Application Lifecycle Management and a Collaborative Culture.
I had some interesting discussion last week about working together and ALM, based on what I wrote in this post Visual Studio Team System 2010 – Episode 3: The Lifecycle;
Tools can help with this goal. Having gear in place which supports and stimulates collaboration is a driver for a successful Application Lifecycle Management. But without a plan, how people should collaborate and communicate, tools are useless.
Now I’m not a Team Dynamics nor a behavioral specialist. But, I did some investigation according these topics past year for the Cloud Collaboration Book we have written.
A big word in the Book TagCloud is ‘Collaboration’ [made by wordle.net]
So, I thought [also as a trigger for the book :-) available on Amazon somewhere in March] let’s take the intro of the chapter which talks about this. The topics and main concerns fit perfectly on ALM culture.
Creating new modes of collaboration supported by technology can only be done by addressing the human aspect. More specifically, we need to address some of the worries and obstacles people encounter when collaborating using technology.
The three most important concerns are:
Trust. Trust is a condition for social interaction. People will only work with people, companies, tools and information they know they can trust. Before we can expect collaboration to take off online, there must be a way for people to get this “trust.” And a topic closely associated with trust when it refers to people is Identity.
Collaborative culture. If one individual is the greatest collaborator in the world, he or she is probably not getting anywhere. Only when all people involved are part of the same collaborative culture will new levels of creativity and productivity be reached. A collaborative culture consists of many things, including:
- Collaborative leadership;
- Shared goals;
- Shared model of the truth; and
- Rules or norms.
Reward. Changing the way people work takes effort, so it must be clear for the parties involved what they will gain, at a personal level, from collaborating in a new way. Surprisingly, a “reward” for successful collaboration is most often of a non-financial nature.
“The ways that people work together shift over time, which can affect your culture of collaboration. More important, the introduction of collaboration technologies can also change the culture of collaboration. If handled properly, the tools and the culture will coevolve.”
Use Groove for easy document management within SharePoint
The default SharePoint interface is a little bit time consuming for heavy users, for example I must make at least 5 clicks to add a new folder, the same amount for uploading a document and login two times if I want to edit a document. (and don't forget all the work you must do when adding a new blogpost with pictures... I use Windows Live Writer ;-)
When you use Groove's functionality to synchronize workspaces with SharePoint libraries, you only have to: Right click "add folder", right click "add document", "double click open document"... and after you are finished editing, adding, etc... just click synchronize and your done. Works almost the same as your Windows Explorer..!
And with Groove beside [in tandem with] SharePoint you can work offline and give others, who are not in your companies directory, access to the files.
from Groove and SharePoint differ, but also work together:
Using Office Groove and Office SharePoint Server together
In some cases, your best course is to use Office Groove and Office SharePoint Server in tandem rather than either one alone. "They're not mutually exclusive at all," says Bob Barnes, a senior specialist at Conchango plc, a Microsoft Gold Certified solution provider headquartered in London. For example, Office Groove lets you import Office SharePoint Server document libraries into your workspaces. Thereafter, if someone adds or edits a file in Office SharePoint Server, it appears in Office Groove, and vice versa. Thus, team members can use Office Groove as a tool for taking Office SharePoint Server files offline, or as a simple way to give vendors and partners access to Office SharePoint Server content on your company's intranet.
You can use that same functionality to link field teams with the head office. An insurance company can create an Office SharePoint Server document library for its claims inspectors at headquarters, for example, and include it in an Office Groove workspace that its mobile claims adjustors use. As adjustors complete claim forms on their laptops during the day, they can store them in Office Groove. As soon as they reconnect with the Internet, Office Groove automatically uploads those forms to Office SharePoint Server for later review by managers at headquarters.
This is a Dutch post from Bart Wessels about this with some more details