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Tips to increase "Collaboration" use of Hornbill ?


Lyonel
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Hi guys,

I am trying very hard to get all my colleagues to use a lot more the collaboration features that come with Hornbill. But it seems to be an impossible task :wacko:

Would you have some tips or practices that worked for you and your organisation ?

At this stage, any help and guidance would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Lyonel

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@Lyonel

From my experience, I have purposefully stopped responding to my colleagues who ask me questions via email or IM. I copy their question on to the appropriate workspace prefixing it with their user id tag, then respond to the question on the workspace.

Though it takes a while to get through this stage, it does start to get through and make a difference eventually. 

Cheers

Martyn

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@Lyonel

I think in support of what @Martyn Houghton is saying, I would suggest the following strategies, but you should also consider why people find it difficult, that understanding is important when trying to change the way people work.   So lets start with the idea that most of your people are going to be "wed" to e-mail and/or IM because thats the way they like to do things, thats what they are comfortable with.   I had the exact same problem, the good news is I can pretty much guarantee that when you get your users to change you and they will be a hell of a lot happier and more productive, I have not seen an exception to that so far.   Trying to explain  the benefits at the early stages will be a waste of time, you need to lead people to their own conclusion, once they see it for themselves they will fully embrace the idea on their own.  So this would be my top tips for transitioning your team to collaborate.  First of all you need an overriding mission that you and your most progressive team members will buy into and totally support.

I would recommend something like...

"We are going to remove ALL internal team conversions from e-mail and/or IM into collaboration workspaces where we can capture and use the knowledge we create"

and then...

1. Identify a small number of like-minded people in your team that can see the value in doing this. Get them into a room and discuss it and get general agreement that its what you all want to do.  These people ideally should be some of your go-to people, the kind of people who are asked for help/support from within the wider team - I willl call these your "influencers"

2. Make a pact with your influencers that from this point forward you will only answer knowledge/how-to/general in workspaces (more on those in a moment).  That means, if you or any of your influencers get a question via e-mail, instead of replying and answering the question, ping it back with a link to the relevant workspace and politely ask the requestor to join the workspace and post the question in there.  You need to be disciplined here and possibly even mildly aggressive, so save for an absolute emergency where an immediate call for help is required, stick with that policy and force the issue.  This is the point @Martyn Houghton is making and he is spot on here - this sis the key thing to do. 

3. Select your workspaces to create wisely. Don't create too many to start with.  I would start with 5. Pick a project where there is a lot of communication as one of them and add all of the people in the project conversation to that workspace and instruct/guide them to use the workspace instead of email, ideally one of your influencers will be authoritative enough in the project team, the project manager ideally to force the issue on the project where needed.  For the other four workspaces pick your top 4 "knowledge conversations", for example, if you do a lot of SAP support, you will ideally have your top go-to SAP guy.gal as one of your influencers, get that person to create the SAP Support workspace and follow the rules around questions via email in step 2 above here. 

4. Start asking people "have you posted that in the workspace" if someone walks up to your desk and asks you a question that you think would be generally useful information, simply ask something like "would you be kind enough to post this in the XYZ workspace, I think that question and my answer would be really useful for other team members", that way your question-asking team members are now getting to create and share knowledge in the process of just doing their job, tell them that and praise them for being part of your new way of working 

Now depending on the make up of your team will depend on how long it takes the penny to drop for the team, as a general rule, if your influencers alone do this, the people who benefit from their efforts will say positive things, and once everyone starts to see "success", they will pretty much all jump on the bandwagon, and that that point I think you will be very surprised at how fast the transition happens. I would give yourself from 1-3 months to gain momentum and up to 6 months for a total transition.  You and you influencers will need to continue to advocate and influence for the first 6 months. Your measure of success will be when your email inbox is only filled with emails from people outside of your team and junk mail :) and your team members (when you ask them, should we stop using workspaces and go back to email) will so no way, we cant live without this - how did we work before we were doing this...

I am happy to talk you through any aspect of this and help you on any specific issues to run into. Just keep in mind your job here is not to roll out a collaboration tool, your job is to coerce your team into becoming more collaborative through an electronic tool. I promise you though, the effort is worth it. 


Hope that helps. 

Gerry

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to back up what @Gerry posted - almost every time I have had issues (and not just with this specific goal) is when we have agreed to take this path, and then someone, or a small group, don't stick to pushing replies to the workspace.
The walk-up requests can also be the best leverage, especially if you're sneaky - I've used phrases like "I can't help just now, but if you post it on the workspace I'll see it as soon as I'm free, and someone else might even get to it first." then (when they've gone) nudge a colleague, get them to answer it as soon as it's posted. This is slightly artificial, obviously, but it helps to cement the awareness that you get a faster answer when everyone can see it, rather than just asking one person.

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