To begin let me define what a collaboration system is, in the most simplest form possible. A Collaboration system is designed for one basic purpose, to help unite employees or people that are working on a similair task, or it could be the exact same task, and the system helps unite them to complete their task and achieve whatever goal that task sets out to do. It is basically a multi user program, meaning that more than one person could use it, you can find a lot mor information on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_software. What are some examples of collaboration systems, and what history does this specific system have? now that you know what the definition of a collaboration system is, let us look at the history of the collaboration system.
This system can be pin-pointed to about the 1980's, where where a computer engineer named Richman and a software designer names Slovak, said that groupworks needed to be bind together so they could work and get projects down. Thats the quick version of what these two said, but they began to work on a system that could tie the work of multiple employees in different places, computers, and different hours could put there work together and not have issues, this system also works on the same computer, but employees can log on at different times and continue their work. Well in 1990's that system was in full affect and companies like IBM were designing new and better collaboration systems, and companies like boeing began using this system globally. How does this system help and what are some examples of this system in action? let us take a look.
Instant messaging is a very popular computer/internet program that is offered by http://Yahoo.com/IM, Google, and AOL, just to mention a few. Well the instant messaging system is also a collaboration system, in the sense that employees can chat for free to get a task or work done, i myself used the IM in school while working on a project in a group. This is an example of a colaboration system, another is the collaboration system used by oracle that recently saved the company 5,683,000 dollars, small amount if you think about the amount of revenues oracle makes annually, but systems like collaboration system can save companies substantial amounts of money when two or more systems are used, but where the real money is saved apart from the 5.6 million dollars is in communication costs and messaging that saved oracle in 2000's a great amount of money. more information can be found on http://oracle.com/infoapps .
I hope this information could help you understand what a Collaboration system is, and how it works. In conclusion, a collaboration system is a system that unites many users in order to communicate and efficiently achieve their work, task , and/or goals that are being worked on. Just to emphasize a bit more, this support site is sort of a collaboration system as well, because all of us students contribute to this site through id names and passcodes and have adding our part without damaging anothers work.
References: Wikipedia.com, Oracle.com, andYahoo.com
A collaboration system is an IT based set of tools that that create a workflow of information to specific teams and the members. This allows individual to share ideas and their talents with other members so that the task can be finished both efficiently and effectively.
There are numerous factors that influence a collaboration system, but there are two fundamental aspects that not only need to be customizes according to the goals, but need to be taken into consideration when it comes to corporate culture. The two are:
Unstructured collaboration- chasing answers to the unknown questions, using IT tools to share information about the problems at stake, increasing personal productivity
Structured collaboration- sharing common knowledge, written rules, structured and set workflow that does not change
Different collaborations for different corporate cultures
In order for the employees to stay motivated, there has to be a perfect fit in regard to which collaboration technique would be implemented in order to create a collaborative working environment. For example, a structured collaboration would not fit in the Google corporate culture because Google is very innovative and feed off of new ideas and challenging unanswered questions. With a structured collaboration, innovation would be non-existent because of the boundary of common knowledge.
On the other hand, a structured collaboration model would fit well under a manufacturing company like Nummi because constant workflow is critical to the organizations output. A well organized structure would fit well with a structured collaboration model because it’s hierarchy based and needs leadership to keep the flow moving.
In addition to corporate culture, the structure of the firm needs to be evaluated first to get a better understanding of which collaboration model would best fit. For example, if a firm has an organic structure with no managerial hierarchy, then an unstructured collaboration would be best because this model fosters innovation in a group setting with without any power struggle.
Positive aspects to structured collaboration
-easier to organize
-excellent for hierarchal structured organizations
-same process that increases proficiency
-no contradictory in relation to information
-all members on the team understand and acknowledge their position
Limitations to structured collaboration
-Does not foster innovation
-Same workflow information with no variance at all
-Can cause groupthink
-Encourages lack of creativity
-Intended for repetitive industry (i.e. manufacturing)
-Needs to me managed
Examples of collaboration tools
One example of a collaboration tool is the “collaborative web based mind mapping”. What this allows individuals to do is to organize ideas while numerous group members can change anything on the map at the same time.
This tool will most likely benefit an unstructured collaboration because this tool fosters the ability to create innovative ideas. This IntraLinks helps not only teams to collect and categorize ideas, this can also help the team see a different perspective that would not readily been seen otherwise.