Clash of the Titans 2020 - Peter O'Kelly

September 7, 2020 · · Posted by Peter O'Kelly

ImageRevisiting Communication/Collaboration/Content Competition, ‘Co-opetition,’ and Culture: Opportunities for Traction Software and its Customer Community, my 2010 Traction User Group (TUG) presentation, it’s fascinating to realize how deeply the product strategies of the leading enterprise communication, collaboration, and content (3C) vendors were disrupted over the last decade. It’s also frankly a bit discouraging to realize how much 3C potential has yet to be realized by most mainstream enterprise end users, although that’s somewhat offset by the knowledge that Traction customers have been benefitting from the ongoing refinement of TeamPage’s pioneering collaborative hypertext journaling system the entire time. In this post, I’ll share perspectives on what has changed in the 3C product families of the vendors identified as enterprise 3C titans in the 2010 presentation along with some highlights of vendors that weren’t part of the 2010 discussion but are important 3C competitors today. I’ll close with some thoughts about where Traction fits into the current enterprise 3C landscape.

Revisiting 3C Market Dynamics

For some high-level context setting, it’s useful to start with a review of some market dynamics that disrupted all enterprise 3C vendors over the last decade. It was clear by 2010 that the internet architecture had prevailed – that modern 3C products built on HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript were the future, and that proprietary formats, protocols, and APIs were frowned upon by enterprise IT decision-makers – but there were also some surprises.

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Revisiting the list of market dynamics enabling 3C optimization in 2010:

  • The target for contextual applications shifted from PCs to smartphones and tablets, and that, from a 3C perspective, typically meant reverting to basics such as email and chat apps along with file attachments. Slack and other 3C startups were able to build momentum against the enterprise 3C incumbents in part by starting with relatively simple mobile apps (with backend services usually hosted on AWS).

  • Social content and social networking didn’t go according to the c2010 “Enterprise 2.0” vision. Many of the wiki-focused startups faltered, and some of the market leaders were acquired and subsumed into broader product portfolios. In the consumer market, blogging and microblogging were generally disrupted by Facebook and Twitter, and many activity stream-focused enterprise offerings were similarly disrupted by the basic Internet Relay Chat (IRC) model revitalized by Slack.

  • The XML information architecture that was gaining momentum in 2010, despite developer grumblings about its complexity (with XML Schema, XQuery, etc.), was disrupted by the advent of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). JSON had already been around for nearly a decade by 2010, and XML hasn’t been completely vanquished, but JSON’s growth during the last decade has led to some major information architecture disruption.

  • The integrated work and personal tools I described in 2010 did not, for a variety of reasons, come to fruition. Apple’s Messages and FaceTime apps are popular for people using Apple devices outside of work, for example, but they often aren’t practical in the mixed-platform enterprise world. Microsoft Teams was another surprise in this context, rushed to market in late 2016 to compete with Slack and still mostly limited, by mid-2020, to intra-enterprise 3C needs.

  • The “software + services shift” described in the 2010 presentation was also disruptive. While Google G Suite has been a cloud-based offering from the start, it took Microsoft many years to transition from the basic Exchange Online and SharePoint Online services in its early BPOS suite to its current Microsoft 365 product family. In the meantime, startups such as Basecamp, Slack, and Trello leveraged the “mobile-first, cloud-first” transition to build large customer communities.

Tumultuous Titanic Transitions

Turning to a review of the 3C product portfolios of the vendors highlighted in the 2010 TUG presentation, I’ll follow the same sequence (IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and Cisco) and briefly address some of today’s market leaders that likely weren’t on the 2010 enterprise short list (or didn’t exist then).

IBM had an exceptionally difficult decade. Its overall business was severely challenged, especially by the enterprise shift to cloud platforms. IBM was unable to make cloud data center investments at the level required to compete with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, and it also couldn’t sustain its historical investments in its 3C product families.

The IBM Notes/Domino installed base has been a primary migration target for Microsoft and Google for many years, especially for enterprise messaging, and IBM’s 3C platforms based on WebSphere and its cloud acquisitions and ports, the company’s big 3C bets in 2010, failed to build market momentum. IBM attempted to leverage the activity stream model with IBM Verse (with, inevitably, Watson-powered “cognitive bots”), and expanded into human capital management and other collaboration-centric market segments, but those initiatives were also generally unsuccessful.

IBM quietly sold nearly all its 3C products to HCL in 2019. Many enterprises worldwide still use Notes/Domino, Sametime, Connections, and other former IBM 3C products, and it’s possible HCL will be able to at least slow migrations from the products by investing in the former IBM products that still have unique capabilities (e.g., Notes for 3C app development), but it’s unlikely IBM’s former 3C product lines will amount to more than an installed-base play at this point. Incidentally, IBM is also one of Slack’s biggest customers today.

Microsoft’s 3C journey has also been a bit bumpy over the last ten years, but it has been far more responsive to changing market conditions than IBM was, and it had the financial resources to make massive cloud platform investments that IBM couldn’t match. Microsoft’s 3C success required a few strategic acquisitions and a lot of enterprise customer patience, but it is now in a strong enterprise 3C market leadership position.

SharePoint’s shrinking role was one of the biggest changes in Microsoft’s 3C portfolio since 2010. At that time, SharePoint was Microsoft’s primary focus for collaboration and content, but its .NET-based architecture and server-generated user experience model (which generally felt a lot like a circa 1996 intranet platform) made it difficult for Microsoft to keep up with faster-moving competitors, and the company made several major acquisitions (e.g., Skype in 2011 and Yammer in 2012) in attempts to address changing enterprise customer needs. SharePoint in many ways now resembles Lotus Notes: both were enterprise 3C leaders (starting more than a decade apart) with large installed bases and partner communities, but generally lacking enthusiastic end users.

SharePoint was relegated to more of a supporting role by the time of the 2015 Microsoft Ignite conference, coincident with the launch of Office 365 Groups and with emphasis on newer Office apps such as Delve, but the SharePoint customer and partner communities remained committed, and a year later, at the 2016 Ignite conference, SharePoint was again back at the center of the Microsoft collaboration and content strategy.

A mere five weeks after the 2016 Ignite conference, however, Microsoft essentially threw away some SharePoint-centric parts of its 2016 Ignite script with the surprising introduction of Microsoft Teams, which became known as Microsoft’s “Slack killer.” Teams, which builds on services spread across Azure, Exchange, and OneDrive, and SharePoint, has since become very popular. The legacy SharePoint app developer community also continues, but even Microsoft’s 3C-centric tools strategy has been disrupted, with a shift to Power Automate (originally named Flow) and Power Apps.

Google also had a bit of a bumpy enterprise 3C experience during the last ten years. There had been longstanding questions about the extent to which G Suite was considered a hobby to Google’s leadership team, with the Google consumer platform app/service teams periodically throwing code over a Googleplex wall to be extended for enterprise deployments, a perspective reinforced by Google’s relatively small investments in enterprise customer support programs.

Like IBM, Google also had more strategic business challenges to address, especially Facebook’s rapid growth in the digital advertising domain. Google attempted to directly challenge Facebook with Google+, launched in mid-2011, and had high hopes for its consumer-oriented collaboration potential (which would subsequently be added to G Suite), but Google+ failed to disrupt the social networking domain and was shut down in 2019. The enterprise version of Google+ was scaled back and rebranded as Google Currents.

With Google appearing a bit ambivalent about its G Suite business and Microsoft hitting its stride with Office 365 (later renamed Microsoft 365), Microsoft was able to regain some competitive ground lost to Google earlier in the decade. In late 2018, however, Google hired Thomas Kurian, a seasoned enterprise software leader with more than twenty years of experience at Oracle, to lead its Google Cloud and G Suite businesses, and Kurian in turn hired Javier Soltero to lead the G Suite business.

Soltero was previously a Microsoft Office Corporate VP, having joined Microsoft when the company acquired Acompli (of which Soltero was co-founder and CEO) to create Outlook Mobile. Soltero recently introduced a new and streamlined version of Gmail, consolidating a range of communication and collaboration capabilities (mail, chat, rooms, and meetings) in a streamlined user experience.

Overall, despite some detours and missteps over the years, Google now appears to be poised for resurgence in the enterprise 3C market. A lot is riding on G Suite’s success, in part because every Microsoft 365 customer is also an Azure customer, making it more difficult for Google to build enterprise momentum for Google Cloud.

Oracle and Cisco, the last two “titans” highlighted in my 2010 TUG presentation, both had experiences more like IBM’s than Microsoft’s or Google’s. Oracle Beehive failed to build significant customer momentum, and Oracle’s enterprise customers today are likely to be far more interested in integrating Oracle’s app suites with Microsoft Teams or Slack than they are in using any 3C Oracle products.

Cisco had an even more difficult decade. Rather than expanding its real-time communications and WebEx web conferencing businesses into a full suite of 3C apps and services, as it hoped to do in 2010, Cisco is now facing unprecedented competitive challenges from a group of former WebEx executives who left Cisco in 2011 to create Zoom. By early September 2020, Zoom, accelerated by the abrupt shift to people working and learning from home triggered by the 2020 pandemic, was worth more than $107B (at that time approximately 62% of Cisco’s market cap, and closer to 97% of IBM’s market cap).

Some Enterprise 3C Disruptors

If I were to present a similar enterprise 3C “titan” presentation today, Atlassian would follow Microsoft, Google, and Slack, in terms of overall enterprise 3C importance. Founded in Australia in 2002, Atlassian started with Jira, a project- and issue-tracking app that has been broadly successful with development teams and has been expanded into other business domains (such as general-purpose project management).

In addition to Jira, Atlassian became a leading wiki platform competitor with its Confluence platform, introduced in 2004, and Confluence has remained a popular collaboration and content solution while other early commercial wiki platform vendors (e.g., CubeTree, JotSpot, and Socialtext) were acquired and subsumed into broader product suites. Tangentially, the hype-to-reality index on wikis got so far out of control during the “enterprise 2.0” marketing wave that Atlassian doesn’t promote Confluence as a wiki platform at this point; you won’t find a single instance of the word “wiki” on the Confluence product overview page.

Atlassian was also an early enterprise chat competitor with HipChat, and later launched Stride, a more advanced Slack competitor, but subsequently opted for a strategic partnership with (and investment in) Slack in 2018 and retired its own chat products.

Atlassian also acquired Trello in 2017, expanding its project and task management portfolio. Overall, while Atlassian has generally been a somewhat quiet, engineering-driven company, foregoing aggressive marketing campaigns, it had grown to become a more than $45B public company by early September 2020, and its Slack partnership is highly complementary.

Slack, of course, was arguably the biggest 3C disruptor of the last ten years. In hindsight, it might seem improbable that Slack was able to transform a reimplementation of IRC (including IRC-style bots), admittedly with modern mobile apps, a globally scalable architecture on AWS, and a vibrant community of integration partners, into an enterprise 3C leadership role. Slack was broadly deployed by the time Microsoft introduced Teams in late 2016, however, and its approximately $17.5B market cap, by early September 2020, provided the company with a lot of leverage for expansion.

Salesforce is another major enterprise vendor with a strong 3C value proposition. Its 2016 acquisition of Quip provided a modern productivity app foundation in which Salesforce can integrate its line-of-business app suite with streamlined and hypertext-based contextual activities.

Zoom is also well-positioned as a future enterprise 3C titan, of course. While it’s currently considered primarily a web conferencing vendor, Zoom has some significant market expansion opportunities and a phenomenal amount of financial leverage.

As a final titan-level vendor note, Amazon has been primarily mentioned in reference to AWS so far in this post, but Amazon also has a variety of 3C offerings including Amazon Chime for voice and video meetings, Amazon WorkDocs for file storage and sharing, and Amazon WorkMail for enterprise messaging. Amazon Honeycode, for no-code and database-driven mobile and web app development, was introduced in mid-2020 and has some 3C potential, but its launch does not appear to have garnered much enterprise interest so far.

Amazon also faces a classic “co-opetition” conundrum, however, in that most of the 3C apps/services not currently controlled by Facebook, Google, or Microsoft are likely to be hosted on AWS. With its financial leverage, Amazon could seek to acquire leading vendors such as Airtable, Atlassian, Box, Dropbox (which launched on AWS but later migrated to a private data center network), and/or Slack, but AWS leadership may assume the revenues AWS earns by hosting many 3C market leaders and its vibrant ecosystem of 3C partners comprise a better strategic bet. At this point, in any case, Amazon is not, directly, a strong enterprise 3C competitor.

Traction: Still the Collaborative Hypertext Journaling System Pioneer

A decade after my 2010 TUG presentation, I continue to believe Traction TeamPage best exemplifies the hypertext 3C potential that industry legends including Doug Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and Andy van Dam envisioned more than fifty years ago. While the enterprise 3C titans have been constantly disrupting their customers and partners with major changes to their product lines over the years, Traction’s team has remained focused on a consistent vision that’s delivered by its robust (and patented) collaborative hypertext journaling system architecture.

Although Traction is still a relatively small vendor, its sustained focus on substantive customer solutions and ongoing refinement of its platform make it a vendor to consider for all organizations seeking to benefit from the transition to the types of contextual activities that remain central to the overall 3C value proposition.

Related

Clash of the Titans - Peter O'Kelly at TUG 2010

August 31, 2020 · · Posted by Greg Lloyd

ImageI'm happy to present a transcript and quotes from Peter O'Kelly's TUG 2010 talk Communication / Collaboration / Content Competition, "Co-opetition," and Culture: Opportunities for Traction Software and its Customer Community. Or, as I'll call it here Clash of the Titans. Peter draws on his career as Lotus Notes product manager at Lotus Development Corporation and IBM, IBM Director of Business Development, Groove Networks product manager, MacroMedia vice president of strategy, Microsoft Solutions Architect, and senior analyst or director with the Patricia Seybold Group, the Burton Group, and O'Kelly Associates - see Peter's LinkedIn page and personal blog. I asked Peter to write a 'Where are they now' follow up post, and he cheerfully agreed! Look for it here next week.

Peter's TUG 2010 talk was based on both his experience and his lively interest in hypertext and compound/interactive document models. In 2006, Peter wrote:

"Hypertext is simply a better form-follows function fit (than print-centric approaches) for the way people actually think and work. Compound documents facilitate focusing more on information work than on disparate technologies and tools, and foster more effective content management. Interactive document models are used to automatically and unobtrusively offer supplemental resources and actions in context, providing opportunities to more effectively leverage tools and metadata without disruptive context shifts."

In his TUG 2010 talk, Peter outlines a 25 year view on what he calls a 3C framework: Communication, Collaboration, and Content.

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Using this 3C framework, Peter analyzes the history and culture of competing titans: Lotus / IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and Cisco - and where Traction TeamPage fits.

Peter O'Kelly 1:54 I'm going to talk about the Battle of the Titans that's going on right now because there's a very intense platform versus focused or best of breed, player kind of battle going on right now. Then I'll talk about where I see Traction fitting in and talk about a few cultural considerations. It's interesting for me, especially having been involved with Notes going back to the late 1980s. It's interesting to hear, these are perennial challenges, the sorts of things we've been discussing this morning.

Peter O'Kelly 2:22 So I'll try and share some good news. And again, bad news on that. And then discussion, my guess is we're going to run a little bit short on time because we're going to be hungry. So for discussion, I'm going to be around through lunch through the clambake tonight and also be around tomorrow afternoon because things they want to go into more detail on.

Peter O'Kelly 2:38 So: a very brief history of 3C. See the crux of this slide is this stuff's not new. People have been doing this for a long time. It's sort of good once in a while to stand back and say, really, why are we doing this, what we're doing this in order to get things done, we can get very creative about definitions of words like communication, collaboration and content, but ultimately the measure of this has to be 'Is it useful for getting work done?' Does it help people work together more effectively, as we've discussed this morning. From my view content, it's interesting if you do look up things in the dictionary once in a while I consider it procrasti-research to go out and check them...

Peter O'Kelly 3:52 It's a lot easier these days because people understand as you mentioned, you should do this you may be on your way to Guantanamo or you might just be unemployed. You know, you don't want to be the one who has problems with information, governments regulatory compliance. And again, everybody is just incredibly burdened for effective time and attention management, both at work and in things we do outside of work as well. So with that, one of the things are just again on a brief history on this tip of the hat to Vannevar Bush - some people say Vannevar Bush - as well. I'm sure many of you have been in the Traction community for a long time understand 65 years ago, in July 1945 there was this seminal article in The Atlantic Monthly ‘As We May Think’ there's a link behind this you can go look at as well if you want to check it out. I'm pretty sure he was from another planet because he was so prescient on what he was able to deliver he in turn influenced Doug Engelbart and it just kind of went from there with Andy van Dam, Alan Kay a bunch of others.

Peter O'Kelly 4:51 It's we've been doing this for a while. Another one that's kind of interesting is with Plato, which doesn't get a lot of air play in this. The Plato group had it 50th anniversary as well, and Ray Ozzie's down there. So Plato begat Plato Notes, VAX Notes, Lotus Notes other things, again, you see a very long term history of this. And it was interesting, then a couple of points this morning, the idea of conceptual models or using models of working with these things have has come up. And I think the products that have lasted the longest, the ones that have been most influential are ones that had a really clear sense of what they were trying to accomplish. And I'll come back to that later on in a comment about Traction.

Peter O'Kelly 5:32 One of the things that's kind of challenging about this space is marketing people tend to get very creative. So for some vendors, everything is about communication. Collaboration is a subset of communication, Eg Cisco thinks everything's about communication. For others, communication is a subset of collaboration, very squishy, and you're using common names and synonyms and not being clear on it. So one of the things I found is useful is to start with just a vendor and product independent framework that says, what are we talking about and how these pieces fit together.

Peter O'Kelly 6:00 Very briefly communication is just about the transmission of information from point A to point B. That's it usually comes in different communication channels, items and channels. Collaboration is joint purposeful work. It usually happens in workspaces with shared artifacts. Everybody gets it that communication is that is asynchronous communication. emails, the biggest one there I'd argue are blogs, and some NNTP or Usenet style discussion forums are also communication channels. Most people understand real time or synchronous communication is dominated by telephony and instant messaging, web conferencing for synchronous collaboration, most people understand that probably at least participated in web conferences and things like Live Meeting, and WebEx.

Peter O'Kelly 6:44 But this last one, which is central to what we're talking about today, is the asynchronous collaboration. That's sort of the wild frontier for a lot of people still so you've got document libraries, lists, wikis, workspace based discussion forums, I think that's the one that's least mature in the market right now.

Peter O'Kelly 7:00 It also turns out to be one that has an incredible return on investment if you play it well. So I'm just putting this framework up here, because I'm going to come back in a couple minutes and talk about IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Google, and we are going to eat lunch at about 12:30!

What about Traction TeamPage?

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See the live live Otter.ai transcript, video and slides from Peter's TUG 2010 talk below for an insider's story of a competitive market in flux. At that time IBM alone had a long list of competing models and product families - Notes Domino? Quick Place? Quicker on Domino? Quicker on WebSphere? SameTime? which SameTime? Workplace? OutBlaze? Lotus Slide iNotes? Web Dialogs? "So if you're an administrator, an end user, an architect working on applications, you have a lot of opportunity to learn different things, I guess."

