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Collaborative Technical Development

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.

Communication Modes

  • 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 work.
  • 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 teleconferences.

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, ISO/STEP, …), and Commercial Collaborations (DoD EIS, RRM, AIM, NCMS, …)

The workshop format is a 2½ day format designed specifically for technical collaboration. The format addresses:

  • Stakeholders
  • Preparation
  • Facilitation
  • Logistics Ground Rules
  • Information Capture
  • Workshop Agenda
  • Proceedings

Collaboration Mentoring

TethersEnd provides training for in-house capability in establishing and maintaining collaborative environments and facilitation.

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This page last updated 01 June 2004

© Copyright 2004-2006; Larry L. Johnson, all rights reserved