There is plenty of waste hidden in knowledge work, much of which we have come to accept as “normal” ways of working. I am not just referring to inefficient meetings we attend and the time we waste on managing our email inboxes. As knowledge workers spend a lot of time on activities such as searching for information, trying to figure out what the colleagues are doing and when to contribute, re-creating information that already exists somewhere else, and so on. One might say that we are spending all this time just getting ready to work.
Although the tasks we need to perform come in all shapes and sizes, most rely on a number of basic capabilities such as finding information or locating expertise. The more interdependent our work becomes, the more important these capabilities become to us. If they are weak, our ability to collaborate and create value together as an organization becomes crippled. Therefore improving such capabilities can both reduce a lot of the waste in knowledge work and enable people to work smarter together.
Over the years I have developed a framework of 9 capabilities that are important for knowledge work in general and for collaboration efforts in particular. I use the framework to help clients understand their current ways of working, identify problems and opportunities for improvement, and to explore better ways of working – with digital tools. The framework is illustrated below, inspired by a model by Harold Jarche who combined Ian McCarthy’s honeycomb of social media with an early version of my capabilities framework.
When I work with clients of various sizes and in various industries to improve digital collaboration, I use my framework and a tool that I call “The Digital Collaboration Canvas”. It includes definitions of each capability and helps you to assess and improve these capabilities within a certain context, such as project collaboration or a specific business process.
You can download The Digital Collaboration Canvas as PDF and you are free to use it under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (see details at the bottom of this post).
If you are interested in learning more about how to use my framework and The Digital Collaboration Canvas, feel free to contact me. Please feel free to suggest any improvements.
The Digital Collaboration Canvas by Oscar Berg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.oscarberg.net.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.oscarberg.net.