The Politics of Collaboration

Last Updated Jun 18, 2008 2:35 PM EDT

1384952210_81c119458c_m.jpgWho ever thought working together would be so difficult? Choosing collaboration tools is an increasingly political endeavor, notes David Coleman. Instead of being a solely technical decision, the process often ends up in the boardroom for major discussion.

Writes Coleman:

So why are collaboration tools so political? In my opinion, one reason is that when you start to change the way people communicate with each other (inside the company) and how they can share content, you begin to change the organizational structure.
He argues that people get very picky about how and with what they communicate. Which makes the CIO's job tough -- instead of just picking the right technology, he needs to pick the right tools for corporate culture and workforce taste as well.

The other challenge is timeliness: If IT doesn't offer an immediate collaboration solution for an employee in need, he has the option of a multitude of outside tools that can be set up independently. The problem here:

This again puts IT at risk, often finding out about these tools after the fact and after the business units are already using them successfully.
No easy answers here. Makes me glad I'm not a CIO.

(image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr, CC 2.0)

  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for and writes regularly for and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.