Workspaces

All too often collaboration systems become large repositories, where the only inhabitants are the documents that are stored there. Participate puts a tremendous focus on the real assets behind the content; the people. It provides numerous ways for people to engage, collaborate and work together. One key feature is Participate’s Workspaces. It empowers any user to pull together a virtual team of the best talent from the organization to collaboratively tackle a project.  It also keeps members engaged through email notifications and lets the owners of the workspace drive deliverables by assigning tasks. 

Participate’s Workspaces provides numerous ways for team members to engage, collaborate and work together. Creating a workspace is a simple 3 step process. First describe the goal or the agenda for the project and choose its accessibility; public or private.  Next, choose the people you want to involve in this project. Lastly, choose the activities they will participate in, e.g., use a forum in the workspace to brainstorm ideas, use a blog to share experiences and status information, or use a wiki to collaboratively author new content. 

Templates
 

Workspaces offer a flexible and easy to use collaborative system that can be employed in a variety of scenarios:

  • Professional Services organization can create a virtual group, who are engaged in a customer implementation where the implementation project plan, and all the activities associated with them are shared, innovative ideas are discussed and problems are solved. The decisions are tracked and recorded and implementation status is captured and easily visible to those within the team and to external stakeholders.
  • Sales teams can create a workspace to collaborate and respond to requests for RFPs.  They can pull in the best subject matter experts from the organization, and assign out the RFP sections to the appropriate expert using tasks. Upon completion, the workspace is stored so that the knowledge captured here can help with future RFPs.
  • Marketing can use Workspaces to host virtual user conferences. Here they can share keynote and other presentations, host roundtable discussions and birds-of-a-feather sessions, and capture feedback and ideas from customers. Customers can easily network and establish ongoing relationships. The virtual nature not only reduces costs but also enables more attendees to join and provides the time flexibility for attendees to get involved at their own pace rather than be tied to a fixed schedule.
  • Training facilitators can use workspaces to complement formal training with hands on, learning-by-doing exercises. They can setup a scenario where participants have to work collectively or individually to solve problems and share their solutions with the team. By engaging in practical exercises the participants teach themselves, all the while the information is captured so others can learn from their findings. 
Commonly used scenarios with specific activities can be created as templates in Participate.  These templates can be used to quickly launch future workspaces, and maintain consistency and comprehensiveness from workspace to workspace.

 

Tasks

Participate’s Task Management system lets teams manage timelines and goals by quickly assigning out tasks to individuals or groups, describing what’s needed, when it’s due and how important it is.  Tasks can be used within workspaces to outline step by step activities for all participants to follow or to delegate specific tasks to key participants based on their expertise and skills. Tasks can also be used outside of workspaces between any Participate users. They can be used to ensure that important information has been read by your team, or that a deliverable is tracked and completed on time, or that contributors have a checklist of all the content that they need to update, or for a variety of other uses.

The benefit of using tasks in Participate is that you can drive participation directly from the system where collaboration needs to occur. It also crosses organizational barriers, so you can assign dependencies on any user in Participate regardless of what back office product their IT organization has mandated.  The system provides email notifications of when a task has been assigned and any progress updates on the task so both the assigner and assignees are implicitly aware of their tasks.

Tracking

Regardless of how you harness the power of Workspaces or Tasks in Participate, it is critical to be able to track the progress and status of each. Participate provides managers with detailed reports to discern the activity taking place in a workspace, or the status of tasks assigned to specific users, or the status of the changes associated to a particular piece of content.  To help manage and filter their task lists, participants are also provided with convenient tools to easily stay on top of what needs to be done.  Manual and/or automatic reminder options are also included to notify users of upcoming or past-due deadlines.

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