “You aren’t paid to think.”
2“Collaboration” will be different for different organisations
Sharing not-fully-formed ideasOpenness to the ideas of othersShared exploration of decisionsShared risk and reward
Apple “We want excellent products. There isno problem with shredding someone in pursuit of excellent ideas.”
PixarSpecially designed building—to create chance encounters and serendipitous meetings. And cross-training (common language)
2A culture that values efficiency above all else will be poor at collaboration
in-person online comprehension trust low cost social capital