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Communication and Collaboration

The broad charge to this Task Force is to identify campus needs for communication and collaboration services and to identify tools and practices to support those needs (click on the Task Force Charge link in the left column for the full description). This is a project blog - the task force will post formal and informal updates here and looks forward to your comments on these posts. Feel free to scroll down for history, search for your topic of interest, or just comment to say what you would like to see discussed.

  •  First Town Hall

    Monday, Oct. 24, 2011

    Thank you to everyone who joined us at the first Communication & Collaboration town hall. We had an excellent representation of staff, and a smattering of faculty and students. Our agenda was simple: brief introductions, explanation of our planned process, questions, with the greatest focus being on examples of work that could be improved by changes to our communication and collaboration process and tools. 

    After our next meeting, we will post an updated list of the scenarios we’d like vendors to consider. Here is one example -- this one was the “starting my day” example we mentioned at the town hall:

    I sit down at my desk (home or on-campus) and log into the private network (even on a wired connection). A portal/homepage opens showing my email in-box, documents that have been recently edited, a dashboard showing project progress, the University news feed, and a snippet of my calendar. I see that our Task Force report is due and click into that workspace. From inside the workspace I see that several questions have been raised around one of the Task Force documents so I begin working on it  -- and pleasantly discover that my colleague is working on another section of the document at the same time.  We realize that we need a perspective from a student, ideally in the Engineering college -- I jump the University facebook and see a senior engineering student who is currently on-line. She answers our question and were done. At lunch I click on the Adobe Lodge menu and send an instant message to a friend asking them to meet me. My work is seamless and I don’t sign-in again for the rest of the day.

    Task force members are building out scenarios like this to share with the vendors. We think this approach will keep them more focused on our needs and less on a list of features a particular tool might provide. 

    Thanks to everyone who suggested new examples during the meeting and since (see comments to prior posts). Keep them coming here and/or comment on the ones already mentioned. 

  •  Provost Jacobs Met with the C&C Task Force

    Friday, Oct. 14, 2011
    This week the Task Force met with Provost Dennis Jacobs. We had said to him, “We look forward to talking with you about the charter and how it fits with your perspective of how work (administrative, student, faculty, connections with broader community) can best be done on campus. We have heard calls for greater collaboration and transparency and feel that at least some of the barriers have been around the tools we have at our disposal. Other barriers are more focused on our process and expectations. We look forward to your input and advice.”

    He noted that he’d just come from a lunch meeting where he’d been talking about these issues. The discussion had included comments about better tools to do our work efficiently and how email wasn’t seen as effective for some of the collaboration we do.

    We had an excellent discussion about the variety of ways we’d like to do our work, some of the practice changes we’ll need to consider as well as technology tool changes, and how we’ll all need to learn to make good choices for the kind of communication appropriate for the situation at hand.

    All in all a helpful meeting for the task force as we see the Provost’s openness to and understanding of these ideas.

    What questions do you wish we’d asked the Provost? What questions would you like to ask the Task Force? 

  •  Hold Oct 20 1-2pm for Town Hall

    Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011

    Please hold the date for our first town hall meeting (open to all students, faculty, & staff). We’re hoping to get examples of work situations where communication & collaboration could be improved through new tools & practices -- and just to share about the Task Force and its progress. More on the agenda soon.


    Date: October 20th
    Time: 1-2 p.m.
    Location: Harrington (Library) Lab 205
  •  Who Is On the Communication & Collaboration Task Force?

    Friday, Oct. 7, 2011
  •  The Communication and Collaboration Tool Task Force Tries To Practice Seamless Communication & Collaboration

    Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011

     The Task Force will rarely send emails. Instead we will generally communicate through Communication and Collaboration Tool Task Force blog posts and your personal communication and comments.


    It is very easy to get notifications that the blog has a new post by subscribing via the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. If you need any help using this pull, versus push, mode of communication (a form of communication where you request the transmission of information instead of information being generically distributed to everyone), please click here for a fun video on using RSS feeds - or please contact Technology Training for support.

    You can reach Technology Training through the Contact Form or by phone at 408-554-5430.

    We look forward to hearing from you.
  •  Welcome to the SCU Task Force on Collaboration and Communication Tools

    Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011

    Organizations, especially those in the Silicon Valley have gone from proprietary, internal methodologies to strategies and methods that benefit from collaboration and greater awareness of what’s going on around them. This task force was formed following the Information Services self-study (results here) and the email survey noted in the posts below. “The broad charge to this Task Force is to identify campus needs for communication and collaboration services, identify categories of tools that will meet those needs, and evaluate and recommend specific tools and vendors within each category” (the full charter is available here (or click on the Task Force Charge link in the left column).


    Our suggested timeline:
    • Through 10/10: Talk with the community, engage with student committee members, draft specific work examples (positive and negative) around communication and collaboration. Note that these work examples should focus on how we get our work done -- tools and best practices  -- to improve communication. Please help us by contacting any of the task force members noted below to share your own experiences -- or feel free to post via the comment link below.  
    • Through 10/17: Continue gathering work examples (watch for a townhall to be scheduled soon). Meet with Provost on 10/12 to share plans and hear his perspective. We will also be meeting with a Gartner analyst to hear best practices.
    • Through 10/31: Craft work examples into a call for proposals for vendors (e.g., Google, Microsoft, and others as identified during the process).
    • Through 12/5: Meet with vendors
    • Through 1/16: Analysis and discussion with SCU community via the blog
    • Through 1/30: Townhall discussion of tool set and solution recommendations with SCU community
    • Through 2/3: Submit recommendations to Provost & President
    • Months following: Discussion of work practices and implementation approaches


    Throughout the whole process we will be posting comments here, talking with everyone who wants to talk with us and maybe even people who don’t want to talk with us...

    Next post -- using RSS (really simple syndication) to get notifications about new posts here.