Other titans were similarly riding off madly in all directions. Do you remember Google Buzz? Google Wave? Oracle Beehive? Microsoft Lync? Cisco Quad? Peter does! Look for Peter’s ‘Where are they now?’ follow up which he’ll post here next week.

Peter O'Kelly TUG 2010 transcript

Peter O'Kelly TUG 2010 video

See also

Related

Aug 2020 | Core Project Management, email digest generation, and incoming email processing improvements

ImageTeamPage Summer 2020 Release improves performance of queries that power TeamPage's core Project Management views and feeds. This also speeds up Data Tables used to embed project, task, milestone, and other interactive tables in TeamPage articles. The release improves rules for automatic cleanup of incoming email posted to TeamPage directly or as a reply to an outgoing TeamPage email notification. The release also makes outgoing TeamPage email digest generation more efficient, and improves external search engine synchronization used to automatically reindex modified articles or attachments. SDK improvements focus on changes related to sending and receiving email.

Other Highlights

  • Optimized the way that TeamPage retrieves auxiliary data after an initial page load. This includes sparkles and completion status mini-graphs displayed in various contexts for projects and milestones.
  • Fixed bug that prevented subscriptions to custom email digests from being deleted along with all standard digests when the receiver of an email clicked the "Unsubscribe from All Email Digests" link.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented external search engine indices from being updated when indexed folders were renamed or moved.
  • Updated the version of JavaMail that TeamPage uses to 1.6.2.
  • Fixed an issue with the data that TeamPage sends for calendar invitations that are all day events - spanning one or more full days. Previously not all calendar software would be able to interpret the event invitations as spanning a range of days rather than a range of hours.
  • Reduced the amount of memory required for digest generation and email article operations.
  • Improved the appearance of section and section table widgets included in digests and emailed articles.
  • Improved the appearance of extended entry metadata that appears in digests and emailed articles.
  • Optimized the way TeamPage tracks information required to keep the data in an external search engine in synch with the latest modifications of articles or attachments
  • Improved the way that TeamPage generates HTML for inline references to images and other media to use 'lazy' loading - only loading them when the user scrolls the page where the image or other media must be rendered.
  • The Traction public SDK API now contains an object that can be used to write customizations the use the Email Articles capability.
  • Improved the IncludeManage SDK interface to add optional nested scopes which makes it easy to create renderings for self-contained embedded sub-documents.
  • Added the ability to use the contents of a file for an SDK message body.
  • Clients can now access any SDK UserAgent object by its configuration name, or with a user-agent identification string
  • The TeamPage Summer 2020 Release (6.2.46) incorporates over 50 bug fixes and general improvements, see TeamPage Change Log for a complete list of updates shipped since the Winter 2020 Release

Related

Mar 2019 | TeamPage release focuses on Performance, Quality Management, and Interactive Tables - Queries and interactive Data Tables

Data Tables Plug-in About TeamPage integration of the open-source DataTables JQuery plug-in for the JQuery Javascript library.

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style Understand how TeamPage connects people and their work.

A Fabric, not a Platform Making work actionable as well as observable: Objects, context, conversation, connection.

More Observable Work - Transcribing Jim McGee's TUG 2010 Keynote

July 22, 2020 · · Posted by Greg Lloyd

ImageWorking from home like much of the world, I thought it would be a good time to try out a new tool to transcribe Jim McGee's Doing and Managing Knowledge Work TUG 2010 keynote. The 2010 Traction User Group theme was Observable Work, with Jim's opening keynote, a closing keynote by Jon Udell, and a four hour Observable Workshop moderated by Jon on the last morning of the meeting, see 12-15 Oct 2010 | Fifth Annual Traction User Group Meeting, TUG 2010 Newport

Jim and Jon spun out the value of 'observable work' in blog posts from 2002 through 2010. In 2002, Jim wrote:

"One thing that differentiates knowledge work today from other craft work is that, except for final product, knowledge work is essentially invisible. All the important stuff takes place inside knowledge workers's heads. This has not always been true of knowledge work and need not be true...

One unintended consequence of today's technology environment is to make the process of knowledge work less visible just when we need it to be more so. The end products of knowledge work are already highly refined abstractions; a financial analysis, project plan, consulting report, or article. Today, the evolution from germ of an idea through intermediate representations and false starts to finished product exists, if at all, as a series of morphing digital representations and ephemeral feedback interactions."

In 2010 Jon wrote:

"In the pre-industrial era, education and work were: Observable, connected
In the post-industrial era, they are: Non-observable, disconnected"

I don’t think the notion of visible work or observable work is new: mentoring, apprenticeship, and letting trusted folk watch, learn and use what they see on their own is how law, medicine and other professions were originally taught and refined as collaborative practices - and it's still so today. But as Jim points out, we've lost some of the habits of observable work - to some degree intentionally, to some degree due to blinders added by the tools we've grown comfortable using.

I believe that principles of open, observable work – like open book financial reporting to employees – is a simple and powerful principle that people at every level of an organization can become comfortable using. In my opinion, wider adoption of observable work principles can succeed with support and encouragement from true leaders at every level of an organization, as Peter Drucker defines that role: "A manager's task is to make the strengths of people effective and their weakness irrelevant—and that applies fully as much to the manager's boss as it applies to the manager's subordinates."

Jim's opening keynote set the stage

Jim McGee 18:14
I had an insight many years ago when I was trying to understand why it was that we weren't seeing take up of the system, the knowledge management systems we were deploying. What was, why weren't we getting knowledge sharing? Why wasn't it happening? And what I realized in the shower one morning, where all best ideas occur, I got it. I knew who the lazy SOB was, wasn't doing the share. It was me six months ago.

Jim McGee 18:49
I wasn't sharing with myself. I wasn't paying attention to what I needed to do when I did it. And so I couldn't I couldn't find my own work. And I can't find In my own work and on the other knowledge workers in your organization can't find their own work.

Jim McGee 19:27
And the sharing takes places, the sharing if you look at the social dimension of knowledge sharing in most organizations, it all starts with a conversation or a phone call. You never find anything useful going directly into the knowledge management system. Never. You always find something useful talking to someone who will point you to - and we keep thinking of that as a bug, not a feature.

Jim McGee 19:59
But that's really the only way it's going to work.

Jim used a two dimensional diagram to show artifacts of work, with individual to socially constructed artifacts shown vertically, and informal to formally structured artifacts shown on the horizontal axis. In broad categories he talked about 'Ideas and Notions' on the left, 'Working Papers' in the center, and 'Deliverables' on the right.

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Jim McGee 31:13
So if you get if you get too focused on deliverables you lose sight of what sort of what comes after the deliverable, which is the decision or the action. So, but you start with deliverables and you start making you start tracking and you keep you pay attention.

Jim McGee 31:28
But the next piece is then you move back to a concept that I learned back in my days when I had to work in an auditing firm. I was a consultant, but it was it was Arthur Andersen and they wanted all of us to pretend that we knew something about auditing. I actually had to go into a vault once and literally count stock certificates and bond certificates as part of an audit.

Jim McGee 32:05
But one of the brilliant things that auditors did is they created this notion of working papers. They were all paper that but you know all of the documents and memos in the in the intermediate products that they worked with along the way to get to the... Cause the deliverable for an auditor was it was a two page letter. Right?

Jim McGee 32:27
And in fact, 90% of that two page letter was strict boilerplate. So what they needed to do in order to justify it to themselves and to their clients, but they needed to, they needed to be able to demonstrate what work had gone into creating a deliverable. We reviewed this many accounts, we sent these letters out to, you know, shareholders, we did X we did Y we ran this analysis, we found that and so this notion of working papers is a useful one to recover and to think in terms of as you do the work work you're doing is to think in terms of the intermediate products because the intermediate products are the ones where real reuse is going to be possible...

Jim McGee 33:42
Okay, now I got to source the data differently, but the analytic piece still holds. Now if it's buried in a deliverable I can't I can't find it. So you know, I can I you know, what, what you'll do if you're if your knowledge system is only working with deliverables is you go in, you open up a bunch of deliverables and you skim through it, you look for the graph, and then you try, then you hope you can find the particular analyst who did the work.

Jim McGee 34:10
Because, you know, damn well the partner doesn't understand what went into the analysis and track that individual down and say, you know, Mary, what, how was it that you did that? Right? And what was the creative? So, you know, I think the next piece of this, you know, to attack is going after work again, creating those intermediate objects and making those visible with tags, nothing, nothing exotic

.Jim McGee 34:39
You just, you want to be able to find them when you need them. And give a little bit of thought to that. And eventually, you know, I think we're gonna get back to capturing scraps of ideas and notions and whatnot. I saw over there. I Oh, and I always have paper on, you know, little notebook in my pocket, just because you I'm old enough, if I don't capture it, if that idea comes, it's going in a hurry. If I don't get it as it goes by, it's never coming back.

Jim McGee 35:15
And so you do those and then and then the other thing that I've learned with you that you then have to write it down a second time. If to take a little note and you have to read the note and reconstruct what you were thinking when you wrote the note. Right? And if you do that within 24 hours that usually works. If you wait 48 hours, it's -- I can't actually I can't read my handwriting after about 72 hours.

Traditional notes and working papers have been limited to textual documents or playable media files. The content of live conversations and meetings have either been lost, or locked in a playable audio or video file that's easy to listen to or watch again, but difficult to skim quickly, search, or quote. Transcription of personal dictation or meetings has long been expensive and time consuming. With the advent of affordable machine learning technology, automated transcription has become cheap (starting at free), easy, and a new part of the fabric of online life and work. Now a lot of the conversations in the course of work become more observable and useable. I decided to experiment with Otter.ai.

Otter.ai and Observable Work

Otter.ai offers live interactive transcripts of Zoom meetings with an Otter.ai for Teams or Zoom Pro subscription. At present Otter.AI transcribes English only (It is pretty good with strong accents), but expect more languages tone added as Otter.ai grows.

I ran across Otter.ai on Twitter based on it's review in TechRadar's Best speech to text software in 2020: Free, paid and online voice recognition apps and services:

Otter is a cloud-based speech to text program especially aimed for mobile use, such as on a laptop or smartphone. The app provides real-time transcription, allowing you to search, edit, play, and organize as required.

Otter is marketed as an app specifically for meetings, interviews, and lectures, to make it easier to take rich notes. However, it is also built to work with collaboration between teams, and different speakers are assigned different speaker IDs to make it easier to understand transcriptions.

There are three different payment plans, with the basic one being free to use and aside from the features mentioned above also includes keyword summaries and a wordcloud to make it easier to find specific topic mentions. You can also organize and share, import audio and video for transcription, and provides 600 minutes of free service. [per month]

The Premium plan comes in at $8.33 per month when paid annually, and on top of existing features also includes advanced and bulk export options, the ability to sync audio from Dropbox, additional playback speeds including the ability to skip silent pauses. The Premium plan also allows for up to 6,000 minutes of speech to text. [per month]

The Teams plan comes in at $12.50 per user for a minimum of three users, and also adds two-factor authentication, user management and centralized billing, as well as user statistics, voiceprints, and live captioning.

I experimented several alternatives, including the Otter.ai Free tier before upgrading to the Otter.ai Premium plan for its longer transcripts (up to 4 hours), flexible audio and video import as well as personal note recording, custom vocabulary, and up to 6,000 minutes per month.

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Otter.ai is a great audio note taking device with real time AI voice and written transcripts - cloud synchronized and shareable across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Android Apps. I particularly like the time tagged segments with AI speaker identification (needs a little training, but comes up to speed quickly). The Apps make it easy to edit a transcript to correct mistakes and split or merge segments to make the transcript more polished, but with decent quality audio, Otter.ai does a surprisingly good job on its own.

Otter.ai Apps can play back the audio in synch with a highlight that moves through the transcript text at speeds ranging from .5x to 3x real time. This becomes a an enjoyable 'speed reader' style performance as well as an editing aide. If you see a mistake or stutter, click to edit the transcript and Otter.ai will resynch the audio and text to match. The Apps not only share transcripts across your devices, but they also allow you to invite individuals or groups to transcripts you put in Otter.ai folders, or even share a public link to a live transcript, see below.

Cloud based speech to text software has become a lively market, but based on its charm as a personal note taking App that spans all of my Apple devices - including Siri and my Apple watch - and its utility when importing audio or video files for transcription, Otter.ai is my choice for now.

Jim McGee TUG 2010 Keynote transcript

Jim McGee TUG 2010 Keynote video

See also

Related

Enterprise 2.0 and Observable Work

I really like Jim McGee's Jun 23, 2010 blog post Managing the visibility of knowledge work. Jim makes the excellent point that "Invisibility is an accidental and little-recognized characteristic of digital knowledge work." and points back to his 2002 post Knowledge Work as Craft Work to reflect on what Jim calls a "dangerous tension between industrial frameworks and knowledge work as craft work". Early in his 2002 post McGee says:

"The Importance of visibility in craft work Almost by definition, the final product, process, and intermediate stages of craft work are visible. Consider your experiences at a glass blowing workshop or touring a silversmith's workshop. The journey from apprentice to master craftsman depends on the visibility of all aspects of craft work."

Jim continues with an exceptional analysis of what he calls "Knowledge work today as invisible craft"

"One unintended consequence of today's technology environment is to make the process of knowledge work less visible just when we need it to be more so. The end products of knowledge work are already highly refined abstractions; a financial analysis, project plan, consulting report, or article. Today, the evolution from germ of an idea through intermediate representations and false starts to finished product exists, if at all, as a series of morphing digital representations and ephemeral feedback interactions." See blog post

Two connections sprang to mind (and I didn't need a hyperlink to divert my attention - mea culpa):

1) Jon Udell's April 2009 talk at the April 2009 Open Education Conference. Udell says:

"In the pre-industrial era, education and work were: Observable, connected
In the post-industrial era, they are: Non-observable, disconnected"

Jon notes that only recently have work processes become network observable, and that this was rare in practice for all but software people. Jon speculates that software folk's norms of feedback, iterative refinement and testable outcomes seem aligned with principles of observable work - and they've become comfortable with networked technology after using the Internet for collaborative development of software and standards over many years.

2) Thomas Stewart in his book The Wealth of Knowledge (and my personal experience working on projects at the Naval Research Laboratory many years ago).

"A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard," said Herman Melville's Ishmael; when it came to learning my job, circulating correspondence was mine. Reading my superiors' letters opened a window into how they conducted business with the world outside; I aped things more experienced colleagues did, and saw how they handled tricky situations; I copied useful addresses into my Rolodex (another antique). I learned who knew what, and that made me better at asking for advice."

I don’t think the notion of visible work or observable work is new: mentoring, apprenticeship, and letting trusted folk watch, learn and use what they see on their own is how law, medicine and other professions were originally taught and refined as collaborative practices - and it's still so today. But as Jim McGee points out, we've lost some of the habits of observable work - to some degree intentionally, to some degree due to blinders added by the tools we've grown comfortable using:

"With e-mail, word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation tools, maintaining visibility of your knowledge work (at both the individual and workgroup level) requires mindful effort. An office full of papers and books provided clues about the knowledge work process; a laptop offers few such clues. A file directory listing is pretty thin in terms of useful knowledge sharing content. In an analog process, it’s easy to discern the history and flow of work. When an executive takes a set of paper slides and rearranges them on a conference room floor, a hidden and compelling story line may be revealed. You can see, and learn from, this fresh point of experience. That’s lost when the same process occurs at a laptop keyboard at 35,000 feet. The gain in personal productivity occurs at the expense of organizational learning."

I believe that Enterprise 2.0 principles open the door to making most work observable throughout an enterprise. There are important exceptions to protect the privacy of employee medical, financial and personnel records as well as Board and other discussions which require an exceptional degree of privacy until approved for release or for a longer term. I believe that Enterprise 2.0 collaboration principles apply equally to these more private domains within the enterprise as well as domains open to most employees. With appropriate attention to security and privacy in context, most collaborative work with external stakeholders including clients, customers, suppliers can also be made observable throughout the enterprise while simultaneously respecting privacy among clients, customers, suppliers, and all internal stakeholders. (read rest of blog post for more...}

Enterprise 2.0 and Observable Work: Brian Tullis and Joe Crumpler, Burton Group Catalyst 2010 Santa Diego

Brian Tullis and Joe Crumpler did a lively talk on Enterprise 2.0 and Observable Work at the Burton Group Catalyst 2010 North America conference in San Diego. See their Abstract quoted below and the enthusiastic Twitter stream from 29 Jul 2010! Brian posted Enterprise 2.0 and Observable work slides and speaker notes, see inline Slideshare below. Sounded like a super session.

12-15 Oct 2010 | Fifth Annual Traction User Group Meeting, TUG 2010 Newport

Wed 13 Oct 2010 will feature an opening keynote by Jim McGee followed by a TeamPage update by Chris Nuzum CTO and co-founder of Traction Software, a talk by Attivio VP of Engineering Rik Tamm-Daniels, customer stories, and a closing keynote by Jon Udell. The TUG 2010 page includes a complete schedule with videos and slides from keynotes, customer talks, and the 15 Oct 2010 Observable Workshop. New: I'll post Otter.ai transcripts of TUG 2010 keynotes and talks over time. See More Observable Work - Transcribing Jim McGee's TUG 2010 Keynote, Clash of the Titans - Peter O'Kelly at TUG 2010.

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style

Understand how TeamPage connects people and their work. When Mr. Dithers shouts: "Bumstead! Where are we on the Acme Account?", the most timely, frequently discussed and contextually relevant version of Dagwood's Acme tasks, projects and work should pop up near the top of the result list, along with the cloud of tags and people who have touched or talked about tasks, projects and other related to the Acme account and its associated activity streams.

The important requirement is making tasks, projects, pages, discussions and other work products first class sharable, named objects that can be connected to each other and what you're working on, discussed, tagged, tasked, and navigated as well as found using search. Being able to talk about tasks and projects relating to Acme captures one important part of your interest and behavior graph (activity stream), and links these items to the names and behavior of other people working with or discussing the same objects.

Traction Roots - Doug Engelbart

Like much modern thought on collaborative work, I'd trace the origins of Observable Work back much further than 2002 - to Douglas Engelbart, starting with his Augment/NLS project in 1968. In 1992, Doug described his model for work this way:

"A result of this continuous knowledge process is a dynamically evolving knowledge base as shown in Figure-7 below, consisting of three primary knowledge domains: intelligence, dialog records, and knowledge products (in this example, the design and support documents for a complex product).

Intelligence Collection: An alert project group, whether classified as an A, B, or C Activity, always keeps a watchful eye on its external environment, actively surveying, ingesting, and interacting with it. The resulting intelligence is integrated with other project knowledge on an ongoing basis to identify problems, needs, and opportunities which might require attention or action.

Dialog Records: Responding effectively to needs and opportunities involves a high degree of coordination and dialog within and across project groups. This dialog, along with resulting decisions, is integrated with other project knowledge on a continuing basis.

Knowledge Product: The resulting plans provide a comprehensive picture of the project at hand, including proposals, specifications, descriptions, work breakdown structures, milestones, time lines, staffing, facility requirements, budgets, and so on. These documents, which are iteratively and collaboratively developed, represent the knowledge products of the project team, and constitute both the current project status and a roadmap for implementation and deployment. The CODIAK process is rarely a one-shot effort. Lessons learned, as well as intelligence and dialog, must be constantly analyzed, digested, and integrated into the knowledge products throughout the life cycle of the project.

