While TethersEnd focuses on Enterprise Systems
Architecture, it has found that undertakings of any significant scope suffer
less from technical challenges than from cultural and organizational problems.
Applying experience gathered over 25 years of large-scale collaborative
projects, TethersEnd has assembled an effective set of services to establish
and maintain a collaborative environment for enterprise projects spanning
multiple departments in a single company, or consortia of companies.
Project Coordination & Facilitation
TethersEnd applies multiple methods of communication, record keeping and
facilitation to maintain the free-flow of information among project
participants regardless of physical proximity.
- Structured and facilitated Technical Collaboration Workshops (see
below) are used to begin crucial project phases and, as needed, to achieve
interim or final consensus on crucial technical issues that only a face-to-face
give and take can accomplish. The workshops establish the working framework
among the participants. Most of the work is done in each individual,s place of
- Teleconferences are held to keep communication high, supplementing
the workshops. As the collaboration participants become a team, teleconferences
can even be used to replace some workshops.
- eMail conversations are held through mail lists. "Private"
technical discussions are discouraged, enabling all participants to stay up to
speed on project developments and teammates' opinions as well as the reasoning
behind those opinions.
Facilitation and Communication Monitoring
- TethersEnd facilitates the workshops and teleconferences, managing
the flow of conversation as necessary. Minutes are kept by an appointed
scribe or the facilitator in order to keep track of issues, the principal
opinions on those issues, and the reasoning behind specific issue resolutions.
These minutes provide a record for those who are unable to make the meeting or
who monitor the project.
- eMail conversations are monitored to assure that mail-lists are kept
on-topic.. Sub-lists are created as necessary for the resolution of issues that
are special subtopics not of interest to all members. The facilitator assures
that the general population of the project is apprised on the progress and
results of these subgroups at appropriate intervals. The facilitator also
assures that conversations are kept professional and respectful.
- An Issue Log is maintained by TethersEnd on behalf of the project to
track open issues and the threads of contributions made by individuals to
resolve the issues. Each issue has a responsbile party, priority, and target
due date. The facilitator manages issue ticklers and "red flagging"
of crucial issues that are in danger of missing their deadline.
- An Action Item List is similarly managed for short-lived
committments and obligations typically arising out of meetings and
Technical Collaboration Workshops
TethersEnd's Technical Collaboration Workshop format is designed
specifically for technical collaboration, drawing on experience in many
collaborative venues such as Standard's Organizations (NIST, CALS, OMG,
), and Commercial Collaborations (DoD EIS, RRM, AIM, NCMS,
The workshop format is a 2½ day format designed specifically for
technical collaboration. The format addresses:
- Logistics Ground Rules
- Information Capture
- Workshop Agenda
TethersEnd provides training for in-house capability in establishing and
maintaining collaborative environments and facilitation.