The Challenge of Collaborative Sites

Craig is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has worked with ProjectManagement.com for the last six years developing the various HEADWAY processes (Project, Change and Portfolio). He has hosted a series of webinars and is a business intelligence subject matter expert.

Have you ever been asked to load your project files to some kind of online workspace and been frustrated because you can’t even find it? Or maybe you find the site, but can’t figure out how to navigate your way around? Or maybe it is loaded with so many features, you get lost in the mess.

Fortunately, not all collaborative sites are like this--but far too many are. These workspaces have become the norm for many project teams, particularly those working across the globe. And far too often, the website set up to support those teams leave users wanting. Unfortunately, the basic foundational understandings often get overlooked when the collaborative sites are developed. The important governance model that ensures a common understanding of complexity, structure, taxonomy and enforcement are often overlooked in the desire to get the tool up and supporting the project as quickly as possible. Without some form of model in place to govern the usage of the collaborative workspace, the sites quickly move from being useful on your project to a being useless.

In today’s world, it is almost unheard of for all the project team members to be found in the one office. Multiple locations, geographic regions, states/provinces, countries and parts of the world are now the norm. The collaborative tools to support these global and not-so-global projects have advanced as …

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I see where one young boy has just passed 500 hours sitting in a treetop. There is a good deal of discussion as to what to do with a civilization that produces prodigies like that. Wouldn't it be a good idea to take his ladder away from him and leave him up there?

- Will Rogers

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