Collaborating In Real-Time

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We all feel the pressure of “Do more with less.” Run lean. Increase quality. Move faster. These are not just management-speak, they are reality. The macroeconomic climate of the past few years has mandated we find new ways to increase efficiency or be left behind.

Successful teams are finding new ways to use their tools to meet these pressures.  By defining a single source of truth that is available anywhere, anytime you can begin collaborating in real-time for leaner execution.  How does this work? Let’s take it piece by piece.

Single source of truth. The first step is to ensure stakeholders understand which systems are the systems of record for a given type of information.  Your financial data goes in your financial system.  Your project planning and execution belongs in your PPM system.  HR information in its system.  Integrate them for the big picture view but define a single system for each function.  Constantly reinforce with all stakeholders the need to keep the systems current in real-time.  Putting off your updates to the system will keep your organization from finding that next 10% in your business.  Wondering if the data is reliable will restrict your ability to be nimble. 

Available anywhere anytime. Make sure your systems are available wherever and whenever your stakeholders are working.  Productivity is now pushing us round the clock and round the globe and our systems need to support that. If yours don’t, you need to look at new systems. SaaS and cloud technologies are making it clear this is the new norm.  Removing any friction in accessing your systems will ensure the single source of truth remains reliable and accurate. 

Collaboration in real-time. Change how you work together (with another individual, an executive steering committee, etc).  Always open up your management tools and use them in meetings.  As we all have increasingly distributed teams this is key to keeping everyone engaged and aligned.  Guide the discussions based on the data in your system of truth.  This keeps the discussion focused, generates buy-in (“we all saw it in the meeting”), removes ambiguity and creates accountability.  Capture decisions and changes in your systems as the meeting is happening.  If your systems make it too cumbersome to edit information quickly consider new tools or push vendors for better user interfaces.

By defining a single source of truth, ensuring your systems are available anywhere anytime, and collaborating in real-time, you will help your teams do more with less.

Posted on: August 16, 2011 06:38 PM | Permalink

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Achieving a 100% single source of truth is almost impossible in most organizations. Therefore, setting the right expectation for the stakeholders on the accuracy of the data they are looking at is important to ensure that expectation matches reality.

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