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Rationalize Your Collaboration Tools

Best-of-breed approaches create more confusion than productivity.

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Contributors

  • Josh Lee, CEO, Swit
  • Dr. Laurence Lock Lee, Co-Founder, SWOOP Analytics
  • James Randall, SEO Executive, The Evergreen Agency
  • Sorell Slaymaker, Principal Consulting Analyst, TechVision Research
  • 16 anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • Organizations collaboration toolsets are increasingly disordered and overburdened. Not only do organizations waste money by purchasing tools that overlap with their current toolset, but also employees’ productivity is destroyed by having to spend time switching between multiple tools.
  • Shadow IT is easier than ever. Without suitable onboarding and agreed-upon practices, employees will seek out their own solutions for collaboration. No transparency of what tools are being used means that information shared through shadow IT cannot be coordinated, monitored, or regulated effectively.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Best-of-breed approaches create more confusion than productivity. Collaboration toolsets should be as streamlined as possible.
  • Employee-led initiatives to implement new toolsets are more successful. Focus on what is a suitable fit for employees’ needs.
  • Strategizing toolsets enhances security. File transfers and communication through unmonitored, unapproved tools increases phishing and hacking risks.

Impact and Result

  • Categorize your current collaboration toolset, identifying genuine overlaps and gaps in your collaboration capabilities.
  • Work through our best-practice recommendations to decide which redundant overlapping tools should be phased out.
  • Build business requirements to fill toolset gaps and create an adoption plan for onboarding new tools.
  • Create a collaboration strategy that documents collaboration capabilities, rationalizes them, and states which capability to use when.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out how to create a collaboration strategy that will improve employee efficiency and save the organization time and money.

1. Evaluate current toolset

Identify and categorize current collaboration toolset usage to recognize unnecessary overlaps and legitimate gaps.

2. Strategize toolset overlaps

Evaluate overlaps to determine which redundant tools should be phased out and explore best practices for how to do so.

3. Fill toolset gaps

Fill your collaboration toolset gaps with best-fit tools, build business requirements for those tools, and create an adoption plan for onboarding.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a nine call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Evaluate the current toolset

Call #1 - Identify toolset problems.
Call #2 - Analyze overlaps and gaps.
Call #3 - Outline rationalizations.

Guided Implementation #2 - Strategize toolset overlaps

Call #1 - Identify redundant overlapping tools.
Call #2 - Resolve disagreement.
Call #3 - Outline phase-out plan.

Guided Implementation #3 - Fill toolset gaps

Call #1 - Determine best-fit tool criteria.
Call #2 - Build business requirements.
Call #3 - Outline the adoption plan.

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Module 1: Categorize the Toolset

The Purpose

  • Create a collaboration vision.
  • Acknowledge the current state of the collaboration toolset.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A clear framework to structure the collaboration strategy

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Set the vision for the Collaboration Strategy.

  • Beginnings of the Collaboration Strategy
1.2

Identify your collaboration tools with use cases.

  • At least five archetypical use cases, detailing the collaboration capabilities required for these cases
1.3

Learn what collaboration tools are used and why, including shadow IT.

  • Use cases updated with shadow IT currently used within the organization
1.4

Begin categorizing the toolset.

  • Overlaps and Gaps in Current Capabilities Toolset Template

Module 2: Strategize Overlaps

The Purpose

  • Identify redundant overlapping tools and develop a phase-out plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Communication and phase-out plans for redundant tools, streamlining the collaboration toolset.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Identify legitimate overlaps and gaps.

  • Overlaps and Gaps in Current Capabilities Toolset Template
2.2

Explore business and user strategies for identifying redundant tools.

  • A shortlist of redundant overlapping tools to be phased out
2.3

Create a Gantt chart and communication plan and outline post-phase-out strategies.

  • Phase-out plan

Module 3: Build Business Requirements

The Purpose

  • Gather business requirements for finding best-fit tools to fill toolset gaps.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A business requirements document

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Use SoftwareReviews and the Collaboration Platform Evaluation Tool to shortlist best-fit collaboration tool.

  • A shortlist of collaboration tools
3.2

Build SMART objectives and goals cascade.

  • A list of SMART goals and a goals cascade
3.3

Walk through the Collaboration Tools Business Requirements Document Template.

  • Completed Business Requirements Document

Module 4: Create an Adoption Plan

The Purpose

  • Create an adoption plan for successfully onboarding new collaboration tools.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An adoption plan

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Fill out the Adoption Plan Gantt Chart Template.

  • Completed Gantt chart
4.2

Create the communication plan.

  • Adoption plan marketing materials
4.3

Explore best practices to socialize the new tools.

  • Long-term strategy for engaging employees with onboarded tools
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