used by the widest pool of knowledge workers
akin to the project. Wide availability of communications and information is a definite best practice.
The U.S. Office of Naval Research cites in its Best Manufacturing Practices, several collaborative environments that have worked in managing the communication element for dispersed team environments.
When the Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) Engineering
Systems Department developed a series of Web-Based Data System Solutions for
information and document management applications they employed an Intranet site
for all those involved in the project.
Prior to this system of knowledge management, various uncontrolled, undocumented processes as well as hardware and software platforms were used at the Center. This situation created problems in processing and accessing information; handling security; and changing or developing systems.
Web-based data systems were recognized as a way to establish a paperless
environment in support of their ISO-9001 certification, and provide immediate
accessibility to information. Their tool is a cross-platform, visual productivity tool for the distributed electronic enterprise.
Also of note by the Office of Naval Research was the Intranet site of General Dynamics Armament Systems of Burlington, Vermont. They established an Intranet site, which
provides employees with easy and quick accessibility to company policies, procedures, forms, calendar-of-events, bulletins, internal news, and special announcements. Designed with the user in mind, this on-line system is now integrated into the workforce environment as a single-source information and communication tool.
What then is the moral of the story when it comes to project communications?
If there's any truth to the adage, "knowledge is power", keep your project communications managed with a dedicated project tool and allow all members of the virtual team to access it.
Don't rely on one tool to manage all aspects of your project. Keep your communications clear, simple and accessible to all in a separate software tool .
Make the power of the knowledge become the substance of personal empowerment
by all members of the virtual team.
Rich Bianchi is the president of Alexsys Corporation (visit http://www.alexcorp.com), based in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Alexsys' Team Pro software manages complex projects. It is used by software development teams. Alexsys Corporation is an innovator in software solutions designed to automate the management of tasks and business processes associated with any kind of organization. Alexsys Corporation's solutions have been deployed by hundreds of organizations of all sizes around the world, including leading Fortune 50 companies in the petroleum, financial services and telecommunications industries as well as large government agencies. For more information visit: http://www.alexcorp.com.