A number of articles have recently been published on collaboration. Focusing on collaboration tools, these articles have explored when they work, the challenges involved and how to avoid these problems in practice.
In many ways, these articles have taken for granted the central aspect of collaboration: the people involved. This article will explore the human face of collaboration, touching upon a range of enterprise considerations.
Collaboration can’t be forced
It make no sense to roll out collaboration tools to the whole organisation. Collaboration takes place between people, and can’t be forced or created through the use of technology.
While it is possible to create new opportunities for collaboration using online tools, this is slow and hard, and not the best approach when implementing collaboration tools for the first time.
Instead, collaboration tools work best when they support existing collaboration taking place between individuals or groups within the organisation.
For example, regular meetings may be held between line managers to discuss quality assurance problems. A collaboration space can be a valuable support for discussions that are held during these regular (face-to-face) meetings.
Pilot collaboration projects should therefore seek out areas where there is a demand for tools to support existing groups or communities.
[CM Briefing 2007-22, read the full article]