So if you didn’t catch my last post, I said how I’d be dedicating the next few weeks to Exchange 2010 from both a technical and business vantage point. This post will be discussing the reasons why collaboration essentially sucks in most places. It pretty much comes down to a handful of things, people, productivity, and platform.
People change over the course of their careers. Society changes over the course of generations. Ways of communication that dominated the pre-Internet era are not very popular for project collaboration in the 21st century. Live events and live presentations aren’t as important as they use to be. Where as people in the 80’s and 90’s were tied to desk phones and dummy terminals, the modern worker has a cell phone, blackberry, laptop, business extension and corporate email.
People are more mobile and bombarded with more information then in the past, and as a result, people are increasingly frustrated with the inability to critically think about things. The onus on the individual is to act first and think later, to coordinate the logistics of a meetings and to delegate responsibilities then to actually achieve efficient results. The prevalence of instant information via the web has permeated into real societal changes in the way people think, act, and behave.
Fast-forward a little to the advent of email and calendaring, a big problem exists when trying to the most basic things. Booking meeting rooms, checking everyone’s calendars for timeslots, filing emails, and storing large attachments are all major modern problems that never go as smoothly as they should in most companies. You see this a lot in small companies that do not invest in a proper communications tool.
If most people were asked, “Do you conduct work at the office in the same way that you conduct work in your personal life?” Most would say, “no way, work is too rigid.” Businesses that do not invest in new technology and have high employee turn-over are especially at risk of getting people that may not suit the culture of the business. This is fundamentally down to the fact that the majority of businesses will always be slower at adopting new ways of doing things then society. People are quick to adopt simple things that improve their lives. Many of these things would also help their work performance if they only had the ability to apply it. (Naturally a sales person would probably plug Exchange as the solution to this, but I won’t do that 😉 )