We all talk about encouraging collaboration as a way of working in our organisation and across organisations.
It’s a difficult task. In a recent APM Knowledge SIG that I took part in we looked at Collaboration, co-operation and competition – project environments through a knowledge lens.
With some great example of how different organisations are encouraging collaboration.
But the fun started when we asked the audience how do you kill collaboration in an organisation?
And how do you do it at different levels in the organisation?
We asked for them to come up with silly, crazy, insane and a few sensible answers to this question.
And here is a summary of some of the responses:
1.Refuse to use common systems
2.Hide behind rules
3.Be unwilling to share experience/knowledge
4.Be unwilling to stay informed
5.Lack of communication / commitment
6.Claim responsibility for other work
8.Allow no time to collaborate
9.Insist on email only for communication
10.Have no team meetings or briefings
11.Be a mood hover
12.Have a lack of emotional intelligence
14.Constant Team restructure
15.Have no strategy
16.Create a blame culture
17.Using unhelpful metrics
18.Reward wrong behaviours
20.Discourage social interaction between colleagues
21.Create the fear of failure
One thing we did note is that there will be a lot of cross-over between the levels. But the impact of the behaviour by people at the different levels will make or break collaboration in the organisation.
What other ways could you suggest would kill collaboration in an organisation?
It’s not very often that you can say to your members you can be a little bit bad for a while. But this is what we tasked them with for this month’s online Chat
Normally you ask for advice on how to make thing better. But for this one we asked how you make things worse.
Loosely using the concept of “smart failings” by Victor Newman we asked the members of the Online Facilitators Community on the Knowledge Hub if they could come up with 25 ways, online facilitators can make a group fail.
This is what they came up with:
- Bombard users with direct messages
- Don’t allow anybody to join
- Randomly delete members from the group, particularly most active members
- Be rude to anyone who posts – trolling and flaming
- Don’t allow any content to be created in the community
- Setting up a new group without testing the idea of it with potential members
- Not having a plan of ideas and activities
- Don’t invite anyone
- Set up such a complicated structure with so many different threads
- Don’t allow people to PM each other
- Tell people off or disagree with them publicly / belittle them for their lack of knowledge.
- Consult with members but do what you want rather than what they want.
- Have lots and lots of rules
- Use terminology only a small number of members will.
- Exclude members from communications just because they can’t attend or take part in particular group activities.
- Politicising it
- Email documents and other content directly to members so that they never have to visit and interact with the group.
- Never respond to any questions that have been asked by members of the group
- Keep referring people to other sites to get the answer.
- Go on Holiday for two weeks and turn off all the functions so no one can post for two weeks.
- Disappear/leave the group without any warning and go off and start another group without planning it and in fact invite the same people and make the same mistakes all over.
- Invite people who you know will never participate or view but it looks good that you have them as members.
- Make the most junior member the lead facilitator and do not support.
- Upload all your content on the first day
- Delete posts of members who you deem to have less interest in the topic.
This is only 25 but there must be so many more.
As we now know 25 ways to make them fail. I wonder how many we have done by mistake.
A big thank you to, Coryn, Dimple, Gill, Julie, Richard and Stacy for your great suggestions and examples.
It has been suggested that more and more large projects are failing and that we maybe designing in project failure by mistake.
How do we change this approach? How do we improve or innovate in projects with such a rigid project management approach?
Judy Payne discuss these issues in this great video.
We all love an acronym. So it’s always nice when you get to areas of work who love to use them together and have a chat.
I attended a joint APM SIG yesterday between the Knowledge SIG and The Project/Programme/Portfolio Management Office SIG.
We had four topics to discuss as groups. Covering
- 21st Century Joy – Old-fashioned Knowledge Management – how can we move it from the 1990s to the 21st Century?
- Knowledge Opportunity Knocks- PMOs and Knowledge Management – what are the biggest opportunities?
- K to the M to the PMO – Knowledge Management in the PMO – what it is and what it isn’t
- Lessons Recorded – Lessons learnt – the BIG knowledge management myth
There was a great buzz and lots of conversation.
These are just some of the highlights that came out of the discussions
21st Century Joy
- Little differences makes a big difference when knowledge sharing
- How to find quality in the volume
- KM needs to follow the organisations evolution
Knowledge Opportunity Knocks
- New skills in content curation and knowledge marketing
- Better to live of peoples experiences rather than peoples paper
- Quantifying the benefits of knowledge sharing
K to the M to the PMO
- PMO is the network, try and avoid the silos
- A PMO’s role is to facilitate between departments
- Disseminator of process lessons
- The power of positive stories (including what went wrong)
- True learning takes time
- Keep technology simple to help
Frédéric Mazzella CEO of Blabcar recently spoke at a conference with the main question “how are people able to trust one another enough to share their journeys?”
In order to answer this question, Blablacar teamed up with Groupe Chronos to do a study on how much trust members of online communities, specifically members of Blablacar, put into their online community, based on the completeness of the user profile.
With some really interesting results. I personally try and encourage members to have a full profile and especially facilitators of groups as this start’s to build trust.
But the results from Blabcar really back this up.
“Members with a complete online profile are trusted more than a neighbour, and almost as much as a friend or a family member.”
The study took four ‘profile types’ in its online community: members with empty profiles, only a photo, only a verified phone number, only positive ratings, and someone with a complete member profile (photo, verified number, ratings, etc.).
The most interesting part of the study is the fact that members of an online community with a complete online profile – photo, ratings, verification, etc. – are almost on the same level of trust as a Friend or Family member.
The full details are available in Blabcar’s blog post
Producing a Body of Knowledge (BoK) on a specific area is a good thing especially around Project Management, right? It can be but what if lots of people do not understand what they are really for and do not notice that there is a big thing missing in them.
If your a member of APM’s linkedin group you may wish to add to the conversation that has been taking place. That’s if your courageous enough.
What is knowledge management (KM) like at different levels in a project environment? How is knowledge managed at a personal level? In an individual project? In programmes and portfolios? Across organisations? And how does it all fit together?