Online collaboration: Looking back to see into the future

Yesterday, Peter Ballantyne led a KM4Dev knowledge café about online collaboration. He shared some personal reflections and slides from the origin of Dgroups, showing how ideas and practice evolved, and he provided updates on the current plans of the Foundation and partnership today.

He ended by posing some questions for participants to help identify the critical issues around online collaboration that could help guide and focus follow up activities and a planned online e-conference about online collaboration, dialogue and interaction.

See the presentation on Slideshare and a video summary from the event.

Participants were asked to work in groups to respond to these two questions:

  1. Which factors are the most critical to successful online collaboration, conferencing, dialogue and CoPs? [eg: technology, participation, facilitation, connectivity, capacities?]
  2. Which issues or topics do we need to know more about? To improve how we operate

Responses shared were clustered into four groups, see below, which we hope can guide deeper discussion later in the year.

Which factors are the most critical to successful online collaboration, conferencing, dialogue and CoPs? [eg: technology, participation, facilitation, connectivity, capacities?]

Which issues or topics do we need to know more about? To improve how we operate.

Responses shared were clustered into four groups, see below, which we hope can guide deeper discussion later in the year.

Critical success factors for successful online collaboration, conferencing, dialogue and communities of practice

Technology, platforms …

  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Connectivity
  • Which platform for which purpose? For which community?
  • Capabilities

Facilitation …

  • Processes, events
  • Purpose, Design, Leadership, Management (of Participation, Inclusion, Interaction)
  • Skills and capabilities

Trust building …

  • Values
  • Ownership
  • Relationships
  • Safe spaces
  • Freedom to speak
  • Responsibility
  • ‘Communityship’

Engagement and interaction …

  • Participant-centred and customized design and processes
  • Human connections
  • Involving the right people
  • Group dynamics; encourage formal interactions, discovery of shared interests, networking
  • Full participation
  • Conversational leadership,
  • Meeting dynamics and motivation
  • Engagement over time

We express our appreciation to KM4Dev and the participants in the café who eagerly participated and shared their ideas and insights.

Report compiled by Peter Ballantyne