“One of my earlier posts posed the question Whoâ€™s on Your Team? to highlight the importance of social networking to establishing team identity and enhancing knowledge sharing across distributed, multidisciplinary teams. Its focus was on the importance of social software applications in the Enterprise to the ability of distributed project team members to recognize who is on their team at any point in time, and who isnâ€™t. Organizational analysts refer to the challenge of establishing team identity as a boundary definition problem for teams, when members are spread across large distances whether geographic or cultural in nature.”
Mortensen and Hinds surveyed twenty-four product development teams, finding that, on average, only 75% of the employees on any given distributed team agreed on who is, and who is not, a member of their product development team.
For example, my previous post implied that social software tools in the Enterprise, such as awareness/sharing tools (Yammer, Chatter, etc.), or collaboration tools (Wikis, blogs, discussion forums, etc.) assumed that increased information sharing would decrease such boundary definition problems among distributed teams
In other words, lack of an agreement on who is a member of a distributed team does not present a problem that needs solving in order to manage performance. The awareness that differences exist about who is on distributed teams, and recommendations on how to manage those differences, point to the focus needed on collaboration from management.
“Trend: Activity streams will continue to be a much hyped capability within social platforms. However resulting â€œstream glutâ€, interoperability, and security-related issues will threaten benefits unless better user experience design, filtering, standardization, permission models, and back-end analytics are applied. “
The concept overall is compelling â€“ activity streams allow applications to publish events that are captured by aggregators that serialize the items into a sequence of posts
Activity streams also have an interesting intersect with identity. Depending on how someone sets up publishing of their own personal activity stream, the meta data shared about themselves creates a sense of presence enabling others to be aware of their actions.
The idea is that we can improve both productivity and collaboration needs by making events more visible and allowing people to take action more effectively (sometimes collectively) based on that level of event transparency (especially when compared to how people rely on their e-mail inbox for much of this type of group notification and work coordination).
Of course, you can â€œfollowâ€ people and applications but the more you follow, the closer you move to the original state of too much information flowing by. People end up spending a fair about of time scrolling up and down searching for things they might have missed. Depending on the way activities are aggregated, there may be limits as to how much information is actually kept around to enable historical review.
The answer some will argue is better filtering â€“ a more advanced way to organize and view an activity stream. By creating virtualized views, or specific streams, we can reduce the â€œnoiseâ€ and enable people to watch the activities that are most relevant to them.
Activity streams will also need to respect the permission models associated with the event being signaled from a publisher.
There is also the possibility that activity streams will be collected in some type of store within the system aggregating events from various publishers. This scenario reinforces the need for security coordination with source system since the data within the activity stream item might need to have access controls similar to those of the â€œsystem of recordâ€.
If there is a key take-away from this post, itâ€™s that everything mentioned above reinforces the need for interoperability and standardization. Without both, there will be isolated aggregators embedded within multiple enterprise platforms (portals, collaboration, social) with no effective way for organizations to federate events across these activity stream silos.
“Ideally, developing a strategy should be exciting: strategy making is about creating a future for your organization, and engaging your people in that process. But all too often, the budget-planning monster weighs an organization down with endless inputs and bureaucracy and rules. The monster does not create coherence. It does not create energy. It does not excite people. No wonder companies have trouble inventing new products, services, and futures.”
“Everything has to be a strategy in order to get noticed,” he told me. “You practically need a strategy for visiting the restroom.”
It was as if “strategy” was synonymous with a long-drawn-out, badly managed budgeting process.
Reframe strategy as a story. Strategy is not about streamlining or improving present operations or organizational structures. It is not about a budget, a yearly plan, or solving a specific problem. It is a compelling story about discovering the firm’s unrealized possibilities.
Every leader has two jobs: to run the operation as it exists today, and to rethink the organization so that it can survive and thrive into the future.
When the two activities are conflated, the strong, data-driven budgeting process can overwhelm the more fragile (but equally important) strategy-making process.
The strategy-making system should focus on building the company’s “argument” â€” its reason for being, its value statement, its goals and ambitions for the future.
The budgeting system, by contrast, should be built around key performance indicators with shorter time horizons.
Too often, the very people who should be charting the future get so sucked into the operational quagmire that they have no time to think about where the firm should be going. I
“Iâ€™m beginning to wonder what function middle managers and line managers perform these days. Can these functions be replaced entirely by new Enterprise 2.0 roles and systems? Is something going to fall between the cracks in a rush to remove these roles? Is the traditional Middle Manager heading towards obsolescence? “
Part of the problem is that while we move towards implementation of E2.0, and introduce change in roles that support it, we have yet to strongly define some of the job characteristics and functions
Another crucial function of a line manager is in managing the teamâ€™s budget. While it may require input from their team, trying to manage a budget and make such decisions as a group often leads to disaster.
On the other hand, there are functions of a line manager that can be supported via technology and organizational work culture, obviating the need for strong skills in this area by any single role