Best practices and tools for asymmetrical collaboration

From DevSummit
Jump to: navigation, search

What it is: Places where technology should really be helping us form communities. good/bad practices; tools that work, and tools that don’t.

What it’s not: Chat Rooms

Do’s

  • Emails
  • Google Docs / Collaborative Editing / Hackpad
  • Basecamp Project Management
  • Teambox: task management
  • In order to bring organizations together, they need to have ownership over their own piece. Example: 9 different journalism organizations wanted to do collaboration on pesticides usage in Hawaii. They were each setting up their own publishing/business schedules, but needed to coordinate them across organizations. Needs are Calendar and Chat
  • Using Git and a Git hosting provider (Github, or something not proprietary): do the work in Markdown documents with checklists, stored in a git repo.
  • Owncloud: has calendars, dropbox functionality, real-time document editing (Google Apps -in-a-box)
  • Big pieces of paper with sharpies: when there are break-throughs in the construction of shared metaphors, draw a picture, take a photo with a phone
  • Create a document of shared values / working principles
  • Video conferencing: need to think through meeting practices
  • Creating spaces to talk about the tools themselves and how people like, meh, or hate them. (draw 3 columns on a whiteboard with a happy, meh and unhappy face, and then list out tools)
  • There needs to be moments of synchronicity in which you review your asynchronous communication
  • Building a theory of change: What success looks like (a paragraph)? what the stuff is that we’ll be doing? and how are the connected and progress is measured?
  • Movement Strategy Center has a report on alliance building
  • Assessment tool called “My Healthy Alliance” created by consulting group Roadmap.
  • Collective Impact Work created by FSG. How to work and create “emergence" (complex outcomes resulting from individual actors; “Slime molds for good"). Tamarack are the practitioners working in Canada on project called Vibrant Communities.
  • Measurement: how to measure progress towards the goal of collaboration? How to manage and measure what matters?


What doesn’t work

  • Not having a clear outcome in mind. What are the practices necessary to get that outcome? Then what tools will best support practices.
  • Need t have one aligned outcome
  • Design everything with the assumption that you won’t be there for more than a year. Have a wiki. Put everything you learn in it. If the job is the same, but the people are different.
  • Every conversation with a stakeholder would go into a blog post. For a workshop, any collateral materials would go into a blog post, along with the number of participants. This is was useful of grant reporting.
  • CRM or ticketing stuff: have a record of the last thing that was said to a participant
  • In-person meetings are important for face-to-face humanity and defusing tense situations
  • Lumio: for collaborative decision making and winnowing proposals
  • Decision-making and collaboration are often 2 different things.