For many of my clients the buzz word is “collaboration”. Sharepoint, Lotus Connections and Confluence wikis are just a few of the enterprise platforms espoused to support and enhance project collaboration. Of course, simply implementing a technology does not ‘make’ collaboration happen, especially online.
Wenger, White and Smith have published Digital Habitats. One of the many lessons I gleaned is the role of understanding relationships in these project spaces. Which project roles are essentially solo work? Which require people to work with others? And, when work is done with others, are the relationships close and community-like, or networks? Different roles, different workflows, require different kinds of relationships. And our role as ‘stewards’ is to help people engage with the different relationship norms within the technology platform.
So, perhaps the expectation around ‘collaboration’ (and whatever that means) is too broad to blanket over online project work. Maybe there is benefit in stepping back and examining relationship types for different roles, workflows, responsibilities and outcomes. I still need an opportunity to apply this approach. Anyone got any real life experience to share?