THEK TALK: Collaboration: Collaboration

We are all part of groups. We need to work together with other people to
accomplish our tasks. These people may be within our company or outside.
This “collaborative” facet of work has not changed since time
immemorial. What has changed are the tools and technologies we use to

The primary collaborative activities that we do are:

Embedded in the above are a number of common activities that need to be
performed like communicating with many people, accessing and storing
documents, and sharing and accessing calendars.

As the pace of business gets faster and more information flows our way,
it becomes important to be able to use new technologies to become more
productive and effective. The time we have to make decisions becomes
shorter even as the information that we have to process becomes greater.

In this context, what becomes necessary is to be able to place events in
context, be able to view them as part of the larger picture, be able to
access the right information quickly, and be able to communicate with
the right people – internally within the organization and externally.

From an organization point of view, it is important to capture the
knowledge embedded in its people. Much of this knowledge is “tacit” (as
opposed to explicit knowledge which can be captured in documents and
process workflows).

How can technology work to meet these goals – cost effectively? There is
no dearth of collaborative, groupware and knowledge management solutions
in the marketplace. What is needed is to use existing technologies
effectively, rather than making people learn something new.

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