Clarity Management Consulting

Archive for January, 2011

Summary of Key Collaboration Enablers

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Here are a few collaboration enablers that appear to be among current industry best practices. The source articles provide a wealth of information on the success stories of organizations like 3M, Sony, and others.

Deploy a database of technical reports that can be accessed by anyone in the organization
Use employee-run technology events to create networking opportunities
Design open gathering spaces where people can congregate and share
Create technology summits and make them accessible by enabling remote participation
Create a “LinkedIn for scientists” for the R&D community
Share researchers across departments
Require collaboration and integrate it as a metric in performance evaluations
Allow employees to spend 15% of their time on projects they choose and allow them to work on outside projects
Create innovation funds for projects that don’t fit elsewhere
Collocate resources at critical junctures & enable easy access
Adopt spontaneous work styles. Use unified communications to enable spontaneous connections (IM for example). The key is immediate access versus needing to make appointments or schedule meetings.
Adopt social media-type communication tools like “fmyi”
Fit high-tech tools into product development. Examples: videoconferencing w/advanced design software; combine Cisco’s TelePresence with animation design tools; allow for design inputs and changes to be shared in real-time instead of in series – reduces cycle time in development
Give everyone access to high-end communication tools like Cisco’s TelePresence


Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Many organizations are interested in improving collaboration across business units and functional groups, as well as with external partners. To do this requires a culture that is effective and entrepreneurial in nature. Clarity has defined a model for effecting this kind of cultural change. This model consists of five areas that require attention: Training, Networking Technology and Events, Tools and Templates, Policy, and Metrics. These areas are described below.


Area Description

Employees will benefit from participating in training programs that reinforce critical success factors and provide for skills development in collaboration.
Networking Technology and Events

Existing technology offers a number of tools that are designed to enable the communication and knowledge sharing/transfer that are critical to successful collaboration. There are also industry best practices such as internal networking events that foster collaboration as well.
Tools and Templates These may consist of process maps, articles, assessment tools, leadership aids, templates, and/or other tools that can be used in developing a collaborative approach to a given project or program.

Management policies such as performance appraisals, intellectual property guidelines, and organizational boundaries affect the way teams work together within an organization and with other companies. Some policies will need to be modified, added, or deleted to enable greater collaboration.

Organizations that have been successful in developing a collaborative culture cite the fact that they incorporate measures in their performance appraisals to ensure collaborative behavior.