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Collaboration solution requirement gathering 101

The experience of an organisation's end users may be invaluable in determining the design of your solution. They may be able to contribute more than you realise.

Collaboration is by definition working with another person or group in order to achieve or do something. Collaboration can't be bought - it's something people do.

It would be folly to design a solution to support collaboration among staff, partners and customers, without consulting them.

There's actually a wealth of insight you can gain through consultation. End users know what is cumbersome and dysfunctional...frustrating their working day. They know what is preventing them from collaborating effectively.

How do I go about it?

It needn't be formal. Stop by the office lunchroom. Maybe tackle an executive in the lift. Ask a cross-section of people how we can better collaborate and work today. Don't forget your external stakeholders though.

Find out the blockers and what motivates users... You've just started gathering requirements for a collaboration solution.

Importantly, focus on business requirements during these conversations. Technical requirement considerations come later.

By identifying scenarios where you can improve collaboration through the technology you have in mind, you will have the keys to success, and the fundamentals of a business case.

But of course, the job isn't finished - you'll also need business uptake, usage and adoption, so there's more work to do.

In my next blog, I'll consider the fundamentals of business uptake.

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