Wednesday, July 18

Collaboration First, Then Knowledge Management (by Matthew Clapp)

Link to article
"The goals of collaboration should first be to allow knowledge workers to labor together to complete projects and only then to collect that knowledge to be leveraged for the rest of the enterprise...

Before you go and blow your entire budget on a solution that has the same likelihood of success as a manned mission to Mars in the same timeframe, consider piloting an open source solution with a small group that is in dire need and eager to get started...

Examples of good open source groupware tools available : dotProject, eGroupWare, Moregroupware, phpCollab, PHProjekt.

Matthew Clapp sums up the article by giving some practical advice :

  • Pilot a collaboration tool with a few groups that are motivated and eager to try something new, ideally in a way that may help solve some larger problems for the corporation.
  • In exchange for supporting their teams, pilot participants will offer to provide you with both positive and negative feedback about the process and the technology.
  • Take this feedback and incorporate into your business case and subsequent requirements documentation if you go for an enterprise solution.
  • Measure your success both in terms of the effectiveness by which people complete projects, as well as their ability to share and leverage knowledge."

Explore (or check their feature list ) the open source collaboration tools first. If they are not sufficient or do not meet your requirements, then think about going for commercial or proprietary products such as Lotus Workplace, Documentum eRoom, Interwoven Worksite, Vignette Business Workspaces, Groove, Oracle's Collaboration Suite, OpenText LiveLink, etc. You might find out that the open source solutions are more than good enough (So, please don't waste your money unnecessarily). Anyway, by testing the open source solutions, you might find some new requirements that you ignored or didn't notice until after you tried the tools. So, in other words, it is a win-win situation exploring the open source collaboration tools before thinking about going for proprietary solutions.

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