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Your Story: Throwing new tools at a communication problem?

I'm working on a (likely non-43 Folders) piece about a topic that seems to keep coming up whenever I talk with people about how their team plans, collaborates, and generally communicates with one another. I'd love to hear from you in comments if you have a contribution to make.

What’s your story?

Do you have a story about a time when your team or company tried to solve a human communication problem by adding a new tool? In your estimation, how did things turn out?


Yours doesn't need to be a horror story to be included here -- there are certainly ample examples in which a thorny problem disappeared by introducing a bit of high (or low) technology to the mix.

But, the anecdotes I hear from worker bees often focus on the frustration they felt when a wiki, a new CMS, a mailing list, or some other tool was introduced into an ecosystem that was suffering from a more fundamental communication problem. A lot of people tell me that this makes matters much worse all around, often amplifying the complexity of the original problem, in addition to piling on burnt cycles that were committed on getting everyone up to speed on the new "silver bullet."

If you have a minute over the next week or so, please share your story here. Redact details that you think need redacting, but please consider telling me how things went for you and your group. And, if you feel like a whole or partial solution to the core problem ever did come along, that would be great to know, as well. Already documented this someplace else? Know of someone else who did? Links to relevant stories are also greatly appreciated.

If things pan out, I may be contacting a few of you offline for more details, and conceivably, an interview or two. Thanks in advance.

enjar's picture

Wiki has been great for us, Sharepoint is feared

I work for a company that develops a software product which is sold for Windows, *NIX and Mac. Therefore, we have developers, QE folks and managers who use all platforms. Wiki allows anyone to edit the document from anywhere, and we use it for specs, design discussion, project planning and other tasks. Even more importantly, all of our Wikis are searchable, easily edited and all edits are tracked. It allows pretty much anyone with a browser to participate. Wiki definitely has some significant minuses, but for us it works.

Somehow we are getting Sharepoint pushed on us, which is frighteningly expensive, hard to use and full of bugs. No one I've talked to on the pilot teams has had a positive experience with it, yet management has been sold on it. Only Windows users are able to fully participate, and it's going to silo information like nothing else. I predict a failure unless management makes people use it.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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