ImageFigure-7:: The CODIAK process -- collaborative, dynamic, continuous.

Figure 7 itemizes the evolving knowledge base within three categories: (1) Dialog Records: memos, status reports, meeting minutes, decision trails, design rationale, change requests, commentary, lessons learned, (2) External Intelligence: articles, books, reports, papers, conference proceedings, brochures, market surveys, industry trends, competition, supplier information, customer information, emerging technologies, new techniques (3) Knowledge Products: proposals, plans, budgets, legal contracts, milestones, time lines, design specs, product descriptions, test plans and results, open issues."

from 'Toward High-Performance Organizations: A Strategic Role for Groupware' Douglas C. Engelbart, Bootstrap Institute, June 1992 (AUGMENT,132811) see the full paper, courtesy of the Doug Engelbart Foundation.

Jun 2020 | TeamPage uses Solr for faceted navigation and search

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Traction Software is an early believer in the value of scalable, permission aware, faceted navigation and search spanning all TeamPage content. Traction Software partnered with FAST Search starting in 2006, transitioning to Attivio in 2009, adding new search and navigation capabilities along the way. Traction Software now includes Apache Solr faceted navigation and search as a free capability for Cloud hosted and on premises TeamPage subscriptions. Learn how Solr supports TeamPage's unique work graph model for indexing, visualizing, and using work that crosses boundaries, linking customers, suppliers, partners and internal teams with different permissions to more public or more private business activities on the same TeamPage server.

Solr automatically clips TeamPage navigation links and search results to match permissions of each object versus the access control list permissions of the user making the request. This makes it simple for TeamPage to support many separately permissioned spaces on the same TeamPage instance. For example a law firm could define several public spaces; confidential spaces for internal groups, each with its own access list; and a unique permissioned space for each client. Clients could see and search their own space - plus any spaces the firm shares with all clients for news and support. Members of the firm could use and search across all public, internal, and client spaces they have permission to see. TeamPage permissioned search makes it simple, secure, and efficient to work across spaces that make business sense.

TeamPage Solr search includes the core permissioned search, faceted navigation, and on the fly indexing pioneered with FAST, along with the Social Enterprise Web and other capabilities introduced with Attivio. TeamPage now leverages all of this experience with a transition to the popular, blazing-fast, open source enterprise search Solr engine built on Apache Lucene.

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from Blog354: Information Foraging at FASTForward '07

TeamPage Faceted navigation and search (FAST 2006)

By embedding FAST InStream, TeamPage now delivers state of the art search and content drill-down that is as good or better than that of the most capable content and document management systems on the market today and

  • Extends the TeamPage standard search capability by adding permission- filtered search across over 370 formats of documents attached to Traction TeamPage blog posts or stored in TeamPage web folders.
  • Provides interactive drill-down navigation, including AND and OR selection, enabling users to quickly understand their search set and narrow tens or hundreds of thousands of results down to just a few that are highly relevant using keywords, entities, and metadata attributes.
  • Adds a "Find Similar" choice to posts, comments and search results to make it simple to find other relevant content.
  • Adds automatically calculated Rank order to Newest First and Oldest First sort options. Rank order is determined by automatic linguistic and link analysis.
  • Adds search by content types including posts, pages, comments, emails and files.

"In the era of Enterprise 2.0, smart companies are leveraging tools like Traction TeamPage to empower individuals to create their own content," said John M. Lervik, CEO, FAST. "Now, by leveraging Traction TeamPage together with FAST InStream businesses can offer their employees a new and more powerful package of tools to help them produce, share and then intelligently search this collective intelligence, creating a smarter, faster-moving and more profitable workforce."

from Press162: Traction Software Brings FAST-Enabled Search to Blogs and Wikis

TeamPage Social Enterprise Web Features (Attivio 2011)

TeamPage Social Enterprise Web features enable TeamPage to share, tag, comment, task, index and search linked public Web or company intranet pages. TeamPage Web browser extensions, inline badges and comment widgets link external Web sources to TeamPage discussion and provide visual feedback (similar to the way Disqus adds shared comments to pages on the public Web). The content of the linked external page is automatically indexed and by included in Attivio search results, making it simple to find content referenced by a TeamPage external link. The TeamPage Badge includes a count of the number of internal TeamPage social actions linked to that external Web object, and offers one-click access to associated TeamPage actions, shown in context for easy review or followup action.

  • Use TeamPage to discuss, tag, task or share internal or external sources using search, TeamPage Badges or bookmarking.
  • Indexing TeamPage tags, discussion and tasks associated with external content improves relevance ranking for search by adding social business context.
  • New TeamPage Web browser bookmarklet can be used to discuss, tag, task, share and index selected pages on the public Web or a private intranet.
  • New TeamPage Badges can be added to any Web page to provide a one-click action to discuss, tag, task or share that page.
  • TeamPage Badges shows a live count of the number of social actions associated with that page, with one click to open and see the actions in context.
  • TeamPage Badge counts and navigation are permission aware – including only what you have permission to see based on TeamPage access control rules.
  • TeamPage search results and activity streams include avatars to show who has discussed, tagged, tasked or shared that internal or external content.
  • One click expands any search result or activity item inline to quickly review details without leaving the page.
  • One click opens external documents or records in a Web browser or native client (depending on the source).
  • Metadata shown for each source type, styling and behavior of source-specific detail shown with search results and in activity streams can be easily customized using the Traction's Skin Definition Language plug-in for that source.

from Press839: 21 June 2011 | Traction Software Introduces Social Enterprise Web

TeamPage Solr - Blazing-fast, open source enterprise search platform

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Highlights

  • Advanced configurable text analysis - Support for most of the widely spoken languages in the world (English, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and many more)
  • Rich document parsing - Apache Tika built-in, making it easy to index rich content such as Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word and more.
  • Near real-time indexing - as text and documents are posted to TeamPage, Solr queues and indexes the content
  • Extensible plug-in architecture - works as a pure TeamPage plug-in
  • Built in security - supports clipping search results to match TeamPage ACL rules of the person making the search request
  • High performance query optimization with configurable caching
  • Comprehensive administration interfaces

See Apache Solr

Quick Tour

Type a few words, quoted phrase, or search expression. TeamPage shows permission filtered results below the search box and Facets in the right side bar. Facets show values search result attributes such as: Space, Tags, object Type, Author, Editor, Status, along with Task or Project attributes such as assignee and due date. Click a Facet name such as Space to see a pop-up card showing the Spaces containing one or more search results. Click any Space name to drill down into that Space, or click the + button to add that space to the current Filter.

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The Tag facet shows a list of Tags attached to one or more search results, along with the number of matches for each Tag. Like other Facet cards, Tags can be ordered by name or tag count. Click any Tag name to drill down, or click the + button to add that tag to the current Filter.

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The Type facet shows the type of object containing one or more search hits. Types include TeamPage articles, comments, status updates, file attachments, shared files, logged email messages, or proxy. A proxy represents a link to an external Web page or file that has been added to TeamPage by reference using the Social Enterprise Web browser extension. Solr parses and indexes the content of the external Web page so that you can get search result based on the content of that page without having to copy and paste it into TeamPage.

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Click the down arrow to the right of any search result to expand the search result inline - no need to open the result in a separate window. Click the up arrow to close the expanded result and continue scanning down the list of search results. You can set your own Search Preferences to change the default Search Order - choose Newest First, Oldest First, or By Rank (relevance).

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Related

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style Understand how TeamPage connects people and their work. When Mr. Dithers shouts: "Bumstead! Where are we on the Acme Account?", the most timely, frequently discussed and contextually relevant version of Dagwood's Acme tasks, projects and work should pop up near the top of the result list, along with the cloud of tags and people who have touched or talked about tasks, projects and other related to the Acme account and its associated activity streams.

The important requirement is making tasks, projects, pages, discussions and other work products first class sharable, named objects that can be connected to each other and what you're working on, discussed, tagged, tasked, and navigated as well as found using search. Being able to talk about tasks and projects relating to Acme captures one important part of your interest and behavior graph (activity stream), and links these items to the names and behavior of other people working with or discussing the same objects.

Borders, Spaces, and Places In his Fast Forward 08 Keynote What's Most Important for Success with Enterprise 2.0? Prof Andrew McAfee said that borders are needed in order to use Enterprise 2.0 principals for many valuable business purposes, but it's very important that "Borders seem appropriate to users.

I agree and suggest adding a follow-on principal: "Borders should seem transparent to those with permission to cross them."

For Traction TeamPage this means:

  • All content and relevant context are indexed for search, but the search engine delivers the subset of results that the person making the request can read.
  • Tag clouds and drill-down navigation present the tags and drill-down paths derived from what that person can read.
  • Traction's Dashboard views roll-up content from many spaces based on tag, content or other criteria defined by Section widgets, and automatically shows the subset of content which that person can read.
  • RSS feeds, email, IM notifications and cross-reference lists automatically reflect the content and cross references which that person can read.

For example, if you're an employee at the center of a "hub and spoke" collaboration pattern, when you navigate, search or link information, the borders separating different customer spaces and internal spaces you can read become transparent for collaboration.

You can still use the names of spaces created for particular customers to focus your attention on a particular issue or collection of content, but you effectively see one big wiki / weblog. Borders help you visualize the business context and intended audience.

If a customer logs in to your TeamPage server, they see only the rolled-up content, search results, tags, feeds, and space names that they have permission to read. The content - and existence - of private collaboration spaces of other customers or reserved for internal use are hidden.

Traction TeamPage even extends commenting and inline discussion to work transparently across borders.

Just like a good architect knows how the to use the affordances and relationships of physical spaces to help cue behavior, architects of social software should aim to use software affordances to make socializing in the neighborhood, workplace, and commons as natural as possible. I think this will require cues to signal and differentiate as well as connect places. The goal should be to help people read context and act comfortably in different places whose norms they can quickly learn, understand and trust. As Harrison and Dourish write:

"A conference hall and a theatre share many similar spatial features (such as lighting and orientation); and yet we rarely sing or dance when presenting conference papers, and to do so would be regarded as at least slightly odd (or would need to be explained). We wouldn't describe this behaviour as 'out of space'; but it would most certainly be 'out of place' and this feeling is so strong that we might try quite hard to interpret a song or a dance as part of a presentation, if faced with it suddenly. It is a sense of place, not space, which makes it appropriate to dance at a Grateful Dead concert, but not at a Cambridge college high table; to be naked in the bedroom, but not in the street; and to sit at our windows, peering out, rather than at other people's windows, peering in. Place, not space, frames appropriate behaviour." - Re-Place-ing Space: The Roles of Place and Space in Collaborative Systems

Information Foraging at FASTForward '07 Blog and wiki spaces become what Information Foraging researchers like Peter Pirolli and Stuart Card call enriched "information patches". These patches (and the resources they link to) are likely to become rich sources of highly contextualized information because they represent the work product of people engaged in a business process that provides a natural context for guided search.

I showed a few slides introducing Information Foraging theory, then a few screenshot examples using FAST's guided search to navigate Traction content by space (project), label, and automatically recognized keyword or entity (person name, company name, location).

You have a much better chance finding a contextually relevant "Smithers contract" in a client project blog/wiki space where you can easily explore content hits with an "Urgent" label and a pileup of recent comments on your own. Or at least find a space where you can post your own question and expect a highly relevant response.

To download my slides click Search Meets Blogs and Wikis (4.7MB .ppt)
Greg Lloyd, FASTForward '07, Feb 8, 2007 San Diego.

See the book: Information Foraging Theory, Peter Pirolli, Oxford Books Jan 2007.

Greg Lloyd on "Enterprise 2.0 for Intelligence Analysts", FASTForward 08  It’s easy to store and find documents in folders if you know the structure by heart. FAST even makes it easy to search the content of your files, Web pages, and messages and navigate by content. What’s difficult to capture, search, and navigate is the context that makes content relevant for collaboration in a link-poor environment that exists in the typical enterprise. Enterprise 2.0 technology – specifically blogs, wikis, and social tagging – provide immediate value for collaborative work by creating an evolving record that connects external intelligence, internal dialog, and work product. This record can make enterprise search work and scale like the Web. Part 1 (Greg Lloyd, Traction Software) of this session examines how intelligence analysts in business and government are using Enterprise 2.0 tools to help manage this deep, broad, and challenging form of collaboration. Click here for a copy of the slides 7MB .ppt

Traction Software Brings FAST-Enabled Search to Blogs and Wikis Traction Software Brings FAST-Enabled Search to Blogs and Wikis Traction Goes Beyond Blogs and Wikis, Offering Integrated FAST InStream Search Technology to Enable Secure Search, Entity Extraction and Drill Down Navigation PROVIDENCE, RI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 18, 2006 -- Traction® Software, the leading developer of products for secure, scalable, web-based collaboration, today announced the general availability of its Traction TeamPage™ FAST Search Module. The Module is an integrated and easily installed option, based on Fast Search & Transfer's FAST InStream™ OEM search technology solution. The Module is priced at USD $15K per Traction TeamPage Server.

Traction Software Selects Attivio to Power Information Access for Enterprise 2.0 Social Software NEWTON, MASS. – October 14, 2009 -- Attivio Active Intelligence Engine’s Permissioning Model and Real-Time Updates Prove Key Differentiators in Replacing Leading Search Solution at Traction Attivio, Inc. today announced that Traction Software, the leading developer of Enterprise 2.0 social software, has chosen the Attivio Active Intelligence Engine ™ (AIE) to replace its legacy enterprise search solution for easier indexing, retrieval of content and an enhanced user experience. As part of the selection process, Traction evaluated several market-leading solutions before choosing Attivio’s unified information access engine for its single, flexible API, full Java support as well as its sophisticated and secure permissioning model.

Ineffective meetings - Here's an answer

June 11, 2020 · · Posted by Greg Sassen
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Are you are a business owner, executive or senior manager? Then you’ve experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of management meetings.

Management meetings are the heartbeat of any business and are in place to keep teams productive, accountable and focused. Meetings are the primary channel for communication and goal alignment throughout the business.

If you and your teams are dissatisfied with the quality of your meetings, then you are fortunate enough to have a giant improvement opportunity in your business, with low implementation cost and high reward.

When you think about it, the actions that come out of your meetings are the smallest unit of improvement of your business. The rate at which you and your teams close tasks is the real rate of improvement of your business. It is a measure of engagement and agility. Tasks matter.

The Pain

Your meetings hurt you? You’re not alone… Our customers vary in size and maturity. They also operate within different industries and they all experience the same issues, online or in real-life.

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Invariably, meetings are essential and if they are inefficient or serve no purpose, then they carry a hidden cost to the business. Therefore we MUST refine and improve them continuously to ensure that we extract maximum value from them.

Our Customers have this to share

When asked the question, How has impi! and our technology, TeamPage, changed your meetings? This is what some of our customers had to say:

David Walker, Director at Common Architecture

"The TeamPage Meeting module gives us a dynamic way of managing actions that come out of our meetings."

Actions can be given a due date and assigned to different team members. In addition to the task title, there is also space to record more information needed to complete the meeting task.
To ensure that our meetings are purposeful, our decisions are also recorded when we log the meeting actions.
Overdue actions from previous meetings stand out so that we only review by exception. Actions that have been completed since the previous meeting are visible and are reviewed during the meeting as well.
We use TeamPage to manage our design projects as well and it is useful to be able to attach meeting actions to our various projects.
Overall, it’s a really great tool that helps us record our meetings quickly and reduces the risk of forgetting our commitments from previous meetings.

Anton Claassens, Finance Director at Conversation LAB

"We have been able to stick to the rhythm"

Since engaging with impi!, we have been reminded on the value that effective meetings deliver to businesses.
Our meetings have therefore been more regular as a result…we have been able to stick to the rhythm.
Our discipline inside our meetings has also improved by sticking to the allocated time for agenda items and moving other ‘non-agenda’ items outside of our meetings. We are keeping it focused and productive.
By using TeamPage, our task and decision management is easier during meetings and having our agenda automatically generated each time we open a session has been handy. There is no need to spend time writing minutes after the meeting, everything is captured live on TeamPage.

Thomas Cogdell, Knowledge Coordinator at Athens Group

"It used to take us 2-3 days to consolidate information for our monthly quality meetings. With TeamPage and impi! it takes us 5 minutes"

We began using TeamPage in 2009, as a document management system for Quality Management, our Industry Knowledge Base and our Training Curriculum. Essentially this served as our company Intranet.
We later added other TeamPage & impi! solutions to track, manage and document our onsite QMS activities. The Nonconformity & Corrective Action solutions are examples.
We have been able to build links into our meeting space to gain direct access to our QMS documentation and reports immediately during our meetings. We review and log comments on our reports in a liveenvironment during the meeting so we don’t need to go back and make adjustments to our reports after the meeting nor do we have to create meeting minutes. Our meetings have become more efficient since.
It used to take us 2-3 days to consolidate information for our monthly quality meetings.
With TeamPage & impi! it takes us 5 minutes.

Our Solution

Through observation and experimentation with our customers, we have identified 6 aspects that are critical to running effective meetings within your business.

In addition to these critical aspects, we also advise our customers to make use of digital platforms for their meetings. Today, there are many different tools & platforms that can be used to enhance our productivity during and between meetings. It would be a shame to not take advantage of the technology available to support our key business processes.

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We, and our customers, use our technology platform, TeamPage, to support all of our key business processes including our management meetings. We have modelled our meeting module on TeamPage around these key aspects.

Together, through discipline and repetition, we have broken through our own pain barriers and have gained maximum value and enjoyment from our meetings.

Originally published on Impi! blog, see Welcome to impi! for more.

Mar 2020 | Amazon Corretto Java VM, TeamPage Quality Management, Developer SDK, and general improvements

ImageTeamPage Winter 2020 Release TeamPage installers now optionally install and configure the Amazon Corretto OpenJDK implementation of Java SE as the bundled Java Virtual Machine. This release also includes improved support for ISO 9001:2015 quality management and business process improvement solutions; improved requirement sign-off tracking; improved work in progress tracking performance; improved SDK support for Client forms, Client Actions, Database API's, and Queries; improved SDK for image and file resource management; new SDL tag support for Conditionals and Conditionals requiring resource management.

TeamPage Installers now bundle Amazon Corretto OpenJDK implementation of Java SE

Traction Software's InstallAnywhere installers now optionally install and configure the current supported version of Amazon's Corretto 8 Java Virtual Machine and run time environment. Corretto is distributed by Amazon as Open Source under terms of the GNU Public License version 2 with the Class Path Exception (GPLv2 with CPE). Traction Software also uses Corretto for all TeamPage Cloud subscriptions.

Quotes from AWS Amazon Corretto page

Amazon Corretto is a no-cost, multiplatform, production-ready distribution of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK). Corretto comes with long-term support that will include performance enhancements and security fixes. Amazon runs Corretto internally on thousands of production services and Corretto is certified as compatible with the Java SE standard. With Corretto, you can develop and run Java applications on popular operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Backed by Amazon

Amazon Corretto comes with no-cost long-term support from Amazon, so you can upgrade versions only when you need to. Amazon is committed to Corretto, running it internally on thousands of production services.

Production Ready

Amazon Corretto is certified to meet the Java SE standard and can be used as a drop-in replacement for many Java SE distributions. Amazon provides quarterly updates that include performance enhancements and security fixes critical for enterprise application development.

