Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Collaboration, mis-use of Powerpoint, changing behavior in the internet age

Just a few days ago I invited the CEO of a software company to share a google document with me. This company already uses the Google apps for their email account, so I thought they might be familiar with it. But they are not. I got a email with a word document (without any tracked changes) back and the excuse "sorry, I am not familiar with Google documents and so I copied it in word".

So, if software companies cannot use Google documents, who else? It's not that Google is complicated. It's that word is just working fine, and people don't want to change. Most users don't see the great advantage of collaboration. They might be because you just want to be on the safe side: Send a document by email and your work is done (for now). Shall other now review it.

What most companies don't understand and see: Collaboration is the only way to work more efficient and faster. You can fire people like crazy to safe cost, but the work still has to be done. So you need to change your behavior, they way you work together.

Some advise, above all for my Asian friends:
If you want to create something, like a proposal, architecture draft, whatever, and you call for a meeting, then give up hierarchy: The only thing a boss should do in a meeting is taking care that people stay with the topics. Don't try to lead the discussion when it comes to ideas. Don't hide information (like someone did in a meeting where he called the client by skype chat and did not invite the others oin the meeting for a conference chat).

If several people need to work on a document, save time while working together like you do in google docs. You can not only save time, you can discuss issues faster and better and you still have an overview about recent changes.

Content first: Sometimes people start with the template first, crwating chapters, formatting them, drawing graphs. Bullshit: Text first, make up then.

And: Powerpoint is for presentation, Word is for reading. But most people still use Powerpoint as a kind of landscape word format.

Last but not least: Never send Powerpoint presentations to clients if the animations aren't reatelly important. Send a pdf and its find. Clients are bored about time wasting animations with flying bullets and text that drops down for no reason.

Thx for reading. Amen.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

yesterday I had a colleague sending me a workshop agenda (1 page) as ppt