Recently I was asked by a customer,

the CIO of a mid-level global market leader, “What is the point of a collaboration strategy?”

An IT project that only creates slides and no software, at least in the beginning, seems suspicious. Even if it only takes 15 to 20 man-days. Its point and benefits are up for discussion. At its core is a crucial question which is occupying many companies at the moment: How will people collaborate within companies in the future? And, above all: How can they collaborate more effectively and comfortably?

All of the top-down approaches of the past have failed. The answer for today’s world is: Prepare a smart platform intelligently. Then, after that, you can feel confident that the employees in a company will be able to intelligently organize themselves. Employees have a very accurate feeling for which forms and channels of communication are truly useful in their daily work. This is particularly true when competencies need to be networked or contacts with other experts or colleagues need to be established – who don't happen to be sitting next door at the office.

The following questions are important to consider for productive companies that have a large portion of developmental work: Which steps in the work flow take place within which system? How do the applications interact? Which IT tools could be better connected or merged to achieve more successful actual work by the development team? How can we connect with partners and suppliers?

We took on the project, discussed it in depth with the customer and then worked out a SharePoint and collaboration strategy. In particular, this includes a roadmap detailing in which steps and with which business priorities the strategy should be implemented. Here’s how a board member expressed it in conclusion: “A high-performing, extensively used platform for collaboration is one of the three most important strategic undertakings for us within the next few years.”