Office 365 Distilled EP 47: Michelangelo and the 5 steps to collaboration

How do we collaborate? Our career is about giving people the tools to collaborate, so how do we do this? What are the characteristics of collaboration? In this episode, we go back to the basics!

Collaboration vs voyeurism

When you co-author a document, are you just being nosy and a voyeur, a Big Brother that is watching the others? Or are you actively participating in the creation of the document?

To understand the process of collaboration, you need to understand the exact goal and timeline and purpose

Definition of Collaboration

Working together to achieve something? Ensuring everyone is on the same page?

The dictionary says: Collaboration is the process of 2 or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal.

The characteristics of collaboration

The purpose of the collaboration should be obvious to all participants. The goal should be known by everyone. But if we talk about meetings, is the goal of the meeting clear to everyone? Should it be? I think so. Set up a timeline, the desired outcome. Create a plan and make sure everyone gets #GOALS.

It is mandatory that in collaboration you can discuss things openly and be fully transparant. Not wasting people’s time is all about not going on a tangent.

Collaboration involves people with different priorities working together. You might want to make everything easy to use, while the security people want everything to be secure and safe. Or, like in Belgian politics: If everyone hates the solution, you have a good solution. A multidisciplinary team works best to make things happen.

Last podcast, we talked about levels of adoption: If we just give people the tool without any explanation, we are just throwing the grenade over the wall. Talk to the business about how they want to work together, and what tools you can give them in order for them to succeed. Having the right knowledge and tools available for the team is important. Business needs to discover the art of using the tools.

So what is the 5 step approach to set up collaboration for a team:

1. Ask how the team creates their ideas today, see how they work. How do they reach a decision? Daily stand up meetings? 1-to-1 meetings with the manager?

2. Understand process and timelines for collaboration and how they communicate? Do they have alerts or reminders? Are they in the same building?

3. See which tools and configuration that best support this.

4. How do you collate the answers and output?

5. How do you apply the changes and new ideas?

Whisky: Riding bareback on the wild moors of Scotland with a flame haired maiden on Christmas morning

As we are back in lockdown, we are tasting 2 whiskies today!

Marijn goes back to basics too: A blend of 3 proper whiskies (Glenfiddich, Kininvenie, and Balvenie) without making a big fuzz out of it. The “Monkey Shoulder” is just that. A great tasting whisky without any crazy ideas. The bottle just looks great, like a pirate rum bottle.

Steve goes for a Rittenhouse 100% proof rye bourbon: A copper-orange caramel looking like it is heavy on the sherry, this isn’t! Honey, caramel, red pepper on the palate. A long finish, which is rare for a bourbon.

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.