Multiplatform Support

Amazon Corretto lets you run the same environment in the cloud, on premises, and on your local machine. Corretto 8 supports Linux, Windows, macOS, and Docker and Corretto 11 supports Linux, Windows and macOS.

Corretto FAQS

Q: Can I use Corretto as a drop-in replacement for other JDKs?

A: Corretto is designed as a drop-in replacement for all Java SE distributions unless you are using features (e.g., Java Flight Recorder) not available in OpenJDK. Once Corretto binaries are installed on a host and correctly invoked to run your Java applications (e.g., using the alternatives command on Linux), existing command-line options, tuning parameters, monitoring, and anything else in place will continue to work as before.

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management and Business Process Improvement

Traction Software partner impi! Solutions uses TeamPage as a framework to deliver client specific ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management and general Business Improvement Services, see impi! and TeamPage Reduce Administration of Document Control and Aug 2018 | TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 Solution adds integrated Risk and Improvement Project Management.

Unlike traditional consulting and business improvement firms who deliver reports that are too often tossed over a wall and ignored, impi! experts work side by side as members of their client's secure TeamPage community to quickly answer everyday questions, spot potential problems or opportunities, and provide mentoring for effective definition and use of an improved business process tailored for that client. This is particularly valuable for small to mid-size business who don't have a dedicated staff or experience to handle introduction and use of a ISO 9001:2015 continuous improvement process. Impi! clients learn by doing - with impi!'s expert support.

Some TeamPage elements of a full impi! solution are also available a la carte, such as the impi Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage, please contact us for information. Winter 2020 TeamPage impi! solution bug fixes and improvements include:

  • Improvement Project Dashboards now split display of Issues into Open Issues and Closed Issues sections.
  • Added a template for logging issues in Improvement projects to save time and guide the user by suggesting relevant and useful information.
  • Changed sort order of Meeting view Open Tasks to by due date, earliest due date first.
  • Fixed Safari specific problem in opening permalinks to Risk articles.
  • Forced Improvement Project's Space selector field default to empty so that user makes the relevant choice.
  • Made Title, Assignee, and Due date required in Meeting Task form.
  • Meeting minutes now show Tasks completed since the previous Meeting.
  • Added a reason for rejecting an innovative idea on the Innovation form.
  • Risk follow up actions/counts/status' now incorporate open Improvement Projects from directly associated Innovation Opportunities.
  • Meeting status now shows percentage of Meeting Tasks closed on time.

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Other Highlights

  • Improved full text search performance for queries that have multiple search terms.
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent the Insert/Edit Link Dialog's Preview button from working properly for a custom link created using TeamPage's rapid selector language.
  • Fixed a bug that could sometimes prevent TeamPage from sending email notifications to all the users who should receive them when a new event entry is created.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented TeamPage from determining the dimensions of images added via a Status Update form, which could prevent the image's dimensions from being properly constrained for display purposes in various contexts.
  • Added support for custom filter search expressions that reference attachment file properties.
  • Added a server level setting that allows administrators to customize which sources should be used to generate type-ahead suggestions for TeamPage's search box.
  • Improved styling for SDL tags and other inline elements.
  • Updated the version of Apache Commons Lang3 library that ships with TeamPage to 3.9.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause rotated log files to be deleted or archived (compressed) before they should have been according to the log file archiving and deletion policy.
  • Fixed a bug in the Signature Requirements add-on module that prevented the signatures summary from being displayed in email digests.
  • When a user is looking at a project or milestone dashboard, and uses one of the Add buttons to create a new entry (e.g., a new task or a new related article), TeamPage now refreshes the dashboard rather than navigating to a single entry view of the newly created entry.
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent type-ahead completion from being able to use a connected external search engine to resolve queries that requested multiple specific types of entries (e.g., milestones and projects).
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent unexpected errors from being reported when an administrator attempts to deactivate a space or user.
  • Optimized the queries used for Updated and Discussions pages, and the corresponding Updated and Discussions sections; and optimized the way searches are applied to the results from those queries.
  • Improved optimization for native TeamPage queries by removing redundant search terms and detecting cases where no results would ever be returned without executing the query.
  • Improved the logging of certain types of administrative operations, such as activating or deactivating a space or a user account, or activated draft mode for a particular space.
  • Improve web admin interface. Server settings > General > Current Journal > Journal Info now shows some basic statistics about the current journal, including the total number of journal entries, total and active user and space counts, and the byte size of the main journal database.
  • Improve handling and reporting of invalid email or mailbox properties created by web or command line updates.
  • Improved the error messages displayed to users when external search engine queries fail.
  • Improved the performance of several of TeamPage's most commonly used text transformation and cleanup capabilities.
  • Improved defenses against cross-site request forgery attacks when handling certain kinds of requests.
  • Added a feature that allows administrators to broadcast a simple message to all connected users for a length of time of their choosing. This could be useful to let users know, for example, that the server will be shutting down at a particular time for planned maintenance.
  • Added the ability to download all content of a folder from a Documents page as a single .zip file. The .zip file download link now appears at the top of each Documents view.
  • TeamPage Winter 2020 Release (6.2.45) incorporates over 130 bug fixes and general improvements, see TeamPage Change Log for a complete list of updates shipped since the Summer 2019 Release.

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The parable of the four unfit friends

August 19, 2019 · · Posted by Pierre Bienvenüe

ImageIn this article we tell the parable of four friends and some of their life choices.

Four unfit friends make a decision for change

Amelia, Bradley, Charmelle and Dimba became friends at university and over the years kept in contact. Now in their mid-thirties they realised that time was acting against their body. Somehow, around a conversation, they agreed that they had to do something about their fitness level, waistline and change their lifestyle.

Amelia had friends, the Jones's, who had built a gym in their mansion. She thought it was a brilliant idea and since she had a spare room, she shopped around and bought herself a few fitness machines. She started to practice, but since she didn't know much about pumping iron and persistent effort she soon stopped using them and would rather show the room to visiting friends. Once a year she'd spring clean the room and get a handyman to repaint the machines before a professional would inspect them. He'd tell her that they could do with more usage and then he'd send her his bill.

Bradley superficially considered joining the gym but when he saw the annual subscription cost he told his friends: "this gym thing is quite expensive and if you can't show me an immediate return, I'm not interested". So he continued with his lifestyle thinking that life was good and he would take a chance.

Charmelle and Dimba decided to join the gym. They started to go three times a week and once a week they shared a coaching session. Since it was a good facility with good equipment, affordable and competent coaches, they kept going. After a few weeks, they realised that their energy level had increased. It felt good training. Coach advised them to adjust their diet which they did. This resulted in pleasant weight loss. After a while Charmelle felt bored and because she was going through tough time at work and a change of season at home she started to skip sessions.

Dimba kept going and joined another group at the gym who shared coaching sessions. Obviously there would be some low times when he would fall back, but since he had a clear vision for his lifestyle and fitness objectives he would pull himself together and resume regular training cycles.

Seven years later

Seven years later, Amelia sold her machines on the internet for 20% of the purchase value. She is overweight and because of that she has high blood pressure and shows early signs of Type 2 diabetes.

Bradley, well, Bradley is in Stage 2 lung cancer. Ironically he wouldn't subscribe to the gym because it was too expensive but never stopped buying cigarettes. His bad habits are killing him.

Charmelle is not too happy with her fitness level, but she occasionally attends a few classes of pilates or Zumba or anything trendy. Oftentimes she'll swap her card just to keep her membership going. She's plodding along.

Dimba ran his first half-marathon four years ago, three marathons last year and is currently training with his new friends for the Ironman in Holland this summer. He started to coach disadvantaged kids to improve their fitness and build healthy life habits and relationships.

Four unfit organisations make different strategic choices

So what does the story of Amelia, Bradley, Charmelle and Dimba mean for businesses?

Every organisation moves along a life cycle curve and in the various stages they will experience normal maturity problems but also abnormal ones that they need to manage. Top leadership level of courage, sense of reality and vision will determine if they grow a healthy and prosperous business... or not.

Amelia represents organisations that embark in ISO9001 certification for the wrong reason: their customers are demanding it. Execs in these organisations have the wrong perception of what ISO9001 really is. They see the certificate as a qualifier for engaging in commercial activities when actually ISO 9001 provides a path to prosperity. Resources and money are spent to establish the Quality Management System, they barely use it, turn their Quality Assurance personnel into policemen. They scramble once a year to repaint the system for the surveillance audit while naively thinking that the auditor won't pick up anything. A real pain. What a waste!

ISO 9001 is designed to support the drive for organisations to be profitable through sustained customer satisfaction. The framework forces the organisations to answer the three questions:

  • Tell me how you run your business;
  • show me how you run your business and;
  • if what you show me is different from what you tell me, then show me how you are improving your business..

Bradley represents Execs in organisations whose drive to change is lower than the perceived cost of change. They are dissatisfied, but not nearly enough. They don't have a long term vision nor risk-based thinking and therefore can only consider change from an accounting angle. They expect an instant return to any investment. They may think that avoiding to invest in people and processes is a sure way to improve their business. They confuse cost saving and cost cutting and forget to notice that most of their past decisions haven't yielded any sustainable improvements. Edwards Deming puts it this way: "it is not necessary to change; survival is not mandatory".

Charmelle represents the Execs in many organisations with a disconnect between the strategy and its implementation. They also fail to consider the business as a whole organism. They like the idea of pursuing operational excellence but don't have a clue on what it looks like, how to get there and the discipline it requires. So based on market conditions, tax incentives and latest management hype, they'll invest in ad hoc initiatives, a bit of lean, some training and development, leadership courses, mentoring program, motivational workshops, pieces of software. Since they don't have an integrated approach to strategy implementation, nor coordinated plan they fail to develop a culture of continuous improvement. Brian Wilson, co-founder of the Beach Boys made this amusing jest: "beware, the lollipop of mediocrity, lick it once and you'll suck for ever."

Dimba represents Execs that have established a vision for their organisation and understand the need to develop healthy leadership habits that bring about transformation. They understand the value of discipline and persistent effort. In their journey towards excellence they integrate best management practices (Quality Management), and continuous improvement practices (Lean Management). They develop their people all the time. Even in difficult times and when facing set backs, they stay the course, humbly, one small step at a time. The organisation becomes a great place to work, with loyal employees and life time customers. Prosperity.

A call for action

impi! is to organisations what the gym is to people: an enabler for transformation. Impi! is altogether a platform, sets of tools and methods, and competent coaches that provide a transformation strategy, adapted routines, sound advice based on the reality of the organisation and most importantly accountability for the execs to keep pressing on their Lean safari even during the tough times all organisations experience.

The Execs make a decision to change. impi! help them action the decision. It offers them the tools to understand better their current reality, refine a vision of their desired future and provide practical means to get there by engaging their teams who improve their processes. Dimba is in for the long haul.

Related

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impi! What's in the name? What's in the logo? - Discipline and creativity

Aug 2018 | TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 Solution adds integrated Risk and Improvement Project Management

Jun 2019 | Pluggable Mailbox Protocols, Search performance improvements, new TeamPage plug-ins

ImageTeamPage Summer 2019 Release includes support for pluggable mailbox protocols, refinements to TeamPage's handling of configuration or environmental problems, performance improvements for built-in search filtering, improved protection from cross-site forgery attempts, improvements to TeamPage's SDK, and many other bug fixes and improvements. This release also packages several TeamPage plug-ins for general use.

TeamPage Plug-ins

Linkbox Widget plug-in 

Inserts a link to another TeamPage article displayed as a card used to show an eye-catching image along with a brief description and 'Read more' link (if needed). You can write a brief description yourself, or let the plug-in transclude text from the lede paragraph of the article. You can choose 'large' or 'small' size with 'full' or 'half' width styles, and optionally choose to show the related entry's tags. You can insert a Linkbox using the rich text editor or as an inline text widget.

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Balloon Widget plug-in

Create a sentence decorated by a balloon widget, or a sequence of sentences to show a conversation. You can insert a Balloon using the rich text editor, or as an inline text widget.

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Improved Questionnaire plug-in

New Questionnaire plug-in adds an Answer Table tab to each question so you can see each reply and a summary of choices. Click the 'Export CSV' button to export responses as a comma separated value (CSV) file for spreadsheet analysis.

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Other Highlights

  • TeamPage now has a pluggable API for customizing existing support for standard email protocols, or adding support for protocols beyond the usual standards (IMAP, POP3 and MBOX for message stores and SMTP for message transport).
  • Administrators can now review some statistics about existing user private drafts, including how many there are and how many owners they belong to. Administrators can also delete private drafts that are older than a certain number of years.
  • When a Work in Progress form is cancelled or closed, TeamPage now presents a clearer confirmation dialog using choice buttons labelled 'Close and Keep this Work in Progress' or 'Discard this Work in Progress'.
  • Configuration and environmental problems that were previously handled within the TeamPage core security manager are now handled by a layer over the core security manager to improve reporting and handling of non-security related conditions.
  • Fixed a bug that caused words that are very common to be added to TeamPage's fulltext index, taking up unnecessary space on disk or possibly in memory.
  • Added another line of defense against cross-site request forgery attacks in TeamPage's handling of requests for certain file manipulation operations
  • Fixed a bug that could cause TeamPage's startup to be substantially slowed down when using a custom user directory configuration that connects to an external service such as a Microsoft Active Directory server
  • Fixed a bug that could cause prevent users from sharing, tagging, commenting on or tasking certain external web pages using TeamPage's Social Enterprise Web bookmarklet (and other widgets) due to incorrect handling of certain kinds of relative URLs used in those pages' Open Graph metadata properties.
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent TeamPage from replacing inline references to automatically downloaded images with a reference to the attached image if the URL contained certain characters.
  • The EntryField SDK class and its API's have been substantially revised to add improved access to EntryField values and properties.
  • The release includes many other bug fixes and improvements. See TeamPage Change Log for a detailed list of changes from this and subsequent point releases.

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impi! and TeamPage Reduce Administration of Document Control

May 3, 2019 · · Posted by Pierre Bienvenüe

ImageIn this article we build a case for using TeamPage and impi! wiki templates to save administrative time for document control and support the intent of ISO9001:2015 to distribute the responsibility of the Quality Management System to the leadership of the organisation.

In 2018, Impi Development engaged in business development talks with a manufacturing company in the Durban area. The organisation had completed the transition to the 2015 version of ISO9001. The QA manager was still managing writing of standard documentation on behalf of the other heads of department (HODs). The Durban company's document management system was still Word and Excel based. Maintenance of the document change control and register was thus still manual as was the risk register. The QA manager reckoned that document management would account to one week per month or 3 months per year of administration.

In May 2019, Pierre enquired with Liezel Eksteen, Quality Assurance (QA) manager at CounterPoint Trading (cpttrading.co.za) about her workload to manage the firm's TeamPage/impi! based document management system.

CounterPoint was successfully accredited for the ISO 9001 Quality Management System in April 2019. From her past and current experience in developing and maintaining such management systems Liezel would have spent three weeks per month to build up the documentation on the ramp up to accreditation. With TeamPage/impi! her engagement was about one week per month. Maintenance of the system necessitates about 8 hours per month or five times less than that of a manual system. Liezel points to two main reasons: technological and systemic.

Technical benefit of using TeamPage.

The moderation capability allows for wider collaborative content change, but easy content control and monitoring. This means that content can be created by multiple users and yet conform to the company requirements.

The audit trail records all changes – not just edits – including tag changes, publish / draft actions. There is no need to maintain a document register; TeamPage does it for the QA function.

Systemic benefit of using impi!

The organisation of the documentation in a wiki type, access to a multitude of standard templates and the use of signature requirements makes it easy for process owners to take procedural responsibilities. The onus is now on the HODs to manage the content of their own documentation, review it and insure its relevance. This is one of several intents of the transition from the 2008 to the 2015 version of ISO9001: responsibility for the quality management system is distributed throughout the entire organisation.

So the time that Liezel saves in non-value activities that the Durban QA manager still performs manually makes up for a large share of the cost of the annual licensing for TeamPage/impi!, but is now being applied to the improvement of the quality management system in the areas of Non Conformity, risk and internal auditing.

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Dec 2016 | Business Process Improvement with impi!, Plug-in extensions, TeamPage improvements

Mar 2019 | TeamPage release focuses on Performance, Quality Management, and Interactive Tables

ImageTeamPage Winter 2019 Release focuses on performance. It incorporates major improvements in query optimization, handling of search expressions, and caching. These improvements will be particularly significant for customers with large journals and for those who use TeamPage solutions and reporting views that make extensive use of search expressions in queries and interactive tables. Other changes include: additions and improvements to the Impi! Quality Management ISO 9001:2015 TeamPage solution; new ability to show Google calendar events in TeamPage Calendar pages; new PDF, Excel, CSV, and print export of for Data Tables; new Data Table filtering per column; improvements to PDF generation; improved temporary file management; improved background process task management; and improved statistics gathering.

Query Performance

The focus of this release is to improve the performance of TeamPage's built-in queries. These improvements will be particularly noticeable for customers with large journals, or for customers who use queries with many search terms.

Query Optimizations

These optimizations apply to TeamPage's retrieval of the "base result set" for a query, before searches are applied.

  • Modified the way that queries are serviced to ensure that requested parameters, such as date scoping, are are narrowed as much as possible before additional work is performed to retrieve any results.
  • Moved all query type-specific "implicit" filtering to TeamPage's SDK query implementation layer, where in-memory metadata indices can be used to quickly disqualify candidate results that formerly had to be filtered out at higher levels of code.
  • Optimized the handling of requested minimum and maximum numbers of results.
  • Improved the handling of the handling of offsets used to retrieve the next "chunk" or "page" of results for infinite scrolling and in other similar contexts.

Search Optimizations

These optimizations are related to TeamPage's handling of queries that have search expressions, and are designed to minimize the amount of work performed.

  • Search expressions are now simplified before any additional work, such as performing auxiliary queries, is performed to apply them.
  • Added short-circuiting to avoid performing any additional work when it can quickly be determined that there are not (or cannot be) any matching results for a search expression.
  • Optimized the way in which search filtering is actually applied. The best filtering strategy is selected, which may be purely iterative predicate filtering, filtering using high performing auxiliary queries, or a hybrid approach, depending upon the size of the base result set and what sort of search expressions are present.
  • Optimized the handling of auxiliary queries used to handle search expressions to ensure that the parameters, such as date scoping, are narrowed as much as possible while still matching the scoping of the base query and base result set.
  • Whenever possible, queries that have searches will be rewritten to use an equivalent but better performing query based upon one or more of the search expressions.

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Managment

Quality, Risk, and Improvement capabilities of the TeamPage Quality Management solution have been substantially revised. They are now more tightly integrated with each other and extensible to handle related standards based activities.

The Risk plug-in now supports use of a 'Standard' entry type. Standard entries can be created to represent various ISO standards — e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 45001, — that apply to different activities in an enterprise. A special CSV attachment to a Standard entry represents the available sets of choices for certain fields in other forms, including the Quality module's Nonconformity form. They can also designate a preferred template to be applied when a user chooses to create a new Nonconformity referencing that particular Standard. This capability makes it simpler to extend the TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 framework to handle other specific activities.

