What is collaboration? No, don’t Google it. I don’t want Webster’s definition; I want your definition. Hard question, isn’t it? Now imagine trying to actually measure whether or not you are actually doing a good job of collaborating. How do you measure something you can’t clearly define? Impossible, pointless, meaningless? Trust me, I get it – it might seem that way – but we think measuring collaboration is possible, but it’ll take some work. In fact, this isn’t the first time we’ve touched on this subject, but it’s still something we hear often, and I believe is critical if an organization is going to maximize their investment in collaborative technologies.

How do you measure collaboration?

I think we all want to collaborate better, and you can find stats everywhere you look, but did you know that 36% of company’s performance is directly tied to their ability to collaborate effectively? (Frost and Sullivan) And this study was done in 2006, a decade ago! Imagine what it is today?

If you have been around C5 Insight for any amount of time, you have undoubtedly heard us talk about applying our LUCK Principle to collaboration. But despite our best efforts to plan, analyze, design, and build, it is all for nothing if we don’t know whether or not it was worth it – in other words, what value did it add?

Measure collaborationYou see, knowing the impact of collaboration is very different than measuring the impact of collaboration Tweet this, and if we’re being honest, if you aren’t going to measure it, then why do it? So we have to set a new goal, not to collaborate better, but to effectively measure our collaboration, analyze the findings, understand how we’re doing, and act on this information accordingly to make lasting change in our organization. So where do we start?

Small steps add up to big wins @C5Curtis

The Measuring Collaboration Success Initiative

I’m a firm believer that small steps add up to big wins Tweet this, and that’s why I’m excited about what my friend and colleague Christian Buckley and the team at Beezy has done with the “Measuring Collaboration Success” initiative. The purpose of this initiative, as the name implies, is to capture feedback from the community and develop best practices around a shared definition of what makes collaboration successful, and to understand the metrics being used to monitor and measure that success. This initiative (which you can follow on Twitter at #MeasureCollabSuccess) targets a common failure within most collaboration endeavors, and seeks to create some best practices for those organizations who want to better understand the business value that is actually being created with these solutions.

In the first of three surveys over the course of this year (available here) we will be focusing on how organizations define “success.” The questions were designed to focus not on the technologies involved, but to help us understand the business drivers behind them.

In addition to the team at Beezy, I’m proud to be working on this initiative with many of my esteemed colleagues and friends from the collaboration space. These experts will review the community survey results and provide feedback into the data, sharing their own insights and perspectives on the results. Our goal is to help organizations identify best practices, and avoid the pitfalls, when building out their own collaboration strategies.

Panelists include:

  • John White (@diverdown1964), SharePoint MVP and CTO at UnlimitedViz Inc.
  • Sue Hanley (@susanhanley), Office Servers and Services MVP and President of Susan Hanley LLC
  • Mark Kashman (@mkashman), Senior Product Manager at Microsoft
  • Benjamin Niaulin (@bniaulin), Office 365 MVP and Evangelist at ShareGate
  • Marc Anderson (@sympmarc), SharePoint MVP and Co-founder, President of Sympraxis Consulting
  • Eric Overfield (@ericoverfield), Office Servers and Services MVP and Founder of PixelMill
  • Gregory Frick (@gregfrick), SharePoint Architect at University of Washington Medical School and President of the Puget Sound SharePoint User Group (PSSPUG.org)
  • Tal Ben-David (@cardiolog), Partner and Business Development Manager at Intlock – CardioLog Analytics
  • Jason Himmelstein (@sharepointlhorn), SharePoint MVP and Office 365 Advisory Services Manager at Rackspace
  • Adam Levithan (@collabadam), Senior Product Manager at Metalogix
  • Richard Harbridge (@rharbridge), Office Server and Services MVP, CTO of 2toLead
  • Andrew Simmons (@innovationbrokr), Consulting Director at Clustre
  • Vlad Catrinescu (@vladcatrinescu), SharePoint MVP and Founder of SharePoint-Community.net
  • Jeff Fried (@jefffried), CTO and VP of Engineering at BA Insight
  • Eric Riz (@rizinsights), SharePoint MVP and CEO of Empty Cubicle
  • Michelle Caldwell (@shellecaldwell), SharePoint MVP and North American Digital Workplace Transformation Lead at Avanade
  • Jeff Willinger (@jwillie), Director of Collaboration and Social Business at Rightpoint
  • Michal Pisarek (@michalpisarek), SharePoint MVP and Founder at Dynamic Owl & Bonzai Intranet
  • Jared Shockley (@jshoq), Senior Systems Engineer with SESIT at Microsoft
  • Tamara Bredemus (@tamarabred), Director of Collaborative Services at City of Minneapolis
  • Curtis Hughes (@C5Curtis), Managing Partner at C5 Insight

Collaboration requirements and metrics can vary widely by company, industry, and role. The goal of the “Measuring Collaboration Success” initiative is to identify the commonalities, and to develop a shared understanding of the success drivers behind collaboration so that the appropriate metrics can be tracked.

We encourage everyone to participate in this survey, focused on how organizations define and view collaboration success.

You can find the survey at http://bit.ly/1TKeUbu.

NOTE: All responses are anonymous. This is not a lead-generation activity, and your profile and email will not be tracked or used for marketing purposes by Beezy or any of the participating panelists or their organizations. We will be sharing the results through this blog and elsewhere, and we look forward to your feedback!

Please don’t hesitate to shoot me a message if there’s anything I can do, or reach-out if you’re interested in learning more about how C5 Insight can help your organization measure and improve social collaboration.