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Enterprise Collaboration Take Two: Social Task Management

Back when it seemed like every business was drinking Facebook’s Kool-Aid, I heard a really compelling argument for modeling collaboration software after Mark Zuckerberg’s baby: it essentially eliminated the learning curve.

It makes sense, right? Integrating new platforms into existing workflows has earned a pretty crappy reputation over the years. Deployment is complicated, it takes time and money to train people, and not everyone adjusts at the same rate. But mimic a channel that hundreds of millions of people are already familiar with, throw in a freemium to premium option, and boom. No such roadblocks.

Jam-packed with activity streams, micro-messaging, file sharing and a load of other capabilities, the cloud-based and socially-enabled enterprise applications of the last few years have exhibited this logic with zany fervor. And while they’ve been useful, true alignment hasn’t always been evident.

No More Free-for-All Communication

These days we don’t hear as much about the “corporate Facebook” approach. Instead, businesses are looking for tools that plain and simply allow a team of people, regardless of location or organization, to collaborate efficiently around a single task.

Enter the power of social task management. These tools still support the styles of communication we’ve come to know and love in our personal lives, but they also guide teams of the appropriate size to bring tasks to execution.

Facebook still gets a huge hat tip for highlighting the importance of better user experience because we most definitely needed that. But trial and error has taught us that the real trick to collaboration — at least for now — is how tactfully the experience involves the people.

Solutions that focus on the individual and then the team effectively preserve the integrity of the original project seed while adding the appropriate blend of disparate skills to actualize it. It’s not just about general collaboration here; it’s about better decision making and more efficient processes.

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