Monday, March 17, 2008

Collaboration

I think online collaboration has great potential. Say an organization needs to have a document created by managers in 3 locations across the country. A number of relatively recent developments allow that document to be created in the virtual, without resorting to costly travel.

By now most everyone has heard of Skype, the free VOIP service. It allows anymore to call another computer with for free, and it also provides video call service too. Combine Skype with the collaborative features Google Docs, which lets you collaborate in real time with other people on documents, spreadsheets, and presentation, and its like your in the same room.

Skype itself has some sweet collaborative features, too. There are many plugins that allows for things like screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, etc.

Lynda Gratton, in her article for the Sloan Management Review, makes a few good point sabout online collaboration. Most notably, organizations need to make it easy for online collaborators to learn about each other, and that its best that some colloborators already know each other. Teams will be much more productive if they know where others responsibilities lie and what others are skilled at.

6 comments:

Jessica said...

Skype is the bomb and the future. iChat also offers some really awesome features for Mac users. I've used iChat for a NUMBER of reasons. iChat theater lets you showcase documents, videos, pictures and music. awesome...

WhoZeDuke said...

I've never used iChat since I never owned a Mac,but Skype is incredible. Even if you never use VOIP, theres still so much you can do. For one, the chat system is probably the best out there.

David R. said...

It will be interesting to see what happens with all of this evolving technology 5 or 10 years down the road. DO you think people will be working out of the home more?

Abdul said...

Like you said, it's important for each member to be clear on their reposibilties and to acknowledge other member's skills. I'd like to add that the trust between the members is a great challenge that is to be considered when it comes to virtual teams.

Brian said...

oh thats pretty cool. I never heard or used it. Are there any lawsuits against this it seems it takes out the intermediary of the telephone companies.

WhoZeDuke said...

I think this could lead to more people working out of home. I think that even more people will split their time between home and office.

About Skype, to my knowledge, the phone companies have never tried to take it down or anything