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FCW : May 30, 2014
ollaboration is something that many organizations take for granted. They as- sume that the practices and poli- cies that worked with e-mail and videoconferencing will work just as well with the new tools and capabilities now emerging, but that's not necessarily the case. Ye s , the fundamentals of col- laboration are the same across the board, but different tools meet different needs. Before deploying new tools, agencies must make sure that they thoroughly under- stand the needs of their users and develop a strategy that ts. But even that is not enough. Once that strategy is ready, agen- cies need to roll it out with an inter- nal marketing campaign so that us- ers understand what is happening. It's all about change management. If tools are too dif cult to use, or if those tools are not tailored for the particular organization, users will resist the change. "Change management is one of the biggest problems when it comes to collaboration," said Nick Fisher, product marketing man- ager for Huddle. Many organizations don't pay enough attention to collabora- tion change management, agreed Philipp Karcher, a senior analyst with Forrester Research. In part, it is a matter of communications and training. But it's also a matter of evangelism. You have to show people the value of the various tools, Karcher said, and communicate success stories of how folks in their own or other agencies are getting value from them. "You need dedicated collabo- ration analysts who can talk to managers and users about how to drive the use of collaboration tools within their particular businesses," he said, "and how they can im- prove the way they work and help them to achieve their goals." It's also important for orga- nizations to look at the motiva- tion that various groups within the agency have for using these tools to collaborate with each other, said Vanessa Thompson, research manager for enterprise social networks and collaborative technologies at market watcher International Data Corp (IDC). Collaboration depends on users having an incentive to collaborate, she said. If an agency does not provide an incentive---if users do not see collaboration as essential to their job function---then tools will not make a big difference. A recent research report by the 1105 Public Sector Media Group on collaboration in government found that some agencies are do- ing better than others at change management. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said the culture at their agency supported col- laboration. But the same number said that was only "somewhat" the case at their agencies, while nearly a quarter of the total said there was no support. Finally, when introducing new collaboration tools and capabili- ties, agencies must keep in mind that they will have to compete with users' legacy tools and tra- ditional, ingrained ways of work- ing, said Fisher. Given that, he said, they should understand that change won't come easily. "They'll need to place nice with those legacy solutions," he said. • Sponsored Report COLLABORATION Managing change: A critical requirement for collaboration FULL REPORT ONLINE FCW.com/2014CollaborativeSolutions • The rise of enterprise collaboration • Mobile matters, but it needs thought • Putting collaboration into the cloud • Five keys to collaboration Other Collaboration Report Articles:
May 15, 2014
June 30, 2014