Using ‘twitter’ for better collaboration within IT project teams ..

Today, during one of my team review meetings, one of my colleagues raised an idea of having a chat server hosted on intranet to allow the team members collaborate with each other for issuing and requesting updates on various incidents, problems and their progresses. A good idea to have one chat server, but few team members were probably not pro to the idea due to the ‘push’ nature of the chat and they did not want to be disturbed with many messages broadcasted to the team if they were not of any interest to them.

Then the obvious solution to this idea was to install ‘twitter’ like microblogging software on one of my intranet server and allow teams to follow rest of the team to ‘pull’ the updates as and when they need it.

To my surprise, when I explained the concept of microblogging to the team and gave an example of ‘twitter’ to the team, none of my team members seem to know ‘twitter’. This was a shock to me, especially when my team was supposed to be pro in Information Technology !!

Nevertheless, explained them the concept of microblogging to the team and asked them to explore ‘twitter’ concepts and find out how it works.

laconica Upon doing the search myself, I found Laconi.ca best suited to our needs of having an online microblogging and collaboration tool for the team.

I would still need to get the team explore this product and get a pilot installation tested on our intranet Linux server but by the looks of the product, it looks to be exactly what I needed for my team to enable better collaboration.

Anyways, few main expectations I am having from this kind of collaboration tool being used in the support project is to enable the disparately located team put up updates on a simple question @What are you doing?@.  Obviously my team is located at various locations across India & UK so having a centralized tool would certainly help us in better collaboration.

Another important usage I envisage of this tool is to give updates to customers about any major release updates or change implementation. It is obvious that while the teams are busy doing the installation of a software on the production servers, they would not like customers or any other teams asking the questions on status updates and disturb them.  So if we have this kind of tool, it would definitely enable us ‘post’ proactive updates on intranet which could be followed by various customers / teams to find out the updates themselves.

Thus, a job for me tomorrow is to find out someone in my team who could take on the job of doing the R&D and install the Laconi.ca software on my intranet server and take it from there ..

8 comments

  1. After crossing similar project team distances as you I found that traditional collaboration tools just as email, wikis, IM and video conferencing we’re either convenient or powerful but seldom both, particularly with very few overlapping hours during the day.

    As such, I created TimZon.

    It’s a secure visual collaboration solution that enables remote teams to collaborate through recorded conversations. We like to think of it as a face-to-face meeting but on your own time.

    I’d really like to get your feedback on the solution (http://www.timzon.com) and whether it could help you collaborate.

    Regards,
    Jerome.

  2. Hi Jerome,

    Thanks for stopping by and putting up your comment on my blog post and your note on TimZon.

    I would definitely take time to look into your product.

    To start with, I would like to know more on the costs of using as we are running tight on budget and would only welcome open source / free software as of now.

    Thanks again

    Regards
    Swapnil

  3. my mind and heart still goes for the teamsite that you brought up; as that comes as a good referrence tool.

    And yeah its really a shock that young folks dont know twitter; may be twitter is not marketing it in a right way 😛

    How are things.

    regards,
    Sawan

  4. Hi Sawan,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog post. Yeah, the TeamSupport portal was really good one and is still being used about 5 years after its development. No bugs at all in all those years was a fantastic thing :-)

    I think rather than the twitter marketing, I would say the naivity about exploring the technology world separates the offshore community from people who have worked onshore or are curious enough to learn more.

    Things are going good, hope the same for you

    Cheers
    Swapnil

  5. HI Swapnil,

    Could be naivity and the quest for newer technology seems a definitive possibility; but i think location is no barrier in the modern world as information is at your finger tips.

    I could put it this way that most are busy in completing the run up the mill tasks and doesnt look beyond.

    N yeah things are smooth :)

    regards,
    Sawan

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