Requirements for the New Collaborative Workspace
Those that have been following my personal blog know that I am very big on the concept of integrating multiple approaches together in order to achieve a “compounding” effect. The basic gist of compound marketing is that marketers need to consider the entire mix of:
- The whole product
- The business model
- Channel management
- The communications mix
- All based on a deep understanding of the customer and market
Marketers who take this approach achieve the more efficient and effective results for their organizations.
What Mindjet calls the concept of “collaborative work management” is no different. Ultimately, people working in teams and across departments need to collaborate and coordinate ever more efficiently in order to get their work done. Otherwise, it is becoming increasingly difficult – if not impossible – for people who are working on many individual “projects” simultaneously to envision the necessary action plans and then actually carry them through to execution.
To make this happen effectively, what we need is a new collaborative workspace. Such a workspace must enable teams to accomplish the Five stages of Effective Work Management:
- Capture ideas and information in a collaborative, real-time fashion
- Consolidate relevant documents and other information assets
- Create a planof action, including what, who and by when
- Communicate that plan to all necessary stakeholders
- Coordinate the execution of the tasks that make up the plan of action
Now the most important part: for the effect of this new collaborative workspace to be truly “compounding”, it must have four key characteristics:
- It must be tightly integrated so that teams have a complete and unbroken workflow from step 1 to step 5
- It must enable both internal team members and external stakeholders to work together effectively, at all five stages. This potentially includes clients, consultants, contractors and others who may only be ad-hoc members of the team but are still critical for accomplishing the task
- It must allow the members of this virtual team to clearly see (visualize) all elements of the project. A pictures is worth a thousand words and – while lists of information and activities have their place – being able to effectively visualize streams and collections of information and actions in more powerful ways compounds the impact and effectiveness of that information many times
- Finally, the new collaborative workspace must be accessible from every place that work is actually done. This includes the desktop, mobile devices, and via the Web. Any new collaborative workspace that does not address all three modalities is not facing the reality of mainstream knowledge workers today
At Mindjet we are striving to provide precisely this new collaborative workspace. Over the last few months we have made big strides in this direction with lots more to come – I hope you agree. The result will be a compounding in the effectiveness of you and your organization.