Collaboration with a Purpose

  • December 4, 2013
  • Scott

Great article from MWD’s Angela Ashenden on tasks and collaboration (emphasis added):

It’s not surprising, really, that we’ve reached this point; despite all the advantages that a more social, open approach to enabling collaboration brings, the reality is that, when it comes down to it, we don’t just collaborate for the sake of collaborating, we do so in the context of what we are trying to get done, as part and parcel of the tasks we are carrying out. One of the key things that differentiates the use of social technologies in a business context from public, consumer social networking services is that there is a purpose to using these tools – we have a job, a role, and everything we do at work is centred around that. We don’t use these tools in the same, open-ended way at work that we might do in a personal setting – where there is interest and value in simply browsing through information other people have posted for hours at a time – we are typically looking for something specific, be that the answer to a problem we are trying to solve, the person who can provide the skills to solve our problem, or simply feedback on what we are doing.

This is why I think the early arrivers to the “social BPM” scene missed the mark with activity streams.  Not that they aren’t interesting at some level, but if they’re not relevant to the work I’m doing, or the granularity is off, then the stream is just noise.



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  • Alberto Manuel


    This combined post could not be close to the truth. I’m working on W3C and Cloud Standards Customer Council groups around social domain. The commitment, the involvement to reach an outcome makes truly social happen together with tech companies that sell social technology and others that represent interest groups, consumers, the commons, to drive interoperability and provide guidance on how social capabilities can be leveraged to solve various pervasive business challenges.

    • I can’t tell if you’re agreeing or disagreeing? (first sentence reads as disagreeing, the rest reads pretty well in alignment).

      • Alberto Manuel

        It’s the semantics. I meant : This combined post could not be “more” close to the truth.

        • AHA! 🙂 I thought that’s what you meant based on the rest of the paragraph, but I didn’t want to assume! 🙂

          I didn’t realize you were working with W3C et al on social domain. looking forward to seeing more about that 🙂

  • Yep, that’s why we didn’t go bat-crazy with activity streams in BPM 8.0 We made a conscious decision to enable the kind of social collaboration people actually want when they’re doing work — which is more akin to shared editing than Facebook.

    • I think the collaboration features are definitely more interesting than the activity stream stuff. Going to add collaboration to Brazos, as well I believe.

      • Brazos + Collaboration will be a great pairing.