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Small internal teams within small company

Page history last edited by BRENDAN OCONNOR 12 years, 4 months ago

The first organization OWx2 has decided to focus on is a small company, targeting small teams of 3-7 members.  The company does a lot of consulting/implementations for companies.  Due to the fact that each group works collaboratively on projects, it is necessary for them to communicate in many different ways.  The products sought are solely for internal usage only.




            The idea that this company is comprised of recent college graduates seeking to learn the facets of the business to gain experience.  Being such, the teams are very young and adept to change, and tech savvy to avoid any long learning curves.  So, no limitation should be put on technology that may be viewed as advanced.  The teams within the company will need an environment of which they can gain quick access to a group calendar in a quick and efficient manner.  Due to budget constraints and limited time for the members, it is essential that the tool allows them to work efficiently. 

            Now, we will focus attention on the actual calendar needs.  It would be obviously key to provide a smooth layout and to the actual month.  A good feature could simply include a drop down box for months/years and arrows they could simply click on to go month to month.  Also, a link that simply allows them to post a new event on the actual calendar would be time efficient as well. 

          Obviously, notices should be sent in advance as reminders to the meetings.  But, this environment is so small that this capability is not a deterrent given the right tool.  After all, all team members can get in touch with the others in the case as a reminder.  The necessity of documenting task assignment is critical due to the fact that the team is doing numerous things at once, so it would be relatively easy for tasks to slip through the cracks if not documented.  And, along with this, the ability to assign these tasks to numerous people would be of great importance.  The ability to track functional dependencies would be useful, but not critical.

            In conclusion, efficiency is required in this company, so the tool must suit them and not be another time wasting activity; rather it should allow them to increase productivity.


Knowledge Repository/Expert Discovery


            Given the team dynamics, team members should not be opposed to providing information on reconciled problems to a repository type platform.  The goal is to provide resources for them to share in an open environment.  It would allow users to label workflows, training materials, links, etc.  A useful feature would allow them to a) Categorize these bookmarks in an appropriate manner, b) Allow team and personal bookmarks.  Participants must be able to be identified via name and discussion threads should be made available for commenting on subject matter.  Rating these bookmarks could be useful, but not too critical because one would assume that all of the content would be beneficial.  A form of archiving could be helpful via storing it separately so it does not become simply too much information, where it becomes too time consuming to filter through the resources.  The main objective is to share and encourage team knowledge in a networking environment. 



Document Management  


            Document management basically is vital in determining identification of changes to documents and accidental deletion of documents.  A mandatory function of a product for this company is to track versions.  In the event of 5-6 people making changes to a document, it becomes necessary to know who, what, and when changes were made and why in relation to the document.  The notion of supporting multiple document types is vital in the workflow, especially since slide shows may frequently be used in this company.  Also, avoiding duplication of work comes into play and this can be resolved via document tracking through knowing who has the live document.  Accidental deletion of a document can occur and measures need to be implemented to avoid this or separate documents posted which would allow the most recent version not to be discarded.  An integrated editor would be useful, but not a requirement. 



Asynchronous editing


            Functionality to be included such as the ability to write meta comments about documents and it must support annotations/comments to documents.  Nice features sought would be commenting on sections, points, or recommended revisions would be useful, but not required since there would be other areas to provide workarounds to allow them to perform basic functions.



Additional considerations


            Cost will play a key role in product choice for the company described above.  Since it is a small company, the tool must be cost effective and provide the tools sought since they don’t have resources for simply trial and error.  The cost of the product must be competitive, but since the company is small itself, it realizes that it cannot go out and seek a product from a major reputable firm like Microsoft.  Instead, it must bear the risk that the company may not be around in two years.  Security is sought, but again, limited resources prevent this from being its top priority although it recognizes the importance of secure team portals.



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