Three Rules of Zero Calorie Donuts - "Unregulated Collaboration with Built-in Governance"

By John Brunswick posted 08-20-2010 08:30


Is it possible to enjoy eating fried dough, glazed with sugar, without consuming any calories?  What if it was possible to enjoy all of the benefits of Enterprise 2.0, instant ad-hoc collaboration, but suffer none of the downside related to approvals and governance processes?

To maximize ROI from Enterprise 2.0 collaborative technologies people should be able to create online workspaces without as needed.  E2.0 tools are well suited to ad-hoc collaboration and because an organization has generally already made an investment in a platform to provide them, require little or no upfront expense to create.  Costs from this activity usually pile up as a result of a mass of ungoverned data that they create.

Given that a decent percentage of collaborative activity is undertaken for temporary endeavors, a solution is needed to enable creators to immediately make use of the E2.0 tools, but manage the complete lifecycle of content that they generate.

The following three rules provide a foundation for just this

Three Rules

  1. Anyone can create a collaborative workspace at anytime
  2. The process should not require any approval
  3. Workspaces will be archived or deleted after X amount of time from their last usage

More on Rule 3
There is no approval for creating an online space with the collaborative tools, unless the user would like to have their collaboration space persist for more than a limited amount of time.  After this limited time, potentially defined by an amount of time beyond the last activity, their content will be archived or deleted.

The Implementation

  • Using a simple, online registration process, users will be asked how long they will need to have their workspace available.  This will indicate how Rule 3 is handled - defaulting to a mode that assumes the workspace is ad-hoc and temporary.
  • In order to cut down on any clutter that all of the ad-hoc workspaces create the space will reside in a node within a taxonomy that is based on the user's business unit and or department.  This makes it easy to locate the workspace and keep it out of areas that support global, persistent spaces.
  • When users generate content that will live beyond a default setting and desire to have it persist indefinitely, a higher level of approval will be required.  This request will need to include additional information for consideration (The Minimalist Approach to Content Governance - Request Phase).

Zero Calorie Donuts
So - is it really possible to have "Unregulated Collaboration with Built-in Governance"?  By following the third rule - yes.  Enterprise 2.0 is a great enabling technology and to extract the most value from our tools and efforts it is important to lower the barrier to usage.  A series of vendors offer Retention Management software that enables assets created during these collaborative processes to be archived or deleted based on a series of rules, making broader use of collaborative technologies possible, without cluttering the enterprise with their outputs.

Just as with donuts, there is a catch from overconsumption.  As long as we ensure that the mechanisms above are in place, a measurable gain in ROI from E2.0 tools will be apparent in both the short and long-term within your enterprise.

#enterprise2.0 #ROI #governance #Collaboration #e2.0