Article: Collaboration Myths from Gartner

1:48 pm community, General

Interesting article from Gartner which has some relevance to my recent proposal for a gnome-design mailing list: Gartner Identifies Five Collaboration Myths.


Myth 1. The right tools will make us collaborative

Technology can make it easier to collaborate when applications mirror a more intuitive, fluid work style, but selecting a tool without addressing roles, processes, metrics and the organization’s workplace climate is putting the cart before the horse.


4 Responses

  1. Hylke Says:

    The opposite is also true.

  2. Dave Neary Says:


    I don’t understand. The opposite of this myth would be “you don’t need tools to collaborate” or something.


  3. Dave Neary Says:

    I mean: the article says “collaboration won’t happen just because you want it to, you need the right tools and culture in place, and you need to take into account the costs of collaboration”. So I’m not sure when you say “the opposite” what you’re suggesting.


  4. Garrett Says:

    I think Hylke means that having the right tools actually can help with collaboration.

    For instance, us designers needed something like SparkleShare for many years. When Dropbox started buzzing in Teh Intarwebz, we found it to be quite useful for collaborating on designs, mockups, icons, other assets, etc. There simply wasn’t a tool in the open source world that did the same thing. Hylke came along and solved this by making SparkleShare, and now we have this awesome (git-backed) collaboration tool, and it’s open source (and therefore the work we do doesn’t have to be limited by the stupid file limit restriction nor needs to be hosted on one proprietary single point of failure owned by some company).

    Because of this special file sharing/syncing tool, we can easily & rapidly share designs with each other without extra effort.

    Prior to this, we had to save and schlep a preview to a webserver somewhere, copy the URL, paste the URL in an email or IM, and wait ages for people to respond (if ever)… and we had to do this for every version of every file, manually. Saying it sucked was an understatement. Now, we can peek at anything each other might be up to and provide feedback when we think it’s useful.

    (Note: Yes, some of us used CVS, then SVN, then git over the years… but we still had to manually check in files, commit each one, type in a commit message, tell the other to update, etc. It still was a pain. It was NotEasy™, and was quite a hassle. It still was better than versioning-by-filesystem-and-webserver, but we still even had to do that for one-off previews for non-dev people.)

    Moral of the story: Having useful tools can massively increase collaboration, and can greatly drive down the effort to do so. Compared to the old way, this is some major transparent hyper-collaboration, thanks to a rockin’ tool called SparkleShare.