Does your organisation have a collaboration strategy?

Over the next month, Keith & Matt will be posting the interim results of the OzCollab survey.

So the first question we are going to look at is: “Does your organisation have a collaboration strategy?” (N=39)

For most respondents, the answer seems to be “we kinda do”, followed by “no”. For me, this reply indicates the immaturity of thinking about collaboration technology within organizations. It just happens. It’s not formalized. This might be workable when you have a small number of options (e.g. email) but the collaboration software landscape gets more diverse, it helps to explicitly work through what you need and why.

So there is an opportunity here for practitioners, vendors & consultants to make some of this stuff clearer for businesses.

What do you think?

I would also accept that the question is worded quite loosely and it would be interesting to find out what “informal” means.

Tomorrow: Who owns the strategy?

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5 responses to “Does your organisation have a collaboration strategy?

  1. Andrew Mitchell

    I’m interested in your statement that “… (as) collaboration software landscape gets more diverse, it helps to explicitly work through what you need and why”.

    Whist I agree with this view I don’t think I’ve seen any evidence to support it. Nor have I seen any evidence against it. Thinking things trough is, quite naturally, assumed to lead to better results however I’m pondering whether too much of it can lead to monolithic, inflexible systems that respond to yesterdays needs.

  2. As you note, how this thinking through is done is important. You probably need some ides how your organisation may change in terms of purpose, staffing, geographic distribution, etc. You probably need to look for software products that are flexible and extensible rather than over-engineered.

    Here’s a question for you, Andrew. Is no strategy better than a bad strategy? You are allowed to say “it depends” but only if you explain why.

    As for evidence, we may do some crosstabbing between this answer & some of the later ones – but that is probably stretching our data a little thin…

  3. Andrew Mitchell

    I can imagine some scenarios where no strategy is better than a bad strategy (for example, poor usability of a tool combined with a dictatorial implementation approach could actually inhibit collaboration that already existed prior to implementation). And also scenarios where a bad strategy is better than no strategy, but in this case I have to really say “it depends” because it really does depend on what’s bad about the strategy. For example, the choice of a monolithic Intranet 2.0 type tool may be bad in the sense that there’s a loss of flexibility to meet some needs, it could definately suit some (or even the majority) of users most of the time.

  4. So how would you put a good strategy together Andrew?

  5. Andrew Mitchell

    Hey, you know I’m one of those types who’s better at finding fault than creating… đŸ˜‰

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