Digital Platforms for Collaberation

Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Slack, Trello, Linkedin, Snapchat, Instagram

Above are the social media digital services that I think of when I ask myself the ones that I know of… Do I use them? First 4 I use on a regular basis mostly to share my scale model hobby and chat to people also connected into that world.

This got me thinking… How do we as a world now communicate? In the business sense it depends a lot on the IT you are provided with surely? I guess for most this will be an Outlook or Gmail account and Lync, Skype or Google Hangouts… What ever happened to Landlines that thing that sits on the desk taking up space… This week mine has seen a fair bit of use as my Outlook was affected by an outage and therefore; I had to spend time talking to an IT Tech while they tried to fix my computer.

Outside of this I hardly use it… Why? I dont really need too anyone wants me they email me or they come and chat to me in the office. I hear what you are thinking where is he going with this?

It is the same at home we have a landline as part of the very expensive Television, Internet package that we have. The landline is not allowed to be removed and I can not have the internet (arguably my most used tool from all 3 services) without it.

This leads me to the replacement that has come for the telephone. Email is now its replacement it comes in all shapes and sizes too with secure, unsecure, encrypted etc. Often I hear of colleagues who are drowning in emails or say to me that they can not send a file as an attachment to an email as it is too big for the mail servers to send.

Due to all of the above there is an over reliance in business especially Government on Email and Microsoft products for years we have always seen especially in the PPM world the best friend to be Microsoft. Personally I hate having multiple Excel Spreadsheets for reporting or for finding information that once recieved need to be analysised and then put into another reporting document (PowerPoint or Word).

This leads me to ask the question has email had its day? I came back to the office from a weeks leave recently to find I only had 56 emails! Whoop! Most were dealt with quickly.

However; I then had to spend time sitting with people and having conversations to find out what it was that had been happening. To me and my learning style this is a waste of my time and also theirs as well not in anyway helping the business to grow or develop.

Selecting the right tool for the job is becoming increasingly more difficult due to a number of factors. Digital and the word Digital Service, Tool etc. are scary and it means stepping out of comfort zones, cost, change and also what we have now works why change it?

Effectiveness and user needs should be placed at the centre and where this is not only leads to one of my top 3 life hates — Duplication. This is not only costing time and effort but also money.

I have revently been looking at how reporting for over 20 projects will be managed what is clear there is a awareness and undertstanding around the digital tools that could assist is low.

As said by Stephen Foreshaw-Cain previously said while the Execuitive Director of Government Digital Service.

“This is probably the most fundamental of those basics. By 2030, we won’t talk about digital this or digital that, because everything will be digital. I’m not claiming that we’ll have reached the magical, mythical paperless society. I don’t think that will ever happen, to be honest.”

So what does this mean for me I hear you saying… Where I think there will be changes required is from user engagement to new things that are outside of the usual operating models. Emergence of new technology and keeping pace. Staff being trained in how to functionally operate it. It is clear that within even Microsoft that has been around over 30 years there are bad habbits and user error.

Will change happen… I hope so and I think there needs to be a focus from Business leaders, senior managers and staff to want to break the mould ask those difficult questions and also improve process this is the biggest challenge.