More on email and project management

Lars Plougmann started a discussion last August of the role of email in project management that triggered a post on my part back in October. Lars has posted a nice summary of the discussion that flowed from his original post with links to many interesting posts on the topic. His conclusion:

Email is about messages and messages have proven useful for thousands of years. (Part of the reason that RSS is successful is that a feed can be presented as messages). Email software takes the strong conventions pertaining to messages and integrates them with the centuries old inbox paradigm – which itself was a way to transition from an industrial society to the information processing organisation by mimicking a conveyor belt. Altogether a very powerful concept which is the reason that email is how work gets done in today’s businesses.

It is only for a decade or so that we have achieved the ability to work together in the new ways that we have started to call collaboration. Our challenge is to explore what we can do with collaboration while weaving into it the message style of communication. Messages and inboxes (a.k.a. email) are an undeniable part of the future, but as concepts they will be fused with transparent, discoverable, content-persistent, workflow-enhancing, buddy-list-integrated, taggable and action-supporting collaboration tools.

mind this.

Worth your time to explore, both for the discussion and some other voices examining the changing nature of work.

Excellent new resource on Web 2.0 fo knowledge workers from Kathleen Gilroy

If you are trying to understand, or if you find yourself helping others understand, the fuss about blogs and wikis and basecamp and all the other tools for productive knowledge work that constitute today’s web, here is an excellent new resource. Kathleen Gilroy of the Otter Group has distilled her experiences into a nicely focused review of this terrain. Rather than getting caught up in the details of the technology, she anchors her observations in the “what’s in it for me” perspective that busy knowledge workers will appreciate and value.


Web 2.0 for Business Advantage Published Today

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new white paper Web 2.0 for Business Advantage: A Personal Guide to Profiting from the New Web.

I have been immersed in the world of Web 2.0 for three years now and I still find it difficult to sort out what is going on and what this new way of using the Internet means for me and for my business. I wrote this Guide to Web 2.0 in the first person because so much of what I read about Web 2.0 is abstract. Here I wanted to tell my own stories and experiences and explain things in plain terms that make sense for the small business person, student, educator, or non-profit executive.

Web 2.0 for Business Advantage explores what is driving the dramatic adoption of Web 2.0 and how you can profit from it. The guide covers key advantages that can be had from smartly deploying Web 2.0: building an online presence; personal information management and the new desktop; and the new collaboration.

In each section we cover the big ideas and new capacities that are driving the opportunity. We also talk about our experience with three business problems that were solved with Web 2.0 solutions and explore what happened as we worked to implement the new models and services: podcasting for learning; innovation in financial services; and learning networks at the American Library Association.

You can see the full table of contents and download an excerpt at our site. You can purchase a pdf of Web 2.0 for Business Advantage for $9.95 at the Otter Group Store.

Cognitive Edge: They did not respect or sit still for the devotional sacrifice

Dave Snowden(pdf), formerly of IBM’s Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity, has been blogging at Cognitive Edge for a relatively short while. Here’s just a little tease from one of his recent posts. Go read the rest of the post and meditate upon it. No surprise, I suspect, that the wisdom came from the women.


Socrates: How was your son’s birthday party?

Glaucon: How did you know there was a party?

Socrates: Are you not still alive?

Glaucon: It was a glorious and treasured day. All the guests were ecstatic. The children were filled with joy. The gods have smiled on my family. I no longer fear for safety or security.

Socrates: And the cause of this surprising change in fortune?

Glaucon: I did what you suggested. I listened to the women

Socrates: What did they tell you?

Glaucon: Many things. But in short they said to make boundaries, create attractors, stabilize the patterns we desired and disrupt the patterns that threatened danger and harm.

Socrates: I do not understand. Is there a story here?

Cognitive Edge: They did not respect or sit still for the devotional sacrifice.