Tuesday, June 26, 2007

COMPASS AE Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What collaborative principle is Compass AE based on?

A: A team that collaboratively builds and connects with a tangible mission plan will implement the mission plan as a team regardless of the distance, the technology and the culture.

Q: What is so unique about our process of collaboratively building and connecting with a tangible mission plan?
A: As the implementers build their plan, they see the big picture. They also see the subtle connections within the grand goal, ensuring that they understand its purpose completely. The trainees also learn a lot about each other while building this tangible mission plan from how each member operates as an individual to how they interact in a team setting.

Q: What is the Tangible Vision?
A: The Tangible Vision is a goal, a plan that a Compass AE project team collaborates through. It also emphasizes a clearly-defined vision or mission statement that a team believes in.

Q: What is the Compass Cycle?
A: A revolving collaborative process called Build, Connect and Lead with the Tangible Vision.

Q: How does Compass AE work in terms of global collaboration?
A: The Compass team operates interdependently while being connected to its Tangible Vision. This ensures that each action aligns with the standards of the Tangible Vision. Whenever a change to their Tangible Vision occurs or a clarification is needed, they understand how to assemble the team and re-focus their attention on re-aligning the Tangible Vision toward the grand goal.

Q: Do we have a white paper on Compass AE?
A: Yes. If you are interested, please contact us at service[aat]collaboration360[dott]com

Q: How does our Compass AE training program work?
A: We start by interviewing the client to understand their current project and its details, the project team, the project culture, and the technology used. Then we lead a three-day seminar during which we guide the client's project team in understanding how to build, connect and lead with a Tangible Vision.

They Build and Connect their own Tangible Vision that they will Lead within the next seven to ten days. After the seminar, the client determines whether the Collaboration 360 advisor should assist in the monitoring of the team to ensure that there is proper collaboration during their process of Leading with their Tangible Vision.

Collaboration360 Consultants (C360). Copyright:2006-2007 © All rights reserved
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (without prior consent) is an infringement of copyright.

If you are interested in knowing how Compass AE works, please contact us at service [aattt] collaboration360 [dottt] com. We have a white paper ready for your reading.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Does Your Virtual Team Connect to Collaborate?

During our past research, we discovered many virtual team projects are being under-served due to a lack of "poor vision", "poor specifics behind the goal" and "negative team collaboration".

We believe our team collaborative process is the answer to those problems.

When a virtual (project) team connects to our Compass AE process, they will collaborate as a team by building and connecting with their Tangible Vision. This level of unification enables them to completed their Tangible Vision properly and promptly.

A Compass AE project team that connects to collaborate will enable their company to compete effectively in the global marketplace.

If you are interested in more information on how Compass AE works, please contact us at service [at] collaboration360 [dot] com. We have a white paper ready for your reading.

Copyright:2007 © Collaboration360 Consultants (C360).
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (without prior consent) is an infridgement of copyright.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Compass AE Test Case: What Happens When a Team Connects with the Tangible Vision

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.
The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives.
It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

Compass AE collaborative principle: When a project team collaboratively builds and connect with their Tangible Vision, their team morale is also being built.

Explaination: When the team collaboratively sees the goal, its rewards and the steps that are required to get there, they unifies with it, When they succeed , the team
morale is enhanced.


NFL coach: IT execs need more teamwork, leadership
Door: Jon Brodkin Network World (US)

Bill Belichick, coach of New England Patriots, an American football team, may know almost nothing about technology, but a packed room of IT executives listened attentively as the only NFL coach to ever win three Super Bowls in four years discussed how leadership, teamwork and preparation can help football and technology teams succeed.

Delivering a keynote address at last week's at the IDC IT Forum & Expo in Boston, Belichick described how drastically different leadership styles can provide equally effective results. Take for example, two of his players: the quiet lead-by-example style of wide receiver Troy Brown to the tough, hard-nosed nature of former Patriots linebacker Bryan Cox.

