Collaboration “in the Wild”: Some Observations

An Enterprise 2.0 dream scenario: implementing a complex project across multiple sites, in two different time zones, with a large team (well over 100). The team was reasonably savvy with collaboration tools; core team members were quite comfortable with Instant Messaging, and we have been relying on SharePoint for many months. A centralized, coordinated document repository; a single source, very public bugs/issues list - the foundation was in place for some time, so our "go-live weekend" experience was pleasantly predictable.…

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Training and Learning: A Different POV

The topic was training users for an upcoming project rollout, and the debate (as always) roamed back and forth between "traditional" (classroom training, scripts & workbooks) versus "experiential", pairing existing users with their counterparts (who are new to the system), walking through the basics (screen navigation, terminology, and step-by-step instructions for the most common required tasks). Training methods are a common area of debate and discussion with system implementation folks, and I can make a great case for any and…

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Over / Under Communication for Project Managers

It is often said that you can't over-communicate, but I'm willing to bet most folks - and especially your project sponsors - underestimate the cost and effort of this critical component of project management. Consider this fair warning - and a good checklist for folks wanting to get into IT, project, or functional management. Media To achieve any decent amount of success, you have to be a good communicator with both face-to-face and written / published media. And by "good"…

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Practical Applications of Twitter in Manufacturing?

Over the past few weeks I've had a couple of interesting discussions about the introduction of Twitter to Manufacturing. When someone poses a question like this to me, it throws me for a minor loop, because for very basic, practical reasons, it just doesn't seem to apply. More keyboards & data entry on the floor? Not likely. However, a few months ago I wrote this rather breathless item, expounding on a brainstorm regarding the use of YouTube and Twitter in…

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A Plea for Empathetic Communication

It's impossible to over-communicate Sounds a bit strong, but if you think through your real-world experiences, this shouldn't surprise anyone. No matter how hard you try, your message will be missed by someone ... Problem: It's all their fault! Rely on Web 2.0, and ... ... they won't subscribe to the RSS feed; they don't understand the concept, and have no other information sources that supply feeds ... they won't sign up for the email notifications; that feature is hidden,…

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More On Executives (are Smarter than You Think; the 5 Biggest Misconceptions)

A recent post got a surprising amount of feedback - at least, different feedback than my other stuff. No flames, just folks agreeing with the ideas and wanting to engage in more direct conversation (phone calls, as opposed to blog comments or email - interesting ...) I've noted that people like to second-guess and/or heap scorn upon their executive management team, seeing them as disconnected, clueless, and capable of speed without forethought. However, my experience tells me these attitudes are…

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Politically Correct Euphemisms in IT – Translated!

I recently attended a professional seminar, and noticed a propensity for politically correct euphemisms to describe life in corporate IT. This was a typical group of IT professionals, representing a variety of companies - small and large, public and private. As with most group meetings, we started with a trip around the table; quick introductions, plus some highlights of "what's hot" for IT these days. The careful language wouldn't fool the experienced; however, a casual listener might see the knowing…

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