Guided Collaboration

Posted on 10. Oct, 2012 by tom in New Ways to Work, blog

At Goshido, we like to talk about “guided collaboration.”  Why?  Because work is dynamic.  A revelation, I know!  But I think it’s time to reiterate first principles.  Namely, the nature of work has changed, and so must our tools if we’re going to keep up.

Whether it’s Steve Denning writing about self-organizing teams in “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management” or Charles Pierce writing about “The Limits of Control” in professional sports, you don’t have to look far to see examples of command-and-control failures.  Does your work ever fit together like this:

command and control

command and control

Of course not.  So why even try to structure your work in this manner?  Projects as formal entities can be invaluable, and structure is not just a necessary evil.  But hierarchies don’t adapt or evolve.  They’re static, they’re brittle, and sooner or later they break.

Many projects look more like this:

collaboration without coordination

collaboration without coordination

You know the starting point, and you know the desired endpoint.  What you can’t predict is how you’ll get from start to finish.  Knowledge work projects evolve.  You can’t eliminate complexity, but you can manage it if you get the right variables — who, what, and when — together in one place.

This concept is top of mind for me these days as a great TED talk by Clay Shirky on open-source government is receiving much well-deserved attention.  What caught my eye, from a project management perspective, was his discussion of version control systems.  Feudalism vs. open-source.

We’re not trying to eradicate feudalism here at Goshido, but we are trying to help make work better.  This matters to us.  Let us know how we’re helping you or your team be more effective or what we can do better.

Try Goshido, our collaboration & project management platform. Goshido is so flexible it can be used for projects in any part of your organization.

Goshido and Jive Turn Project Collaboration into Action with !APP Experiences

Posted on 14. May, 2012 by tom in New Ways to Work, Product

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and LIMERICK, Ireland, May 2, 2012 Goshido and Jive Software Inc., the industry’s largest pure-play social business provider, just made business collaboration even easier.  Earlier today, Jive launched its Jive !App Experiences, a breakthrough capability that seamlessly integrates business applications into the Social Business workflow.  Goshido’s new task and project management !App allows Jive users to turn team collaboration into productive action.  It’s the ultimate project execution tool—scalable, flexible and easy to use.  The app is available now via Jive Cloud.

“Goshido is an elegant social solution that boosts productivity,” said Jive Apps Market VP, Robin Bordoli.  “It can effortlessly handle large or small projects within or across teams, functional areas or entire organizations.  Few collaborative tools enable such rich flexibility.  It’s a natural fit to illustrate the power of the new Jive !App Experiences.”

“For us, making business more agile is just the start,” said Goshido CEO Tom Brennan.  “It’s action and results that really count.  That imperative holds true for individuals and their daily to-do lists, and large groups driving complex multi-year projects.  And that’s the promise of the new !App capability.  Now, users can create and insert Goshido actions right into their Jive documents and discussions.  Then, right from within Jive, activities and projects can be coordinated, managed and implemented in Goshido.”

Built for today’s knowledge worker, Goshido is changing how people work together.  While conventional project management solutions are focused on ‘management,’ Goshido helps individual employees to ‘accomplish.’  This ‘action’ overlay is Goshido’s essential differentiator.  It’s what’s valued most by Goshido users.

With the Jive !App integration, Goshido users can:

  • Create actions from within content in Jive, and quickly and easily create actions that can stand alone or be part of a much bigger project.
  • Work with actions right within their Jive What Matters stream.
  • Launch Goshido from a Jive Action Menu, and get right to work.

Please try Goshido, our collaboration & project management platform.  Everyone is a project manager these days.  Goshido is the best way to run any project.

JiveWorld Recap: Social Project Management is Here to Stay

Posted on 14. Oct, 2011 by tom in Events, New Ways to Work

At JiveWorld 2011 we learned some key insights into how the world of work is being transformed by technology. We also demonstrated the integrated Goshido Jive application which combines the best of both products. Among the audience I could sense a tangible belief that we are at the cusp of one of the most important technology & management transitions ever seen. The companies who make this transition will be more agile and successful than the ones who don’t.

Jim Worth has put together a wiki summarizing many aspects of JiveWorld. Jive will be making videos & presentations available in the near future. In this post we’ll focus on the key takeaways from the Goshido point of view:

  • The people are the platform:

    This was the message of Wednesday’s keynote, and we couldn’t agree more. Even in the most regimented businesses, people are still THE competitive differentiator. Jive really is about engagement, sharing and discovery. Goshido is about action. One plus one, in this case, can lead to a very significant sum.

