technology and Collaboration


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technology and Collaboration

  1. 1. Technology and Collaboration Stephen Abram, Mary Lee Kennedy
  2. 2. Presentation <ul><li>How can Internet Librarians leverage today’s technology for collaboration? </li></ul><ul><li>Where does technology fall short on delivering on the promises of information and knowledge exchanges? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the role of technology in terms of people, processes and practices? </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Simple Truth <ul><li>What matters is not what you have but what you do with it. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Technology in Today’s Organization <ul><li>Proposition: </li></ul><ul><li>IT has become so ubiquitous that it should be managed as a commodity like electricity rather than as a potential source of strategic advantage. Smart businesses would refrain from devoting large portions of their capital budgets to the latest, greatest technology because overspending is far riskier than under-spending--it siphons resources away from the ability to make products, deliver services, and satisfy customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Carr, Nick. “IT Doesn’t Matter”, Harvard Business Review, 2003. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The “Empty Promises” <ul><li>Technology will make it easy for you to collaborate </li></ul><ul><li>Technology will ensure everyone is on the same page </li></ul><ul><li>Technology will reduce the cost of doing business </li></ul><ul><li>Technology will make the organization more efficient </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Facts <ul><li>Collaboration is a cultural norm not a technology </li></ul><ul><li>Technology can cause change but change cannot be sustained without an investment in culture and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Much $ has been wasted on technology </li></ul><ul><li>Defining business requirements, particularly user needs and wants, are critical success factors for collaboration projects </li></ul><ul><li>We couldn’t live without technology – the real question is which technology (ies) do we need? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Some Key New Technologies <ul><li>For the user </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web conferencing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presence management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real-time translation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real-time text to voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For the information provider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digitization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faceted meta data </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What can Collaboratories do? <ul><li>Distance education </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Speeches </li></ul><ul><li>Homework helpers </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual universities and their curricula </li></ul><ul><li>Application training and certification </li></ul><ul><li>Employee communication </li></ul><ul><li>Board meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrations </li></ul><ul><li>Seminars </li></ul><ul><li>Product updates and introductions </li></ul><ul><li>Lectures </li></ul><ul><li>Tours </li></ul><ul><li>Research team collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Customer briefings </li></ul><ul><li>Product rollout training </li></ul><ul><li>Community building </li></ul><ul><li>Donor communication and fundraising </li></ul>
  9. 9. What kinds of features are offered? <ul><li>Shared web browsing </li></ul><ul><li>PowerPoint presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Application sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Content sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Desktop sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Streaming audio / video </li></ul><ul><li>Shared whiteboard collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Real time polling </li></ul><ul><li>Rich transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple presenter support </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic session control and remote participation </li></ul><ul><li>One-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many </li></ul><ul><li>Recording and playback </li></ul><ul><li>Question management </li></ul><ul><li>Program templates </li></ul><ul><li>Management reporting </li></ul><ul><li>eCommerce support </li></ul>
  10. 10. Roles for Collaboratories <ul><li>This goes beyond chat rooms and videoconferences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities of interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities of practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e-Neighbourhoods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rich communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee management </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Information Engagement Levels Read/View Argue/Defend Present/Teach Stimulate/Live Act on/ Discuss Content Source Situation Dr. Thomas Davenport
  12. 12. MS Live Meeting (PlaceWare) Webex Centra
  13. 13. Browserlessness <ul><li>Browserlessness can equate to Boundarylessness </li></ul><ul><li>Opera, Mozilla Foxfire, MSIE, etc. </li></ul>Netscape
  14. 14. Simple Collaboration Tools <ul><li>MSN .NET Messenger </li></ul><ul><li>AOL Internet Messenger </li></ul><ul><li>ICQ </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo! Messenger </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo! IMvironments </li></ul><ul><li>IRC </li></ul><ul><li>Trillian by Cerulean </li></ul>85%+ of people from ages 15-25 have at least one IM account - only 5% of over 30’s Messenger
  15. 15. What is context? Learning Research Entertainment Communities and Neighborhoods Workplace
  16. 16. Examples <ul><li>What do you use? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Information Professionals Responsibility <ul><li>Critical First Steps in Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define purpose for collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Loose or strong ties </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify collaboration community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Peers or hierarchical </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Demographic make up (language, technology use, geography, culture) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify collaboration values, beliefs, norms, informal rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish communication and decision-making pattern </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Then evaluate the technologies that could support it </li></ul>
