Collaboration - Still a Work in Progress

Gartner 20 Jul 2021 12:01

Whether talking about collaboration tools or just the idea of collaboration, at  this point in time it should not be “news.”   We’ve collaborated forever and the tools have been around for well over 20 years.

And yet it seems we still struggle to figure out how to collaborate effectively.

Maybe it is our org structures, where competing goals, or just different leaders, cause conflicts.

Maybe it is biases and underlying tensions, where we either seek to be part of the crowd or worry about what an effective collaboration means to me as an individual.

Maybe it is that we just assume we all know how to collaborate and yet fail to make it work.

Whatever the reason, organizations that talk the collaboration talk, often fail to walk the walk effectively.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Let me give you an example.

There is all kinds of research and commentary that effective collaboration requires, at a minimum, a well declared goal/purpose and clearly defined roles for “collaborators.”

But let’s look at in practice using, you guess it Gartner’s Enterprise Technology Adoption Profiles (ETAs).

In our study of high quality deals (situations where both the customer and vendor are happy)”, we saw one of these groups stand out in terms of the % of high quality deals among our respondents:

A big, big difference.   That stood out, but then we did a second survey, where we asked respondents how much they agreed with a statement that basically said “we regret nearly every technology product we purchase via subscription.”  The results (higher is worse, of course):

Again, a huge difference.   It seems that our SCD group has figured out how to collaborate.  Their strict approach to technology planning and focus on moving as fast as it prudently possible helps them standout.  The other two seem to muddle along, trying to delay or avoid decisions (yes, we have other research that shows those profiles have lots of no decisions) as much as possible.

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