At the speed of Information — a very short blog post
I’m currently reading ‘The Social Life of Information — Brown/Duguid’ and one particular quote stuck out.
“So some people argue that the old balancing act is over: Fixity has given way to fluidity…the economy is shifting over to a service economy of fluid practices, not fixed products….A songwriter himself, Barlow claims that musicians must shift their income streams from products and copyrights (that rely on fixity) to performance (which is fluid). In a similar vein though a different context, Davenport and Prusak point the same way. “Firms”, they argue, “need to shift their attention from documents to discussion” (p.198)
In todays’ IT projects, information flow travels quicker, and is more fluid, than can be recorded by traditional paper documentation. How much information is passed through conversations, phone calls, text messages, communicator, wiki’s, meetings, previous shared experiences. Trying to restrict this fluidity of information, and relying on only paper documentation, would appear a losing battle — and the main losers will be the customers.
The challenge is how to take advantage of the fluidity of information within a project team, especially in traditional organisations, which are still very reliant on paper as a means of recording and passing information both within a team, and from the team to the wider organisation.
Think like the musicians: shift from products to performance — from documents to discussion…follow the real flow of information.