  18. 18. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Technology adoption – Crossing the Chasm </li></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic alignment </li></ul><ul><li>Integration strategy </li></ul>
  19. 19. Underlying Principles <ul><li>Form follows function </li></ul><ul><li>Functions change quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Form drives behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchies work for some functions </li></ul><ul><li>No cookie cutter forms </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting relationships create “ties that bind” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Underlying Principles <ul><li>Some relationships are weaker than others </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations are ecosystems </li></ul><ul><li>Stability signals staleness (& death) </li></ul><ul><li>Clarity dissolves most, if not all, conflicts </li></ul>
  21. 21. Underlying Principle <ul><li>COLLOCATION: </li></ul><ul><li>Based on proximity, people are more likely to collaborate if they are less than 50 feet apart </li></ul><ul><li>What happens when they are in different time zones? Different continents? </li></ul><ul><li>Personal distance is 18-24 inches </li></ul><ul><li>What is the impact of larger & larger monitors? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Overriding Principle <ul><li>Organizational forms - virtual or not! – </li></ul><ul><li>are tools for shaping your work processes & employee relationships to support your strategic priorities </li></ul>
  23. 23. Star Model Strategy Structure People Rewards Processes Direction Reporting & Relationships Work flows Skills & Mindsets Compensation & Recognition
  24. 24. Star Model <ul><li>Strategy: where you’re headed </li></ul><ul><li>Structure: decision-making power, roles </li></ul><ul><li>People: mindsets, competencies, interpersonal relations </li></ul><ul><li>Processes: work flow </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards: motivators </li></ul>
  25. 25. Impact of Technology Strategy Structure People Rewards Processes Direction Reporting & Relationships Work flows Skills & Mindsets Compensation & Recognition Technology
  26. 26. Considering this in a virtual environment <ul><li>Virtual teams develop an inner authority based on their members’ commitment to shared purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>In virtual teams, power comes from information, expertise, and knowledge, the new foundations of wealth. </li></ul>
  27. 27. One size does not fit all <ul><li>Virtual organizations are more complex & require complex solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational structure: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Matrix with explicit dual reporting relationships </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customer-based </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Product or Service-based </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Process-based </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hierarchical </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Team-based with different leadership roles </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Working Virtually <ul><li>reduces daily commutes </li></ul><ul><li>increases productivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eliminates “drop-in’s” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>balances professional & personal commitments </li></ul><ul><li>reduces overhead </li></ul><ul><li>increases </li></ul><ul><li>independence </li></ul>Advantages
  29. 29. Working Virtually <ul><li>Basic structure of the workplace is relationships. Work gets done through relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted from M. Schrage, No More Teams </li></ul><ul><li>Changed structure </li></ul><ul><li>Changed relationships </li></ul><ul><li>The “I’s” have it: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invisibility & Isolation </li></ul></ul>Challenges
  30. 30. Invisibility <ul><li>Communication 101 </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>high % of messages transmitted via body language </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The 50-feet rule </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>closer proximity increases collaboration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lipnack & Stamps, Virtual Teams </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Out of sight is out of mind </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>honest oversights lead to undermining of trust, productivity & performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>fewer opportunities for management feedback </li></ul></ul></ul>Challenges
  31. 31. Isolation <ul><li>Working & behavioural preferences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>extraverts, “people who need people” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High tech does not eliminate the need for high touch & interactions with human beings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>must be factored in for some people </li></ul></ul>Challenges
  32. 32. Overwork <ul><li>Increased burn-out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>longer hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>difficulty in separating office & home lives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Work is always there. I can hear the phone, I can hear the fax - I’ll just quickly check my e-mail.” </li></ul></ul>Challenges
  33. 33. Procrastination <ul><li>Dealing with distractions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>goes hand-in-hand with overwork & burn-out </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Self-motivator extraordinaire </li></ul><ul><ul><li>individuals must: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>institute routines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>maintain momentum </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>keep connected with processes & co-workers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Self-disciplined to “get on with it” </li></ul>Challenges
  34. 34. Maintaining focus <ul><li>Working hard, working steadily, but in the right direction? </li></ul><ul><li>Delicate art of keeping a vision in front of people you can’t see </li></ul><ul><li>“ I sometimes feel like I’m herding cats…” </li></ul><ul><li>Veteran Virtual Team Leader </li></ul>Challenges
  35. 35. The current reality <ul><li>“ It is harder for virtual teams to be successful than for traditional face-to-face teams. Misunderstandings are more likely to arise and more things are likely to go wrong.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lipnack & Stamps, Virtual Teams </li></ul></ul>Challenges
  36. 36. Working Virtually Solutions: <ul><li>Combine high tech with frequent high touch </li></ul>Balance the scales
