Sunday, December 23, 2007

Collaboration in large and growing Enterprises

How will you manage collaboration among employees in an Enterprise with over 80,000 odd employees? Damn difficult.

Study states that the more employees your company has, the less productive each of these employees are.

...when you triple the number of employees, you halve their productivity

How do we address this? How can a large Enterprise bring in people together to provide innovative solutions?

Organizations have invested money in existing systems and there is a resistance to change since it works. Another concern that you hear frequently is security. Organisations implemented Wiki for Knowledge Management and it was a significant step for them. With Wiki, you can create and publish content and get lot of people to contribute. But, it is not really a communication mechanism. Feedback being an integral part of communication, Wiki is not really helpful.

Serena has introduced Facebook as it's intranet. The press release states:
As Web 2.0 technologies such as instant messaging (IM), wikis, and texting make communication faster and more efficient, the “human” element of communication can feel increasingly removed. How can people bring that sense of personal interaction and community back into the workplace? Surprisingly, through one of the hottest technologies around—Facebook, a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.

Directorate of National Intelligence has deployed MediaWiki, blogging software and Google search. This should take away the security concerns from the minds of people.
Using blogs will take away the worry of how it looks and you need to worry only about the content. Once you have your employees subscribing to your blogs, publishing news and communicating down-stream is a piece of cake. Wipe off emails.

It's high time to bring Internet trends to Intranet. iGoogle for example can be used to provide portlets/gadgets to connect to business and at the same time, it provides Google Talk gadgets for collaborating with employees with in the company. Employees can create project specific gadgets to publish information and accelerate productivity.

Here is an example of how blogging helped project management. This, however, is not the best display of it's application and has tremendous untapped potential.

We used Wiki in one of our projects, but it has it's own limitations in it's application on project management. The complexity of understading wiki formatting did not prove motivating. It's support for rich media was also limited. I would rather suggest, we have a blogger, and use it as a project dashboard. This presents an informal way of sharing people's ideas and the author is required to bother only about the content. This encourages feedback and also provides automatic RSS signals for any new content.

Most financial services firms or any technology company runs on technology and 90% of it's work force make their living out of technology.
Facilitate collaboration and promote innovation.

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