Sunday, May 10, 2009

Collaboration - the Nightmare of Control Freaks?

The buzzword creeping into our daily lives is "collaboration". Social networking and Internet technology have created a heightened awareness of creating things together.

The Age of Collaboration
News is created from millions of people posting one-liners on about what is happening in the world.

Project teams work together with increasing ease using and as project managers. A second-year student recently told me he will be spending his summer developing an online game. His programmer is in India and his designer somewhere else and he had never met them in person. But he is in business!

Biographies are written in rich media by postings and comments on sites such as facebook.

Research comes together in collaborative online documents in Google Docs or

Software is co-created on open-source platforms.

And this includes only some of the stuff that is close to my own world.

The Impact of Collaboration on Product and Service
My eyes opened this week when our production team was questioned on testing of our final products (video, web and print). Convention has it that the buck for quality output stops with the supplier. The collaborative world says: "There is no client or supplier but rather a collaboration of stakeholders. After all, years after release 1.0 Microsoft is still fixing bugs in Vista."

The statement certainly made me understand that my worldview is shifting under my feet. My question is how do I handle the expectations of outcomes amongst clients who do not believe they are paying for the joy of collaboration vs. the ones who may be appreciating just the opposite?

As a control freak who at the same time would pay for the privilege to play for the joy of collaboration, I am still left with the question...

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