Saturday, June 05, 2010

Foster Collaboration In One Simple Step...

Image representing Basecamp as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
1... What is the number one simple step? You might want to re-read the creators of Basecamp ( book (Getting Real), or check out this simple quote:

We realized project management isn't about charts, graphs, reports and statistics — it's about communication. It also isn't about a project manager sitting up high and broadcasting a project plan. It's about everyone taking responsibility together to make the project work.

Our enemy was the Project Management Dictators and the tools they used to crack the whip. We wanted to democratize project management — make it something everyone was a part of (including the client). Projects turn out better when everyone takes collective ownership of the process.

Having religiously listened to Harvard Business IdeaCast, kept up my reading of Harvard Business review and conducted collaborative project management with a Clinical trial involving the removal of the spine nucleus and also working directly with a Johnson and Johnson Spine/Ortho VP of R&D, I've had the absolute privilege of learning collaboration models. I also learned that technology can be the process for collaboration,  you know what that VP said to me, "Walker, the value of your product (Syndicom SpineConnect) is that it removes the command and control center on collaboration. It allows for instantaneous flow of ideas..." Powerful! I bring his remarks to bear, because I have long studied and have been taught collaborative theory and organization structure (I strongly suggest reading: collaborative entrepreneurship by Dr. Ray Miles: or listen to my podcast with him:, and one thing is clear to me... The one simple thing: OPEN UP COLLABORATION!!!

Here are some other reads about why open collaboration is how business has been moving for years:

In my experience, the most reliable way to generate sustained Enterprise 2.0 adoption is to target business functions and activities that are structurally motivated to improve collaboration. In other words, look for individuals whose professional success in their role depends on the things that Enterprise 2.0 will help them do.

James said they have increased support for collaboration through wikis, forums, and other tools at Liberty Mutual. He said that the concept is not new but the tools are better.  Getting people to participate and see value remains a challenge.  They have set up an internal YouTube type function. The uses are not predetermined and he is not sure how it will be used.

And there is so much more data out there from great bloggers, writers, theorists, leaders, TEDtalks, and more... This advise, again, is free: OPEN IT UP!!!
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