Cox, a member of the Patriots' first Super Bowl championship team, forcefully took the initiative to instill discipline in teammates during practice.

"He would grab a player and say 'if you go inside the next time you're supposed to go outside, I'm going to kill you.' That's the way Bryan did it. But it was in a positive way," Belichick said, eliciting laughs from the hometown audience that gave him two standing ovations before he even began speaking.

"They were both tremendous leaders," he said of Cox and Brown. "It's not about style, it's not about speeches. ... It's about attitude, hard work and unselfishness."

Belichick, wearing a suit instead of his trademark gray-hooded sweatshirt, was in a much better mood than he typically is during post-game press conferences. The coach downplayed what little knowledge he has about technology.

"I'm not going to be able to tell you anything about technology or anything technical. I can barely turn a computer on," he said. "I have had a little bit of experience with teamwork and leadership and preparation and things like that as it relates to the competitive nature of the NFL."

Belichick said he keeps a sign up at the Patriots practice facilities containing the Sun Tzu quote "every battle is won before it is fought," to remind players of the importance of preparation.

Belichick said he expects every player to know the team's strategy for each situation, even if it is outside a player's usual responsibilities. Even an offensive player should know what the defense is supposed to do after a pass interception, he said.

/* When the team connects with their Tangible Vision, everyone technically knows what are the roles and responsibilities of each member. */

"One of the questions I get a lot is ... 'how do you know when your team is prepared?'" Belichick said. "The answer is when everybody knows what to do. Were in a two-minute drill, a situation, a play's going on, we can't rely on one person to say this is what were supposed to do."

Belichick described how the Patriots often deal out penalties and rewards on a team-wide basis, so if one player makes a mistake, the entire team is punished.

/* This is an important team management component of the Tangible Vision. Establishing equality within the team is important*/

"If someone jumps offside, I just blow the whistle and everyone on the defensive team runs a lap around the whole perimeter of the field. I don't even say anything. Now that one guy who jumped offside is being yelled at (by fellow players) the entire time," Belichick said.

/* There is nothing like pressure coming from the team. */

The opposite happened during training camp of the 2004 season, during an incident Belichick says was crucial to the Patriots' third Super Bowl run. In the tenth day of training camp, players were hot, sweaty and sore, sick of practicing and sick of the coach himself, Belichick said. Patriots left tackle Matt Light asked Belichick to give the team a day off. Belichick responded "Matt, are you kidding me?" but agreed to honor the request if Light -- who is asked to handle the football only infrequently -- could catch a 50-yard punt. If Light dropped it, Belichick said everyone on the team would have to run 20 extra laps.

"That was one of the all-time team building moments because Troy Brown is going over to him telling him about the sun ... Deion Branch is talking to him about his feet and balance," Belichick said. "All this coaching is going on. Miraculously, Light catches it, but it was one of the best team-building moments our team had the entire year. ...One guy did it, everyone benefited and it brought the team together."

/* It is quite important to build the team morale before the project begins. Only amateurs believe in building the team morale during the product development stage (and sometimes during the implementation stage) of the project lifecycle. With our Compass AE's training program, team building exercises are included into the initial collaborative building and connecting the Tangible Vision process. */


Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Positive Referral from Our Client

For the last few months, Collaboration360 consultants have been testing the Compass AE methodology at a small software company in Singapore. The client "Gibson Tang of Wavefront Systems" has been impressed with the process that he wrote the following recommendation.


The Importance of the Big Picture and Taking a Long Term View

My friend M.E. Hom at Collaboration360.com recently assisted me in managing projects by understanding the big picture and using it to collaborate with others.

Mr. Hom is a project management consultant, a team collaborative specialist and an expert in Ancient Chinese strategies such as Sun Zi’s Art of War. He spent the last few years, working on this “big picture” process that empowers a team to collaborate anywhere. This “big picture” strategy is based on the strategy fundamentals of the Eight Strategy Classics of Ancient China.