The Quality solution's Nonconformity and Corrective Action entry types, and the forms used to create them, have been improved and expanded. Most changes depend upon the Risk capability, which via the new Standard entry and other changes, offers an expanded set of form fields, although the Quality module plug-in can still be used without the Risk plug-in. When the Risk plug-in is available, to create a new Nonconformity, the user must first choose an applicable Standard, and the choice of Standard governs the options that appear in certain other fields.

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Other improvements include:

  • Most of the due date fields for the separate phases covered by the Nonconformity and Corrective Action forms will now have default values when the user initially opens the forms, driven by per-space settings governing the offset in days from the current date to use for each default. This way, the default due dates can reflect the expected amount of time usually required to reach and complete each phase.
  • Users now have the option to create an Innovation Task to follow up on an Improvement Opportunity. This provides a lighter-weight alternative than the full Improvement Project.
  • Threats, Innovation Tasks and Improvement Opportunities can now all be associated with one or more feedback reports, and will appear in the special "References" list for any feedback report alongside Nonconformities and Corrective Actions. Buttons for adding any of these types of associated entries also appear there alongside the existing buttons to add new Nonconformities and Corrective Actions.
  • Added server-level navigation tabs and pages for Nonconformities, to make it easy to survey quality management activities across all spaces.

The TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Solution is packaged as a family of integrated Quality Management, Standard Meeting, and related plug-in extensions and templates, along with expert support to help your product or service organization work better, see ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Met By impi! Solutions. Please contact sales@tractionsoftware.com if you're interested in trying out this solution.

Data Tables

We've made a number of improvements to the TeamPage Data Tables plug-in, which is free for licensed customers.

This TeamPage plug-in integrates the open-source DataTables JQuery plug-in of the JQuery Javascript library to add advanced pagination, instant filtering, multi-column ordering and other capabilities to TeamPage HTML tables.

You can use this integration to configure and add interactive tables to TeamPage entries based on entry types, properties, dates, status, relationships, and other data. If you're a developer, this plug-in also offers you a way to create interactive tables based on other TeamPage or external data sources you specify and control. This capability is useful in creating interactive dashboard, summary and other tables for general business solutions or your specific applications. You can learn more about the Data Tables plug-in here.

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Other Data Tables improvements include:

  • TeamPage installers now automatically install the Data Tables plug-in.
  • Use Ajax data loading to improve Data Tables performance.
  • Users can now export CSV, Excel, PDF, and a print version with the click of a button. The exported data will reflect any active filters.
  • Each column now has its own separate filter control.

Other highlights

  • Administrators can now configure up to four Google Calendar sources to be made available for users to display in various Calendar pages. Each Calendar can be given its own display name, text color, and background color.
  • Improve TeamPage metadata indices and journal entry cache design to improve memory footprint and improve performance.
  • New framework for managing long-running background processes.
  • New and improved statistics gathering for currently open resources.
  • Allow administrators to enable or disable generation of TeamPage Digest views for Visitor accounts.
  • Improve TeamPage type-ahead completion to always use Unified Search to provide more consistent results and improve performance.
  • Improve performance of internal queries used to support password re-use policies.
  • Improve performance of feed summary views.
  • Updated SDK support Query API, File API, and handling of unexpected file load errors.
  • Improve SDK support for management of Temporary files.
  • Improved SDK entry filtering support.
  • Improved Project Management and Status SDK entry type class definitions.
  • New SDK Snippet tag for flexible generation and use of snippet text derived from entry text, external search engine content or other sources.
  • Improved SDK search result Highlighter tag with simplified API.
  • Security related improvements and bug fixes relating to: certain potential cross-site scripting and forgery attacks; certain potential open redirection attacks; password change requests; and web socket validation, see change log.
  • The release includes many other bug fixes and improvements. See TeamPage Change Log for a detailed list of changes from this and subsequent point releases.

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How to create a simplified custom front page for TeamPage

December 13, 2018 · · Posted by Takashi Okutsu

ImageThe other day, I helped a Japanese IT Support company build a client support site with TeamPage.

Their main request was to make the top page ("front page") of TeamPage simple as possible to be more welcoming and prevent clients from being confused. So, I (1) put the large icons and buttons on the top page and (2) removed tabs and sidebar etc.

In this blog post, I will briefly introduce how I did the customizations using a TeamPage plug-in developed and delivered to the company.

How? Why TeamPage?

Let me introduce how TeamPage allow us to build a client support site with private and public spaces.

The structure of the support site by TeamPage

A "space" is like a "room" in a TeamPage building. An administrator is like a janitor of the building. He or she creates private rooms for clients who purchase IT support services from the company. The TeamPage server also has spaces for internal staff, and public spaces to post information shared with all clients and internal staff.

  • A client can not enter the private rooms for the other clients.
  • Internal support staff including the administrators can enter all rooms.

For example, the support requests, on-site remedy schedules, and the other articles and comments posted in the "Client A" room are allowed to be viewed by Client A only. They can not be seen by the other clients.

On the other hand, the internal staff has a high level overview of everything.

The company decided to start using TeamPage to build their support site because they had found Teampage as the best tool to manage the information security, track the latest situation for all clients, and research support records posted in the past by search.

Why We Simplify The Top Page

The top page before customization had the following interface.

  • There were 3 green buttons, "Inquiry Form for PC", "Request via Phone", and "Request via Email".
    • The buttons were embedded in an article and I put the article on the top page.
  • The blue button "Go To Members' Page" was supposed to lead a client to his/her private space.
  • The New Articles section showed the 5 newest article so that people could catch what was going on quickly on the top page.
  • The Customer Information section showed the 5 newest articles with the "Customer Information" tag so that the internal staff can take a look quickly on the top page.

Before Customization

I thought this was simple enough and sufficiently refreshing, but my customer wanted me to simplify more and more. Their requests were;

  • Let the clients understand "Go to the membership page first" and do not allow them to do other operations on the top page.
  • Add attractive graphics including a fancy character. The top page with text and buttons does not look inviting and may turn off the clients.

TeamPage has lots of links and buttons on the page. This allows people to select their favorite ways to do an operation. One of them may do something by selecting a tab in the top navigation bar and another may do the same thing by clicking a link in the sidebar.

It's designed to be flexible. However, my customer didn't like it. He said "If there are several ways to get the same goal, people may be confused to choose one. They need only one way. Remove the unnecessary links and buttons as possible from the top page so that there will be only one way to get to the members' page."

I think this might be because of the difference of the educations in the U.S. and Japan. I've heard that the kids in the U.S. are taught to be independent, have their opinions, and make decisions. On the other hand, the kids in Japan are taught to follow the others to be a part of the teams first rather than express their opinions. Interesting, isn't it?

How to customize

Okay. Now let me introduce how I simplified the top page and made my customer happy.

Hiding the unnecessary parts

First of all, I had to hide unnecessary tabs and buttons as much as possible. Please see the animation shown below. I hid the black parts.

Comparison - The black parts should be hidden

Home icon on the top-left

The "home" icon for returning to the top page is unnecessary on the top page because you are supposed to be already on the top page. I hid it by using the following stylesheet (CSS).

.view-home #loc .loc-home {
  display: none;
}

The stylesheet can be set on the "Design" dialog or Proteus Custom JavaScript & CSS plug-in.

Customize CSS

Setup and Invite menus

The "Setup" menu shows up only when a user logs in to TeamPage as an administrator. Since clients who post inquiries are not administrators, this menu will not be displayed. Therefore, customization is unnecessary.

The "Invite" menu shows up only when a user logs in to TeamPage with a user account with the "Invite" permission. This permission is allowed to everyone by default, so I configured the permission is allowed only to the administrators.

Tabs

The tabs in the header bar is a frequently-used navigation In TeamPage. You can switch the tabs by your needs. For example, if you want to the tasks and/or projects of your team, you should select the "Tasks" tab. If you want to check the due dates of the tasks and/or your meeting schedules, you should select the "Calendar" tab.

Tabs

The tabs may be unnecessary for clients who are not familiar with TeamPage, but they are convenient and powerful navigation for those who are accustomed to TeamPage (such as administrators).

So, I decided to set up "to hide the tabs for clients and display the tabs for administrators".

The plugin-in that I recently created for this purpose is Set Special Class(es) to The HTML Body Tag plug-in which checks whether a logged-in user account belongs to a specific group and adds a special class(es) to the HTML <body> tag.

I set it up to add class="is-admin" to the <body> tag if a logged-in user belongs to the administrator group.

This allows me to display the tabs to the administrators only with the following stylesheet.

body:not(.is-admin) #sect-nav {
  display: none;
}

Sidebar

Hide/Show Side Column plug-in, which is installed by default, has an option which allows users to select collapse (hide) or expand (show) the sidebar by default. All I had to do was selecting "hide by default" there.

Sections

I disabled the sections in [Server Settings] > [Front page] configuration page. It was easy.

Coloring the notification badge

The notification badge tells you the number of your notifications. You receive a notification when someone comments on your post, someone changed the status of your task, someone posts an event (a schedule) with you as an attendee, and so on.

Default badge

... but I wanted the badge to be noticeable by making its color red. The default color is lightened color of the background bar. Don't you think it is inconspicuous?

It was also easy to color the badge red. Just add the following CSS.

Red notification badge

.menu-notifications .notifications-count {
  background-color: crimson;
}

A Fancy Character

I asked a web designer in the IT Support company to draw an image of the top page with a fancy character. Now, how do I put it on the top page of TeamPage?

Image of the top page with a woman

TeamPage has (1) the "Embed Content" plug-in which allows me to put any HTML code in an article and (2) the "Dashboard" capability which allows me to display a specific article(s) on the top page. With the combination of the (1) and (2), I thought I could achieve the goal.

However, it turned out that there was a problem. Putting the green buttons and menus in the picture above is OK because the link target is fixed and the same for everyone but the destination of the "Members' Page" (the blue button) in the picture below must be different per client.

Go to the members' page

The "Members' Page" means "the dashboard page in the client's private space". So the blue button must navigate a user from the client "ABC Company" to the "ABC" room ("ABC" private space) and a user from the client "XYZ Company" to the "XYZ" room etc.

So I created a special small plug-in that checks the private space of a logged-in user and put the space name into the destination URL.

Each client user is supposed to have the read permission in his/her private space and some public spaces. The plug-in gets the list of the spaces where the user has the read permission and exclude the public spaces from the list.

<!--- Create a comma-separated list of the spaces where the user has the read permission,
      and put it into the "readableSpaces" variable. -->
<var.set name="readableSpaces">
  <projects.read>
    __project.name__
    <loop.last not>,</loop.last>
  </projects.read
</var.set>

<!--- Create a list of the public spaces
      and put it into the "publicSpaces" variable. -->
<var.set name="publicSpaces">Bulletin,FAQ,Forum</var.set>

<!--- Check each space in the list.
      If a space is in the public spaces list, do nothing. -->
<foreach list="${readableSpaces}">
  <compare.contains "${publicSpaces}" "__foreach.current__">
    <!--- Ignore! -->
  <else>
    <!--- Draw the blue button. -->
    <a href="/traction#/dashboard&proj=__foreach.current__">Members' Page</a>
  </compare.contains>
</foreach>

The programming language for TeamPage customization is called "SDL" (Skin Develop Language). It looks like HTML and XML. You can modify the existing behaviors and create new features just like you create a web page. If you are interested in the SDL programming, why don't you come to our support site? It's free!

After customization

Ta-da! Finally, the top page customizations are done.

The IT Support company liked the simplified face of the top page. "It is quite simple and easy to understand! Customers will not get lost any more."

Customization Completed

Summary

On the standard front page of TeamPage, you can arrange sections such as "New Articles" and "New Tasks" like a newspaper, or you can put a specific article on it like a poster.

In addition, you can change the landing page from the front page (the team-shared dashboard) to your own page.

Using JavaScript, CSS, and TeamPage's SDL programming language makes it possible to further customize.

The TeamPage plug-in architecture makes it simple to install the customization, and allows the company to install new TeamPage updates without having to re-install the plug-in.

One of the IT Support company said: "It was surprising and inspiring to me to know that TeamPage has such wonderful flexibilities and possibilities. I asked you many requests and you did never say "No, it is not supported." All our requests came to existence. Wonderful!" I was so glad to hear that!

If you are interested in customizing TeamPage, please feel free to contact us. You can learn to do this customization yourself, ask us for TeamPage SDK training and support, or ask us to design, deliver and support a plug-in extension to match what you want to do.

Related articles

Working Across Boundaries ... There's no reason to settle for a collaboration and action tracking solution that only handles internal collaboration, or assumes that everything happens in a building with glass walls and no doors. Real business value and sustainable competitive advantage often depend on working easily within and across boundaries that need to be in place to do business.

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style ... A work graph consists of the units of work (tasks, ideas, clients, goals, agenda items); information about that work (relevant conversations, files, status, metadata); how it all fits together; and then the people involved with the work (who’s responsible for what? which people need to be kept in the loop?).

お客様が迷わない!スッキリ簡潔なトップページのカスタマイズ例 Japanese language version of this blog post, on the Traction Software Japanese Business Office website. Follow @TSIJPBO on Twitter for TeamPage news from Japan!

Aug 2018 | TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 Solution adds integrated Risk and Improvement Project Management

ImageTeamPage 2018 Summer Release TeamPage's 9001:2015 Quality Management solution - developed in partnership with impi! Solutions - adds integrated Risk and Improvement Project management, tracking, and reporting capabilities. This release also adds: Advanced Japanese language search; improved type-ahead search; improved built-in search; many product and developer SDK bug fixes and improvements.

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Managment

Improved TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 support adds Risk and Improvement Project management to Non-Conformance and Corrective Action management, tracking, and reporting to deliver a broader, integrated ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management solution. Two TeamPage customers who tested the pre-release ISO 9001:2015 update previously used TeamPage to manage their quality documentation including Standard Operating Procedures, Work Instructions and Related content and were very happy with that - their auditors were very happy too. Both previously used Microsoft Word documents for Non-Conformance and Corrective Action Reports, and Excel spreadsheets and macros to track NC's and CA's.

The ISO 9001:2015 specification includes new requirements for risk-based thinking as well as an improvement program. Risk and Improvement replace the concept of Preventive Action in the former ISO 9001:2008 specification. With the new requirement, customers have the opportunity and motivation to re-think their current practices. TeamPage relates NC and CA reports to SOPs and also relates Threats to SOPs. From there, Risks relate to Threats. The risks are scored and, as necessary, mitigated with innovations and improvements. Both pre-release customers liked the quality-specific article types and tight relationships included in the TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 solution; both upgraded to the new solution. They said that this will save time managing and reporting on the status of their NCs, CAs, Threats, Risks and mitigation activities. One customer described the improved TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 solution as "Perfectly fitting our needs". The ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management solution leverages TeamPage's unique Work Graph Model to integrate quality documentation, action tracking, reporting based on the business process improvement model created by impi.

The TeamPage ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Solution is packaged as a family of integrated Quality Management, Standard Meeting, and related plug-in extensions and templates, along with expert support to help your product or service organization work better, see ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Met By impi! Solutions. Please contact sales@tractionsoftware.com if you're interested in trying out this solution.

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Examples

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Other highlights

  • Solr based TeamPage Advanced Search is now available for use with Japanese language articles and files. The new Solr configuration includes Japanese language tokenization rules.
  • Type-ahead completion and suggestions in TeamPage search and forms now uses Advanced Search when that capability has been installed and enabled. Queries using quotation marks to express phrase are now supported.
  • Improved background memory cleanup and garbage collection performance.
  • Improved private draft support and snippet generation for very large TeamPage articles, where each article may contain tens to hundreds of pages of content.
  • Improved TeamPage behavior with external defined TeamPage accounts (e.g. a Microsoft Active Directory server) when an invalid account security principle encoding is encountered.
  • Improved NTLMv2 logging and diagnosis of failed login attempts.
  • Added statistics gathering for open file resources; improved statistics gathering for attachment save operations.
  • Updated Apache Derby server version to 10.14.2.0.
  • Improved performance of "Completed Tasks", "Total Tasks", and "% Tasks Complete" calculation for project and milestone reporting.
  • Improved Task Table performance.
  • Updated SDK support for handling fine-grain permission to erase specific versions or all versions of an entry.
  • TeamPage's web forms SDK framework now supports an "html" pseudo-field type. This makes it easy to include possibly dynamic arbitrary markup in a form. Making it a field on the client side means that it can be set up to be dependent upon one or more other fields in the form, which means that the markup can be updated when a field change. SDK support for new event types for auto-refresh, entry-update, comment-insert, comment-update, comment-save and related events.
  • Improved SDK entry filtering support.
  • Improved Project Management and Status SDK entry type class definitions.
  • New SDK Snippet tag for flexible generation and use of snippet text derived from entry text, external search engine content or other sources.
  • Improved SDK search result Highlighter tag with simplified API.
  • The release also includes many other bug fixes and general improvements. See TeamPage Change Log for a detailed list of changes in this and intermediate point releases.

Related

Meeting ISO 9001:2015 requirements using TeamPage and the impi! model The organization steadily builds its very own Wikipedia, and it’s ISO 9001 compliant. The risk of deadwood documentation is reduced: team members create their own documentation, hyperlinking contextualizes the documentation and tagging and search capability ease retrieval of information.

Why, How and What of the impi Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage A short video demonstration and customer interview of the impi! Standard Meeting plug-in for TeamPage (part of the ISO 9001:2015 solution).

Quality Management, Signature Requirements Introducing TeamPage Quality Management and Signature Requirement capabilities.

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style Understand how TeamPage connects people and their work.

A Fabric, not a Platform Making work actionable as well as observable: Objects, context, conversation, connection.

Mar 2018 | Question and Answer plug-in and other TeamPage improvements

ImageTeamPage 2018 Spring Release includes a new Question and Answer plug-in that make it simple to add Q&A capabilities to any TeamPage solution. You can also introduce a dedicated Q&A space to support a forum connecting any combination of external customers, partners and internal team members.

Other highlights

New section editor support for choosing a custom sliding time slice "Last [N] [Days | Weeks | Months | Quarters | Years]". Previously, there was only a choice between "All Time" and tracking the time slice for the containing page. Sections and section tables that have custom configured time slices also now have text that indicates the exact date range covered so that it will be clear to users what they're seeing. More highlights

  • Integration of a new version of Google Web Toolkit (GWT) to resolve several layout problems introduced by new versions of Google Chrome;
  • Rich text editing updated to use the latest release of TinyMCE;
  • Custom transformers based on the open source htmlcleaner library can now be used to normalize and clean up incoming email and other sources before being posted as TeamPage entries;
  • Fixed a script injection vulnerability associated with certain HTTP request parameters;
  • Improved Active Directory integration; improved SDK support for custom EntryClass moderation;
  • SDK now includes 'form-field-value-change' events to allow creation of custom event listeners that add special user interface behaviors for particular form field values;
  • Performance improvements for TeamPage's optional CRM module;
  • Caching performance improvements for large TeamPage journals.
  • The release also includes over 60 bug fixes and general improvements. See TeamPage Change Log for a detailed list of changes in this and intermediate point releases.

Question and Answer examples

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Related

Question and Answer Form Set plug-in Configuring the and using new Q&A capabilities. Japanese version 質問箱プラグイン

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style Understand how TeamPage connects people and their work.

