Online Workspaces for the Masses

March 10, 2008

I’ve managed to get a Beta account of Office Live Workspace. That offers free upload of files to a workspace. The GUI is well done so far, but the upload has a strong limitation: no folder structures are supported. This might be the application I’ve so long waiting for, but that limitation shows me once again the big loss when Mindquarry was closed down. Synchronize your team files including the full directory structure with one click is a feature I’m still missing so much. That was the best solution ever.

Flickr in Windows Life?

February 1, 2008

So Microsoft finally akquires Yahoo. That means my flickr account (which is now a Yahoo aaccount) becomes finally a Microsoft account. When they rise the fees, I’m leaving the service. Time to think about backups.

Improving Collaboration Effectiveness

September 20, 2007

In his article ROI Demystified: Collaboration Tools, Nick Fera references the study “Competitive advantage from better interactions” which was published in The McKinsey Quarterly January 2007.

In that study McKinsey classifies labor into

  • tacit work (i.e. complex interactions)
  • transactional work (i.e. routine interactions)
  • transformational work (i.e. extraction or conversation of raw materials)

Tacit work is, what others usually call knowledge work. The study shows, that in developed countries tacit work accounts for close to 50% of the overall work. This straight and simple definition of especially non-tacit labor clearly shows, that standardization and automation won’t work to raise the productivity of knowledge workers. Such work is characterized in contrast to routine work, because the bread-and-butter of knowledge workers is about dealing with exceptions and new challenges as well as variations. They can raise their productivity by getting rid of information overload and by raising the effectiveness of what they do.

While using our own collaborative software, I experience some of these improvements in effectiveness I’d never want to miss again: Read the rest of this entry »

Information Overload: We have met the enemy and he is us

August 15, 2007

I have read the case study: “Information Overload: We have met the enemy and he is us” from Jonathan B Spira and David Goldes, two analysts of The study is very interesting, since it targets the ongoing change of the workspace around us. According to the study, 40% of knowledge workers are already working from non traditional (non-Dilbertian-) working places such as home offices, customer locations, hotels, airport lounges and so on.

Originally uploaded by dltq.

That kind of “nomad” working style is increasing across all sizes of enterprises. For example I know a small design team which is quite successful, never than less it left it’s presentable studio halls to work further from home. They use Skype as their main communication tool and that way they always stay connected. An other example: A former colleague of mine joined a consulting group one year ago, since then he never saw the official office again, working from customer locations or from home. Years ago, when I visited IBM in Stuttgart they showed to me their empty office rooms, claiming that their employees mostly work from customer locations or home offices. Perhaps the IT and the design industries are pioneers regards the nomad way of work, but it is the way of work which will infect all industries soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Mindquarry RH Spring interview

August 9, 2007

In May I’ve attended the Red Herring Spring in Monterey, and during that session I’ve got interviewed. Now the video became available. Unfortunately wordpress-online doesn’t support video-linking to others than Google Video, Youtube, DailyMotion, Grouper, Odeo, and SplashCast. Therefore I cant show it here. Just follow the link above.

the business value of chat

August 7, 2007

Lars has made a remarkable presentation about Freeform Collaboration. Yesterday I’ve used that presentation to give a group of people from D-Labs an introduction to the thinking and principles behind Mindquarry, which they are starting to use.

After I finished it looked (just) to me like I missed something. That got me hooked and I was musing the whole night about that. And I think I got my point: In my daily work I’m meanwhile used to work intensive with my iChat jabber client. In the past I saw that just with programmers and my kids. So it was always to me a little bit “childish”. But I learned to appreciate the fact, to see my team members status: available, away, busy and “out of reach”. It simply saves time to see them online and talk to them instead of trying to make “blind” telephone calls. I’m more and more encourage people from other teams and companies, I’m working with, to use a jabber client. It simply eases communication and saves time.

PULSE: a tribute
Originally uploaded by ksaad.

Now back to may point of Lars presentation. I would suggest to see a chat client as the perfect representation of the team section. The meta data behind both are nearly similar, and the value of team members is increased when you see them in your virtually team space with their availability status. If you have a close look to Lars final poster, most of the colored elements are representing software, except “team” which is more a pre-condition for the whole thing. To me, a team can be represented in an ideal way by a chat client system. It’s just an important part of freeform collaboration, especially for distributed teams.

Collaboration 2.0

July 17, 2007

I was writing some huge posts about collaboration 2.0 with Mindquarry at the Mindquarry blog. Start reading here.

Busy @ Boston

June 20, 2007

Originally uploaded by Stephan’s Place.

Today was a really busy day, I met a lot of people, had a speech and the presentation pavilion was open to: On the picture you see lars talking to visitors. On the right is Caroline Gagnon. I highly recommend to see her famous presentation “A new way to define a productive worker“. It was a pleasure to have that bright young lady on our booth.

Andrew McAfee @ Enterprise 2.0

June 19, 2007

E2.0 debate – Tom Davenport, Andrew McAfee, Dan Farber
Originally uploaded by david_terrar.

Andrew McAfee (middle) had a most remarkable speech this morning. During his speech he often emphasized the main way to make information worker more productive:

“Just get out of their way, let they just work on their own”

I think, he condensed an important issue to one point. Do not put them into workflow chains, you’ll naver can plan how they work efficient. Jut give them all that they are able to work anytime, anywhere and with anything they need.
That is exactly our goal at Mindquarry. I couldn’t have said it better.

The rise of information worker promotes web 2.0

June 14, 2007

Micheal Sampson pointed me in one of his interesting dayly snippets to an article of Jeff Kelley at the Blog: “Time to wakeup to web 2.0 , were he’s writing about the view of the enterprise IT to web 2.0:

Even in manufacturing environments, information workers are quickly replacing task workers. As a distinguish mark for that process he see’s web 2.0:

“So how do you foster a work environment that stresses access to real-time information, knowledge sharing and employee collaboration? You guessed it: Web 2.0.
‘Blogs, RSS and wikis are the equivalent today of the PC and voicemail 20 years ago,’ said Dennis Moore , a SAP manager during one of his presentations, ‘and are the tools that will enable information workers to do their jobs more efficiently than ever before.’ “

But still most Read the rest of this entry »