  37. 37. Working Virtually Solutions: <ul><li>“ Best accessory </li></ul><ul><li>to a laptop </li></ul><ul><li>is a 747” </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Peters </li></ul>Occasional online interaction is 1 step up from reading someone’s resume. Lipnack & Stamps
  38. 38. Working Virtually Solutions: <ul><ul><li>Recognize that virtual relationships take longer to develop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ conversations” & virtual water coolers must be explicit & supported </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish & enforce clear ground rules & norms for shared work space & processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>what’s our acceptable turn-around time for returning e-mails? Checking documents? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actively seek opportunities to increase understanding of each other, provide feedback & build trust </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>“ If we are to enjoy the efficiencies and other benefits of the virtual organization, we will have to rediscover how to run organizations based more on trust than on control. Virtuality requires trust to make it work: Technology on its own is not enough.” </li></ul><ul><li>Charles Handy </li></ul><ul><li>“ Trust & the Virtual Team” </li></ul><ul><li>Harvard Business School’s </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Work, Real Results </li></ul>
  40. 40. Experience teaches us <ul><li>Lessons learned from others: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>communicate, communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>don’t assume, never assume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>weekly team calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>monthly organization calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bi-annual face-to-face organizational meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>travel expenses up; frustration/fallout down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>team principles & ground rules are imperative </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Experience teaches us <ul><li>What virtual organizations do you work within now? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes them successful? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes them unbearable? </li></ul>
  42. 42. Virtual team competencies: <ul><li>10. The right technology </li></ul><ul><li>9. Shared work space & processes </li></ul><ul><li>8. Established ground rules </li></ul><ul><li>7. Acceptance of cultural, style & preference differences </li></ul><ul><li>6. Effective group dynamics </li></ul><ul><li>5. Clear identity </li></ul>
  43. 43. Virtual team competencies: <ul><li>4. Teamwork skills </li></ul><ul><li>3. Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>2. True trust </li></ul><ul><li>….and the number one requirement for working virtually successfully is!!!!!!! </li></ul>
  44. 44. #1 Virtual team competency: “ All for One & One for All!”
  45. 45. Virtual team leadership competencies: <ul><li>Make the invisible, visible </li></ul><ul><li>Make the intangible, tangible </li></ul><ul><li>Create & foster a climate of trust </li></ul><ul><li>Establish & constantly model standards of accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate clearly, constantly & effectively within each receiver’s realm </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to do all this yourself </li></ul>
  46. 46. Virtual team member competencies: <ul><li>Self-disciplined? </li></ul><ul><li>Strong communicator? </li></ul><ul><li>Good collaborator? </li></ul><ul><li>Organized? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Document your work well? </li></ul></ul>Are you ready to work virtually?
  47. 47. Virtual team members: Are you ready to work virtually? <ul><li>Respectful of other’s working & communication styles? Cultural differences? </li></ul><ul><li>Extroverted? Introverted? </li></ul><ul><li>Comfortable with technology? </li></ul><ul><li>Confident? </li></ul>? Do you WANT to??
  48. 48. Do’s & Don’ts for Virtual Teams <ul><li>DO: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ensure clear purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>clear goals, deliverables </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>meet 1st face-to-face </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>share work electronically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>create a common work area </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>have agreed upon & respected working styles, communication preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DON’T: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>expect virtual teams to be “just like” teams within given location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>under-estimate value of face time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>expect to agree on everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>accept lone rangers, complaining or “off line” gossiping </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Worksheet <ul><li>What is working well within your team now? </li></ul><ul><li>What could be improved? </li></ul><ul><li>What ideas or changes would you like to pursue? </li></ul>
  50. 50. Yeah, but... <ul><li>“Good people in a poorly designed organizational structure fail, while average people in a healthy organization succeed.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>N. Dean Meyer and Associates </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Structure that is not supportive or strategic will never succeed, regardless of technology </li></ul>
  51. 51. Our competencies, Our fit <ul><li>Our profession is based on our ability to communicate with our clients & our colleagues in a variety of situations, & on our ability to master technology. Ours is a profession equipped to work in the virtual world - </li></ul><ul><li>virtually better than anyone else! </li></ul>
  52. 52. Links & Look ups <ul><li>Davis, Margaret. Practical Guide to Organization Design. Crisp, 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>Ostroff, Frank. The Horizontal Organization. Oxford, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Grantham, Charles. The Future of Work. McGraw-Hill, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Lipnack, J & J. Stamps. Virtual Teams. Wiley, 1997. </li></ul><ul><li>Galbraith, Jay. Designing Organizations. Jossey-Bass, 1995 </li></ul>
  53. 53. Links & Look ups <ul><li>Virtual at http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Working by Wire at </li></ul>
  54. 54. Thanks! <ul><li>Stephen Abram, MLS </li></ul><ul><li>Vice President, Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Sirsi Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Bus: (416) 669-4855 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>