CAT | Knowledge Management
Community managers have a tough job. They deal with lots of different stakeholders trying to find that elusive “middle ground”. They incessantly cheer on community activities and push adoption of collaboration best practices; but when it comes to validating their position through tangible and quantifiable metrics it can sometimes seem daunting. Is the best measure user participation? How about community size? Each of these seem like great things, and they are, but typically organizations don’t have a lot of tolerance for soft measures that don’t directly impact the “bottom-line”.
Recently I have been working to identify ways in which organizational performance gains can be tied to community activities. Since my current position involves helping large organizations increase performance from their development teams, I started first by looking at something that may seem far removed from community, knowledge reuse. (more…)
I just read a few interesting posts by Tim Bray and Alex Payne about what to read and how to stay up to date (see below). Much of what they say I agree with. The simple problem is that there is just too much stuff out there that is interesting or important on some level. Combine that with an ever expanding workload, a short attention span, and a fading memory and you have a combination that just can’t work long term. What’s interesting is that I’ve asked several knowledge workers of one sort or another what their biggest problems are and most respond with something like …
- “too many interruptions”
- “wasting time on nonproductive tasks like email”
- “no ability to focus on key tasks”
- “excessive multitasking”
With collaboration and community tools like blogs, wikis, forums, tagging, and rating systems, the enterprise has become filled with collaboration tools that bring people together online and enable productivity. However, the lack of integration in these platforms creates not only Data Silos but Collaboration Silos. Information from one system has to be moved to another system if you want to collaborate and then finding the most relevant copy of the information becomes a nightmare. Where is the latest version? Was it an email attachment? Did I put it in the shared directory? Where are Bob’s comments? These questions and many similar ones are asked every day. What we need is a smart collaboration platform that combines simple actions with relevant information artifacts to produce collaboration spaces that work for you and not the other way around. (more…)
Team collaboration and social networking software are all the buzz right now, however we need to look at the overall contribution these technologies bring to the enterprise in terms of value before we determine if they should be the new “cool” technology. Are IT programmers ready to answer the CIO’s question of “How will team collaboration software add value to our business?”? Maybe? Maybe not? What I hope to describe is how you can answer that question and what to look for in order to get your company started using collaboration software to solve real business problems.
Which leads us to our first real question we need to answer and that is – how does collaboration add value to the bottom line of a business? (more…)