  • Jive’s customers are committed:

    Everyone we spoke with was committed to improving the way work gets done in their businesses. This might mean changing process, or culture.

  • It’s not either/or:

    We were wondering if companies were using Jive for internal or external social business processes. It turns out that there were a wide mix of use cases, befitting the mix of industries and functional groups represented. Sometimes internal collaboration is the goal, sometimes customer facing opportunities are being addressed. In some cases companies are doing both. For example, Patrick Darling of Intel described how they built Intel Newsroom, a super-successful community-based news hub. Newsroom makes Intel’s PR faster to deliver, more social and easier to search.

  • Adoption is still a challenge:

    For both project management and social business solutions, the key is adoption. The not-so-good news is that there is still resistance to change. The really good news is that there is plenty of momentum and lots of room for improvement.

  • The new system of record:

    The alphabet soup of traditional business software extends from ERP to CRM. Jive Software is more people centric. Jive has re-imagined business communication from the ground-up to help you unlock business value in the social capital of your enterprise. Jive can become the new “system of record”, business software that’s as easy to use as consumer web applications. We believe Goshido can extend Jive to become the “system of action” for your organization.

  • ROI is top of mind:

    Many Jive customers reported significant returns on their investment in social business technology. This is a transition that has quantifiable benefits. For example, Dianne Kibbey spoke about how Premier Farnell created a thriving community for electronic design engineers.

  • Innovations and customer centric-engineering:

    In the Thursday keynote, Jive demonstrated some of the coming innovations in the platform. In a nice touch, the product development team stood up and gave a round of applause to the many customers in the room. It turns out the whole team had flown in the night before and spent the following day talking to customers at presentations, lunch and demos.

Thank you for reading

We hope you found something useful in this post. Please try our product Goshido, the project collaboration & management solution designed for the people who do the work. Teams all over the world are using Goshido to get work done. When everyone on your team is focused on the things that matter, work flows and you can accomplish the extraordinary.

Goshido + Jive: Making Project Management Social

Posted on 05. Oct, 2011 by tom in Events, New Ways to Work, Product, blog

There’s a revolution happening in the way businesses are being organized. Traditional command-and-control hierarchies are evolving into an emergent-and-adaptive network of people working across organizational boundaries. The best performing organizations have universal accountability. Goshido helps organizations be more agile and naturally accountable.

This week we’re at JiveWorld where we’re showing our latest integration, which connects Goshido with the Jive Software platform. This integrated offering will soon be available in the Jive Apps Market, and we’re convinced that it will help advance our goal of transforming how knowledge workers engage and collaborate.

A great idea in a Jive discussion could become a complex project for an entire team, executed in Goshido. Knowledge work projects don’t always follow pre-programmed roadmaps, but most project management solutions are designed as if they do. With Goshido, anyone can connect actions together into projects that can evolve and grow.

Goshido is project management for people who are doing the work. Unlike traditional project management solutions, Goshido scales to handle complex projects while remaining easy to use. Most project management solutions focus on planning. Goshido helps you focus on execution.

The nature of work has changed. Goshido helps you keep pace with that change. Our software helps teams to execute projects – to keep all the moving parts moving. Hundreds of teams all over the world are using Goshido to get work done. When everyone on your team is focused on the things that matter, work flows and you can accomplish the extraordinary.

Thank you for reading

We hope you found something useful. Please try Goshido, our collaboration & project management platform. Goshido can help you and your teams to take action in the absence of orders and communicate with clarity.

Project Collaboration Roundup: structured fighting, project timebombs, productivity guidelines & Enterprise 2.0

Posted on 23. Sep, 2011 by tom in Guides, New Ways to Work, Roundup, blog

We know that it’s hard to stay on top of all of your activities. That said, it’s rare that we think of our projects as ticking time bombs. This week we have some useful rules and advice about productivity, and lots of good thinking on collaboration and new ways of working socially.

project collaboration productive fight

John Morehouse by KrissZPhotography

Clay Shirky on collaboration: structured fighting

In a story by Joe Brockmeier posted on ReadWriteWeb, a talk by the always thought-provoking Clay Shirky hits on some important points, and an interesting metaphor. As we like to preach here at Goshido, large projects are really made up of lots of small projects, and lots of actions.

