Wednesday 9 November 2005

Myth busting collaboration best practices

Thanks to Jack Vinson for bringing these real world lessons on collaboration from non-profit research organisation, MITRE, to my attention. Back in the February 2000 (yes, that's right - five years ago) edition of their technology journal, The Edge Perspectives, they critically challenged six hypothetical guidelines:

  • The organization's culture must naturally support collaboration.
  • Exhaustive requirement analysis is needed to ensure success.
  • You need broad high-level management support.
  • The information technology (IT) infrastructure must be accommodating.
  • Build it and they will come.
  • You need a lot of money to deploy collaboration technologies.

One of their conclusions is quite interesting (particulary with reference to my other blog post today): "Collaborative systems are disruptive by their very nature... In large organizations, it is the IT support elements that sometimes are most committed to the status quo, and surprisingly not the line organizations they support. Perhaps this is because IT elements do not themselves perform core mission functions and they can often miss the potential value that such disruptive technologies can provide."

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