Tuesday 13 January 2009

Do users pay lip service to Collaboration?

It is late at night again.

I have just finished doing some coding for a work project, which is a nice little collaborative app that should make life easier for the end users that will use it. It is not a Web 2.0 "wunderkind" it is just one of those 1,000's of apps we Domino/Noterati developers make live daily. It will trundle away doing what it does quickly and easily and after a brief period of interita fuelled "do we have to?" Users will get used to it and it will fade into the background noise of everyday work.

But will it be really collaborative?

What do I mean by collaborative?

Do end users know collaboration from a hole in the head?

And that is where this post started forming in my mind. I have I suppose a vision of "collaborative" that is viewed through my Black and Yellow tinted evangelist's glasses and I suppose there is nothing wrong with that.

In the wonderful Domi-No-Yes-Maybe world, Engineers are happy to share their expertise with Sales, Marketing will get moist at the idea of having closer links with Production and of course everyone will just LOVE the auditors. Sadly this is not often the case.

There are loads of examples where we in the geek community try our damnedest to light fires of enthusiasm. Marybeth and her team (bless their collective cotton socks!) are excelling in their goal of making the user's experience of the client the best that it can be. Chris Blatnick and his unbounded enthusiasm for the "Cool Interface", joined now by Tom Duff and his Plumber to Painter Damasene conversion to designing both the functional AND cool, to name but a few.

I am not dissing any of the above nor any of my geek readers who daily suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous project creep in an effort to make our end users happy. The target of my vented spleen on this occasion are the fecking end-users! There are days when I could see the whole end-user community impaled on a sharp stick and roasted slowly over a ligthly smouldering heap of now defunct project specifications.

Why if they can see the benefits of collaborating (or so they tell me) do they insist on sticking to the comfy and secure modality of departmental, regional or customer/client demarcation?
It just doesn't make a whole heap of sense ....

~sigh~ well that's now off my chest tomorrow I will put on my smiley face and get back to the job in hand and start re-coding an old app so that less people have access to the data ...

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