Best practices and tools for asymmetrical collaboration
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
- 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.