A Fabric, not a Platform Making work actionable as well as observable: Objects, context, conversation, connection.

Dec 2017 | FullCalendar adds list and schedule views, ability to show calendar events for selected groups

ImageTeamPage 2017 Winter Release includes integration with FullCalendar to add new calendar views and capabilities including: list and agenda views; the ability to display events from Google Calendars; the ability to show individual calendars for people who belong to a selected group. FullCalendar is a customizable and open-source JavaScript event calendar with many extensible capabilities and a popular API.

Other highlights

A new Copy action used to create an editable duplicate of an existing entry; a much faster HTML-to-plaintext converter used to render snippets; updated NTLM libraries for single sign-on support; updated Adobe Derby JDBC connectors; improved type-ahead completion used to show relevant suggestions as text is typed in the TeamPage search box; improved external search engine integration, administration, and performance; new and improved developer SDK support for extending or overriding behavior of custom entry types and EntryClasses; new JavaScript functions used to extend and customize the TeamPage Proteus skin; colorful setting panel styling. The release also includes over 90 bug fixes and general improvements. See TeamPage Change Log for a detailed list of changes in this and intermediate point releases.

FullCalendar examples

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Related

FullCalendar plug-in Configuring the and using new FullCalendar capabilities.

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style Understand how TeamPage connects people and their work.

A Fabric, not a Platform Making work actionable as well as observable: Objects, context, conversation, connection.

Nov 2017 | TeamPage 6.2 Major Release

ImageTeamPage 6.2 is a major release which packages changes and improvements that have been incrementally delivered to cloud-hosted and on-premises customers. In addition to bug fixes and improvements, highlights of this release are updates to API's used by developers to extend TeamPage, and substantial internal refactoring to improve the structure of the TeamPage code base.

Release Highlights

Image

  • New features and capabilities based on impi! Solutions partnership include a new a Threat and Opportunity module. The Threat and Opportunity module helps businesses identify, document, and handle risks posed by threats to business processes. A risk can be linked to innovation tasks to mitigate that risk, or to an improvement opportunity that is tracked and managed as part of an improvement project.
  • Improved handling of auto-logged replies to TeamPage email notifications.
  • Configurable project tracking tables can show the number of complete tasks or percent completed.
  • Improved document relevance boost can use the number of incoming or outgoing cross-references, tags, the size of the entries discussion thread, number of updates, entry type, and other metrics to score relevance and return relevant results for any query.
  • Improved Table of Contents widget (customer contributed) is now part of the TeamPage supported baseline.
  • Improved interactive tooltip shows the title of the project or milestone associated with a Calendar event.
  • Updated Public SDK API includes: new built-in sorting capabilities; improved flattened thread and sub-thread queries; configurable dynamic updates to form fields; form support for multi-level dialogs; support for required fields; regular expression support for list type matcher; support for numeric field types; relevance boost can now show an explanation of scoring to help understand why a result appears where it does in a list of search results.
  • TeamPage SDK extensions and improvements support new TeamPage plug-ins and plug-in solutions developed by Traction Software, Traction Software's Japanese Business Office, partners, and customers.
  • Many specific bug fixes and performance improvements, see TeamPage 6.2 Change Log for details.See TeamPage Change Log for a detailed list of changes in this and intermediate point releases.

Related

Why, How and What of the impi Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage A short video demonstration and customer interview of the impi! Standard Meeting plug-in for TeamPage.

TeamPage Real-Time Daily Report 日報 (Japan can include tasks, scheduled events, meeting notes, photos, and Customer contact notes using an extensible CRM form on desktop or mobile devices. Team members, as well as bosses, can share notes, plans, and a Daily Report calendar of events. See @TSIJPO for Traction Software Japan's Twitter feed.

Meeting ISO 9001:2015 requirements using TeamPage and the impi! model The organization steadily builds its very own Wikipedia, and it’s ISO 9001 compliant. The risk of deadwood documentation is reduced: team members create their own documentation, hyperlinking contextualizes the documentation and tagging and search capability ease retrieval of information.

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style Understand how TeamPage connects people and their work.

A Fabric, not a Platform Making work actionable as well as observable: Objects, context, conversation, connection.

Why, How and What of the impi Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage

January 25, 2017 · · Posted by Pierre Bienvenüe

ImageThe new impi! Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage enables easier, faster and more accurate minute taking for recurring meetings which agenda is standardized. It augments the impi! solution: Goal Alignment - Mini Business Units Deployment. To learn more about this plug-in and impi's Business Management System solutions built using TeamPage, please contact Traction Software.

The task is the unit of continuous improvement and the MBU meeting the delivery forum

In a Lean enterprise, the unit of continuous improvement is the task or action. It needs to be explicit and time bound. Members make themselves accountable by first agreeing on the tasks and then taking responsibility to carry them out. The best forum to review progress is the mini-business unit (MBU) meeting where accountability is achieved with transparency and simplicity. This is one of the reason why visual management is much prevalent in Companies seeking excellent processes and people. At operational level, a wall is well suited to communicate priority tasks and decisions. Together with Key Performance indicators and other succinct and essential information, the priority tasks are recorded on a board. The traditional supervisor black book is now replaced with an information medium available to all. The interval between two meetings is short (from a shift to a week) and the priority tasks are straight forward. The meeting is recurring and its agenda is standardized: there isn't a need for minute taking.

Visual management is not restricted to a wall. TeamPage provides electronic visual management

However, for MBUs where the nature of the standard meetings is more systemic or strategic, tasks become more complex and numerous. Decisions need to be recorded too. Even general information and detailed minutes can be needed. This is typical with cross-functional operational meetings, management reviews, monthly executive or sales meetings, multisite meetings where new information and intelligence are shared. An electronic solution is required. Here, the wall, board and pens are replaced with the screen, projector and computer; this is still visual management.

The Standard Meeting Plug-in leverages the capability of TeamPage for task management and contextualizing information. Our development drive has been to offer a solution that would be intuitive, easy to use and offering simple and deep ways of finding historical tasks, decisions, and minutes. Additionally the ability to see at one glance all historical decisions associated to a particular meeting profile, provides a coach insight into the chairperson management style.

The plug-in is a productivity tool and a time saver

We researched examples of minute taking templates (some of them very complex in the Quality Assurance domain) and observed for two years the habits at CounterPoint Trading our industrial partner with whom we experiment all impi! solutions. We came to the conclusion that the five following areas were sufficient to document a standard meeting:

  1. The administrative information that identifies the standard meeting e.g. meeting name, location, attendees, etc.
  2. The Meeting profile that describes the 4 P's (Purpose, Players, Preparation and Plan - the agenda)
  3. General Information or Detailed minutes
  4. Decisions made during the meeting
  5. Open and closed tasks from the current meeting and open tasks from past meetings.

The resulting solution allows the team to capture on the go tasks and decisions associated to the meeting profile. Past open tasks are always on the radar screen, thus reinforcing accountability. Information retrieval is immediate in the context of the meeting. The plug-in is a productivity tool and a time saver. Example of usage of the standard meeting plugin would be for management and senior management meetings, project reviews, management reviews, compliance/governance meetings, multisite meetings, etc.

CounterPoint Trading interview

Here are the first impressions on using the plug-in from the original users at CounterPoint Trading:

How does it work?

A standard meeting is defined by its 4Ps. impi! users define the detailed meeting profiles in their Knowledge Central space alternatively the 4Ps will be defined in the meeting profile article created in the relevant space.

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A standard meetings section is configured In MBU spaces (e.g. BU3 operational) or special purpose spaces (e.g. Environmental Management).

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By adding a meeting profile in the meeting section, we create a container where all the meeting minutes will be collected in sequence for that particular profile

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We can navigate from to the previous and next meeting directly from the current minutes. Also, a new meeting minutes can be created In the Meeting profile itself or alternatively from the latest meeting minutes.

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Open tasks from past meetings are shown in the current meeting minutes

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Image

Learn More

Here is a more detailed tutorial on how to use the Standard Meeting plug-in:

Related

Introducing impi! - Pierre Bienvenüe - founder of impi Business Improvement Solutions Pty

Jun 2016 | ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Met By impi! Solutions - Meeting ISO 9001:2015 requirements using the impi! model

impi! What's in the name? What's in the logo? - Discipline and creativity

Dec 2016 | Business Process Improvement with impi!, Plug-in extensions, TeamPage improvements

Dec 2016 | Business Process Improvement with impi!, Plug-in extensions, TeamPage improvements

ImageTeamPage Winter 2016 Release Consolidates point releases shipped since May 2016, adding numerous improvements to support business process, quality management, daily report, and other plug-in extensions. This release also includes new user experience and performance improvements, bug fixes, extensions of the TeamPage SDK, and architectural enhancements to extend the capabilities of the TeamPage platform.

Business Process Improvement with impi!

Traction Software has teamed with impi! Solutions to create a family of business process improvement solutions that use TeamPage as a platform for planning, support, management and improvement of business and quality management processes, with a particular focus on processes aligned with ISO 9001:2015. See Why, How and What of the impi Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage for a short video demo and customer interview.

All impi! solutions are built on TeamPage on a wiki space and are standard documents. Every solution starts with a Policy (the why) and a Standard Operating Procedure (the how). The SOP is the hub that links all the other documents (the spokes). The templates used for these documents are the same that the client can use for their own controlled documentation in their own wiki space called “Knowledge Central”. Two outputs of every improvement projects are a) an operational improvement and b) documentation in Knowledge Central. The project templates used to run improvement projects comprise standard articles that will naturally become elements of the BOP (e.g. SIPOC, business process maps). When the project leader reaches the Control or Adjust part of the project, large chunks of the documentation would have been written. Using the capability of TeamPage simplifies the linking and tagging of documents. The organization steadily builds its very own Wikipedia, and it’s ISO 9001 compliant. The risk of deadwood documentation is reduced: team members create their own documentation, hyperlinking contextualizes the documentation and tagging and search capability ease retrieval of information.

Several templates are available for improvement projects (e.g. PDCA, DMAIC). With each project milestones are associated standard articles e.g. project charter, project checklist, Fishbone diagram, business process “AS IS". For each milestone there are also associated tasks. In each task is a tutorial on its own with tips and links to glossary terms, One Point Lessons (e.g. How to use a risk assessment matrix) or external reference in the public domain, e.g. Wikipedia, Lean Institute.

Image

Impi! Solutions and its consulting partners offer Business Process Improvement services to help guide successful introduction, management, and improvement processes by mentoring and working as members of their client's TeamPage based solutions rather than walking away after presenting a big consulting bill, and coming back to pick up the pieces six months or a year later. By working alongside their clients in the same TeamPage system, impi! partners can remotely monitor activity, recognize potential problems or opportunities, answer questions, work through issues or problems, and provide guidance that's both effective and affordable, particularly for small to mid-size organizations.

Contact Traction Software to learn how impi! Solutions can help your business succeed.

Daily Report and other plug-in extensions

Traction Software's Japanese Business Office works with TeamPage USA and customers and partners around the world to define, develop, and deliver plug-in extensions to Traction TeamPage. TeamPage extension range from customer specific specialization of general purpose TeamPage Task, Project, and Dashboard forms and views to a growing range of mini-applications that work as a native part of TeamPage. These extensions leverage TeamPage's plug-in runtime extensible architecture to selectively override or add behavior and properties to the base TeamPage model, making it simple to maintain plug-in's across TeamPage releases.

Image

For example, Traction Software's Japanese Business office launched a dedicated DailyReports.biz site and solution for the Japanese Daily Report 日報 practice. In some Japanese companies, at the end of each day employees are expected to write a summary of what they did and submit it to their boss. This is called a "日報" (daily report or daily journal) and is traditionally used to share information between employees and bosses. Rather than adding a chore at the end of each day, the new Daily Report solution makes it easy to share a short note after a talk with a customer, when a task is completed, or after some other noteworthy event. The note is easy to post using a phone, tablet, or desktop computer and is shared in with others in real time. The note is also automatically included in a summary email digest at the end of the day, see DailyReports.biz (Japanese).

Daily Reports can include tasks, scheduled events, meeting notes, photos, and Customer contact notes using an extensible CRM form on desktop or mobile devices. Team members as well as bosses can share notes, plans, and a Daily Report calendar of events.

iPhone Daily ReportsImage

Daily Report is offered as a dedicated solution in Japan, see DailyReports.biz for a live demonstration site, pricing, feature summary, and frequently asked questions (all in Japanese). Google Chrome's automatic translation works well for reading the DailyReports.biz site and demonstration in English - on mobile as well as desktop devices. In Japan, please contact DailyReport.biz for more information.

In US and other markets, please contact US sales if you're interested in using the Daily Reports solution, or for information about free TeamPage community extensions, mini-applications, or customer specific extensions tailored to exactly what you need.

Other Release Highlights

• Improved Social Enterprise Web Comment and Task forms

• Improved Section Table widget editor

• Updated Japanese localizations

• Finer grain control over what events appear in your Personal Calendar

• New "Assigned to Me" and "Notify Me" filter options for Task Lists and other views.

• Updated version of TinyMCE rich text editor

• Support for SHA-2 algorithms for Certificate Signing Requests (CSRs)

• New "Indexing Mode" setting controls how Premium search tracks and dispatches new and updated documents

• Improved support for Microsoft Edge browser

• Social Enterprise Web. The hover menu for individual files (either in a single file view, or in external search engine results) now includes a "describe" item that will allow a user who has permission to do so to create or edit an entry that contains an authored description of the file.

• Many "under the hood" improvements to the part of the Traction SDK that cover integration with external search engines, with the goal of making external search engine features more reliable. The Traction SDK external search integration API (mostly contained in the com.traction.sdk.search package) has undergone extensive changes.

Related

Why, How and What of the impi Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage A short video demonstration and customer interview of the impi! Standard Meeting plug-in for TeamPage.

Jul 2016 | TeamPage Real Time Daily Report 日報 (Japan)

Jun 2016 | ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Met By impi! Solutions

May 2016 | TeamPage Mobile App, Improved Document Management

Dec 2015 | Quality Management, Signature Requirements Create, distribute, manage, and improve procedures to deliver high-quality products and services to your customers

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style Understand how TeamPage connects people and their work

A Fabric, not a Platform Making work actionable as well as observable: Objects, context, conversation, connection

Jul 2016 | TeamPage Real Time Daily Report 日報 (Japan)

ImageTraction Software's Japanese Business office launched a dedicated DailyReports.biz site and solution for the Japanese Daily Report 日報 practice. In some Japanese companies, at the end of each day employees are expected to write a summary of what they did and submit it to their boss. This is called a "日報" (daily report or daily journal) and is traditionally used to share information between employees and bosses. Rather than adding a chore at the end of each day, the new Daily Report solution makes it easy to share a short note after a talk with a customer, when a task is completed, or after some other noteworthy event. The note is easy to post using a phone, tablet, or desktop computer and is shared in with others in real time. The note is also automatically included in a summary email digest at the end of the day.

Image

Daily Reports can include tasks, scheduled events, meeting notes, photos, and Customer contact notes using an extensible CRM form on desktop or mobile devices. Team members as well as bosses can share notes, plans, and a Daily Report calendar of events.

Daily Report is offered as a dedicated solution in Japan, see TractionSoftware.jp for a live demonstration , pricing, feature summary, and frequently asked questions (all in Japanese). Google Chrome's automatic translation works well for reading the DailyReports.biz site and demonstration in English - on mobile as well as desktop devices.

Traction Software doesn't currently market a dedicated Daily Report solution in other countries. For US and other markets, please contact US sales if you're interested in using the Daily Reports solution.

Related

Image「書かない日報」ソリューションの特設紹介サイトをオープン - Press release (Japanese) 1日の出来事や成果をまとめた日報は、コミュニケーション促進や情報の共有に役立つのは確かです。しかし、「日報としてまとめて書く」ときに、大切な情報が抜け落ちたり、書くことが負担となることも少なくありません。

Daily Report 日報 = Observable Work: Takashi Okutsu - About the Daily Report practice in Japan.

Eat your spinach: Email is good for you, but it could taste a lot better - ホウレンソウ (HORENSO) has a literal English translation "spinach", but it is used to refer to a Japanese practice that aligns members understanding and synchronizes actions.

impi! What's in the name? What's in the logo?

July 16, 2016 · · Posted by Pierre Bienvenüe

ImageImpi is a Zulu word for any armed body of men. It also bears in English a connotation to the art of warfare. In the early part of the 19th century the Zulu nation, then a relatively small tribe rose to a prominent nation. Under the leadership of King Shaka its influence span across Southern Africa. Shaka deeply transformed the art of warfare in the sub continent drawing from traditions and innovating. Aspects of warfare covered army structure and deployment, leadership, training, agility, logistic, weaponry, etc. Shaka's organisational development and leading of his impis were characterised by discipline (standardisation) and creative improvement.

Shaka's influence in improving the impi was sustained to the point that 71 years after his death, at the battle of Isandlwana in 1879, the numerically superior Zulu impi defeated the British despite a vast disadvantage in weapons technology. "The British Army had suffered its worst defeat against an indigenous technologically vastly inferior foe." (See Wikipedia article).

Relevance to our project

impi! as a set of solutions offers a disciplined and structured approach to establishing the Business Management Systems (ISO 9001 compliant) of organisations based on continuous improvement. It relies on the transformation of individuals that become a thinking people by improving processes through discipline and creativity.

So if an organisation and its employees constitute an impi, who would be the enemy? The various risks associated to operating a business and the wasteful activities embedded in the processes are the enemy. And it goes on: the age-grade regiments are the MBUs; the Bull-Horn formation is part of the management systems; the shields are the standards used to protect; the spears are the methods used to improve (problem solving, innovation, improvement projects) i.e. atrophy the risks and eradicate problems.

Reference to Lean principles

Social Structure and Technical Structure of an organisation as per Paul Adler (1999).
Image

A stunning observation of the evolution of the impi under King Shaka is the level of innovation and creativity stemming from the cultural traditions and the simultaneous increase in discipline. In the Lean manufacturing approach, leadership intentionally develops a thinking people on the foundation of strong structures and standards.

A common view of organisational structures is to look at discipline and creativity as the two ends of the same structural continuum. Jeffrey Liker in a footnote of the Toyota Way (2004) makes reference to Paul Adler's paper on Building Better Bureaucracies (1999). Adler's model shows that creativity (enabling Social Structure) and discipline (strong Technical Structure) are two favourable features of an empowered organisation. The Intern (2015 film) makes an interesting point in the balance between discipline and creativity (although the critics would have missed in the movie the case for enabling bureaucracies).

ImageLong before we started building the blocks (the solutions) for impi! in 2012, we wanted to lay a foundation: a dynamic model that would help understand how a customer driven company operates. Business Management Systems are constructs designed to manage knowledge. In the words of Peter Drucker, "the essence of management is to make knowledge productive". The Core Cycle is an integrated model that attempts to make the statement actionable. It consists of five interrelated factors namely: contribution, best operating practice (BOP), best improvement practice (BIP), leadership and structure, and empowerment.

Back in 2005, the author became a champion for the implementation of a continuous improvement programme. He created the ancestor of the Core Cycle as a theme to communicate the change about to happen in the organisation. It consisted in a shield representing the discipline in the organisation and a spear representing innovation or improvement. With the shield, one can defend. In the case of the organisation, this means defending a business model, people, environment, shareholder value. But an organisation that only defends systems defined in the past cannot sustain without improvement: attacking to craft a future for the organisation by continuously improving. Improvement and Discipline have been identified as success factors of the impi.

