Feeds

Loutish users scupper collaborative technology

Socially inept choose the wrong comms tools - report

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Collaborative technologies are failing because too many users are socially inept and have poor manners, according to a report from the Leading Edge Forum, a consortium of CIOs and academics.

The problem comes because users don't know which tools to use for which purposes, and don't consider the other people involved, so if employers want to get value from the technologies they buy, they need to provide guidance and social training, said Doug Neal, the report's author and an LEF research fellow.

Many email and IM users will know from painful experience how easy it is to offend others by mistake, when all you have to work with is text, but Neal said similar problems can arise with other collaborative tools too – for example, when someone assumes that, because your diary shows uncommitted time you have nothing better to do than attend their meeting.

"This issue will get worse as new versions of MS Office and Sharepoint are rolled out with dramatically greater capabilities," he said. He added that part of the problem is that users choose collaborative tools instinctively, rather than consciously.

The forum, which is sponsored by IT services company CSC, has put together an interactive slide-show summarising its recommendations. It suggests questions people should ask themselves when deciding which tool to use, and offers advice for different types of collaboration, for example:

  • Calendaring – Don't use a broadcast meeting invitation to gauge interest in a topic.
  • Email – If you expect discussion on an issue, don't send it by email.
  • Messaging – Always assume that whatever you say by IM will be seen by others.
  • Shared filing space – Establish the owner of any reference document and a process for keeping it up to date.
  • Discussions – Aim to close as many discussions as you open.
  • Audio/web conferencing – Direct your questions to nominated participants.
  • Video conferencing – To appear natural, you must practice unnatural acts.

No, the latter is not a reference to the goat and the Shih-Tzu that the MD keeps in the videoconferencing room, it's things such as looking at the camera, not the screen, and exaggerating your expressions to give greater feedback. Gurning lessons all round, then. ®

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

More from The Register

next story
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?