Collaboration tools & strategy

My career as a writer and content creator means I’ve picked up more than a passing interest in collaboration tools and strategy. The proper care and feeding of a collaboration platform seem to fall under checkbox IT based on my experience, so I would often step up to ensure a collaboration platform works.

My collaboration POV

I’m fond of saying that collaboration tools work for the team, but the team doesn’t work for the collaboration tools. This point of view comes from working with more than one SharePoint implementation that was unusable for a range of reasons, including:

  • Site performance was slow and unwieldy, so much so that SharePoint was seen as a blocker and not an asset by the team
  • The user interface was overly complex and challenging to use for team members
  • There was no integration between Microsoft Office and SharePoint

My collaboration POV extends to Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Workspace, Zoom, and other tools that support today’s hybrid and remote teams. There are no awards for complexity. Simplicity should rule.

Open source collaboration tools

Despite exposure to many leading collaboration tools during my career, I still keep my eye on open source collaboration tools. It’s something about these tools that keeps me coming back.

Group chat

I’m a proponent of group chat tools, but I don’t believe the tools are a substitute for 1:1 human in-person interaction. In particular, the integration opportunities that Slack offers remote and hybrid work teams.

Video conferencing

I once freelanced for an online publication where I never spoke to my direct editors for more than three years. All of our communications took place via email. Yes, it was a perverse sense of honor for me back in those days. Between freelancing and job hunting in 2022, I went from Zoom to Teams to WebEx and back again, sometimes in one day. I call it video conferencing whiplash, which was detracting from my conferencing experience.

Collaboration tools & me

SharePoint is synonymous with poor user experience. It carries UX baggage all its own. Throughout my career as a technical writer, I spent my share of time trying to make SharePoint work for my own purposes and my team’s.

Contact me to learn more about my collaboration tools and culture point of view.