Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science


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Improving collaboration begins with an understanding of organizational dynamics around teams, communities and networks. Various technologies can help depending on situational needs and business requirements.

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Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science

  1. 1. Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science Mike Gotta Principal Analyst [email_address] October, 2006
  2. 2. <ul><li>Context Setting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprises face unique technology challenges improving productivity at a global and organizational level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture, integration, security, governance… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efforts to improve communication, information sharing and collaboration have not always succeeded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nature of global work and influence of organizational dynamics can lead to spectacular failures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT organizations have been more risk-averse lately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Market consolidation, cost pressures, compliance… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But the business pendulum is swinging back towards growth and innovation putting people at the center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interest in consumer-oriented / socially-oriented solutions </li></ul></ul></ul>Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science
  3. 3. Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science <ul><li>Thesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication, collaboration, and content strategies are mission-critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Group productivity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Process performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Growth and innovation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new model is emerging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Channels for communication / spaces for collaboration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences that are contextual and situational-aware </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tools which are standards-based and platform-integrated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That increasingly spans work and lifestyle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Software and software-as-a-service </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Edge” (socially-oriented) as well as “Core” (traditional IT) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration is about teaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges faced by teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A look at tools with a team context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul></ul>Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science
  5. 5. A New Model <ul><li>Convergence </li></ul>
  6. 6. A New Model Content : the currency for all modes of communication and collaboration. Content lifecycle concerns include creation, storage, management, discovery, distribution, archival, and analytics.
  7. 7. <ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration is about teaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges faced by teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A look at tools with a team context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul></ul>Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science
  8. 8. <ul><li>There are many types of teams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-located team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Group predominantly interacts in a face-to-face manner as well as electronically, some virtual aspects but that is not the status-quo. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Group interacts electronically as its primary means of communicating, sharing information and collaborating. Face-to-face interactions occur on a semi-regular basis but that is not the primary method of working together. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Far-flung team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Group rarely, if ever, interacts in a face-to-face manner. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complicated by formal boundaries and policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customers, partners, suppliers, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Security demands, compliance demands </li></ul></ul></ul>Collaboration Is About Teaming
  9. 9. <ul><li>Organizational requirements are increasingly dynamic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams must adapt, everyone can become virtual or far-flung at any point </li></ul></ul>Never Assume Stability Co-located Team Far-Flung Team Business Partner Team Far-Flung Team Virtual Team Co-located Team
  10. 10. <ul><li>Putting a team together remains more art than science… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture, time and distance factors (obvious) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team longevity (composition, team “DNA”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Persistent team, temporary team </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stability of team membership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skills, competencies, experience… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team activities (commitment, focus and attention) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project, process, other (community-oriented) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nature of work (research vs. transactional) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Level and nature of involvement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team alignment (where does the team “fit”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Standalone team </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One team within a hierarchy or other structure of some sort </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One team within a community of teams (loose affiliation) </li></ul></ul></ul>Team Formation
  11. 11. <ul><li>Relationship dynamics influence team cohesiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision Rights (“what influence over my own destiny”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Roles and responsibilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internal and external structures (e.g., formal reporting) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Self-directing ownership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solidarity (“who has my back”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity (points of view, experience) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trust and reciprocity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Team size, relationship dynamics and “togetherness” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growth Factors (“what’s in it for me”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mentoring and apprenticeship (bootstrapping) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge transfer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Performance measures and succession planning </li></ul></ul></ul>After Culture, Time & Distance
  12. 12. <ul><li>Teams are just one type of group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities are another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communities Of Interest (related by topic, widely diverse members) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communities Of Practice (related by methods use, membership more boundaries and focused) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Micro-networks and teams exist within communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks facilitate connecting bonds that enable “fluidity” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many different types: social / informational / mentor … </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strong and weak ties between group members and those outside the group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding the inter-relationship between groups and networks (macro and micro) essential to understanding “teaming” from a leadership and followership perspective – as well as from a management viewpoint </li></ul></ul>After Culture, Time & Distance
  13. 13. <ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration is about teaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges faced by teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A look at tools with a team context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul></ul>Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science
  14. 14. <ul><li>Challenge: Alleviating Fear Of Knowledge Harvesting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher reliance on information sharing and collaboration tools captures a higher level of team member “know how” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workers feel that they are giving away their “value add”, are alienated due to physical isolation and perceive a lack of reciprocity when it comes to learning from others. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Influencing factors include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Insecurity related to job/role/responsibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of tools that enable acceptable levels of personal knowledge management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Absence of management methods that acknowledge and reward active participation and intellectual contributions at team and individual levels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Insufficient learning opportunities </li></ul></ul></ul>Challenges Faced By Teams