While Mr. Hom calls it his team collaborative strategy “Compass AE”, the Tangible Vision is the “big picture” component of Compass AE.

Early this year, he showed me the basics of the Tangible Vision. We worked on a Tangible Vision for a recent project of mine. I used it to make sure that I stayed on course with my project. It was also my guide when I was conversing with my client. With the Tangible Vision, I kept my eye on the target while my mind on the various details surrounding the outcome. After two months of playing with it, I understand how a well-detailed big picture can assist me in the strategic side of the project management.

I am not a marketing guy, but I know that it would work for a marketing project team that requires people located at different remotes. He explained to me the team collaboration psychology that empowers people to collaborate as a team.

I am in accord with Mr. Hom’s unified concept of team collaboration: When a team collaboratively builds and connects with their Tangible Vision (the big picture), they will collaboratively lead with it as a team. They will collaborate anywhere regardless
of the technology, the distance and the project culture.

If you have a project team whose members are located at different places and need some guidance in getting them to collaborate well as a team.

You can visit Mr. M.E. Hom at www.collaboration360.com.

source: http://www.gibsontang.com/?p=94

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Compass AE: The Answer to Virtual/Distant Teams

What is a Virtual Team
A Virtual Team — also known as a Geographically Dispersed Team (GDT) — is a group of individuals who work across time, space, and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology. They have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose, have interdependent performance goals, and share an approach to work for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Geographically dispersed teams allow organizations to hire and retain the best people regardless of location. Members of virtual teams communicate electronically, so they may never meet face to face. However, most teams will meet at some point in time. A virtual team does not always mean teleworker.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Teams

# # #

Is your team spread out geographically?

Does your staff telecommute?

Do you collaborate with remote groups or divisions, 3rd-party developers, suppliers and vendors?

More project managers are finding themselves managing virtual teams -- teams whose members, by choice or by circumstance, are not collocated in the same building. Do you know how to make the transition from collocated teams to distributed teams?

Regardless of your use of the latest in communication, network, and collaboration technology, does your team collaborate any better?

Does your organization still have serious problems in managing their teams remotely?

Collaboration 360's solution for organizations with troubled virtual teams can be found in the Recommended Reading section.

If you are interested in more information, please contact us at service [aatt] collaboration360 [ddott] com. We have a white paper ready for your reading.

Copyright:2007 © Collaboration360 Consultants (C360).
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (without prior consent) is an infridgement of copyright.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Does the Outcome of your Team's Endeavor Look Like This?

If it does, you need your team to "Collaborate with Compass AE".

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Tangible Vision of a Quality-Driven Company

A friend of mine recently launched their web site Ofcourselionsource.com. Their speciality is quite unique. They sell custom designed and standard Chinese lion dance and dragon dance equipment and accessories. On their site, lion and dragon dance enthusiasts can also find an extensive array of separate parts to those who need to build or repair their own lion head.

They have been in business for quite a long time. Their clientele are numerous, "global" and loyal. It is a testimony to their commitment to excellence.

The Tangible Vision of the principals is to provide world class quality service.

Please visit their web site.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Usng the Shi (Strategic Advantage) to Complete the Tangible Vision

The world class strategist seeks his victory from strategic advantage (shi) and does not demand it from his men. He is thus able to select the right men and exploit the strategic . He who exploits the strategic advantage sends his men like rolling logs and boulders. It is the nature of logs and boulders and boulders that on flat ground, they are stationary, but on steep ground they roll; the square in shape tends to stop but the round tends to roll. Thus the strategic advantage of the world class strategist- commander in exploiting his men in battle can be likened to rolling round bounders down a steep ravine thousands of feet high says something about his strategic advantage. --- Sun Zi and The Art of Warfare (Chapter 5)

# # #

What is the Strategic Advantage (Shi) behind Compass AE?
When a team collaboratively connects to their Tangible Vision, they also collaboratively connect to each other. This "Collaboration With Direction" approach is the strategic advantage that most emerging companies need to compete against the global companies.

