10. Collaboration tools strategy

A very good session by Larry Cannell

IT tool classification not working (not related to business objectives, nor are they expressed in the appropriate domain language).

Therefore start with focus on how we work.

Business goals & objectives -> business processes -> work processes / tasks

Productivity tools grouped thus:

  • Personal
  • Team
  • Communities
  • Links identity management with collaboration, which is interesting given that traditionally it's driven by security people (i.e. lock stuff down):

    1) SSO crucial for getting users working together
    2) Group management: vital component for effective collaboration which is up and running quickly

    ... link to presence = availability management, which would be linked with groups (i.e. who can see what)

    Elements of collaboration

    Of 5 elements, 3 are key for LC (other two are calendaring & email):

    1 Team workspaces
    2 Online meetings
    3 IM

    (1) is more than sharing files. Consider:

  • Issue tracking
  • Project diaries / weblogs
  • Discussion forums
  • Meeting / conference / IM logs
  • Teams & communities

    Communities of interest / practice: entirely different focus that that of teams with their workspaces. Primary functions of team space:
    • Build bridges, locate experts / interested parties
    • Share knowledge
    • Create & sustain dialogue
    • When considering tools, consider that both groups have different needs:

      TEAMS: more private, smaller, more secure
      COMMUNITIES: public, larger, open

      Essential characteristics of the tools used:

    • Easy to use ... else people will work around it
    • Self-managed ... shouldn't need IT support for ACLs etc
    • Global access ... a deployment requirement
    • Extensible ... bring together business process and workspace

    Personal tools

    Glue between individual & business process, giving control over:
  • Management of work
  • Aggregating information, tasks etc. (cf. our RSS work)
  • Publishing data
  • Developing & implementing the strategy

  • Start small, learn what works & become an expert within organisation
  • Email & audio conferences are really not the best use
  • IT people are the worst in some ways (cf. doctors are the worst patients)
  • Build a network of influential end-users
  • Test tools in the real world BUT be ready with the architecture in case the thing works. It will take off quickly
  • Involve IT ops for reasons above
  • Removing barriers to adoption = new uses are revealed
  • This is the start; sustaining growth is the tricky bit


  • Q re internal / external collaboration
    LC's opinion = the perimeter around the intranet is dissolving