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Collaboration tool is a form of tools that assists us to get things done better and simply group support systems to help involved in a common task achieve our goals . Before computer and internet existed, we have been using collaborative tools, for example paper. As the time passes and people make good use of computer and internet collaborative tools become more comfortable, faster and become internet based.
Lotus was one of the collaboration tools among computer-based legacy collaborative software. When networks were invented, tools were based on the internet and connect across the networks each other, for example E-mail is one of the internet based collaboration tools. After that, text chat, voice chat, video chat, blogs, wiki, forums, calendaring, etcâ€¦ were created. Moreover, social collaborative software such as, Facebook, twitter, etcâ€¦ were also come into the world of internet.
What is it and how can we use it?
These Internet based collaboration tools are support to make new way and more effective collaboration for group greater connectivity. It is also a way to interact between team mates to achieve their goals. For example wiki software allows several internet users to create and manage information.
Different types of internetcollaboration software
There are different types of collaborative tools
screen sharing and remote control,
Most simply, Gmail is a useful email service from Google products. Google Calendar can share between team mates and can check an overview of team mates who is doing what and when. Google calendar can also get email, chat and SMS notifications. Google docs are powerful and useful document sharing tools. We can access our documents from anywhere that can have internet by Google's help. Those documents can be shared, edit and present. Furthermore, one of the team mates can create a group to collaborate each other. And Google wave that is a more sophisticated collaboration tools (release soon).
Collaborative management (coordination) tools
Collaborative management tools facilitate and manage group activities. Examples include:
electronic calendars (also called time management software) - schedule events and automatically notify and remind group members
project management systems - schedule, track, and chart the steps in a project as it is being completed
workflow systems - collaborative management of tasks and documents within a knowledge-based business process
knowledge management systems - collect, organize, manage, and share various forms of information
enterprise bookmarking - collaborative bookmarking engine to tag, organize, share, and search enterprise data
prediction markets - let a group of people predict together the outcome of future events
extranet systems (sometimes also known as 'project extranets') - collect, organize, manage and share information associated with the delivery of a project (e.g.: the construction of a building)
social software systems - organize social relations of groups
online spreadsheets - collaborate and share structured data and information
This functionality may be included in some wikis and blogs, e.g. Wetpaint. Primarily includes:
Comparison of collaboration tools
e.g. Facebook, tweeter
e.g. MS SharePoint
e.g. Live Meeting
How can inexpensive collaboration tools help an organization!
"A recent global survey of business and IT managers found that their companies got back benefits perceived as equal to four times their investment, on average, in unified communication and collaboration technologies."
Advanced collaboration tools enable products to develop faster, with an improved chance of success in the market, higher quality and lower overall cost of development. The return from deployment of collaboration tools is much higher for larger companies as compared to smaller one.
Why People don't use collaborative tools?
Most people are still unfamiliar with the tools.
Many of these tools are unintuitive and hence not easy to learn to use.
The way to use these tools is not the way most people converse and collaborate.
Most people have poor listening, communication and collaboration skills, and these tools don't solve this underlying problem of ineffective interpersonal skills.
The training materials for these tools don't match the way most of us learn and discover (i.e. by doing, by watching others).
Often the people we most want to converse or collaborate with aren't online.
Often we don't even know who the right people are to converse or collaborate with, so we need to go through a process of discovering who those people are first, which these tools cannot yet effectively help us with; once we've discovered who the right people are, we're likely already talking with them using the ubiquitous tools in the left column above.
We are not accustomed to learning with others. Traditional schooling rewards individual effort .
When I was in my diploma course, we had to do some group project. So, I advised my group mate to use wikiMedia to complete the project. But they insisted to use others better wiki, web based- collaboration tools. I think most people are still unfamiliar with these tools. Some want to converse or collaborate with aren't online! Some said it was difficult to use. So, instead of it they use email to send different version name, latest edited person, etcâ€¦ so complex and inefficient. I think they should give some time to learn it to get it work better.
Collaboration tools work best when the collaborators are geographically distributed and in other time zones. Sure, globalization is spreading and small, nimble operators are connecting using these tools, but how many large corporations are active users? There were unfamiliar with collaboration tools and disinterested in using them. But collaborators need to put some practice and process before using these tools.
Reference and Bibliography
Farkas, Meredith G., 1977- (2007). Social Software In Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication And Community Online. Medford, N.J.; Information Today, Inc.
Richardson, Will (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts And Other Powerful Web Tools For Classrooms. Thousand Oaks, Calit.
Helen Donelan, Karen Kear And Magnus Ramage (2010). Online Communication And Collaboration: A Reader. London; New York: Routtedge Milton Keynes (England): In Association With The Open University.
Matt Hamblen. (2009, October 14). Collaboration tools worth the investment, survey says, from http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/collaboration-tools-worth-investment-survey-says-000?source=rss_infoworld_news
Shawn. (2006, September 21). Why people don't use collaboration tools, from http://www.anecdote.com.au/archives/2006/09/why_people_dont.html
Karen Guglielmo, (2009, April 07). How collaboration tools bring cost savings, business alignment. From Tech Target website: http://searchcio-midmarket.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid183_gci1353034,00.html
Documentation (MediaWiki). [n.d.]. Retrieved 2008, August 17, from MediaWiki website: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Documentation
Google. (2009). Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2011[Video]. YouTube Google channel, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/google
Docs Help. (Google Docs). [n.d.]. from Google: http://docs.google.com/support/
5pm - Project Management, task organizer and team collaboration. [n.b.]. from 5pm Web: http://www.5pmweb.com