Are your projects out of control?

First, the bad news. According to a study conducted by Professor Bent Flyvbjerg, BT Professor and Founding Chair of Major Programme Management at the University of Oxford one in six projects are “out of control.” Late, over budget, and out of control is no way to go through life. When I saw the phrase “ticking time bomb,” I certainly took notice.

Perhaps some rules for productivity would help?

A presentation from Dan at Lostgarden covers eight common workplace topics and how you should approach them. It’s important to remember that productivity is more than just more units produced per unit worked, and the pdf or powerpoint (take your pick) provides some strong guidance.

The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business – by Laurie Buczek

And ideas about how to fix it from the trenches. Three key takeaways:

  • Focus on creating a natural collaborative experience
  • Focus on providing an easy & intuitive user experience
  • Focus on dissolving collaborative islands- don’t create more with social tools

Thank you for reading

We hope you found something useful. Please try Goshido, our collaboration & project management platform. Goshido can help you and your teams to take action in the absence of orders and communicate with clarity.

Photo by KrissZPhotography, available under a Creative Commons attribution license

The Four Principles of Leadership

Posted on 20. Sep, 2011 by tom in Leadership

In a recent post “The Monk and the Knowledge Worker” Donal told an old story about a Buddhist monk. Now it’s time to tackle some leadership lessons from another “old company,” this time the Jesuits.


In his book Heroic Leadership, Chris Lowney analyzes what he calls the four pillars of success:

  • Self-awareness: understand your strengths, weaknesses, values, and worldview
  • Ingenuity: confidently innovate and adapt to a changing world
  • Love: engage others with a positive attitude that unlocks their potential
  • Heroism: energize yourself and others with heroic ambitions and a passion for excellence

As you might expect from an author who is both a former Jesuit and investment banker, the lessons from the book manage to be both manifold and on-point for the challenges we face in business today. If you think cracking China is hard today, imagine how hard it was four centuries ago? But using their core leadership principles, the Jesuits managed achievements that were truly heroic.

Stripping away any positive or negative biases, the lessons of the Jesuits can be seen in the works of experts as diverse as Peter Drucker or Daniel Goleman. Drucker on the knowledge economy and worker, and Goleman on managerial self-awareness (his 5 core competencies: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill).

Working in a world with lots of everyday distractions (aka information overload) awards a high value to those who can effectively tune out those distractions and focus on the key goals at hand. One way to make ambitious goals manageable is to break them down into smaller goals. Lowney even invokes the challenge of kicking a smoking habit, the same metaphor captured in the title of David Maister’s wonderful book “Strategy and the Fat Smoker.”

We spend so much time looking forward in business today that sometimes we forget that there’s still much to be learned by looking back. Clearing the clutter – understanding clearly what you need to do and what you need to know – can free you to be more productive, and perhaps even heroic.

Reading list:

Thanks for reading

Please try Goshido, our collaboration & project management platform. Goshido can help you and your team to make ambitious goals manageable by breaking them down into smaller goals.

Photo by Brian Jeffery Beggerly, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

Enterprise 2.0: What’s Next for Social Business?

Posted on 30. Jun, 2011 by tom in New Ways to Work

Would you like some process with your social business? And just to be clear before we dive in, I come not to bury the E 2.0 movement, but rather to suggest where we need to do more.

Ger and I spent some time last week at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, and we had an extremely productive three days. The energy was great, and candidly, the Hynes was full of smart people who are passionate about making their organizations and themselves more productive and better able to take action on the information with which we’re surrounded today.

If you want a recap of the conference, please visit the blog of Cecil Dijoux. You won’t find a better recap – thank you Cecil and thanks to all who tweeted out his work. While there is plenty of skepticism surrounding the E2.0 movement, Cecil’s summary provides some real data points that indicate a real and grounded revolution.

Please remember this positive recap as you read on. Again, I’m not here to bury E 2.0, but I do think some important issues are still barely being surfaced. Namely, there’s such a focus on information – wikis, chats, document repositories, social media listening and data – that we sometimes forget that we actually have work to do. We have tasks, goals and objectives, and deliverables owed to our colleagues, our partners, and our customers.

This is not a technology challenge. In fact, one exhibiting vendor’s “social dashboard” looked like the modular (“widgets” anyone?) web dashboards we were offering consumers in 1996.