Implementing this advantage properly and promptly is always the challenge.

Copyright:2007 © Collaboration360 Consultants (C360).
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (without prior consent) is an infridgement of copyright.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Connections between the Chinese Strategy Classics and Compass AE (1)

"The implementation of Virtue of the team (army's) great resource. Trust is the team's (army's) clear reward. ..." --- Military Methods

When a Compass team collaboratively builds their Tangible Vision, they learn about each other in terms of their individual thinking process and their interaction as a future team member. They determine if they can trust their teammates to complete their project as a team.

When the specifics are properly clarified, everyone becomes accountable from top to bottom.

Team trust and team accountability enables any team to collaboratively connect to their Tangible Vision.

Copyright: 2007 © Collaboration360 Consultants (C360).
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (without prior consent) is an infridgement of copyright.

Compass AE Origins (2): The Chinese Strategy Expert

Someone recently asked me the following question, "Since you and your team build this strategic process on your understanding of the Chinese Strategy Classics. Can you tell me more about the team that build this process? ..."

In an earlier entry, I discussed about my associates and I being enthusiasts of the Chinese Strategy Classics. While most of the team specializes in various selections of the classics, this Chief Architect specializes in the understanding of the psychology and the history behind the Chinese strategy culture. Beside speaking, reading and writing the language, we also understands the generalities and specifics of the Chinese strategy mindset. Through our eclectic set of skills, we collaboratively build this unique strategic process that enables any project team to collaborate anywhere regardless of technology, distance and project culture.

In future entries, we will explain the connections between the Chinese strategy classics and our Compass AE process.

Copyright: 2006-2007 © Collaboration360 Consultants (C360).
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (without prior consent) is an infridgement of copyright.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Why Technology-Driven Collaboration Fails

With the Compass AE process, each team member knows what is the planned outcome and the specifics behind it. They also know
what are the risks and rewards that comes with completing the Tangible Vision.

While Compass AE provides a structured collaborative structure that enables the project team to collaborate through their Tangible Vision, it also gives them a course for brainstorming and planning.

Copyright: 2006-2007 © Collaboration360 Consultants (C360).
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (without prior consent) is an infringement of copyright.

# # # # # # # # #

All take, no give: why collaboration fails
Rafe Needleman, Special to ZDNet April 27, 2004

Ever try to get people in your office to work together using a groupware collaboration tool?

Did they use it? Did it help? All too often, the answers are no and no. Here's why. Recently my team at work embarked on a big project, one that involved a lot of meetings, expansive ideas, and the creation of large strategic documents. In a previous column, I described my experience trying to capture some of the intelligence that emerged in the meetings we held. But we also tried to use technology (collaboration software) to get people to contribute to this project outside of the meetings.

Frankly, it was a disaster. Our collaboration system became a wasteland, a great technological framework with no humanity in it. I lay only part of the blame on the service we were using, Intuit's QuickBase. I've seen similar initiatives based on other technologies fail in almost exactly the same way ours did, so I'm letting Intuit off the hook in this case.

I have seen a small number of collaboration systems succeed, too. But sadly, because I've witnessed more disappointment than satisfaction with these products, I have a better handle on the common failure points. Unclear personal benefit. In our case, we were asking people in the company to read a draft document, then comment on it in discussion boards. Almost everyone claimed to be too busy.

Any good manager will tell you that's just code for "What's in it for me?" Our people simply didn't see why they should bother posting their comments in a public forum, using an unfamiliar tool. And we, as managers, didn't communicate to them the clear benefit of doing so.

Too easy to ignore. Done wrong, a message board is like an optional offsite meeting: You're going to have to drag people to the site to get any sort of participation.

But drop into their office or the electronic version of their office (their e-mail or instant-messenger system), and the chances for good input go up dramatically, especially if you use IM and just sit there tapping your fingers until they respond. That's a problem that portal-based services, such as QuickBase, can't solve directly. They are offsite destinations, and while they can send alerts to users via e-mail, they aren't integrated into users' lives.