  15. 15. <ul><li>Challenge: Overcoming Tribes & Secret Societies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams naturally evolve into formal and informal sub-groups, hierarchies and/or networks based on title, role, expertise, personal relationships, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Absence of face-to-face dialog related to work and social activities causes these problems to be more pronounced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Influencing factors include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No connection between agreed-upon group objectives and goals that make participation and contribution personally relevant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Insufficient cross-dependencies between team members that balances group and personal success </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Misplaced “us” versus “them” internal competition; wrong mix of social types, social distance and cultural nuances </li></ul></ul></ul>Challenges Faced By Teams
  16. 16. <ul><li>Summary: Effective team-building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High performing teams are skilled in two main areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Structure: planning, readiness, roles, standardization, synchronization… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptation: improvising, creating thinking, receptive to fresh approaches, encourage ingenuity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solid leadership, followership, and communication are common traits in successful virtual team environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement, explanation, and expectation setting helps prevent teams from “getting stuck” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Influencing factors include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Setting clear vision/goals, consensus on objectives, and metrics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Building team identity, ensuring similar team mental models </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nurturing social contracts and feedback loops across team members </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paying attention to conflict management and resolution practices </li></ul></ul></ul>Challenges Faced By Teams
  17. 17. <ul><li>Sometimes outside perspectives can help </li></ul>Challenges Faced By Teams Thinking Inside The Box Thinking Outside The Box
  18. 18. <ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration is about teaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges faced by teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A look at tools with a team context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul></ul>Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science
  19. 19. A Look At Tools Within A Team Context <ul><li>Virtual Workspaces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes a common shared space for group coordination and information sharing regardless of communication channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Document libraries, group calendar, search, workflow… </li></ul></ul>Instant Messaging & Chat Action Item Management Meeting & Calendar Management Web Conferencing Document Sharing Threaded Discussions Voice Conferencing Source: Sitecape Workflow
  20. 20. A Look At Tools Within A Team Context <ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes a way of collaborating through content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone can edit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything is versioned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conducive to organic content management </li></ul></ul>Every page is editable with revisions tracked Sidebar navigation with search and toolbox to locate other pages that link here Work areas within this wiki Background information Community members Source: WaterWiki,
  21. 21. <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanding the value of conversation and community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some applications can be delivered with blogs as the underlying engine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disconnected support for blogs improving </li></ul></ul>A Look At Tools Within A Team Context Chronologically ordered entries People adding their perspectives to this journal / diary Other blogs that this person or group finds interesting and/or relevant Trackback indicator and comments
  22. 22. <ul><li>Tags & Social Bookmarks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Searching for community wisdom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People, content and applications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tag visualization and tag mining </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For intranets, integrated with search, security and identity </li></ul></ul>A Look At Tools Within A Team Context Source: Size and color of tags helps user awareness All tags are clickable with links going to a drill down page Tags can be displayed by time or other factors
  23. 23. A Look At Tools Within A Team Context <ul><li>Publish & subscribe via XML Syndication (e.g., RSS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alleviates information overload and underload </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps users manage their attention and peripheral vision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community building aspects </li></ul></ul>Information items within the banking channel Channel subscriptions Source: KnowNow
  24. 24. <ul><li>Presence & Location </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing a perception of being connected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Across devices, at work, on the road or even at home </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Policy and privacy concerns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defining a presence life-cycle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Publish, subscribe, discover, aggregate, broker, federate… </li></ul></ul></ul>A Look At Tools Within A Team Context Frappr! Plazes Source: IBM
  25. 25. <ul><li>Instant Messaging (IM) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value to team members from persistent group dialog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evolving into a platform for “instant” applications </li></ul></ul>A Look At Tools Within A Team Context Source: Parlano Federation with public IM systems Long-running conversations segmented by channel
  26. 26. A Look At Tools Within A Team Context <ul><li>Web conferencing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long-standing option for groups to collaborate over long distance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic meetings, events and virtual classrooms with record/playback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evolving into a persistence group collaboration space </li></ul></ul>Source: Adobe Attendee Presence Group Chat Conference Notes
  27. 27. A Look At Tools Within A Team Context <ul><li>More On Record/Playback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual and far flung teams often lose important context from daily work and social interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting capture applicable for interviews, project requirements, milestones, lessons learned, informal tutorials… </li></ul></ul>Source: Quindi Source: YouTube Record face-to-face meetings Post to web site
  28. 28. <ul><li>Social Networking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifies strong and weak ties across groups (e.g., information flows), often combined with profiles that “humanize” co-workers </li></ul></ul>A Look At Tools Within A Team Context Results ordered by social distance Organizational and profile information Source: Microsoft Knowledge Network Source: IBM, Blue Pages
  29. 29. <ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration is about teaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges faced by teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A look at tools with a team context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul></ul>Global Collaboration: Both Art & Science
  30. 30. Recommendations <ul><li>Organizational Recommendations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure you understand the interplay across: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Team purpose, structure and activity type </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Degree of coordination and activity complexity over team lifecycle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inter-dependencies between team members and team size </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic dispersion, culture and management styles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value planning, communication & team bootstrapping: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define clear goals, priorities, roles, responsibilities and “practices” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to morale, engagement (motivation) and trust factors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Set expectations on behavior and performance measures; define conflict resolution procedures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create the right team mix, ensure team mental models are shared; provide growth avenues that balance personal and team needs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize verbal and face-to-face communication; build social relationships with and across team members </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Recommendations <ul><li>Technology Recommendations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage virtual workspaces and wikis to provide a common team area that centralizes shared activities and artifacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploit blogs as a means to build team and enterprise community by encouraging informal dialog and opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine tagging and pub/sub tools to diversify communication channels and provide more flexible information discovery/delivery options for team members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridge distance factors and increase team cohesion through use of real-time communication tools (including presence, location and record/playback) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore use of personal profiles and social networking tools to “humanize” employees and help co-workers connect to those who share common interests, know-how and work activities </li></ul></ul>