This is not a category challenge. The issue isn’t whether the focus needs to be aimed at CRM, KM, ECM, etc. Work today requires cross-functional dependencies more than ever, so a premium on communication and adaptive work processes is by definition critical. Denis Pombriant had a nice posting last week that touched on this issue.

I believe we have a perception challenge. There’s still a gulf between the tools and data we have at our disposal right now, and the processes by which organizations and people are going to use those tools and data. IBM or Oracle saying that they have social business covered through the use of repurposed command and control tools doesn’t mean that they do. And saying that we’re going to self organize and ignore structure and process isn’t going to work either.

It’s our humble view here at Goshido that we need a sharper focus on doing. And one way to sharpen this focus is to think about how we can make guided collaboration a reality. We need to be more agile too. Not agile with a capital “A” and a manifesto, but agile as it’s defined in the dictionary.

Enterprise 2.0 is here to stay, but we have a lot of work to do. I guess that’s not a bad thing, right?!

Try Goshido, a new cloud-platform, which helps people: focus, communicate, and do their best work. Goshido applies new principles for how work can be organized; the perfect blend of Agile, Lean, Productivity and Attention Management.

Try Goshido (free trial)

Goshido Product Update

Posted on 02. Mar, 2011 by tom in New Ways to Work

Last week the Goshido product team delivered an exciting new release, and I’d like to share a few of the new features here. We keep working to make it easier for you to get to the actions and updates most important to you.

  • One click to all updates: from any action, you’re now one click away from all of the updates on not just that action, but updates on all subactions too.
  • Better work plans: we’ve made some changes to how plans work in Goshido, and you can learn more and watch a video in our Help center.
  • More information about a person’s activities: in addition to the actions you’re authorized to see, with one click you can now see a person’s updates across all of the actions and projects to which you’re subscribed.
  • Goshido bookmarklet: also new in our Help center, you can now grab a Goshido bookmarklet to add to your browser. Just select and bookmark things in your browser bar and it will create actions in Goshido.

As always, let us know what we can do to help you work better together. That’s our mission.

Organization Structure and Working

Posted on 17. Feb, 2011 by tom in New Ways to Work

We talk a lot at Goshido about new ways of working. And not only do we talk about what might be considered best practices – we actually put many of these concepts to the test every day in both our activities and our product development efforts. With this in mind, two blog postings last week caught my eye on the themes of organization structure and getting work done.

The first posting was actually a rather lengthy and thought-provoking article by Dave Gray of XPLANE ⎟ Dachis Group. Titled The Connected Company, Dave posits some well-considered arguments comparing long-lived companies to cities, which are in turn a metaphor for complex organisms. I’m a firm believer that building and maintaining a company’s distinct culture is step one in building a successful enterprise. Dave provides some much-appreciated depth on this topic.

The second posting focuses on Agile, and the challenges large development organizations face when it comes to release planning. While I’m probably not qualified to state that Release Planning is Evil, I’m enough of a common sense guy to buy into Erik Huddleston’s notion that planning methods need to better reflect the flexible and organic nature of work and teams in today’s company. Sometimes work involves 400 people on 1 project, but more likely, work involves 4 people on 100 projects, with those 4 person teams shifting dynamically based on the specific problems at hand.

Let us know what you think. We want Goshido to help empower you to work more effectively.

New Years Resolutions? It’s not too late!

Posted on 03. Feb, 2011 by tom in New Ways to Work

Punxsutawney Phil has made his annual appearance, but given the mountain of snow in my front yard, I hope you’ll forgive my skepticism regarding his prediction of an early Spring. By this time of year, many of us are happier to see our old classmate Ned Ryerson than think about the New Years resolutions we’ve already left behind. Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn about new ways to work.

Goshido is all about helping individuals, teams and organizations work more effectively. No matter where you sit in an organization – Enterprise 2.0, social business, or creating a Getting Things Done plan, can help make work better.

I’ve been involved in software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses since 1999. One of the most gratifying things I’ve seen is the dovetailing of some of the best benefits of SaaS with trends in the workplace, such as Agile. SaaS gives you frequent product updates, tight customer feedback loops, and ad hoc collaboration giving superior service. The benefits of Agile are now extending beyond software development into areas such as sales and marketing.

The new ways of work are here to stay, and Goshido is designed to help you make the most of them. Take a look and let us know how we’re doing.

You can try Goshido at no cost today.