Defending with the shield; attacking with the spear.

Image

The evolution from this picture to the Core Cycle happened over the years. The shield became the Best Operating practice (BOP) and the spear became the Business Improvement Practice (BIP).

Rooted in our values

As we develop a relationship with our clients, partners as well as a nascent Community Of Practice, we hope to strengthen our values and live by them:

  • We care relates to the protection offered by the shield. We care for others, the business model, the systems and processes, shareholder value, etc.
  • We Continuously Improve relates to the spear and carving a future for impi!, our partners and clients.
  • We Contribute by defeating the enemy: risk and waste (value addition).

Revealed in the impi! logo

ImageThe impi! logo below represents the i of impi! and the exclamation mark; continuously spinning, like Deming's wheel, the PDCA cycle. We standardise, improve and sustain, like King Shaka did with the impi.

And by the way, why an "!" at the end of impi! ?

Because the impi is powerful, compelling and exciting. Listen to Johnny Clegg, relating the battle of Isandlwana in his song impi!

Related

Welcome to impi! - an evolutionary business improvement system for the digital era.

Introducing impi! - Pierre Bienvenüe - Concepts impi! uses to build business management systems. Convergence of Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement.

ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Met By impi! Solutions - ISO 9001:2015 requirements based on lessons learned working with one of my clients since July 2015 under the guidance of one of the contributors to the new version of the standard.

A Fabric, not a Platform

June 21, 2016 · · Posted by Greg Lloyd

ImageApple and Google are competing to build a fabric that connects everything you own and use, working outward from the globally meshed supercomputer you carry in your pocket. Both apply deep learning technology to AI assistants, and are opening up their AIs and bots to other apps, bots, and cloud services. This richly connected fabric makes bots useful and AI assistants valuable by teaching them how to identify objects you're talking about as well as understand what you want done. The same applies at work. Making this happen requires a shift from the traditional definition of a platform to a fabric which makes it possible to connect people and the actionable objects they use, in context.

Juggling Plates

First of all, work is not all done in one place. The things that people talk about and use to get work done are scattered across a handful of silos and apps. For some people it's a scary, dark forest of silos and apps, but most people rely on a handful of places to get their daily work done - and are reluctant to venture outside the places they know.

This isn't a bad thing:

  • Nothing is ever done in one place; work is intrinsically intertwingled. People will use their own smart phones and apps to route around omissions and ugly bumps that IT provides.
  • Trying to stuff all work into one big box is much, much worse: I remember the global bank whose Lotus Notes repositories spent almost all of their cycles synchronizing with each other.
  • In a competitive marketplace, progress is made in fits and starts. New apps, platforms and services are far better, cheaper and more fun to use than apps fossilized by IT for a small captive, internal audience, written and maintained by the lowest-cost outsourced bidder.
  • It's an opportunity for companies like Salesforce and others to build big service platforms to create cozy places for familiar activities, lowering friction and adding guardrails for guidance.
  • Sharing platforms like Box, Dropbox, and Google also aspire to become platforms for work, trying to convince customers and developers to choose their platform to build cozy places for specific activities.
  • But having a multitude of channels repeats the plate juggling problem if you have too many places to look when you try to get organized, see Group Chat Doesn't Suck. The Way We're Using It Sucks

How can we make work actionable?

Actionable Work

I hope you all agree that one way to make life easier for people trying to get work done together is to make their work observable. I believe it's also valuable to make work actionable - by individuals, teams, apps, bots, and AIs. Think "actionable" in the sense of actionable intelligence: "information that can be acted upon, with the further implication that actions should be taken." Think "work" in the sense of "work product" like tasks, documents, CAD files, transactions in system of record, as well as the trail of actions taken and resources used by people, apps, or bots to get work done.

In an ideal world, the information you want, things you need to work with, and people who you should talk with should be just a click - or a "Hey Siri" - away. I'll call this actionable work since it expresses a desire to make what you or others have done, used or talked about in the past usable to get work done in the future. Effortlessly findable. Easily usable. It should fall readily to hand. How close can we come to the ideal? What's needed? What stands in the way?

Objects - Documents, pages, messages, tasks, discussions, and transactions need to be findable, addressable, and usable as objects of action verbs, whether than verb is an action taken using a click, API call, message to a bot, or request to an assistant like Siri.

Context - To make work actionable, you need to implicitly or explicitly identify the context of an action's reference; context itself becomes an object of actionable work.

Although this sounds like something that only a programmer would say, think about how you reference objects in a conversation: "How are we doing on the Acme Products proposal?" A human being you work with either has a pretty good idea of what you mean in some shared context, or will ask you a question to clarify.

A good reply might be "We're waiting for Chris. He should approve it or get back with questions by Wednesday close of business". Could a bot do this? Even if you're not using a bot, could a request like "How're we doing on the Acme Products proposal?" give you a link to the relevant status and related activity rather than just a link to a document named Acme Proposal?

Software objects have addresses or names that can identify that object in the context of some open domain like the web or a closed domain like a database. Although some objects of actionable work have human sensible names, few of these names are unique. Unique names are themselves unique in a context like names in your address book, names in corporate directory, or assigned names like invoice numbers and permalinks in a system of record. Many objects of actionable work don't have human sensible names, but become addressable when a click on a screen or command like "reply" enables a software system to identify the object you want to act on.

Work Graph - Whether shown on a screen or mentioned in a relevant context, context makes objects of actionable work findable, usable, and fall readily to hand. By "fall readily to hand" I mean easily accessible to human beings who talk about related objects of work. People, bots, and AIs need to understand what humans means when they say "Send this to Jordan and see if he agrees", or "Open a trouble report on this." Building on a term coined by Justin Rosenstein, l call this representation of related people, objects and trails of actions in context a work graph.

Work like the web - You don't need to get into arguments about the world of apps versus the work of the web so long as the underlying objects you use are addressable and usable with standard W3C protocols. It doesn't matter if you use Facebook's mobile app or Facebook's web browser interface so long as both user interfaces show and use the same objects and content under the covers on the server side. You also want to: 1) identify yourself once, and use that identity consistently; 2) rely on web services to consistently grant or deny access and other permissions based on that identity; 3) rely on web services for actions, permission-aware search and navigation throughout an interoperable fabric.

We're close to this basic interoperability using nothing more than a web browser, web standards, and web addressable services. See the Internet Archive's 2016 Decentralized Web Summit and my two cents in Reinventing the Web II

A Fabric, Not a Platform

Traditionally, "platform" refers to a software product with APIs used to construct or extend applications and services, like the original version of Lotus Notes. With the advent of the web, service business like Salesforce, SAP, and others began opening up their cloud platforms to entice builders to add complementary capabilities that "work like Salesforce" etc.

Sharing services like Box and Dropbox began opening up their platforms to enable apps as well as people to share documents and handle closely related activities. Likewise Slack is building out its messaging platform, adding bot and message button extensions to use external services from within Slack, and connectors to enable sharing and other services to use Slack for messaging.

Platform wars - The fact that all of these services are available via the cloud makes a basic level of W3C-based interoperability possible, if not exactly easy or pleasant. It's plate juggling time, even for organizations that try to stuff all of their work into the same box. Customers, partners, and employees find it's even easier to use their phones and favorite services to route around what's missing or awkward to use at work. The good news: market pressures are driving platform builders to compete on their ability to connect and interoperate with complementary or competing services.

At the same time, the shift to mobile first drives adoption of bot and AI conversational interfaces since: 1) there's no room to show a long list of results or screens that look like an old fashion airplane cockpit on a mobile screen; 2) people aren't willing to put up with the clutter; 3) people feel comfortable with a conversational interface that reliably understands what they want done and asks for clarification or confirmation when appropriate. A great conversational interface requires a good way to model context, whether the conversation is driven by text messages, voice, or a sequence of screens.

I believe what's needed is a fabric for actionable work that lives over traditional cloud platforms and services. Not one big box where all the work gets done, but a thin layer of pages, messages, and trails of activity using identity and a work graph to enable people, bots, and AIs to understand what people want to do, how to find the right objects, and how to do it.

Transactional and other work done inside a system of record or a selected service platform will still be done using that platform, linked from the actionable objects in the work graph using standard W3C links or vendor API services.

For example, TeamPage offers social enterprise web capabilities (summarized below) that automatically index the content of any external web reference, and make that page an actionable object which can be discussed, tasked, tagged, and searched from within TeamPage. A simple browser plug-in or single JavaScript call planted on an application page can add a TeamPage discussion box (similar to Disqus) and tasks to web pages representing orders, CAD designs, and other objects in an external system of record.

TeamPage permissions make it easy to define who can see and use actionable objects, expressed in the context of a business activity like Quality Management. Customers, partners and employees build a shared fabric of actionable work, relying on TeamPage to clip references to related work that's more private than they're permitted to see.

The work graph and its actionable objects are the right resources for bots and AI's to learn how to make what you care about effortlessly findable, easily usable, and accessible to bots and AI's you trust. Hey Siri - how're we doing on the Acme Products proposal?

Related

From The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style

"...A work graph consists of the units of work (tasks, ideas, clients, goals, agenda items); information about that work (relevant conversations, files, status, metadata); how it all fits together; and then the people involved with the work (who’s responsible for what? which people need to be kept in the loop?).

The upshot of the latter data structure is having all the information we need when we need it. Where the enterprise social graph requires blasting a whole team with messages like “Hey, has anyone started working on this yet?”, we can just query the work graph and efficiently find out exactly who’s working on that task and how much progress they’ve made. Where the enterprise social graph model depends on serendipity, the work graph model routes information with purpose: towards driving projects to conclusions." Justin Rosenstein, Wired 9 Oct 2013

TeamPage Work Graph

TeamPage watches what you do, and automatically maintains two-way links and relationships as you edit, keeping an accurate version history of everything so you can easily see what changed, when, and who did what.

TeamPage's work graph automatically connects articles, comments, status messages, tasks, milestones, projects, links, shared references, and relationships stored in TeamPage to the TeamPage profile of the person who created, edited or tagged the work, along with a time stamp for the action.

This concept of a work graph is helpful in describing what TeamPage automatically creates and maintains as you work.

But what counts is how TeamPage uses its work graph model to cut clutter, make it much easier to work with people anywhere inside or outside your organization, and make files and records already in IT systems easily accessible to get work done.

The same work graph information is organized and presented two different ways: by person, or by unit of work. This enables TeamPage to show activity feeds, dashboards and calendars of people, linked to the work they created or edited, as well as activity feeds, dashboards, and calendars for specific tasks, projects, and spaces where many people work together.

Working with external and internal teams - use permission rules to clip what the work graph lets you see

TeamPage's work graph model includes permissioned access that automatically clips content to show just those work items, relationships, and search results each person is allowed to read.

This makes it simple to use TeamPage for work that can cross boundaries, linking customers, suppliers, partners and internal teams with different permissions to different business activities on the same TeamPage server.

TeamPages' work graph model allows you to put a private comment (or task) in a more private space where it's only visible to a smaller group. For example, an internal team discussion on a customer's question.

Typically each external client has a private space (like separate clients of a law firm), and internal team members have a birds eye view across all clients and most or all internal spaces. TeamPage makes it simple to set up granular access rules for spaces based on individual names, Active Directory, LDAP, or TeamPage group membership.

Extending the work graph to content on the public Web, Intranet pages, and siloed systems of record.

TeamPage's Social Enterprise Web enables you to share, tag, task or comment on any page your browser can see on the public Web or on your private intranet. Just install TeamPage's Web browser plug-in extension for modern browsers including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

The Social Enterprise Web also lets you add a TeamPage share button (like Facebook or Google+ share buttons) or comment box (like Disqus) to any public or intranet Web page your organization controls. Comments are stored in TeamPage , and link back to the external Web page, which is treated as part of the TeamPage work graph.

As a bonus, the content of a page linked to TeamPage with the browser plug-in, share button, or comment box is automatically indexed for TeamPage search and drill down navigation.

The Social Enterprise Web makes pages on the public Web or your organization's intranet simple to see, share, find and connect to TeamPage tasks. A task or question on an internal purchase order page can tracked and used part of TeamPage's work graph without complicated or expensive custom integration.

For example, add a TeamPage comment box to an Purchase order page in a Web based ERP system by adding a JavaScript snippet, and see something like this:

You can then search, share, task, tag or comment on any work item in these external systems, making live external transactions part of your TeamPage work graph, including integrated TeamPage and external content analysis, search and navigation.

More

Reinventing the Web II (2014) Why isn't the Web a reliable and useful long term store for the links and content people independently create? What can we do to fix that? Who benefits from creating spaces with stable, permanently addressable content? Who pays? What incentives can make Web scale permanent, stable content with reliable bidirectional links and other goodies as common and useful as Web search over the entire flakey, decentralized and wildly successful Web? Includes links to the 2016 Internet Archive Decentralized Web Summit and other resources.

Continuity and Intertwingled Work (2014) A level above an Internet of Things: Apple aims to deliver a seamless fabric spanning what's in your phone, tablet, car, and home, for you, your family, and trusted services at work.

Google::Apple is the new Microsoft::Apple (2016) A two player race between the most valuable and capable enterprises on earth. "It could be ML/AI/NLP/Cloud is new OEM licensing Achilles heel, as one example? Conversely, did Android inherit ecosystem fracturing? @stevesi" "IMO only Google and Apple have a sufficiently well-connected fabric of personal information, mobile platform, apps. @roundtrip'' An annotated Twitter conversation with links to Google and Apple fabric references.

Contextual Computing At Work (2013) Peter Morrison argues that the future or work isn't mobile, it's contextual: "Always-present computers, able to sense the objective and subjective aspects of a given situation, will augment our ability to perceive and act in the moment based on where we are, who we’re with, and our past experiences. These are our sixth, seventh, and eighth senses."

Intertwingled Work (2010) No one Web service or collection of Web servers contain everything people need, but we get along using search and creative services that link content across wildly different sources. The same principle applies when you want to link and work across widely diverse siloed systems of record and transactional databases.

Enterprise 2.0 and Observable Work (2010) Jim McGee wrote: "One unintended consequence of today's technology environment is to make the process of knowledge work less visible just when we need it to be more so. The end products of knowledge work are already highly refined abstractions; a financial analysis, project plan, consulting report, or article. Today, the evolution from germ of an idea through intermediate representations and false starts to finished product exists, if at all, as a series of morphing digital representations and ephemeral feedback interactions." We need to make work observable.

Jun 2016 | ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Met By impi! Solutions

ImageImpi! founder Pierre Bienvenüe shares his analysis of ISO 9001:2015 requirements based on lessons learned working with one of his clients since July 2015 under the guidance of one of the contributors to the new version of the standard. He uses the impi! model to document mappings from sub-clauses of the impi! solution model to ISO 9001:2015 requirements, and from ISO clauses and sub-clauses to solution capabilities.

Pierre writes: "Since July 2015, I've had the privilege to contribute to the ISO 9001:2015 implementation at one of my clients (my official guinea pig!) under the guidance of one of the contributors to the new version of the standard. impi! has proven itself to be a solid and flexible platform to work through the implementation and manage the required documentation. As a result, the current impi! solutions are supportive of the new standard."

"All impi! solutions are built on TeamPage on a wiki space and are standard documents. Every solution starts with a Policy (the why) and a Standard Operating Procedure (the how). The SOP is the hub that links all the other documents (the spokes). The templates used for these documents are the same that the client can use for their own controlled documentation in their own wiki space called “Knowledge Central”. Two outputs of every improvement projects are a) an operational improvement and b) documentation in Knowledge Central. The project templates used to run improvement projects comprise standard articles that will naturally become elements of the BOP (e.g. SIPOC, business process maps). When the project leader reaches the Control or Adjust part of the project, large chunks of the documentation would have been written. Using the capability of TeamPage simplifies the linking and tagging of documents. The organisation steadily builds its very own Wikipedia, and it’s ISO 9001 compliant. The risk of deadwood documentation is reduced: team members create their own documentation, hyperlinking contextualises the documentation and tagging and search capability ease retrieval of information."

"Of course we apply this model to definition and development of our own impi! solutions! I'm happy to share my mapping of imp! Solution clauses to ISO 9001:2015 requirements - and the inverse mapping from ISO 9001:2015 to imp! solution clauses. This is a living document that guides definition and development of TeamPage solutions developed by impi! and Traction Software."

Pierre Bienvenüe is founder of impi Business Improvement Solutions Pty, a South African business improvement firm and TeamPage solution partner since 2012. See Introducing impi! for contact information and background. See Quality Management, Signature Requirements for more about Traction Software's Quality Management option. Please contact us for Quality Option details.

Solutions application ⇒ ISO 9001:2015 reference


Sub-clause Solution Application by the solution

4. Context of the Organisation

4.1 Understanding the organization and its context

Managing Long Range Planning

  • Analysis of external factors (STEEP)
  • Identification of beneficial/harmful and internal/external factors (SWOT)
  • Performing risk assessments of key processes at functional levels

4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties

Managing Long Range Planning

  • Mapping of key processes at functional levels using a SIPOC model that names the affecting (Suppliers) and affected parties (Customer)

4.4 Quality management system and its processes

Managing Long Range Planning

  • Map of the organisation process model
  • Map of key process model at functional level

4.4 Quality management system and its processes

Management of Improvement Projects

  • A structure is established to manage the implementation of improvement opportunities
  • Improvement projects are process centred and include risk assessment and change management

5. Leadership

5.1 Leadership and commitment

Managing Long Range Planning

  • Leadership establishes and manages the process of Long Range Planning (LRP)
  • The LRP process is an enabler for:
    • engagement and communication;
    • process, risk and improvement based thinking;
    • establishing clear policy direction and responsibilities.

5.2 Policy

Managing Long Range Planning

  • The LRP process enables the adjustment and communication of the quality policy
  • Vision, mission and values are adjusted for the organisation

5.3 Organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities

Managing Long Range Planning

  • Adjustment of the organigram and the MBU structure
  • Heads of department are responsible for the roll out the MBU structure (including KPI management) as well as the management of IPs
6. Planning

6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities

Managing Long Range Planning

  • List of IOs is updated

6.2 Quality objectives and planning to achieve them

Managing Long Range Planning

  • Breakthrough Objectives and annual objectives are decided for BU 4
  • Annual objectives are decided for BU 3

6.2 Quality objectives and planning to achieve them

Establish and Run Mini Business Units

  • Roll out of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) usually following on the management review

6.2 Quality objectives and planning to achieve them

Management of Improvement Projects

  • IOs are triggered with the view of improving measurable outputs that are aligned with the organisation's breakthrough objectives. Improvement measures are reported in the project reviews of IPs
  • Changes to processes are managed through IPs. Responsibilities and Resources are identified during the project and deployed.
  • Change management forms part of the IP

7. Support

7.1.6 Documentation. Organisational knowledge

Management of Improvement Projects

  • Knowledge Central is a moderated space configured to organise and retrieve internal and external knowledge.

7.3 Awareness

Establish and Run Mini Business Units

  • The change management and communication is planned to ensure the organisation's employees are communicated the structural and strategic changes, the Vision, Mission, Value Statement, breakthrough and annual objectives.