All other things being equal, systems closely linked to e-mail get to users where they live and work and, thus, are more likely to elicit the response and feedback that management wants. Roadblocks to signup. Presumably, your collaboration system is closed to all but the members of your team.

That's appropriate since you don't want the entire world reading and commenting on confidential plans. Each user, therefore, will need some sort of login ID and password. But if the system slows down users by asking them to set up new accounts, you're just giving them an excuse not to bother. Some systems even send signup requests back to an administrator, which really kills the impulse to participate in a collaboration system.

So make it easy. Either go with their previously approved network ID (possible only if your system can integrate with your network login system) or pre-assign the user IDs and passwords.

The old way is not the best way. When we started our project here, I thought that message boards were the way to go, simply because I've participated in a lot of them over the years and I understand the format. But there are newer methods of group communication that are more appropriate for today's workforce. In particular, I'm thinking of blogs and wikis.

Blogs, as you probably already know, are (usually) chronologically based discussions run by one person or a small group of people that readers can reply to online. The blog format--short and to the point--is a better match for today's time-strapped worker than the more convoluted threaded message-board format.

Wikis are different altogether: free-for-all collaborative Web sites where any registered user can modify anything on the site. I've seen wiki-based collaborative systems (using Socialtext's software ) get lots of use and provide much value. And this is despite the inherent danger in a wiki that, at any time, any user could completely ruin the system by throwing up a bunch of off-point content or even erasing what's online already.

And that is why they work. A wiki often will teeter close to anarchy, but it's a common ground, not a corporate room owned or controlled by the bosses. Wikis tend to get disorganized and wild, but that reflects the nature of real human interaction and idea sharing.

There is and always will be a place for structured communication. But when it comes to getting people to brainstorm and participate in a technological medium, a lack of pre-existing structure can be an advantage. You never know what a team of smart people will come up with, so boxing them in is rarely a good idea. Let them build their own boxes instead.

Rafe Needleman is editor for CNET Business Buying Advice.

# # # # # #

URL: http://www.zdnet.com.au/reviews/software/productivity/0,39023447,39146025,00.htm

This story was printed from ZDNet Australia.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Compass AE: Collaborate without Borders

Challenges to an Age-old Problem

EGARDLESS OF THE DISTANCE or project culture, the common dilemma to a successful project is aligning team members towards the same goal.

Collaboration 360 created Compass AE to align your team members and give them a project guidance system that increases efficiency and reduces dependency between them. Compass AE also facilitates efficient meetings and productive decision-making, synchronizing the remotely- located team members to Collaborate without Borders.

A New View to Collaboratively Manage Projects
Compass AE is a collaborative methodology that allows a team with remotely-located members to collaborate regardless of time zones, technology or the project culture.

Compass AE achieves collaborative success by utilizing a project guidance system called the Tangible Vision. The Tangible Vision gives every team member the big picture of the project, the strategic approach towards the project and the priorities of the major milestones in terms that are tangible to the individual and inline with the team.

The Tangible Vision is collaboratively built by the team. Through this process, ambiguity is removed and the team is connected through their Tangible Vision. Team members understand what the project is about, what it’s not about and, more importantly, why the project is important to themselves, the team and the company.

The collaborative Build and Connect process unifies the team members both in direction and approach. This enables the Tangible Vision to Lead the team to a successful completion of the project by reducing uncertainty. The members also become more productive and efficient in its meetings and decision-making.


Compass AE utilizes this unique collaborative Build, Connect and Lead process that allows the team to understand the grand goal, the specific objectives and the connection between the specific objectives and the grand goal.

When a team connects to collaborate, it succeeds.

Copyright: 2006-2007 © Collaboration360 Consultants (C360).
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (without prior consent) is an infringement of copyright.

Any questions, please contact us at service [aat]collaboration360 [dott].com
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