Wednesday 1 October 2008

Out of the box: Supporting projects with a collaborative infrastructure pattern

I’ve joked before about SharePoint being the new Lotus Notes, but in all seriousness its great to see that a successful pattern from the past can still be applied to the new generation of Web-based collaboration platforms – most recently its the example of Transfield Service’s Team Sites in a Box.

I use the word *pattern* deliberately because this isn’t a formula approach – it needs to be tailored to the technology and business activities it supports. For example, I’ve seen a similar approach to Transfield’s concept applied to collaboration tools like eRoom, Quickplace and Lotus Notes in the past.

The Lotus Notes story is a good one tell because years ago at Ernst & Young in Australia I was involved in developing a series of internal “products” as part of the then Centre for Business Knowledge’s service offering – and one of these products was called Pursuit Team in a Box. :-)

However unlike Transfield, we bundled not only the technology and support (which was underpinned by the overarching EY/KnowledgeWeb architecture and governance model) but a range of information and knowledge management services, including competitive intelligence. The the types of support activities provided were also tailored to the size of the project. However, the overall pattern was the same.

A more generic model for this pattern – and one that I’ve used over and over again – is the concept of “Collaborative Infrastructure” – the following slides should give you an idea of how this works:

For further reading beyond my own articles and papers that refer to the Collaborative Infrastructure model, I suggest you check out Implementing Collaboration Technologies in Industry: Case Examples and Lessons Learned.

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