7.3 Awareness

Management of Improvement Projects

  • Alignment of KPIs and their regular review ensures that every person in the organisation understand the value of their contribution to the effectiveness of the quality management system
  • Standard meetings are regular forums where non-conformance and improvement are managed in the relevant MBUs.

7.4 Communication

Managing Long Range Planning

  • The change management and communication is planned to ensure the organisation's employees are communicated the structural and strategic changes, the vision, mission, values, breakthrough and annual objectives.

7.5.2 Documentation. Creating and updating

Management of Improvement Projects

  • An IP is only completed when the relevant personnel is deemed competent and standard documentation is published in Knowledge Central

9. Performance Evaluation

9.3 Management review

Managing Long Range Planning

  • The management review is integrated in the LRP process

10. Improvement

10.1 General

Establish and Run Mini Business Units

  • Every MBU is responsible to manage corrective (problem solving) and improvement activities

10.1 General

Management of Improvement Projects

  • The management system for improvement projects is established to improve the quality management system focussing on process changes using lean-six sigma concepts and methods
  • IOs are managed, prioritised and converted into IPs

10.3 Continual improvement

Managing Long Range Planning

  • Improvement Opportunities (IOs) and Improvement Projects (IPs) are identified during the various milestones of the LRP process. They are then prioritised and responsibilities are allocated

10.3 Continual improvement

Management of Improvement Projects

  • Operational, systemic and strategic improvement projects are managed through the IP system.

ISO 9001:2015 reference ⇒ solutions application


ISO Clause Sub-clause Application by the solution

Goal Alignment - Managing Long Range Planning

Context of the Organisation

4.1 Understanding the organization and its context

  • Analysis of external factors (STEEP)
  • Identification of beneficial/harmful and internal/external factors (SWOT)
  • Performing risk assessments of key processes at functional levels

Context of the Organisation

4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties

  • Mapping of key processes at functional levels using a SIPOC model that names the affecting (Suppliers) and affected parties (Customer)

Context of the Organisation

4.4 Quality management system and its processes

  • Map of the organisation process model
  • Map of key process model at functional level

Leadership

5.1 Leadership and commitment

  • Leadership establishes and manages the process of long range planning.
  • The LRP process is an enabler for:
    • engagement and communication;
    • process, risk and improvement based thinking;
    • establishing clear policy direction and responsibilities.

Leadership

5.2 Policy

  • The LRP process enables the adjustment and communication of the quality policy
  • Vision, mission and values are adjusted for the organisation

Leadership

5.3 Organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities

  • Adjustment of the organigram and the MBU structure
  • Heads of department are responsible for the roll out the MBU structure (including KPI management) as well as the management of IPs

Planning

6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities

  • List of IOs is updated

Planning

6.2 Quality objectives and planning to achieve them

  • Breakthrough and annual objectives are decided for BU 4
  • Annual objectives are decided for BU 3

Support

7.3 Awareness

  • The change management and communication is planned to ensure the organisation's employees are communicated the structural and strategic changes, the vision, Mission mission, values, breakthrough and annual objectives.

Support

7.4 Communication

  • The change management and communication is planned to ensure the organisation's employees are communicated the structural and strategic changes, the vision, mission, values, breakthrough and annual objectives.

Performance Evaluation

9.3 Management review

  • The management review is integrated in the LRP process

Improvement

10.3 Continual improvement

  • Improvement Opportunities (IOs) and Improvement Projects (IPs) are identified during the various milestones of the LRP process. They are then prioritised and responsibilities are allocated
Goal Alignment - Establish and Run Mini Business Units: SOP

Planning

6.2 Quality objectives and planning to achieve them

  • Roll out of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) usually following on the management review

Support

7.3 Awareness

  • Alignment of KPIs and their regular review ensures that every person in the organisation understand the value of their contribution to the effectiveness of the quality management system
  • Standard meetings are regular forums where non-conformance and improvement are managed in the relevant MBUs.

Improvement

10.1 General

  • Every MBU is responsible to manage corrective (problem solving) and improvement activities
Management of Improvement Projects

Context of the Organisation

4.4 Quality management system and its processes

  • A structure is established to manage the implementation of improvement opportunities
  • Improvement projects are process centred and include risk assessment and change management

Planning

6.2 Quality objectives and planning to achieve them

  • IOs are triggered with the view of improving measurable outputs that are aligned with the organisation's breakthrough objectives. Improvement measures are reported in the project reviews of IPs
  • Changes to processes are managed through IPs. Responsibilities and Resources are identified during the project and deployed.
  • Change management forms part of the IP

Support

7.1.6 Documentation. Organisational knowledge

  • Knowledge Central is a moderated space configured to organise and retrieve internal and external knowledge.

Support

7.5.2 Documentation. Creating and updating

  • An IP is only completed when the relevant personnel is deemed competent and standard documentation is published in Knowledge Central

Improvement

10.1 General

  • The management system for improvement projects is established to improve the quality management system focussing on process changes using lean-six sigma concepts and methods
  • IOs are managed, prioritised and converted into IPs

Improvement

10.3 Continual improvement

  • Operational, systemic and strategic improvement projects are managed through the IP system.

Related

Introducing impi! - Pierre Bienvenüe - Concepts impi! uses to build business management systems. Convergence of Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement.

Dec 2015 | Quality Management, Signature Requirements - The TeamPage Quality Management module adds Feedback, Non-Conformance, and Corrective Action forms and dashboards to TeamPage's standard support for authoring, delivery, and tracking of quality and compliance documentation

TeamPage Solutions: Quality Management - Author, version, and share quality procedures using TeamPage

Introducing impi! - Pierre Bienvenüe

May 28, 2016 · · Posted by Greg Lloyd

ImageI'm happy to introduce Pierre Bienvenüe, founder of impi Business Improvement Solutions Pty, a South African business improvement firm and TeamPage solution partner since 2012. Pierre has great experience in helping mid-size companies organize and run effective quality improvement programmes. impi! works with clients as partners from concept definition, initial rollout, through improvement of the quality program itself. Pierre has worked with Traction Software and clients to develop templates, plug-in extensions, and a methodology for using TeamPage to support the impi! business improvement model, with solid results to report. This post is an introduction. You'll hear more from Pierre as an expert guest blogger on this page, in Traction Software's TeamPage customer forums (free registration), and across the web.

Pierre Bienvenüe writes: Since 2012, the trigger to develop impi! was primarily the realisation that mid-size companies couldn’t afford quality improvement programmes à la TRACC, 20-Keys, Mission Directed Workteam or BMGI offering. Furthermore, they didn’t want an improvement programme but needed a business management system (BMS). Something that would outlive the consultant… (btw they didn't want training either, but coaching.)

Additionally, for a few years now we have experienced the convergence of Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement. The latter becoming the enabler of the former. Since July 2015, I've had the privilege to contribute to the ISO 9001:2015 implementation at one of my clients (my official guinea pig!) under the guidance of one of the contributors to the new version of the standard. impi! has proven itself to be a solid and flexible platform to work through the implementation and manage the required documentation. As a result, the current impi! solutions are supportive of the new standard.

Why choosing mid-size companies? Their systems are usually less mature than that of large corporations and therefore, the implementation of an IT system underpinning the BMS wouldn’t usually clash with legacy systems. Also, most importantly, top management in mid-size organisations are more likely to get their hands dirty coaching the teams (changing the nappies) rather than the consultant-nanny who too often ends up raising the kids by implementing the programme bottom-up (which always fails in my experience).

A few concepts to build a business management system

impi! is applying the Lean tools and techniques other programmes offer (and probably not as well due to my limited experience and resources to develop the content). However, there are a few concepts, possibly original, that I’d like to share with you:

1. Integration of document management and improvement, blurring the lines between creativity and discipline, short term operation and long term systemic improvement.

The question here is how to ensure that improvement results in standardisation and standardisation in sustainability. There is always a tension between moving fast in improving and taking time to properly document, train and even audit.

Another tension exists between the daily operation (immediate) and its systemic improvement (essential). Here, a footnote on the Toyota Way led me to Paul Adler's article: “Building better bureaucracies” (see also attachment) on enabling vs coercive structures. And gave me hope that discipline and creativity should coexist in the workplace.

My response to the two challenges is:

  1. A dynamic business model, the Core Cycle, summarised by Drucker definition of management: “the essence of management is to make knowledge productive”. This model helps me to have an integrated view on how a business operates and therefore develop interlocking solutions to build its BMS. I attach a presentation of the Core Cycle, a subset of the foundation course I train my clients with;
  2. A technology (social media for companies: TeamPage) as an enabler of the Core Cycle that provides an integrated work environment, flexibility, ease of use and at the same time provides structure and visibility. With the technology we can have knowledge workers and even supervisors to collaborate, share, task, project manage, create and manage documents, etc.

I experimented and now understand that the technology - social media for companies (Enterprise 2.0) - and the philosophy - the Toyota half-way (see attachment) - share many principles: collaboration, transparency, accountability, emergence (pattern of improvement: pushing the knowledge threshold by doing).

2. Management needs to become a routine, implementing a routine is a project, starts at the top, everyone is responsible for improving the organisation. entrench the routine of change before planning to roll out at operational level. Rather than starting an improvement programme - typically with business goal alignment, we first need to build the structure for improvement.

I found that a two-weekly cycle of project review sets up a pace for the company and puts the right pressure on both top management and project leaders. I borrowed that idea from a 6-sigma project management method.

Everyone with a computer runs an improvement project (initially) related to their processes. The project leader gets some face time weekly (20 to 60 minutes) with a sponsor (the process owner = top management). Every two weeks, project leaders stand up and give an account of progress before top management using TeamPage. This is show time. Coaching and learning naturally happens. Con artists are exposed. We get to eat together. We celebrate project closure. The improvement champion (internal or external) can use that time for short training time at the point of need (e.g. what the hell is the Toyota Kata? What is a Pareto analysis, how and when to use it?). The forum is also used to get the teams to contribute to the Long Range Planning process.

Then implementation of any system is pushed through that improvement process. It is logged and managed as a project e.g. establishing standard meetings, rolling out KPIs, ISO 9001 implementation, 5S and of course improvement of business and operational processes. So we guarantee alignment to strategic objectives and make the workload of project leaders obvious.

3. Mirror the social media spaces to the actual Mini Business Units (MBUs). Harmonious mix of electronic and manual visual management

We create spaces for the systemic, strategic and selected operational mini-business units. The more the team uses the platform for its daily operation for communicating and tasking, the easier it becomes to use it for project management and documenting: it is the same platform. A bonus feature is that email traffic diminishes. Visual management (e.g. KPI tracking) is still displayed on the walls, yet in some cases is duplicated electronically. Tasking and minute taking is captured live by the team members in the relevant MBUs. Knowledge can also be created in the context of daily activities with threaded discussions. The discussions are usually informal but they are searchable and can be tasked.

4. Use the BMS to provide knowledge

Sharing of knowledge is woven into the BMS. Firstly, in the central repository of standard documentation (Best Operating Practice - BOP), secondly in the project templates themselves (e.g. DMAIC, Business Process Improvement), thirdly in the MBU spaces as described in Para 3:

  1. All impi! solutions are built on TeamPage on a wiki space and are standard documents. Every solution starts with a Policy (the why) and a Standard Operating Procedure (the how). The SOP is the hub that links all the other documents (the spokes). The templates used for these documents are the same that the client can use for their own controlled documentation in their own wiki space called “Knowledge Central”. Two outputs of every improvement projects are a) an operational improvement and b) documentation in Knowledge Central. The project templates used to run improvement projects comprise standard articles that will naturally become elements of the BOP (e.g. SIPOC, business process maps). When the project leader reaches the Control or Adjust part of the project, large chunks of the documentation would have been written. Using the capability of TeamPage simplifies the linking and tagging of documents. The organisation steadily builds its very own Wikipedia, and it’s ISO 9001 compliant. The risk of deadwood documentation is reduced: team members create their own documentation, hyperlinking contextualises the documentation and tagging and search capability ease retrieval of information.
  2. Several templates are available for improvement projects (e.g. PDCA, DMAIC). With each project milestones are associated standard articles e.g. project charter, project checklist, Fishbone diagram, business process “AS IS". To each milestone there are also associated tasks. In each task is a tutorial on its own with tips and links to glossary terms, One Point Lessons (e.g. How to use a risk assessment matrix) or external reference in the public domain, e.g. Wikipedia, Lean Institute.

Finally, here is a one page summary of impi! and the synopsis of one of the three solutions that Traction and I have released thus far and are currently being used at clients.

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Voilà - I hope there is enough meat here to stimulate a conversation or two.

Since I have only developed impi! thus far with my clients and for my clients, I haven't started a public website. It will be up this year. Immediately though, I will value the comments and interactions @Pierre on Traction Software's TeamPage server (free registration) or email pierre@impi.solutions. In the meantime, gazing a last time at the horizon of this South African part of the Indian Ocean, I'm aiming down to the engine room, pondering how I am to navigate this blue ocean.

Related

Jun 2016 | ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Met By impi! Solutions - Meeting ISO 9001:2015 requirements using the impi! model

impi! What's in the name? What's in the logo? - Discipline and creativity

Dec 2016 | Business Process Improvement with impi!, Plug-in extensions, TeamPage improvements

Why, How and What of the impi Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage - A customer interview and walkthrough of one new part of the impi! BMS solution

Chris Nuzum Hyperkult XXV Video | Tripping Up Memory Lane

May 15, 2016 · · Posted by Greg Lloyd

ImageWatch this video of Chris Nuzum's Tripping Up Memory Lane talk at Hyperkult 2015, University of Lüneburg, 10 July 2015. Traction Software CTO and co-founder Chris Nuzum reviews hypertext history, his experience as a hypertext practitioner, and the core principles of Traction TeamPage.

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Live video Christopher Nuzum: Tripping up Memory Lane Hyperkult XXV
Adobe Flash required for desktop Chrome or Internet Explorer 10 and earlier.

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"Thoughtvectors in Concept Space badge" by @iamTalkyTina my posts | thoughtvectors.net

Related

Tripping Up Memory Lane - Chris Nuzum's written notes for his Hyperkult XXV talk.

Traction Roots - Doug Engelbart - About Doug Engelbart's Journal and Traction.

Original Traction Product Proposal - Hypertext roots and evolution of Traction TeamPage.

Doug Engelbart | 85th Birthday Jan 30, 2010 - "Doug Engelbart sat under a twenty-two-foot-high video screen, "dealing lightning with both hands." At least that's the way it seemed to Chuck Thacker, a young Xerox PARC computer designer who was later shown a video of the demonstration that changed the course of the computer world."

Thought Vectors - Ted Nelson: Art not Technology - "To give up on human understanding is to give up hope, what we call in English 'a counsel of despair.' I think there is hope for much better and more powerful software designs that will give ordinary people the power over computers that they have always wanted - power with complete understanding. But that requires inspired software design, which I believe is art and not technology."

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style - The social dance of getting things done, dealing with exceptions, and staying aware of what’s going on around you

Introducing the TeamPage iOS App

May 13, 2016 · · Posted by Christopher Nuzum

I was delighted to find that our TeamPage iOS companion app was published on the App Store this morning. We've been enjoying the app for the past few months, and are excited finally to be able to share it with you.

A Simple, Useful Start

We've often thought about what we wanted in a mobile TeamPage app. Our ambition set a pretty high bar.

The app that we released today is not the app we thought we needed to build.

It's the app that we were tired of living without.

It has a simple objective: make it easy to stay in the loop when you're living your life away from your desk. So you can dash off a quick response while waiting in line for a coffee; read and respond to last night's posts on the train; or add an incoming request to your worklist before you turn off the light.

Two Views, for Two Ways of Dealing with Information

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TeamPage provides dozens of ways to slice and present information: feeds and dashboards scoped to spaces, projects, and milestones; task lists; section tables; tag change and history views, cross-references and audit trails.

Desktop TeamPage, that is.

We boiled the mobile app down to two views: Notifications and Discussions.

Notifications are:

  • Low volume, focused on what you care about and what you need to know.
  • Great for responding to @mentions, seeing tasks assigned to you, following discussions you've participated in, and tracking activity on projects you own, spaces you subscribe to, and people you follow.
  • Perfect for individual contributors, engineers, and people who prefer to work with headphones on, since it keeps the level of distraction to a minimum.

Discussions are:

  • For when you want to, or need to, scan everything that's going on.
  • Perfect for analysts, support staff, and managers who need to scan for activity of interest and either jump into the conversation or follow up in detail later.

Personally, if it's been a while since I checked in, I review my notifications first, and then scan through discussions.

The list view showing notifications and discussions uses a new unread tracking capability built into TeamPage and synchronized with the iOS application to give you a snippet of the next unread message in the thread, while showing you the avatar of the person who posted it.

The discussions and notifications views are ordered based on how recently the thread was active, so you only need to scan down the list until you've reached an item you've seen before to know that you're all caught up. The yellow highlight on unread items also helps with this, making it very easy to stay on top of what's new.

A New Detail View

The Desktop version of TeamPage uses nesting to visualize replies in context, which works very well for getting the big picture and for threads you haven't read.

proteus view

In the app, to facilitate catching up on the latest additions, we organize the replies chronologically, and use the unread tracking to scroll you down to the next unread reply.

iOS app detail view

We also make it easy to swipe left and right or use left and right arrows to go to the next or previous thread in the list, which makes it very easy to catch up on activity using only one hand.

Two Actions, to Put Your Mind at Rest ⋮

When it comes down to it, when something comes to your attention on your mobile device, you either can deal with it then and there, or you can't.

iOS context menu

If you just need to answer a question, you can use the Reply via Email action to type or dictate a quick reply.

If you need to come back to it later, you can add it to your Worklist, where it will show up on top when you get back to your desk.

And if you need access to the full TeamPage web interface, e.g. to assign a task to someone, you can open a browser to the current discussion by switching from the preview tab to the WWW tab.

toggle iOS vs web view

Finally, you can use the Share Sheet to share a post's URL with other iOS apps.

iOS Share Sheet

That's It

For starters, anyway. We've focused on making it fast, functional, and friendly, while laying a foundation for future features. Behind the scenes, there's a new REST API on the server side; you can learn more about that in my next post, Behind the Scenes of the iOS TeamPage App. We'll be extending that API in concert with new features for iOS and other clients.

What's Next?

We welcome your feedback, ideas, and, inevitably, bug reports. We know our 1.0 isn't perfect, and it certainly isn't complete, but we find it indispensable, and hope you will too.

Depending on how you use TeamPage, you'll probably have a different opinion about what should come next. If you use it for ISO 9000 compliance or Quality Management, you might want to be able to compose new Quality Issues with photos right from the phone (today you can email them in). If you're a Competitive Intelligence professional, you might want access to Advanced Search. If you're a project manager, you might want to edit your project's tasks, or your team members' worklists.

Please send questions and feedback to ios@tractionsoftware.com, or post in the TeamPage Forum.

Note: The TeamPage app requires a TeamPage server version 6.1.14 or later. If you're a hosted customer, you're ready to go. If you have an on-premise TeamPage server, you'll need to upgrade before you enjoy the iOS app with your TeamPage server.

If you're interested in how we built the app, stay tuned for my next post, Behind the Scenes of the iOS TeamPage App.

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