With collaboration, it is difficult to see the end from the beginning. There are so many variables involved with collaboration, which leads to multiple outcomes.
Companies have weak cause and effect relationships when it comes to collaboration. A small change may make a major impact, while a company that is trying to force a major change all at once may meet with total failure. Collaboration must be achieved through small changes. It must seem almost serendipitous that certain technologies were implemented many months before any major initiative around collaboration was announced. The effects of self-organization, emergent complexity, and mutual benefit should be at the root of the success of implementing collaboration. This will put the workers wants and needs at the center of the collaboration initiative.
The S.M.A.R.T. Platform is being overlaid on ERP, MRP, and EMR systems for the past 15 years. Consulting firms like the Entrpereneurialway Consulting Group (ECG) are recommending this platform as a way to avoid the same issues that plague ERP, MRP, EMR applications that required you to change your processes to fit their technology. These applications looked great on paper, however, when you tried to implement them, you ran into resentment from departments that were doing things in a more productive way, and had to change. In many cases, settling for less than capable add-on modules that did not meet the user’s real requirements, and the dependence on a single vendor for all critical requirements, can lead to a culture of settling for what you can get. These applications may be fine as a foundation for your business technology architecture, however, it may not be the best choice for your user interface to your collaboration architecture.
Is virtual collaboration the underlying structure that will allow the information sharing and the individual chaotic aggregations of individual and corporate wisdom, to bring about the next innovation or process improvement in your business? Will the virtual collaboration allow de-centralized information sharing that will allow for a self-organizing business or organization?